Wednesday, March 30, 2011

While Strider was learning grammar and Rayna was learning math....

....  Colsen and Milo were upstairs apparently learning about physics!

I came up to find them doing this:

I guess the bedrail is pretty much useless at this point.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Milo's bedtime routine

Per request (by my sister-in-law), I am posting this video of Miles' going to bed.  He has quite a lot of commands that we must follow -- all in the exact same order every single time. 

Most of the time we comply and think it's cute.... but at 3:00 a.m. when he's already woken up a couple of times and we have to start the routine over each time, it gets a little old.  (You may notice I've learned to sing the songs quite fast)    He's lucky he's so cute.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wray family birthdays

Last night the Wray grown-ups in the area assembled at the patriarchal home to celebrate the birthdays of Dad, James and Karin with a Mexican-themed fiesta.  By the end of the night my muscles hurt from laughing so much!

Mom with one of her gorgeous displays:
Goof-ball James with the same gorgeous display:

 All the ladies, enjoying a kid-free night (well, all except Mom):
Right about this time in the evening, after looking at some old pictures, Karin said to Katie, something like, "Kate, I have to say you've aged very well, unlike the rest of us."!!!!  And I was standing right there!  Major Slam #1 of the evening.

During dinner, the topics of conversation included: water piks, who in our family most closely resembles which of the Bravermans, how Dan and James almost invented Facebook, how long one should brush their teeth, if Dan is really like Riggins on Friday Night Lights, how it is that 90-year-old Mor-Mor is the most technologically advanced of us, the rapid turn-around of Business Week magazine, and the praying patterns of the toddler grandchildren.
 And we just kept laughing and laughing and laughing!
At the end of the night, James proclaimed it "the second most fun adult family gathering" we've had.  Then he went on to specify that the first most fun evening was an occasion for which I was not even there!  Major Slam #2 of the evening*!!!  What is it with those Dreschers? 

*Considering the fact that I was on Day 5 of my sleep-deprived stint while Pete is travelling, there is a slight chance I was being oversensitive.  But I don't think so.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upon Looking Around the House

Pennies have been wedged in between our piano keys,
Couch cushions are on the floor for cave-forming ease.
     And a piece of a cracker, half-chewed
     is here on the counter- how rude!
     From all of this mess, one can only conclude,
          Yep, I’m a mom.

There is pink play-dough “pottery” now in my freezer,
My box grater is in a bedroom, being called a “cheeser.”
     Twelve broken crayons on the living room floor,
     A toddler’s large signature on my front door,
     Kids underfoot – ‘til I suggest a chore,
          Yep, I’m a mom.

My potholders are somewhere with my toddler upstairs,
A passenger train has been made out of our chairs.
     Footprints on the walls, thanks to boys who climb,
     I have minds to mold and mold on my limes.
     So much to teach and clean… but no time…
          Yep, I’m a mom.

Hand-picked weed-flowers in a glass on the table,
Scribbled pictures on the fridge by kids growing able.
     Little cuddlers in my bed I wake to find,
     Sweet tiny hands that want to hold mine,
     Hearing “I love you’s” from faces that shine…
          So thankful - I’m a mom.

(And all of these things have been true!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some "firsts"

This past week I left Strider home alone for the first extended time (45 minutes).  When I arrived home afterwards, the house was quiet and I found this note on the counter:

"Leave $10,000 in your trampoline tonight to get Stryder back!"

I thought it was a nice touch that he spelled his own name wrong to make it seem more authentic.  :)  Unfortunately, I still did not fall for it.

Rayna also has had a "first" this past week.  She gave a report about seeds at our co-op which she read out loud.  In the past her presentations have all been memorized or more like "show-and-tell" so this was a big step for her, to have her thoughts written out ahead of time (with some help) and then able to read them.  She also performed a little poem about a seed (with some minor choreography).  She looooves being the center of attention!

(I love her little teacher pose in this last picture!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kite Day(s)

This weekend was full of many adventures.... playing with friends, girl time with cousins, gardening, fixing cars, date night.... but the one event that produced the best pictures was the neighborhood Kite Festival!  (Rayna was away at this time and Strider was with his friends, so Miles and Colsen were the subjects of this photo series)

Everyone was so inspired by yesterday's fun that even as I'm typing this, here is what everyone else is doing...

(See the kite waaaaay up there?!)
Thankful for fun adventures.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Silly kids

One morning while Pete and Strider were gone:
Colsen: Is lunch ready yet?
Me: Does it look ready?
Colsen: No. Go make some lunch!
Me: Hey, do you think I'm your servant?
Colsen: I AM the man of the house...

Outside as we're walking through the yard,
Me:  Look, there's a little pine tree growing here!
Colsen:  Oh good, can I have the pineapple?

Where does he get this stuff??
Strider:  Mom, have you ever taken a cube of sugar and put it on your tongue, and flipped it up on your nose and held it there for a second, and then flipped it over your head and caught it on your back foot?
Me:  No.
Strider.  Too bad.  You could have qualified for the Sugar Cube Competition.  It's weird, no one has qualified so far!

One afternoon...
Me:  How was your day, Strider?
Strider:  Well, I was doing SCHOOL and I don't like schoolwork.
Colsen:  If he doesn't like doing school, we should just make it fun for him.  Like let him eat a cupcake while he's doing school.

Meanwhile, this was the scene here a few nights ago when I told them they could take down our paper sun...
Yep, it's crazy 'round here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not too old

While camping with our friends this past weekend, Pete apparently decided he wasn't too old to compete with the kids.  Howard had set up an obstacle course for the younger set, and after the official World Record was set on the course, Pete decided he wanted a try.

Buoyed by his spectacular new record (beating the extremely athletic 16-year old by almost one whole second), he eagerly returned in the afternoon for Round 2.  The other men also decided to test their mettle in the Obstacle Course Showdown, so it was quite an event.

Now, I was not there to see this all (as I was back at the cabin while Miles napped), but according to my sources, this is what transpired:

The men designed a new obstacle course.

Steve, the aforementioned athletic teen-ager, attempted the course and made the important discovery that there was a crucial metal bar blocking the top of the slide that the contestants had to run up.  It was noted that the future runners should avoid this bar.  First World Record was established.

Many kids competed in the obstacle course, but no one was able to crush the World Record.

Howard (Man #1) stepped up to the challenge and ran the course.  BANG! He slammed his head on that all-important Metal Bar.  Injury #1.  World Record not broken.

Darol (Man #2) was the next contender.  BANG! He slammed his chest on that Very Same Metal Bar.  Injury #2.  World Record not broken.

Peter (Man #3) was the next contender.  One would think that he would avoid the Metal Bar at all costs, having watched his friends get injured right after the other.  Apparently one would be wrong because Pete encountered that Very Same Metal Bar at full speed with his nose. BANG!  He continues to run the course, crossing the finish line with blood pouring down from both outside and inside his nose.  World Record not broken -- but missed by just 1 second.

Amy hears of the consecutive injuries and has to question the inverse proportion of intelligence to speed when men compete in obstacle courses.

The events of the day have served to prove that Pete is not yet too old to sport a black eye.  He's looking like quite the tough guy these days.

Lest we all start worrying about Pete's cognitive processing abilities, though, I will take this opportunity to share another article he wrote that was picked up by an online journal here.  I'm proud of him!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Yesterday, we all went to a waterfall that was only about 10 minutes from our cabin -- Issaqueen Falls.  It was an amazing sight from the top.... but our group was not content to stay on the wooden pathway...
So we all started scrambling down towards the bottom of the ravine.
And the view was even more spectacular!
(Strider is sitting on a big rock towards the bottom of the falls)

Once at the bottom, though, the kids started figuring there must be a way back UP the other side, so up they scampered...
(This was taken while I was towards the bottom, but Strider is with Steve way at the very top!  Can you spot him??)

And then they started figuring there must be a way to go UNDER the falls...
(In this picture, Darol is on the side, and the little green spot underneath the falls to Darol's left is Strider!)

So after we all climbed back up....
...the other kids got a chance to go under the falls, too!

What a fun day of exploring!

My kind of camping

For a few days, we "unplugged"...
... and went to stay in this cabin!  (Oconee State Park, SC)
We were right on a lake with beautiful views and plenty to explore.

And to make it REALLY fun, we had 13 of our friends with us! 
 (To be more exact, we tagged along on their trip.  :)  )
There were plenty of opportunities to walk and talk together... together,...
...and try to throw one another in the lake.
We hiked,
... hung out together (what a patient 16-year old Steve is!),
... played games together,...
...sang together...
...and ate together.
And the best part of "camping".... we had a bonfire and made s'mores!

We all agreed it was a fantastic vacation -- Strider says it was one of the best we've ever had.  I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable cabin camping can be...  MUCH better than tent camping!   And having some of our favorite people to spend time with made the experience much more colorful and bright.  I hope we can do it again soon!