Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scenes from Thanksgiving

This year was a little unusual for us since most of the Wray family up and left for sunnier skies in California (and to see John, Keiko, Sammy and Sophie).  But we, the Clarks, and Mor-Mor remained behind, imported Bud and Jane from Ohio, and ended up with a very nice holiday weekend.

We had the traditional football game on Thanksgiving day...
 .... and the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Here is the adult table:
 We prepared 10 different homemade from-scratch dishes for this meal, but when asked which part was her favorite, Hannah chose the one store-bought item!  (As would all the kids, I bet)
 Afterwards we played a little game guessing who wrote which thing they were thankful for.... and I annoyed Strider by trying to take his picture with the grands:

 It was a very delightful day!

Then on Friday after lots of leaf-raking...

... we had a second Thanksgiving meal, this time with next-door neighbors Wayne and Jo-Ellen (who bring awesome food).

Then we played a few games.

Somewhere along the way someone got a hold of my camera and snapped these candids:

 .... and he got a pretty nice shot of the tree.

Now today we're headed next-door for the BIG GAME (I'm told).... the partying continues!

Thankful for all these fun people around me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Comments from the little guys

Miles has been fascinated by names lately.  He has been insisting for months now that we change his name to "Track."  I have no idea what the appeal of this "name" is... I would like to tell him it's just a word, not a name, but I suppose we don't have a leg to stand on in that argument, considering what we named him.

So, once he turns 18, there may be a Track Frank in the world.... we'll see.

Meanwhile, he's also been brainstorming names for his own children.  He told us the other day that he had come up with the best one:  "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego."

I tried to play along and said that would be fine if he had 3 boys.  "No," he said, "That's all for the first boy.  The second son will be named Bequil."

So, soon after there is a Track Frank in the world, there may also be a ShadrachMeshachandAbednego Frank, and a Bequil Frank.  And the world will be that much more exciting.


Pete, Colsen and Strider all spent he morning skeet shooting with the men from our church on Saturday.  They all had a great time and Colsen can't stop talking about it.  I asked him yesterday how he would feel about actual hunting, since it would mean killing an animal.  Since he's such an animal-lover, I assumed he would have a negative answer to the question, but here is his verbatim response:

"Yes, I would love to go hunting!  We would eat it so that’s what hunting is for.  And if we didn’t hunt, there would end up being too many herbivores and the herbivores would eat all the plants, and then none of us would be around!  So hunting help keeps the ecosystem good."

Ok then.


Here's what Miles had to say to me in the car:

"Mom, I’m going to tell you who I like better between 2 people, ok?  It’s between you and someone else.  The someone else is my imaginary mom.  She’s not real – she’s just part of my imaginary friends.  So who I like better between you and my imaginary mom is…. my imaginary mom.  She’s just more nicer."


And then there was this conversation this morning:

Colsen:  Mom, can you get us a 3-D printer for Christmas??
Miles:  Yeah, because then we can just print all the presents we want!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taking over Daddy's office

We went to Wingate last week and got our first look at Pete's new office.

Looks like he still has a few shelves to fill.  It will probably take him another couple weeks.

Some of us made ourselves quite comfortable.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Recent videos

Last night Strider helped Colsen develop this notice:

Promptly at 7:30, this was the scene in our house:

Then today a few of my guys made it into this video challenge for Wingate:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall loveliness

We went for an impromptu walk yesterday through the neighborhood and I was remarking at how beautiful it all was.  "But, Mom," Colsen told me, "If you think this is nice, you would have totally PASSED OUT if you had seen how pretty it was at the zoo yesterday!"   (Nonna and Poppa took him and 2 of his cousins to the Asheboro Zoo for his birthday.)

Even though these trees are apparently NOT the loveliest that NC has to offer, I still couldn't help whipping out my phone and taking some pictures.  I do love our neighborhood!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Air show birthday party

Colsen's birthday always coincides nicely with the Warbirds Over Monroe Air Show, so this year he decided it would be a fun activity for his birthday party.

As we were arriving, we saw this plane doing all kinds of loops, flips, and dives in the sky -- and then we realized there was a person standing on it!!!!  And then we found out it was a young woman!!  Completely crazy.

The end of the afternoon was very exciting -- Japanese war planes came diving in dropping bombs and making all kinds of explosions as a radio announcer gave us a rendition of what it would have been like at Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Very dramatic.  Tora Tora Tora!!

After the dust settled and the Americans surprised us all with a big grand finale and the dust settled again, we came home for some good ol' cupcakes and snacks.

 Since this was the world's easiest birthday party and I felt a little guilty for not having to put a little more effort into it, I copied these things that I found on Pinterest.

But, after laboring over 3 of them, I decided the boys probably wouldn't eat them anyway, so decided to make them more of the centerpiece.  Sure enough, there was still 1 left after the party was over.  :)

We were missing of Colsen's buddies due to travel and illness, but the group that came was a cheerful, fun bunch!

.... And of course there's always a photo bomber in the midst;

A few extra cousins, sister, grandpa, aunt and uncle rounded out the celebration.  Fun day!!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Cole turned the big 8 yesterday, and his day started and ended with "pumpkin."

In the morning he had a "pumpkin" donut from Dunkin Donuts, which I would bet had no real pumpkin in it.  And for dessert at night he asked for homemade pumpkin pie, which I made with fresh "pumpkin" -- that actually looked like this:

 Our nearby organic pumpkin patch sell these cushaw squashes as well, and they told us that they made better pumpkin pies than pumpkins do.  So we gave it a try, and all reviews say this is true!

The whole cooking process was fun for Colsen, too -- he loves making things from scratch.  The other big activity he reeeeeeallllly wanted to do on his birthday was to make homemade butter.  So we went to the store, got him some heavy cream, and he had a blast shaking it in a jar.

Other than the "pumpkin" treats and butter, the major highlight of the day was finally getting a pocket-knife.  Wayne and Jo-Ellen said they would get him a first-aid kit to go with it, but Colsen guffawed at that.  Time will tell, I guess...

He has also loved playing with his new rainforest kit from Nonna and Poppa.  He declares it the best thing ever!

So far 8 is looking good!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year we had:

A bat (costume completely made by Cole):

(Earlier this week at a costume party he was a "Candy Wrapper," but he wanted to switch for actual Halloween)

 Mr. Lightning McQueen:

...and, Hawaiian Punch!  (get it??)

 Then in the evening we were joined by Winnie the Pooh and a stealthy ninja with a very loud gun (aka Addie and Kai).

Not pictured:  Strider, who was too old for it all, Lincoln, who was too young for it all, and the trusty chaperones, Pete and Dan.

We also had special guests for the big night, Bud and Jane who are in town visiting!

Miles looks stoned, but we don't think he really is.

Grandpa, Gee-Gee, a Sudan-grass maze, pumpkins, windows-- and Erik!

We had a fun time with Bud and Jane this week when they came for a few days on their way home from The Cove.

One morning, Jane and I took the younger kids to our local organic pumpkin patch and Bud stayed home and fixed our windows. (Thanks, Bud!)

Jane and Rayna went on a few excursions together -- 2 peas in a pod!

We also went to a banquet for Striders school which was really nice.

All in all a great visit.

Then, cousin/nephew Erik came for a quick weekend visit, but I didn't get any pictures.  So this selfie by Strider will have to represent.  :)