Archive for the ‘family’ Category

visit from Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Mike!

We had a lovely visit from Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Mike. They headed home on Wednesday, and I think the kids are recovering right about now. We ate well, had lots of conversation (shocking!), and drank some very good wine.
We went downtown to check out some memorials. Wesley and Grandma Sandy shared a little hug.

Grandpa showed Mary the Braille underneath the letters on the quote and she went hunting for every A.

Kids had a snuggle–I think this was solidarity over the fact that they were both hungry.

A little rest time:

On a different day, we visited a local historic mansion with a cool garden.


There was a cool playground for the kids (all three of them):





At a local aviation museum, Mike explained the rotary engine.

…and used the flight simulator.


We had a great time–especially the kids, who were a whirlwind of activity interspersed with complete collapse.


Michigan trip!

This was a sort of epic trip–I drove to Michigan with the kids by myself, and then Conor flew out to join us a few days later and stayed for a week.

Why did I drive almost 600 miles instead of waiting 3 days, you ask?

Because Cherie and Jenny and their girls were in town, and we wanted to see them as much as we could!

It was a good choice, because the kids had a GREAT time. Mattie and Mary have grown up a lot since they saw each other last, and they hit it off immediately.

Cherie put together a scavenger hunt for them–Mary adored this because it let her show off her reading skills.


Here are the two Wesleys hanging out:


We swam just about every day, sometimes several times. Mary and Wesley worked on their newly-acquired skills from swimming lessons.

Mary was fearless.

We blew bubbles.

And went out for ice cream (some of us twice).


Wesley was fascinated but intimidated by Zuri.

Grandma Cal treated us to a trip to the zoo. The kids love the zoo.

Did you know a Wesley is this big?

Mary fed a giraffe (check out that long tongue!).

She is very hip.


The kids also went on innumerable tractor rides, including a trip to Grandpa’s house to pick up the brush hog. It took Dad and Grandpa a few minutes to get it hooked up.

Mary and Wesley passed the time by making scary faces…

…and looking in windows…

…and generally running amok in the barnyard.


The trip went very well, all things considered, and we saw most of the people/things we had intended to see–there’s never time for all of it, of course. (One thing that somehow never happened: riding Turbo. What has the world come to?) And now we’re home and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for school. How did that happen?

more forgotten trip pics

Okay, so “tomorrow” was a little optimistic. But here are some more! After the first stint in Denver, we drove to El Paso for Christmas festivities.

Mary lined up her stocking contents and sampled the applesauce from her stocking while we were waiting for Grandma Sandy to arrive.

Then we decorated the table so that it would be ready for Grandma Sandy. Mary made place cards:

Wesley was very ready to get started eating.

We made bread!

Wesley and Grandpa Mike spent a lot of time working on a puzzle.

Mary and Grandma had a snuggle.


So…remaining Denver pictures to follow!

forgotten blog!

I just realized I never posted ANY of the pictures from our Christmas-New Year travels! I’m a bad blogger.

We flew into Denver and stayed a day or so before heading down to El Paso. Here are a few pics from that leg of the journey.

Mary and Molly enjoying Molly’s crazy collection of art supplies:

Wesley used Riley’s bulldozer. Riley provided helpful advice and instruction.


It snowed the night we arrived, so the next day, the kids went out to play. (Snow is fairly novel for my kids: we’ve gotten huge amounts sometimes here, but they weren’t old enough to remember it.)

Cousins in the snow!





Later, Wesley was a “Santa porcupine with a lightsaber.”


I’ll post some more tomorrow. I can’t believe I forgot to put these up!

back to normal

…or as normal as it gets here. David, Nina, and the kids departed on Wednesday; Mary and Wesley are slowly coming back to their ordinary routine.

We had a lot of fun during this visit.

A little family history:

They ate all of the tomatoes in the “free produce” pile.



They played.



Then we took a little walk. Don’t they look pastoral?

Then we went out and ate crabs! The visiting contingent assured us that they didn’t mind eating them two days in a row.

The next day, we had a crab feast at our house!

Jack pulled Mary around in the wagon until she looked like this:


Wesley had a joyous afternoon with the John Deere ATV.

Mary imitated a garden fairy.

Molly swung.

On the last day, we went to see the airplanes:

Wesley was floored.


Doesn’t Mary look old these days?

We also had a lovely day at the beach, but there are no pics because I couldn’t figure out how to take a camera and not ruin it. It was great, though. We got there in the early afternoon, swam and played, went to lunch when a thunderstorm blew up, and then went back after the storm to swim and play some more. The kids loved it. Mary was fearless and learned how to jump when a wave came in, and even Wesley got brave enough to let us carry him out to get his feet wet and to play in the little pool that Jack dug near the shore.

It was a really nice visit. I can’t believe how big my niece and nephews are! We miss them.

visiting cousins!

The cousins have landed and the kids are having a great time.

Wesley–who needs a haircut, as his current hair is sort of Stooge-like:


Nina relishing the regional specialties:


Lots of baseball was played:

Wesley is totally Riley’s minion:



Molly brought along her quilt (which I made for her before she was born) and insisted on posing with it. I can’t believe it’s still in one piece.


During my parents’ graduation visit, my mother handed over her camera to Mary for a while. (Brave? Or foolish? You decide!) Anyway, Mary had a great time taking some photos…

She bossed Grandma Cal around.

and also Grandpa Moo.

She had a great time.

Tomorrow I’ll post some of her pictures!