Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just for Me...

Do you ever wonder what makes you love someone?
I do.
Mark asks me all of the time, "Why do you love me?"
I used to struggle to come up with a really good answer. I would say all of the old lines... you know... how he makes me smile, he loves me, he is funny, smart, cool, you know, babe... right?
As the years have multiplied... and along with the years have come the gray hair (hidden under the lovely boxed color) and some wrinkles have shown their ugly little faces... I have come to understand that I love him... just as he is.
I don't need him to be in the "perfect" mood.
I don't need him to shower me with flowers, gifts, etc.
I don't need him to fix the fence, car, banister, whatever...
I just need him to be himself.
I love you, Mark, because you are the man God chose just for me.
You are my perfect fit.
I love you because you are... you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photos Only... by us...

You know...

We spent the afternoon outside with the kids playing in the sprinklers. Mark was napping, due to feeling like YUCK! Now, after dinner, I am sitting here hoping for the occasional breeze and feeling like me eyes were burned... You know that feeling? It feels like you have been in a chlorine filled pool for hours.

Did you guys hear about Billy Mays? YOu know the informertial dude that sold things like oxyclean... He was found dead this morning. Our prayers go out to his family. What a death filled week.

I have tons of pictures, but haven't been able to get them downloaded. I will get them on there... but I won't promise you when. This summer has not been the best for finding time to blog, but I do promise to try and do better.

Two of the girls are playing bingo right now. I love that game. Does that make me a major nerd? Oh well... I can live with it.

Cheyenne came over today. So nice to have her here. She is hanging out downstairs... watching tv. At her place she doesn't have any television so she had to come get a fix, I guess. We have missed her. We have not seen Cadi today. She worked this morning and had a intervarsity meeting this evening.

Mark took a few of the kids to a baseball game last night. The rest of us had a nail painting party and snacked. It was very relaxing.

Okay... I need to try and get some laundry done tonight. A load or two... hopefully. That will have us on the way to laundry freedom tomorrow afternoon... I hope.

Friday, June 26, 2009

eternity is forever...

Time keeps moving...

You really notice it when your children are growing up and you don't have a lot of time for anything else.

You notice it when your older family members pass away.

You also notice it when the icons of your generation start dying.

After hearing the news of Farrah Faucett and Michael Jacksons deaths yesterday, my brother called and said, "This is so wierd. We grew up watching these people."

It does feel wierd. It makes our own mortality seem that much closer. It reminds us that our days on earth are numbered. It shows us that we can never really plan ahead, because you don't know what tomorrow may bring.

Thank goodness that I have faith in Christ. Thank goodness that I can know that our time on this earth is but a moment... but eternity is forever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

supr human strength...

New friends are coming for dinner tonight and we have been cleaning the house. I just thought you should all know that I have super human strenth... I broke the mop in half while mopping the kitchen! I had a good laugh and finished mopping with the lower half... What a crazy day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberries Anyone?...

We had the BEST time picking strawberries the other day... but first let me tell you about the day.
It has been raining around here for weeks... rain, rain, rain.
We woke up on the appointed strawberry picking morning and noticed that the sky was dark and cloudy, but no rain. Hooray. We had a meeting before we could take off and by the time we were done...duhn duhn duhn... it was raining... not a little, but pouring buckets of rain.
We were not to be deterred. We jumped into the cars (yes, remember if we all go somewhere, it takes 2 cars) and headed for the farm. We kept noticing, through the pouring rain, that way out there was a small spot of lighter sky.
Well, we finally arrived at the farm and as we got out of the cars, the rain stopped. Boom... just like that. Hooray! We got out into the fields and started picking. Everyone picked... even the little ones. Brysen ate as many as he picked. Everytime I looked up he was stuffing another strawberry into his mouth. What a little booger.
We filled up two large boxes and filed back into the vehicles. We drove over to a park and ate lunch (we had packed a picnic). It was so nice to sit and visit with each other while the little ones ran and ran and ran. We stayed there for about an hour and got back into the car and headed to the mall. The funny thing is, the rain didn't fall on us at all until we were inside the mall. What a perfect day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I know, I know...

I promised you a post and then flaked on you.

I have a really good reason though, I promise.


My hubby has been having some tummy issues and they thought it was kidney stones. They ran all kinds of test, told us that was the problem... even though the tests didn't show kidney stones... and the pain wouldn't go away.

Well, finally on Thursday, he found out he has a hernia. So... he will be heading to surgery to fix this hernia next month. The funny thing to me is that when we called the insurance company for preauthorization on the surgery, they told us that it is not an emergency and therefore we can expect authorization within 2 weeks! I laughed. I thought it was so crazy. If any of these people were suffering with this same pain, I guarantee they would find a way to get it done NOW. Oh well, next month it is.

So, I will post pictures of our strawberry adventures on Monday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm Exhausted...

and we still have church to go to tonight.

We had the best day! I won't tell you all of the details right now, but if we get the photos posted by tomorrow... I will share it all.

I hope you all had as wonderful of a day with your family as I have had with mine!

Chey visits...

Thanks, Chey!
You never visit anymore...
Your dear old mommy misses you and was so glad to see you...
Even if it was so you could do your laundry!

Monday, June 15, 2009

When I am old and gray...

I will be:

-holding your hand when your knuckles are swollen from arthritis
-caressing your wrinkled skin
-holding our 1st or 40th grandchild
-talking about the "good old days" (we may do that already...)
-teaching our grandbabies and great grandbabies all about when we were kids
-taking long walks or short... maybe with a walker when you fall and break a hip (okay, that will totally be me...)
-rubbing bengay on your aching joints
The point is...
I look forward to every day with you. I don't just picture us in our "younger" years... I see us celebrating our 70th wedding anniversary. Hey, next month is 21 years, but that seems like a drop in the bucket!
The real point is...
I love you!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strange Dream...

I had a really strange dream last night.
I walked down to the kitchen and saw Brysen (3 years old) sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating a huge plate of scrambled eggs.
He said he was heading to work.
He stood up, opened the back door and flew off... literally.
What do you think a dream analyst would have to say about that?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Hudson...

The caption on the photo above was that this was his first bath and apparantly he peed all over the kitchen... yeah, get used to that!

Above: Okay... can it get any sweeter?!

Below: Uncle Ben holding the new little man.

Janae he looks just like you! Hudson, not Ben...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Great Day...

Happy Birthday to you...
We took Aubrey out to lunch today to celebrate her special day. The kids love to get some one on one time with mom and dad. We had a wonderful time. Then we came home played a little and went into party mode.
These were not the relighting kind of candles, but amazingly...
after she blew them out, one of them relit!
We all burst out laughing. Silly, but fun...

Aubrey couldn't wait to get to the gift that came in the mail.

Her FAVORITE part was seeing her name on the address label.

Grandma's know how special that kind of stuff is!!

After Lily received a grandma blanket (that is what the kids call them) for her birthday in January, Aubrey couldn't wait to open her gift. She was praying that she would recieve the same gift.

I think the smile says it all...

Shortly after opening the other girls grabbed it and Aubrey had to fight to get that blanket back!
-very popular, these grandma blankets!

Okay, this photo has nothing to do with the birthday except it shows a very tired mama after a full day of birthday celebrations. Ari is sitting with me. She has a sty in her eye and we are really trying to get it to heal up.
It didn't take long for Aubrey to spread her blanket across her bed and give it a permanent home.
Finally, we took a family photo. Unfortunately, Chey had to work today, so... she is not with us in the photo.

What a great day!

Happy Birthday...

Ten years old!
What a milestone. You know, never again will she be a one digit age. This is the last year that she will be able to count her age with only two hands.
This amazing girl is growing up.
She is becoming a young lady.
She is beautiful... inside and out.
Happy Birthday, Aubrey!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They're Watching Me...

Today, as my mood went from ugg to yuck (along with the weather, might I add) I turned around and noticed three of my smallest children watching me.
I stopped stomping around and apologized.
It really made me think about how every single day... in every way... my children watch me. They are looking to see how I react to situations... good and bad. They watch me to see if I really put my trust in God and lean on him instead of on my own understanding of a situation.
My kids will mirror my behaviors... good or bad.
What a responsibility.
God has been challenging me lately... a lot! He is calling me to a higher purpose. He wants me to be more than I have been before.
-more loving
-more kindness
-more attentive
-more giving
Today, I realized that as my children are watching me, they are learning. They will carry on some of the behaviors they see in me and my husband. They will be what we teach them, show them, share with them.
It's time to stop worrying about what the world says is the popular thing to do, say, wear...
It is time to remember that THEY ARE WATCHING ME... and will carry on the lessons I teach.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey JaNae...

Uncle Mark wants me to tell you that he is soooooo jealous! He wants to take pictures of Hudson so bad!!

Oh well...

wait for summer...

It has been downright chilly in our area the last week or so. With highs in the 60's we are reaching for sweaters again. I know that may seem moderately warm to some of you, but when it is accompanied by rain, that really can cool things off.
Normally, by this time of the year, we are heading out to the lake for the first time. Not this year. I guess, we will have to wait for "summer" to arrive.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome to the Family...

Hudson Riley Gray
June 6, 2009
7 lbs 15 oz
21.25 inches
10:59 p.m. (pacific time)

Above: The new daddy, Lance.

Above: The new family ( JaNae, you look pretty good for having just given birth!)

What a cutie!!!

We are all so happy you are here!

You are a very lucky little boy. You have a wonderful mommy and daddy. You have wonderful grandparents (that is so wierd) who think you hung the moon. You have an extended family that has been waiting for your joyous appearance... and now that you are here, we can't wait to meet you!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

look a-likes...

Below: Clayton (left) Brysen (right)
Below: Brysen (left) Clayton (right)

When we received the photo of Clayton (on the right) I knew this was a blog I had to write!

We were pretty amazed by the similarities between Uncle Brysen (on the left) and our newest little boy (grandson), Clayton.

I should have pulled out the picture of Mark as a little one... he looks just like these two!

What a bunch of cuties!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

All You Need...

Today, while reading my Bible, I was reminded of this scripture...
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
The New Living Translation states it this way...
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.
Sometimes, when I struggle with the daily job of being a GOOD wife and mother, I need His reminding that I only need to lean on him. He is ALL I need.
*The picture has nothing to do with this... other than I love her and love this photo.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A thorough search

Guess what we found...
Upon a thorough search through our boys bulging pockets...
we found a multitude of tiny apples that had been growing on our apple trees only minutes earlier.
Brysen has discovered a fondness for picking leaves, apples, flowers... and his nose.
Those darned allergies!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Never Doubt...

What has summer vacation brought us so far?
Our days have been full of photo shoots with the kids.
We are still trying to figure out our new camera. We don't mind, though, since our favorite thing in the world is to take shots of our family. What a blessing.
Bampa and Grandma...
Just to let you know how much you are missed...
Our sweet boy noticed you were missing from the group and came to me saying,
"Mommy, Grandma and Bampa aren't here. They don't live here."
and then... with a very sad voice...
"I miss Bampa and Grandma."
So, never doubt...
We Miss You!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Strong Foundation...

Grandparents are a family's greatest treasure,

the founders of a loving legacy,

The greatest storytellers,

the keepers of traditions that linger on in cherished memory.

Grandparents are the family's strong foundation.

Their very special love sets them apart.

Through happiness and sorrow,

through their special love and caring,

grandparents keep a family close at heart.

~author unknown
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Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future..."