Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where Strider has been

I realized lately that Strider does not feature much in blog posts or Facebook updates... largely because he's not home much these days!  In the last couple of months he's had his prime sports-convergence time, with both baseball and swim team in full swing.  He also participated in some CrossFit workouts for awhile, so all in all, he's getting plenty of physical activity.

Once again I find myself grateful that he can ride his bike to all of his swim practices, and the baseball field was very close, for home games anyway.  Colsen has been playing soccer twice a week, too, so our family was a little consumed by sports this month!

So here are some shots of Strider in action:

His big accomplishments in baseball this year mostly had to do with his ability to steal bases, and in swimming he emerged as a strong backstroke-r.  But most of all, we have loved seeing him join teams full of strangers and get right into everything quickly.  He missed these seasons last year when we were in Moldova, so he had some catching up to do, but he gamely gave his all and made new friends at the same time.  We love our social team player!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Aging of ATF

Circa 1996
Pete and his college friends had another one of their "ATF" trips this past weekend.  By my calculations, I think this may have been about their 30th time to get together since graduation!  Aside from that milestone, most of them have been turning 40 this year, so they had a lot to celebrate this time.

When they were all young bucks, ATF meant a time to drink Alcohol (in a mostly responsible way), smoke pipes (Tobacco), and shoot off some guns (Firearms) in the woods.

Gradually, as they became family men and got jobs they needed to keep, they started having tamer weekends, switching the "F" portion to "football," for instance.

Circa 2000
But, still, they were tough, manly-type weekends.

Then several of them started ascribing to special eating patterns.... less gluten, locally-sourced produce, ethically-raised meat, more fiber, less sugar, etc.  Their group meals have adapted.

And now several of them (including my dear, still manly, husband) now have trouble sleeping in random places.  No longer do they proclaim, "Have Thermarest, Will Sleep Anywhere."  Bedtimes have gotten much earlier for this crowd.
Circa 2001

So that brings us to this past trip.  The guys got together for 4 days, but as far as I can tell not a single pipe was smoked, nor were any guns shot. There were cigars, and there was still alcohol.... including some expensive Scotch, I hear.

The big highlight was a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant to celebrate their 40th birthday.  (Grilling random animals and washing them down with random rare beers is no longer sufficient, apparently!) According to one report, one of the guys had his eyes closed at the table and was ready for bed before they had even gotten their check!  Another one was moaning about a pulled back muscle from their relatively tame game of frisbee that afternoon.

When the guys got home, 2 of them were in our driveway (having ridden together), and the kids and I eagerly asked them what they had done for amusement while they were gone.  "Well, we went shopping," said one of them.  SHOPPING?????   "Charlottesville is a nice town," they tried to explain.  I was still appalled.

We also learned that they spent time talking about their feelings (apparently the new "F"), and enjoyed a nice breakfast of yogurt and granola.

ARE THESE EVEN THE SAME GUYS WE WENT TO COLLEGE WITH???  Those crazy, stay-out-all-night, rugged, flannel-wearing*, loud-guffawing, challenge-everything guys?

2013:  40th birthday dinner

Now, they've lost a lot of hair and seemingly a need to prove anything.  On the positive side, they've gained a lot of wisdom (such smart guys -- eating yogurt for breakfast!), and have cultivated deep, lasting friendships with each other, which I greatly admire.  They share extensively with one another, pray together, challenge and encourage each other.

So I continue to be thankful for these ATF weekends:  Alcohol, Trout and Frisbee or All Talking about Feelings, or whatever they are!

*Except Marc, who always dressed nicely and never challenged authority.  :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another day in Life With Boys

I went into the bathroom right after one of the little boys had been in there and found that he had "missed" in a few different directions.

Addressing the young man, I said,  "Look at this!  The toilet seat is all wet!  You have to be more careful when you go to the bathroom."

His unfazed response:  "Well, Mom, my p____  is just hard to steer."


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father's Day

The night before Father's Day this year, Pete and I hosted our first ever "idea party" - which was a lot of fun and made my head spin with all the profound and intriguing things people shared.   It was a little too much fun for me, though, because by the time Sunday rolled around, I was pretty tired.  I felt like Pete got a little bit of a bum deal from me (although he insists he had a great day and liked his presents).  Next year:  no idea party right before Father's Day!

The good news:  Dan and Amy invited us over to their house for the afternoon, so the dads were able to be celebrated in style.  Even though my dad wasn't in town, the rest of the Wrayvermans gathered as a tribute.  :)

And the dads did get to do a little of this:

... and a little of this:

Meanwhile, the cousins all enjoyed being together and creating adventures:

Afterwards we went to the pool and successfully kept all of the kids from drowning, and then we Franks came home for a final celebration with Carvel ice cream cake, as Pete had not-so-subtly hinted he wanted.

We're very thankful for our dads!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Construction project(s)

Such excitement around here!  Our next-door neighbors have a major home renovation going on now*, and the boys could not be more thrilled.  Colsen went to bed early -- on purpose -- the night before it was all to begin, saying he had to go to bed because tomorrow was going to be a Happy Day!

Sure enough, the last couple of days have been full of a lot of this:

Paling considerably in comparison, a project in our yard has been a hit, too.  I asked Pete to build us a mini car-wash/bike-wash/person-wash (seen on Pinterest) and he graciously complied.  To try it out, we invited some friends over today:

Once they tired of washing things, they turned it into a giant drinking fountain:

Good ol' summer fun!

*  We had brunch at these neighbors' house this past weekend, and within the first 30 minutes, one of us had spilled bright red juice all over their carpet.  But honestly, this renovation was planned long before we went over -- really!  If they made the decision on the spot to include carpet replacement in the project, their faces didn't show it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rayna's Dance Recital!

Rayna has been working hard all year learning tap and ballet, and this weekend was the big culmination event of the year!  I had nooooo idea how big of a production this would end up being.  She and I ended up spending almost 8 hours in the auditorium at Wingate this weekend, most of it waiting backstage for to either rehearse or perform.

 (I was very glad that this happened to be at Pete's workplace, so he could give me log-in information for the wi-fi there.  Otherwise I would have been bored beyond measure!  As it was, it was still awfully long and, well, boring.)

Rayna had a great time, though, whether waiting or dancing!  She looked so cute in her costumes.

 Rehearsing on the big stage:

 There were about 25 different dances being performed, including a few by guest soloists, and it ended up being a pretty spectacular show.  I was backstage for most of it, but Pete took some pictures and I got a few glimpses from the back.  The whole show's theme was about New York City.

 Rayna's first dance:

R in the center
 Some more dances:

 Rayna's second dance:
R on the far right

R on the far right
 The finale:

The whole company
 During the intermission I asked Colsen what he thought of the show.  His first comment was, "Rayna did really great!"  Then he went on to tell me that he was really enjoying all of the various acts.... especially the jazz and hip-hop numbers.  Now he wants to be a dancer, too!

Rayna's proud men:

 Pete went up to the stage to give her flowers at the end of the show.   So from there on out, Rayna kept announcing, "I won!  I got the flowers first!"  I won!"

As she was leaving the stage, the first thing she said to me was, "I don't want to go home!  Do I have to go home?"  I think she loves performing.  :)

So, I guess we had a fun 8 hours in this building, overall!