Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kids went for the fauna; I went for the flora

The kids have been begging to go to a zoo lately, and since Jinna Rai's zoo experiences have been very limited (and so has Miles' as we later realized), we decided to plan a field trip for this last week of school.  The only reason I agree to go to the Riverbanks Zoo is because it means I get to go to the botanical gardens connected to them!
(Strider stayed home to work)

As usual, the highlights for the kids were the gorillas, the giant turtles, the tiger, and riding the tram.

And Miles thought this new tower was so much fun to go up and down.

The gardens have been expanded a lot! Loved the afternoon portion of the excursion:

Other random items of note

 1.  The girls and I attended the Love Life Charlotte prayer walk in front of the abortion clinic this past Saturday.  What a powerful experience!  We saw spiritual warfare being played out right in front of us as protesters were gathered to protest US.  When our group started to sing, they would sing some random song ("Take me home, country roads..." not sure why??  I wish those roads HAD taken them home).  We heard later that 12 women decided against abortion that day!

2.  Colsen has been asking lately to go to "a fancy restaurant."  He wanted to go where there were real tablecloths and waiters and everything.  When a coupon arrived in the mail for a free entree at Ruth Chris Steakhouse (still can't stand that name), we knew exactly who should go!  Pete and Cole had a nice evening out.

3. Poplar Streams Academy is wrapping up the school year this week, so we decided to have "Backwards Day" yesterday.  We got up, put our clothes on backwards, walked backwards (for a little while anyway), had dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and did our school day in reverse order.  Miles was the one who got into it the most, even trying to talk backwards sometimes.

Wray Family Campout

Once again the gang assembled at Montreat Campground, and great fun was had by all, despite downpours, wimpy campers, cold temperatures, and boys wildly running around dangerous objects with dangerous objects.

I, of course, did not actually camp, but enjoyed all the benefits therein by just going for the day, the greatest benefit being the fact that other people watched my kids during the time I was not there.

This picture makes me laugh because one of my abandoned children is trying to casually act like he belongs in another family group, and the other abandoned child is nowhere to be found.

Oh, there he is:

So, a good time had by all -- by the full-time campers, and the part-time wimpy "day" campers! (Jinna Rai, Rayna and I all enjoyed some nights home in our beds after our mountain trekking.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Meeting Li'l Lillian

Our newest cousin/niece was born this week!  Such excitement rang through our house!

A debate ensued over who should be allowed to go with me to visit the new baby in the hospital -- everyone wanted to go.  Miles finally won the argument by saying that he had never had the opportunity to visit a brand new baby.  Then Jinna piped up and said she never had either.  So those 2 got to come.

This is what they did when we got to the hospital and I said "Put your arms around each other for a picture."

Li'l Lillian is so cute!!!  Katie and Graham looked great, too, and were very kind to put up with extra kids making noise and checking everything out.

Helping Graham compose his famous birth announcement
This was quite an education for Jinna Rai -- we're pretty sure she never knew before where babies come from.  She thinks it's all pretty cool, and seemed awfully pleased with her new cousin!

Miles and me

Miles:  Mom, watch this!

(Careens down the hill on a bike and almost smashes into the garage)

Me:  Miles, I don’t want you to do that again.

Miles:  Mom!  Every time I say, “Mom, watch this,” and then I show you something, you always say, “Miles, I don’t want you to do that again!”

Yup, pretty much.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Miles' first book

This morning Miles woke up and said, "I'm writing a book today."

And sure enough, he did!  Within an hour, he had come up with this:

(The only part I helped him with was the title page because he didn't know how to use MS Publisher.  Everything else he did on his own!  I had no idea he knew how to find all of the illustrations, etc.)

The "morel" makes me happy.  :)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jinna Rai's first birthday party!

We're celebrating Jinna Rai's 8th birthday this week and she was soooooo excited to have a birthday party!  She had watched both Colsen and Miles have parties over the last 6 months, so she was more than thrilled when it was her turn.  

She's been patiently learning how the calendar works and when she heard it was almost May, she kept dancing around about how she would turn 8 on May 9th.  Then the countdown of days was ON all this past week.  She would say, "4 more days til my birthday party??  I so essited!"

Finally Sunday arrived -- and so did so many cousins!

Even Strider had to jump in on the games
Doggie, doggie, who stole your bone??

She and Kai have an extra-special bond, and he (and his mom) wrote her a sweet poem to go with her birthday gift.

Jinna loves wrapping up little things around the house for us to give us presents, so I knew she would love the opportunity to give her cousins some things.  We had bought a bunch of little souvenirs from China, so she was so excited to wrap them up and give them out at her party.

And then it was time for cake!  She specified in no uncertain terms that her cake must be all chocolate.

I think she liked it!

We are thankful for such a supportive family that surrounds our new daughter with joy and love!