Friday, August 18, 2017

Growing up

Today was our annual Watch-As-Much-TV-As-You-Want-Because-School-Is-About-To-Start-Day* but Strider chose to work a 12-hour shift at Chick Fil-A, starting at 5 am, instead.  When I asked him why he wasn’t going to participate in the Big TV day, which used to be his favorite day of the year, he answered, “There’s more to life than TV, Mom.”

A very good corner has been turned.

Meanwhile, Jinna Rai kept walking around asking me why I wasn’t telling them to turn off the TV.  I tried to explain the concept to her, and how they wouldn’t be watching much TV once school started, but she continued to look perplexed.  J

* AKA “Mom’s Great Big School Planning Day”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cousins Day, Round 2

The Wray cousins, minus the 2 in California, the 2 teenagers who have jobs, and the 1 little baby, all came over for another fun Cousins Day this week.

"Who's excited for Cousins Day??"

We sang some songs, learned a new hand-clapping song, played Freeze Dance, which turned a little wild...

Then we did some cooking, some crafting (making marshmallow popper/shooter things, and some rehearsing of a couple skits.  After lunch we headed outside for some relay races and water games, including, "Duck, Duck, Splash."

Love these kids!!

Rayna turns 15

Our oldest girl is getting very old indeed!  She had a great birthday, celebrating with a lot of her cousins.

 She continues to be the most enthusiastic gift-receiver I have ever known, and thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of the day.  She kept telling me how great her birthday was.

It has been fun watching her grow into a young woman.  She recently was part of a tea party at Nonna and Poppa's house, and she came home intent on re-creating the whole event here at our house.  She made list after list, planned out all the food, went shopping, and then made everything.  Then she wanted to invite some people over for it, so we invited our new friends, the Pillers.  (Liam, age 12, said it was his first tea party -- and he was the perfect gentleman!)

Our lovely hostess!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Boy talk

The males in our house keep things colorful, that's for sure.  In the past 24 hours, I've heard a range of things come out of their mouths....

From the dramatic...

Colsen: This is how my legs felt:
You dip your leg in liquid nitrogen, and then pull it out, and then dip it molten lava, then pull it out.
It feels like a noodle that is numb and is about to fall off.

... to the gross?...

Miles: It smells really bad in the bathroom right now because (and between the beginning of this sentence and the end of it my mind had already concocted a dozen different scenarios for why this was so)… someone knocked over a bottle of soap and it’s leaking all over the counter.  (Not what I was expecting.)

... to the the rather confident:

Pete to me:  Thanks for praying for the talks I had to give today.  They turned out well --  I was really inspiring!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the car

You know what makes for reaaaaaallllly fun and relaxing car rides?  When your 8-year-olds play a continuous game of who saw the stop sign first, and they keep yelling out, “S-T-O-P, Stop! I saw it first! No, I did! Yes, I did!” over and over and over and over…

It also has the side benefit of showing you just how many stop signs there are in this world.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Colorado Days

Our final days in Colorado were spent fishing and tourist-ing.

Colsen had a great couple days fly fishing in the Poudre Canyon area.  Much like his rod "flexes," though, his moods flexed considerably from hour to hour.  Sometimes he was overjoyed, sometimes he was frustrated beyond measure.  I kept telling him that most people like fishing because it's relaxing, but this boy's intensity leaves no room for that mentality!

Meanwhile, his siblings just had fun wading and whatnot.

Poor Miles.  He's lost his rock and can't find it ANYWHERE
Then we went into town and browsed for awhile... Do you think anyone could tell we were tourists??

Farewell, Colorado!  Thanks for the memories!

Back in Colorado

The trip to the Rectangular States continued as we ricocheted back down to the Fort Collins area, staying this time at the Johansons' house.  It was so fun seeing all the grown-up Johansons, and Steve and Janyce were amazing hosts, as always.

Strider was supposed to fly out early Monday morning but his flight got cancelled, so he had a "bonus" day with us.  We decided to spend it at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Pete took the path to the right with the teenagers -- up to the top

After we were all sufficiently hot and sweaty from hiking, we went down to the reservoir and cooled off.

We could get used to this kind of lifestyle!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

And.... MORE mountain lakes...

As the end of our time in Wyoming drew near, Strider began to get bored with our pattern.  "Every day we get up and hike for a long time to a lake," was his summary.  But how can you get bored with these views??  Every day seemed to get more and more beautiful!

For the final day we went to Jackson Lake. Most of us hiked, and Pete, Colsen, and Jinna Rai went fishing and then met up with us via canoe.

This time it wasn't too cold to swim

And with that, our time in Wyoming drew to a close.  Such a lovely part of the country!  We hope to come back!

More mountain lakes

The second day we were in the Tetons we decided to go off the beaten path (well, off the really, really beaten path to a little bit smaller path) and explore around Taggart and Bradley Lakes.  They were soooo cold, but the boys all tried to swim briefly anyway!

Perfect spot for our group lunch

Yeah, way too cold!

My walking companion coming back down

As we were heading back down the mountain storm cloud started to gather, but we only got a little bit wet.  By the time we drove back to the condos, though, huge amounts of hail were coming down!  That was our only bad weather for the week, though, and it didn't last long.  :)