Tag Archives: Family

Family Visit


It’s a rainy, gray morning here in Memphis.

I think the weather reflects my mood.  That is: sad and sleepy.

My step-brother, sister-in-law, and niece have been visiting with us the last few days and left this morning to drive back home.

We had a wonderful time together this nice long weekend!

It’s always nice to see them, but it’s especially neat to see them with C, and even more so to see my niece, Ryan, with her cousin, C!  They are so cute together!

AFbike1It was HOT here while they visited, so we stayed indoors in the blessed air conditioning!  They helped with putting together some furniture for our new move, but we also took them out to show them a good time on their vacation.  We did some of the usuals with our meals, like Central BBQ and Muddy’s Bake Shop, but also Exlines Pizza!  We also went to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.  Here’s Ryan on the Sherrif’s motercycle.  Wee!

AFbike2C really liked it when the lights were on, and seemed to enjoy the exhibit about emergency vehicles.

AFtruckHere they are in a fire engine.

AFbottleRyan got to spend lots of time playing with and interacting with her cousin.  She carried her, some, and helped with everything baby!  Here they are chowing down!  They also got to go swimming together twice.  Both girls are fish!

AFgame3Last night we went to see the Memphis Redbirds play.  It was a nice cool (for Memphis) night and a fun way to wrap up the visit.

C was a trooper after a long day.  She wanted to see everything at the ball park and spent some QT with her Uncle Drew.

AFgame1And then…

AFgame2That’s all, folks!

Hope to have some more pictures of our time together soon, but the pics are on their camera.

Can’t wait to see you again Uncle Drew, Aunt Angie, and cousin Ryan!  We love you!!


Blissful week


Well, we’re back from our super wonderful relaxing family vacation.  No joke.  It was all of those things, and more!

Claire did a pretty good job with the long road trip through AR, MO, IL & WI.

AR7_6Most of the time, she looked like this:

JulysleepWe drove through the night and wee hours of the morning until we reached Aunt Janet’s house.  I was so happy for Janet and Bailan to meet Claire.  Meesh, Bailan’s friend, also go to meet Claire.  They all seemed to hit it off well!

JulyBailan JulyJanet JulyMeeshI remember Bailan at the age that Claire is now, and it was pretty cool to see them interact with each other.

bailanFrom Aunt Janet’s, we drove up to the Door County peninsula, AKA my home away from home.  I love it up there.  The weather, the family, the memories, and now to make more memories with Alex and Claire!  You bet!

Here’s a picture of a view that makes me grin everytime I see it in person.

JulySisterBayIt’s the hill into Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  A place that is near and dear to my heart.  I spent every summer but one up there while I was growing up.

We met my Mom and her friend Karen up at the house and had a good time just kicking back and relaxing.  It was a good break from the craziness (and heat) of Memphis and the upcoming move.

Let’s see.  We:  shopped, ate at many of the staples (Wilson’s, Al Johnson’s, Carol House, Shoreline, Wild Tomato), went to a few parks, enjoyed local entertainment (see below)

JulyKaren JulySongClaire was entertained by Karen and her ukelele.

Claire is ALMOST crawling, enjoyed the bonfires and cookouts, and LOVED the waves and water at my favorite beach, Sand Bay.

julie1We also had some fun with the big chair at Julie’s.julie2I’ll have more pictures later, but right now we’re in packing mode.  T-minus 14 days ’til the move!  AUGH!  T-minus 13 days until teachers (that’s me!) go back to work!  Double AUGH!

Until next time, enjoy this.  Feel free to submit comments with a suitable caption!




No, I didn’t forget to blog, nor did I abandon blogging.  Things here got crazy!  Lots of fun to be had at the tail end of this Ohio vacation.

On Friday, the three amigas and our 3 respective kiddos got together to watch movies, play, eat some pizza…  Caleb & Samantha enjoyed having someone younger and smaller to play with.


Seeing as we don’t all get together a whole lot (TN, VA, OH), we thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of us, of the kids… HA! HA! HA!  It was like trying herd cats, or whatever that saying it.  Whatever.  It was what it was.  See for your self.

sillydownWe walked, we played, we too even more pictures.

wendy 2

C with Wendy. walk

Trying out our baby carrier.  Interesting.  I think I like it, and after a walk around a couple of blocks, I think  C likes it, too! wendy 6

Love this picture.  Thanks, Mr. Snyder, for taking this!! 3Friday night, SM and I went to an Akron Aeros game (they won 12-3!), hence no blogging that night.

On Saturday, C got to see her Aunt Angie!  We spent the day with her, Grandpa, & Mema.  We went swimming and played.  C loved the pool all over again and the float that Grandpa bought for her.  She sleeps GREAT after she swims.

ang 4

Angie fed her some peas. ang 3

And a bottle. ang 2 ang 1

And got down on the floor to play, play, play.  They thoroughly enjoyed each others company. The next morning we all went to church, then C & I drove back to Grandma’s just in time for me to go to Cleveland with SM for the New Kids on the Block concert!!  What a blast!!


First we went to Melt.  Oh my – PLEASE go there if you are ever in the Cleveland area.



Here’s my Monte Cristo.  Though it looks delicious (it was), this picture fails to show the size.  No joke – half of this sandwich was the size of my hand.  HUGE.  Delicious.  Mmmmmmm.  And then there’s the fresh cut fries and the sweet slaw.  Good, but BOY oh BOY…  the sandwich was yummy.

Many of us got super bright early 90s neon shirts to wear (“I ❤ NKOTB”), neon bracelets, earrings, necklaces…

group girls

I could’ve listened to Boyz II Men for another hour.

boysNKOTB was everything I had hoped they would be.


Thanks, SM, for getting me the ticket that started up this great Ohio vacation idea.  🙂


Today we just hung out.  SM came over to play and ended up feeding C some sweet potatoes.  C’s favorite!

sm foodThen C & I met Grandpa, Mema, & Aunt Angie for dinner.

handshakefamWhat a fun trip!  C & I head out on an airplane tomorrow.  She’s done so much and spent time with so many great people!  She’s also just about got the whole sitting up on her own thing. I wonder what DH will notice first about her, as I’m sure she’s changed a bit in the time we’ve been away from him.

Summertime Begins


Ah yes, that last school bell has rung and I’ve seen my seniors graduate.  That means there are approximately 60 days to enjoy things like sleeping in past 5:00am, soaking up the sun whether on a bike trail or at the pool (don’t forget the sunscreen), rediscovering friends and loved ones who’ve dealt with the fast paced school year mode, tending to a fledgling container garden on the back patio, and generally taking life a little more slowly.  But who’s counting?

Already this early point of summer I’ve enjoyed 2 cookouts and pool time (don’t forget the sunscreen) all while spending time with some pretty great people.  Let me introduce you to one of them.  Her name is Olivia and she’s one smart cookie.  So smart, in fact, that she was the co-valedictorian of her 8th grade class, which, among other things, meant that she was to prepare a speech to give at graduation.  Take a look.


Now if that didn’t make you tear up a little, then heaven help you.  And that brother Ben that she speaks of?  Well he’s one of the many children who will be attending the “Lose the Training Wheels” event being held in the Memphis area later this summer.


Who knows?  By the end of the summer maybe Ben will be hitting the trails with me, just like I did this morning with my Uncle and Cousin.  I was reminded again of how much I enjoy riding.  The summer sun was hot this morning (don’t forget the sunscreen), but the hotter it got, the more motivated I was to keep up a brisk pace in order to make my own breeze.  I can’t wait for Ben to experience that.

More posts later, and more frequently.  It is summer after all and blogging is one of those summer things to do when taking life a little more slowly.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Bicycle, Bicycle!


Do you remember your first wheels?

Was it a tricycle you remember from your early childhood, or a shiny bicycle that was under the Christmas tree?

I remember that I had a tricycle, but as I was pretty young, I don’t remember much about it in particular.

However, I do have crystal clear memories of my bike, one of my most prized possessions, until, of course I was able to drive a car.  I remember that my bike, a purplish-blue 4-speed Huffy, was my ticket to new people and new places.  I rode my bike all over the development I lived in, meeting neighbors, fleeing dogs, feeling free…  And when I felt bold enough, I remember riding like a wild child – with NO hands!  Such a rebel.

My ability to ride my bike throughout my childhood had a huge and wonderful impact on my life.  Even now, I still have a bike in my garage, though, admittedly it doesn’t get as many miles as my Huffy did.  I took it on the newly constructed Greater Memphis Greenline a few weeks back, and the joy, the freedom, and the happiness that a bike can bring came rushing back to me.

I guess my point in all of this reminiscence is that everyone should have the opportunity at some point to learn how to ride a bike.  Yes, even my wonderful husband, who, I found out, was never taught to!  (Can you guess what our summer project will be?)  Riding a bike and being able to experience the fun, the joy, and the independence can be a life changing.

Coming this summer to my community is an opportunity for disabled individuals to learn this skill.  The program is called “Lose the Training Wheels.”  I’ll be posting more on this opportunity as the details on the event unfold, but as it is spring, and some of us have a yearly ritual called Spring Cleaning, I want to urge you to dust off that bike and take it for a spin.  Refresh your memory on how good it is to head out to anywhere on your bike – with or without your hands on the handle bars!

Don’t count the days


Goodness – it’s been almost a month since my last post.  So much for that once a week goal of mine!

Then again, if you know me at all, you know that my life is a bit busy right now.  There are parts of my life that I wouldn’t change at all, such as some terrifically supportive friends and coworkers who see me through each school day, my loving husband who helps me keep an even keel, my parents, my cohorts, my friends, and my family.  I wouldn’t change the fact that I am an educator and I wouldn’t change the time I get to spend with my younger cousins on a somewhat daily basis.  Yes, there is much to be thankful for!


I wait for the end of the school year and the end of my graduate school experience with great anticipation!  In the back of my mind I hear my Dad.  “Don’t count the days – make the days count.”  I’m trying, Dad.

Let me just briefly express my gratitude to any and all of you who have been a listening ear, a friendly face, or have offered any other type of support to me in recent months.

I can do this.  With the grace of God and with your help, much is possible.

I end with a passage I read this afternoon after pulling weeds from my flowerbeds: “When we speak of God’s grace, we mean all the good gifts we enjoy freely in life. There are so many. We could spend a lifetime celebrating them: blackberries, buttercups, moonlight, salamanders, etc. A more summary approach is to affirm that life itself is the fundamental gift, with all its delights.”