Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wray family photo shoot

Last Saturday while the whole clan was together -- which happens all too rarely -- Mom and Dad hired a photographer to come take pictures in a field -- and a tree.  Here are some of the results!~

 Our family took a couple posed shots above -- but then went for more of a "real-life" shot below:

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a fun photo shoot -- and for raising this wild and crazy family!

All photos taken by The Beautiful Mess

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The other (real) anniversary party

Mom and Dad arranged to throw a big party for the family, in honor of their 45th.  So even though we should have been giving to them, they spent the whole day (and weeks leading up to it), creating fun ways for all of us to have a good time.  They rented out a clubhouse in the Dreschers' and Clarks' neighborhood for the evening, and also arranged for babysitters to come to their houses later on when the kids were ready for bed, so we adults could stay and play a little longer.

But first there were festivities for everyone:

No, no, no.... they weren't real margaritas, and he didn't really have beer.... but they did kind of act drunk all night...

The big highlight was a pinata for the kids.  I love this first picture with all the smiles in the background:

 And there were also plenty of games, sombreros, and rolls of toilet paper:

"They went that way, hombre."
 Another blessing was getting to see 4 generations all together.  Mor-Mor was a good sport all evening, jumping right in with all the fun!

 The cousins all enjoyed plenty of time together, too.  The boys were always up to something!

As Mom's signs pointed out, a lot has changed each decade in the life of our family.  Multiplication is a word that quickly comes to mind.

Happy 45th, Mom and Dad!  We had a great weekend!

Monday, March 24, 2014

45th Anniversary -- Surprise(s)!

Mom and Dad are celebrating 45 years of marriage this year, so while John and Keiko's family are in town this week, we had some parties!  First we had the surprise party in which we kids took Mom and Dad out for an adults-only dinner, and then the next day we had the large party that Mom and Dad threw for everyone.

Friday night was the big surprise.  We had surprised them for their 25th and 35th anniversaries, so even though they told us they didn't want us to do any more parties for them, we couldn't just let the tradition die!  John and Keiko told Mom and Dad they wanted to go out for dinner.... but when they arrived at the restaurant, the other 9 of us were there as well.

 I think they were surprised!

 Graham read aloud a poem we collectively wrote about the chapters of Mom and Dad's lives.
The happy couple!
Since the kids weren't there that night, we let them get in on the action the following night at the real anniversary party.  The idea we had was to let each granchild give them 3 flowers (except baby Elise), and the total would be 45 -- one for each year of marriage.

Well, as Keiko says, "in theory" this would have been beautiful.

In reality, it looked more like this chaos:

No one wanted to wait their turn so Nonna and Poppa were rushed with a jungle of flowers.

But it turned out pretty in the end at least!
45 flower stems for 45 years
Of course Mom and Dad were their usual generous and creative selves and used the occasion of their anniversary to turn around and bless all of US, so they planned some pretty great festivities for Saturday.  I'll write more about that tomorrow....

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Annual Spring Break Ski Day

I finally was able to get these photos off of Pete's phone.   A couple of weeks ago the guys took their annual trip up to Blowing Rock to do some skiing.  This was Colsen's second year and he jumped up a level -- even doing a black diamond, he proudly told me.  :)

Meanwhile, Strider was off skiing with his friends most of the time, no doubt daring each other to do stupid stunts.  We're glad no one came home with any fractured limbs!

These 4 are all going to be freshmen together at the same school next year.  Gulp -- HIGH SCHOOL!!