Wednesday, July 29, 2009
(The interesting thing is... neither Pete nor I have texting capabilities -- no phone plan with this included, and no knowledge of how to even begin texting... yes, we're old folks now. So I don't know how Colsen has learned that this is something all the young folks should be doing!)
Last weekend Pete and Strider were attempting to watch Star Wars -- a rite of passage for all boys, right? Colsen was apparently trying to track with it all. But he wasn't quite getting it, I guess, because at one point some creature picked up R2D2, and Cole turned to Pete and said, "Why is he picking up that man's vacuum?"
And this morning I was trying to give him the exciting news that his new cousin was about to be born today. I said, "Aunt Katie is about to have her baby!" And I expected some response like, "I want to see him," or "What is his name going to be?" Instead, the only thing Cole wanted to know was, "Does Aunt Katie have a bouncy seat for the baby??" Important things first, I guess.
And on that note, we're eagerly waiting word this afternoon to hear that this little nephew of ours has come into the world... Should be soon!
Monday, July 27, 2009
They, of course, had a great time... and the big adventure of the day was when Pete and Rayna "majorly wiped out!" But despite a few scary moments with Rayna rolling around in the water, she recovered quickly and loved telling me all about it later.
I love these pictures -- the kids' expressions are great.
We all love summer!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Even though I was a mess, my kids were a mess, and my house was a mess (Pete's never a mess -- he's always his handsome self), we still enjoyed the spontaneity of summer! And again we realized how nice it is to live near family.
I love these designs!
The dresses and skirts are so cute... and the skirty is just what we need around here. :)
And perhaps my favorite part of looking through her web site is seeing all the Oxford sites... I miss it there!
So out came my mom with great purpose and direction, intending to get the perfect, current shot. Two other family member photographers joined in the designing and framing stage, so the three of them together were directing the rest of us where to sit or stand. Unfortunately, the noise of the waterfall we were gathering around made it difficult for us to hear the mouths behind the cameras, so there were a lot of confusing charades going on. ("You want me to sit here? Or him? You want him where? Right in the middle? But there's no rock there! Is he supposed to sit in the water? Oh -- are you talking to her?")
Meanwhile, the kiddos all began a chorus with their various cries and pleas. We parents started our songs about the great promised dinner and cakes for all who cooperated. The cacophony crescendoed the longer we waited for the photographers to stage the shot. Lollipops given to the toddlers to appease them were melting all over the fresh white shirts. Kids were getting wetter and wetter the longer we sat near the water. And the leg muscles of at least some of us adults were cramping up.... to the point where everyone was complaining about something. Gotta love it.
Finally, 15 minutes later, the photographer team announced they were ready to start shooting.
Just about the time that everyone's smiles had permanently turned into grimaces. But with many a "Look at Nonna with the camera" shouts, and hand charades from my mom as she directed someone to do something (no one ever knew what exactly she was saying), the photo shoot commenced.
And then, 3 minutes later, we realized it actually had not commenced, as she hadn't been pushing the right button or something.
So we started over.
And then we all melted down and had to break for dinner.
And then after dinner we all traipsed out again to resume our oh-so-comfortable positions. After 15 more minutes of staging and directing, Rayna announced she had to go to the bathroom. Colsen, through the power of suggestion, also decided he had to go. Kai was still running around the yard, refusing to be confined for this ridiculousness. So, now 7 family members were no longer in the shot (including the ones who were trying to set up the picture).
Eventually, though, somehow we all got in the frame, and my mom took some pictures. (My dad had long since retreated inside to do something far more fun -- the dishes.)
Looking through the pictures later that night, we realized that even with 3 different cameras, and long periods of time set aside to achieve the desired look, when you're dealing with a cast of 18, you are never going to get "the perfect shot." Someone is always goofy-- and usually there is more than 1 clown in this bunch.
There were a lot of shots taken, but I only have these 2 here:
It's hard to get everyone looking in the same direction at once! Thankfully, for the rest of the evening, the non-picture-taking portion, that was not the goal, so we had fun looking at each other and talking. And, we had a lot to celebrate: Karin and James' anniversary, John's graduation, and Katie's "retirement!" Cake for everyone!!
Colsen: Can I have some chicken brox on my cracker?
Me: Some what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Colsen: Chicken brox like when make you rice.
Me: Oh, chicken broth? You know what chicken broth is? No, you can’t have it on your cracker.
Strider: Colsen, you can call it chicken broth or chicken stock. Hey, Mom, can we make homemade chicken broth?
Me: Um, sure.
Strider: It’s just chicken-flavored water, right? Hey, didn’t you tell me that you have a friend from high school or something that makes like wine or something from honey?
Me: Yes, I do. Why?
Strider: Does it still taste bitter since it’s alcohol?
Me: No, actually it’s pretty sweet.
Strider: So it’s like drinking honey??!?!
Me: No, not that sweet…
But while we're on the topic, I'll post a link to that friend's (and her husband's) business, Fox Hill Meadery. The mead is quite tasty, I have to say. If you go to Asheville, check it out -- or you an also order some!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
- Playing "20 Questions" over and over. The toughest ones for us to guess were "Calvin Coolidge" (Pete's idea... we finally had it narrowed down to a U.S. President from the 1920's) and "outside" (Strider's idea-- which he insisted was a Place). In just about every round, Rayna would ask, "Are you a dot?" The answer was always "no."
- Having iterations of this conversation over and over... R: "Are we in Ohio now?" Me: "No, we're in North Carolina. Then we're going to drive and drive until we get to Virginia. Then we're going to drive and drive until we get to West Virginia. Then we'll drive and drive until we get to Ohio!" C: "So are we in Ohio now??"
- Singing songs in rounds. The most interesting point was when Pete and Strider were singing one part of "Rejoice in the Lord always," Colsen and I were attempting to sing a different part of it, and Rayna was singing "The Lord is my Shepherd" -- the song we had sung previously.
- Hearing the kids sing "Let me see your funky chicken.... what's that you say?" over and over
- Hearing the kids sing the Button Factory song over and over (thank you Eden!)
- Listening to "Frog and Toad" and "Adventures in Odyssey" stories on CD
- Hearing Colsen squeal with excitement everytime the Veggie Tales "Water Buffalo" song came on
- Hearing "Can we have a snack?" 32 times
- After a 5-minute lull, hearing Colsen say "I'm being good now, so can I have a wowwipop?"
Thursday, July 9, 2009
But my husband has not been making it any easier for me lately. Yesterday I came back here to find this:
Yes, that's Pete riding a motorcycle. He went all around these country roads, while his friend Jeff, the owner of the machine, stood with me in the driveway relaying all sorts of pleasant facts like "90% of motorcycle accidents happen when you're going 30 mph or less-- like on these country roads out here." And after awhile, he asked, "Do you think we should drive out to see if Pete's ok?" So comforting.
Pete had spent a lot of the day with his 2 good old buddies; the 3 of them have all kinds of hair-raising adventure stories from their junior high and high school days... I cringe to think of them.They look like they're all grown up now...
Another exploit of Pete's that caused me wonder if we've kept his life insurance policy current was this:
While he was up on the roof, he somehow encountered a large nest of hornets, and we suddenly heard him running along the roof, and then a loud yell. I thought he had fallen, but thankfully he had not. My heart is getting a work-out here!
So now we have these 3 little boys that will no doubt inherit some of this crazy adventurous spirit... Pete is doing his best to pass it on:
I, of course, prefer the moments like these that I had with Cole yesterday while Strider and Rayna were at a craft program. We walked around the gardens, nice and safe...
...although he still managed to get all wet and almost fall in the fountain...
Guess I'd better buckle up!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
We've had a lot of fun already, hanging out together, playing various backyard games like ladder ball, badminton, scooter challenges, and "where's the dog now?" And we also had a good time yesterday, going en masse to pick blueberries.
Plenty of good cousin hang-out time! (the 9 kids here this weekend are ages: 0, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13)
(Milo sleeping through the chaos...)