Joy is Children’s Laughter

One of our  very dearest  friend’s  father  died.  It was not  completely  unexpected as he was not in the best of health , but still not expected…..he was “Papa John”, a   big man who commanded  respect and never went anywhere without his  “Peacemaker” … I’ve heard so many  funny , amazing  stories  about this man I was  looking forward to meeting him someday!  Knowing I’ll never  get the chance  makes  me sad, but  James’  stories will  hopefully  continue and  the lessons he taught his children and  so many others  will   be his legacy  along with  many other  things that he  gave the world…RIP Mr. Byers….

Papa John

I, thankfully,  haven’t lost  a  parent. So  I can’t relate completely with the emotions involved. But I’ve been  around enough and    lost enough  or been  sick etc….enough  to know that  people can  say “let me know what I can do to help”  and  none of us ever take that seriously or ask for that help… you know it, I know it …. it’s  true…we all mean it when we say it ( at least I do)  but at the same time we know that rarely if ever will someone take you up on it..especially if there is a man involved…   you can’t  just offer   “whatever you need, call me” … you have to be specific…or it will never happen…… so if you’re sincere think about what you really can do, or what you would need or want done for  you (or your wife or kids)  during your challenging time….things like  –   let me take your  garbage to the dump for  you,  let me  make you a meal, let me clean your horse  stalls…  or if you’re close enough, you just do it and don’t even  ask, you tell!!…. hey  friend – I made you this  lasagna –  you can freeze it or  whatever, just heat it up at 350 for 45 mins  and enjoy…here’s a  plate of  brownies (even “special” brownies if  called for, if they are in Washington or  Colorado) …..well we  knew that  our  friends wouldn’t  ask for  help…  I don’t blame them a  bit I don’t ever EVER  either…  I get it… so  we did, what we should  all do more of,  told them how  it was gonna  go down…….

By we, in this  case,  I mean Christy the angel;   my angel;  big hearted  sweetheart;  thoughtful; giving;  beautiful bride…. after hearing  about what had  happened, and that  James was  driving out  to Montana to be with their family and that NeNe was  staying home with the little kids…..their youngest kids are  Tyler 7 and Kaelyn (KD) 4…to  them  we are “Auntie Christy and Uncle Mike” … well Christy TOLD NeNe  (knowing that I  would be just fine with  her making that  call with my full support because it’s who we are)  that we  were taking the  kids for the weekend and  that she was going to Montana to  be  with James period!!…… It took some  convincing  but  Christy finally  broke through and   got   the “permission” to help.  It says a  lot and means  even more to be entrusted with someone’s  children  and it’s not a decision to be  taken  lightly  even if only   for a weekend… we were honored  that  James and NeNe trusted us  enough to let us  do this for them (and for us!!)

This story may sound like  bragging to some of you if you’re new to my blog,  but  if you know me   then   hopefully you know the  reason I’m  telling this  is twofold   1.  to  share the  message  that  you can make a difference & make the world a  better place  by using my own experiences as  an example  and 2.  because I want to tell you a  story…and  you need the  whole story not just  the good bits…. you need  the full picture to appreciate the meaning (and  there’s much  more meaning here then just being decent to each other) …. so if it seems like bragging to you,  well… all I can say  is that  you’re reading the wrong blog… though I kinda am  bragging (and always will) about my   wife and my  kids and  there’s nothing you can do to stop me   so there neener neener….

ok  back to the  story… it started  off  pretty darn sad,  our hearts  went out to our dear friends, and  we wanted to do more then just the “whatever  you need, call us”  thing….so  we did  what  we would want  done if we were in their shoes… someone to  tell us what they are  doing and do it….. and not just take over a plate of cookies….. we were taking their  precious angels  who haven’t ever  spent a whole weekend  away  from their own home without mommy and or daddy  with them……not something to be   taken lightly… I’m sure  Shawnene was a nervous  wreck  but we  were  so  happy to  get the opportunity to  have little ones in the house  and also help our friends in a  truly meaningful way… but as per my norm I must   take us  back in time…..to the days of my youth…. I had  cool a$$ uncles… My Uncle  Jimmy (RIP) was super cool, he took me  to races he took me  crawfishin’ and fishin’ fishin’, he  taught me  guitar ( house of the rising sun!!)  and  he  blew me away when he showed me his 12 string!! He was one first class hippy …he eventually  grew up  some and  cut his  hair but he was still  a  cool   uncle who influenced  who I am today and I loved him…. we lost touch, he lost touch with everyone, for many years but  the year he died he and I  caught up one day on the phone and it was one of the best phone calls I’ve ever had  to this day… I can still remember his  cool  southern Mississippi   drawl  with a hint of  mischief in it  a voice  that could sing,  swear, tell a  story teach a lesson…. a voice I would recognize anywhere, even when in his 50’s and not having heard from him for  probably 20 years…

Then there was Uncle Lyle… he was  the closest to “our” age when I was growing up… he was a young  adult when I was  probably 10…my Dad’s  youngest  brother he  was a hoot and a half…when we visited gramma  and grandpa  at the Lake of the Ozarks  he was the  highlight of our days… playing with us  kids,  swimming with us and  scaring us  and gettin’  himself in trouble with gramma  for letting us play with bb  guns… or firecrackers  ( grandpa  didn’t allow  firecrackers!!) ….another  fine  example  for me  to know  how a “cool”  uncle is  supposed to be… and one more positive influence  in  making me who I am today… Uncle  Lyle is still  around  and  still hilarious 🙂  …Uncle Marty…oh Uncle Marty… hahahaha Uncle Marty  is Dad’s  sister’s (Auntie Em’  –  [honest]  and from Kansas!!)  husband…he  was the  “naughty” cool  uncle…  he  taught us dirty jokes and maybe a few clean ones… he  took us in fast cars and  is still one  of the  funniest  people alive….  but also  he taught me about hard work, no matter what the  task, he’s a  jack of all trades and  was always working on something… and  I loved nap time at  Uncle Marty’s house… never once did I nap…. but that’s a  different story….

I had a serious uncle too,  Uncle Kenny(RIP Kenny) ,  he  was a great guy  and  had a very dry  sense of humor  I get a lot of that now but  didn’t  appreciate it  as much as a kid ..he  died of cancer when I was young and I think his  was the first funeral I ever  attended…either his  or  “Big Mamma’s” ( Yes  I had a  Great  Gramma  who’s  name was Big Mamma, she wasn’t  physically  big…but personality  was for sure!!)   Uncle’s  Kenny and Jimmy  – I Miss  you and Love you  and Thank you for   influencing my life and being great   uncles!!  Uncle’s  Marty and   Lyle – I love you  guys and I thank you  for being such cool  uncles, no one  could ask for better!

I’m an Uncle  a  few times  over but sadly  I’ve not lived up to the coolness or the fun, love and mischievousness  that  I wish I could have… I hope I do better someday as a  grandpa then I did as an Uncle….   my Nephews all live in Indiana and I live in Seattle… I’ve seen them  a few times  and talked to them on  holidays and  stuff  but they don’t know me  really and I don’t know them really… and it is something I do regret  not  being a part of their  lives…..they are all nearly grown now…..lives and stuff got in the way and I let it happen..shame on me…and  for that  Justin, Mathew and Colt I’m  sorry.. I do love you and  wish we were closer,  know that I’m here for you,  as family,  always…

So back to the story… I had  cool uncles  and I never  took/got the opportunity to be a cool uncle myself… I  was   Uncle  Mikey to a  few kids  but   never in the  way that  I  really  wanted to be….  here was opportunity  pounding on my  door… I felt  terrible for the reason but  joy that we could  enjoy them  for the weekend…

Christy  picked them up on Friday and  NeNe went to the airport and flew out on a puddle jumper to Montana (after giving   Christy a  series of detailed instructions, toys, food  and clothes for a month) … we did have  kids of our own ya know…   ( a reminder I had to  give Auntie Christy  all weekend LOL) …. I get home first and  do what I can to childproof ..which means  feeding the  animals and  looking  for the books I used to read to Easton when he was little… and  checking the  pantry for  kid  food…… Christy  calls  and  says  “I NEED HELP!!!  I’M AT THE CORNER< BE READY!!!!”

ZOINKS!!!! I  guess it’s time to get this party started eh?  what she  meant was  she needed help carrying  stuff  in LOL…food, luggage,  kids,  dinner etc…..  pack mule I can do  really well!!  She leads the kids inside and I  grab the  first load of luggage…. one more trip and it’s in… the kids are  already  brightening our home with  laughter and giggles, squeals of   joy   in  receiving  hugs and  kisses from  Dukie… we  share in the  fun and  everyone gets  hugs and  Dukie  gets  chased around  and around …  it’s   about 6:30PM  and  time for dinner…  so we  get them set up at the dining room table  and have dinner.  You can  tell they are excited and completely  comfortable already  which is   GREAT,  I was worried they would be   scared or worried…. but nope  at ease , eating well and ready to  PLAY!!!!

Now   some of   you may know  I have  a  bad back… I’ve got 2  ruptured disks  that  need  artificial  disk  replacement  surgery to repair…   I live with it..I deal with it, I don’t  complain about it…it’s knocked me down  (a few times a year)  but that’s a  story for  another time  (darn cat’s and  golf carts!!) ….but  I’m not letting it stop me from being a  Horsey!!!! So far this is a very  “equestrian”  weekend!! First  I was a pack mule and now it’s time for Uncle Mikey Horsey back rides around the  living room!!! I can assure you  that I’m not a  Thoroughbred  anymore…  but not  an old nag yet either… glue factory  material  – I am NOT!! I’m more like a a fine  draft horse now..a well fed  Belgian or Clydesdale… I can carry  both kids at the same time….as long as  Tyler is in  front  and KD Bug is on back holding onto him LOL…. we  tried it the other way and it  didn’t  quite work… once we knew the proper  load balancing,  we   ride  around and   spin and  run …  they both  are  giggling and having a  ball. Uncle Mikey’s  back has  had it and  I end up in a faceplant…  the kids  try “giddy up”  by bouncing up and down  (remind me to talk to the  AHA regarding  child   to Adult  feet only CPR from the   back) on my back and  it  forces all the air out  and I grunt  and they   laugh hysterically….so like any good uncle I let them  jump on  me  for a bit  then  fight my  way back to my  hands and knees to go a  few more  rounds and finally “buck”   them  onto the  couch…. Uncle Mike’s back  needs a  break..er it’s already broke  guess I should say  it needs  a rest… so we  switch to barbies and  race cars…Auntie  Christy got  a work call and had to  work…..the kids  play with  Duke, a  lot of “keep away” ( Duke is the   keep away master)  and a little  bit of tug of war….and the  cats are no where to be seen  they’re not convinced these  two new  additions to our house  are  ok yet…ohhhh guess what time it is??? that’s  right  it’s:

I scream,  you scream we all scream for ICE CREAM time!!!!

IMAG1579

Well after Ice cream  you have to   go for a  horsey back ride   to burn off that  sugary  energy rush …everyone  knows  that… ( I didn’t  know that….. but I  learned it   very quickly)……ok   once more around the living room  and  then  it’s  brush and flush, read and pray  and  beddy-by time 🙂 …. so kiddies are  pj’d up, brushed and  flushed,  the  humidifier with vicks  is running in the room ( poor KD Bug  has a  cold)   they get tucked in  and with one on either side,  Dukie  and I laying between and Auntie Christy  laying across  we  start to  read stories… we  read several  about a Minnow named Max  (complete with googlie eyes),  then  some  stories  like  where the wild things are…. classic stories…  we topped off the nights reading  with  a sing along song book  –  “This Land is .your Land“… by Woody Guthrie. By the end we  were all  singing 🙂

Reading

 

ok   it’s   time for your prayers, hugs  for Uncle Mikey… Auntie  Christy  leads them in prayers and off to   dreamland.  It’s Advil and bed for  Uncle Mike and  Auntie Christy LOL….

I go downstairs for a  few  while  Christy   gets   ready for bed  and when I come upstairs   surprise there’s a  KD bug  in my spot …hmmmm….. and she’s  snoring  LOL..Auntie  Christy  shrugs and  gives a  sweet grin and says I couldn’t  say no….so I smile and totally understand, I scooch KD  over a little  so I can have an edge at least (kids are  even bigger  bed hogs then  dogs!)  and  try to go to sleep… hahahahaha  not gonna happen she’s   SNORING  like a freight train… I’ve never hear a little   girly girl  snore like a   trucker hahaha……so I pick her up  and carry her  back to her bed…. we made it  whew… I sneak out  and  BLAMALAMADINGDONG I  stubbed my toe on a little  table…. ARRRGHHH!!!! I didn’t  scream but the noise of the  table  meeting my toe  woke her up…LOL….no no  sweetie stay in bed it’s ok….  I’ll get Auntie Christy to  come in and give you  hugs…. ohhhhh  Aunnnnntie Chrrrriiiissssty…. I need your  asssssiiiiisssstance  🙂  …..  so Christy  goes in an  lays with her until she’s sound asleep   and we finally  get to bed ..at least I think we  did,  I’m fairly certain  I was  sound asleep  before my head touched the pillow….I woke up a few times  like normal to take Dukie out and checked in on the little ones, they are  so sweet when they  are sleeping, little angels…  they are sweet when they are awake too but  there are certain things  that really make my heart smile  , babies  laughing,  any  baby animal,  my family’s smiles and  toddlers  sleeping peacefully…..

IMAG1592

Auntie   Christy   got up first, and  got the  kiddos  set up with  cereal and juice,  and made  coffee ahhh coffee thank you sweet  nectar of the  equator….breakfast is over which means  it’s Saturday Morning cartoon time…oh my   how  times have changed… WOW…. ok that’s  enough  strange anime TV ..what ever happened to conjunction junction, School House Rock and  Fat Albert?? Flinstones? Scooby Doo?? no??  ok  well ..let’s play while  Auntie  Christy goes and  takes a bath and gets  ready for the day….  we have a  fun day  planned!!!!  I play with the kids,  Barbies, Hot-wheels, tickle monster and  wrestling for the 5 hours  it takes  Auntie Christy to  get ready… Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little……my turn for a  quick  shower and  get  ready… Christy gets the kiddos  ready to go, we’re  going to the  Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  Christy   ( a Native  Washingtonian) has never been  and it’s just  in Tacoma… I do have an  ulterior motive  though… I want to check out their facility for  educational animals   in their Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater program (it was  very nice) ….so 3  birds…one  trip!  We load up and   head out  ….kids  buckled in the  car seats  and  watching  “Ratatouille” on the  DVD player in  Christy’s  car….wow times have changed  huh?   What happened to  I spy with my little eye   …or riddley  riddley ree I see something you don’t see and the color is…… or even sing alongs on car rides?   oh well it’s  only about an hour drive (everywhere from here is about an hour LOL)   we’re about halfway there and   Tyler says  I have to go  potty….how bad? we’re almost there… pretty  bad….  and you can   tell by his voice  that means  um…NOW…. we’re on I-5 and silly us we didn’t think to bring  extra clothes.. UH OH pee’mergency!!! hang in there  bud   we’re  taking the next exit …. we do and he makes it whew…..KD Bug is  snoozing in  her car seat  so we  decide to continue  on down the road…  we get  back on the freeway and   whatta ya know she   wakes up  and   starts  crying  and says she feels weird..she’s  got the full on  lip quiver  and a  single tear.. ..heartbreaking….what’s  wrong sweetie? do you have to go pottie?   NO, I  just feel   weird….what feels  weird?  a few more  tears and then …. my  legs and feet feel  weird…  ok honey hang on  we’re pulling over..  we take the next exit and  stop at a  gas  station  Christy get’s her unbuckled and  well it turns out her  legs   were  “asleep”   guess the seat-belt was a little snug……the  girls   go in to the gas station  to make a good try and I’m standing guard on the  car  and what should appear  before me?  A wild  Raven…  Quork!!!….less then  5 feet in front of me….  I’m watching it and   it  takes off and comes  back with a  french fry …. it   digs a little  hole with it’s  beak  and   caches the fry, covers it up….gives me a  look like   shhhhh don’t tell anyone I just hid that there…I know I can trust you… quork…. and flies up into a   fir tree ……the girls come back  and all is well Auntie  Christy saved the day!!! We load up again and  hit the road for the last  leg to  the Zoo….we  get there, park and  no sooner do we  get out of the car do we see a  wild peacock  and a  crow  having an  argument in the  parking lot over some Cheetos….. great start to  adventure!  We  park in “D”  Duck   row and   I tell Tyler to  remember that….  so we can find the car again later….ok Uncle Mike I’ll remember… we head on into the  zoo and  immediately see   a stand selling animal  hats with  mittens/arms attached… so  of course we have to get  them those…. Tyler is a  wolf ahhhhooooooooooa  and KD Bug is a  Penguin  ( squeek?  I dunno  what sound does a penguin make?? )  and  Auntie  Christy gets  a  Tiger  rrrrraaaawwwwr  it’s gggrrrrrrreat!!! I was a party pooper and declined a  hat with hands… someone had to stay human   to lead the  animals on the   adventure!!  The day   started out  decent weather wise.. 50’s and  partly sunny ….we spent a  few hours at the zoo and  aquarium  and  some pictures  here to show  you the fun:

DSCN2946 DSCN2958 DSCN2965 DSCN2981 DSCN2986 DSCN3011 DSCN3026 DSCN3034 DSCN3037 DSCN3043 DSCN3046

needless to say  we had a great  time!! And we  only  saw about half of the zoo!!  The  Boys and  Girls  split up to   get back to the car  because  I ask Tyler   OK you remember where we parked right?  Yep it’s this way…OK….  then we’re  going that way..we’ll see you girls at the car 🙂 ….OK Tyler where did we park?  there’s  Alligator, and  Bumblebee, Cow and ..DUCK  we parked in DUCK…. yes we did…so where’s the car??  Oh it’s waaaaay down there!!  We better hurry  if we want to beat the girls!! No Cars  so it’s safe to “race”  let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOO…..We  made it home without  any   stops  even woo hoo! We played and  had dinner, showers/baths  for the kiddos, got them all pj’d up   and   decided  we were going to stay up late and  do “movie night” I made a TON of  “homemade”  popcorn on the stove we  turned all the lights out,   The “men”  (Tyler and I)  were in the  recliners and the  “ladies”  and Dukie were   snuggled on the  couch .. is everybody ready??? YYYYYEEEEAHHHH!!!!!! OK  lights,  camera , ACTION!! Up rolled  Ice Age 4 or 5   I dunno….. the newest one….  Continental  Drift… it was   a fun  movie  and  a  good time to   relax to for a  few… the movie finishes and   “did you like it”  YEAH!!! good !! Ok time   to read  and go night night…    they were  excited to go to bed and read and  we’d  done a  good job of wiping them out   too  😉  so brush and flush  and  into bed we go….there was a   spat over who  sleeps on which side  but it was  resolved  quickly  when I told them what books we  were reading tonight!    5 little monkeys jumpin’ on the  bed… (one fell of and bonked  his head),  a story  about a monster at the end of the book  ( Grover from  Sesame Street)  and a  book called Manatee  Winter …we   had to  do  5 little Monkeys  a few times 🙂 then once again time for prayers and snuggling  with Auntie Christy… hugs and  kisses and  I think they  were asleep   within   10 minutes……. Sunday arrives and I’m up first , coffee  made and  up come the kiddos…. Whatcha want for  breakfast? we have bacon and eggs…no thank you… hmm ( darn…  bacon sounded  awesome)…. we have  these cereals … no I’d like warm  cereal please says KD bug…..  ruh roh…  OK  Hon let  Uncle Mike see if we have any warm cereal…( Please  Pantry  Gods  have  something!!!)  Hmm  I have  some grits   but  kids  typically don’t   care for  Grits… ooh there’s a  thing of  rolled oats!! SWEET!!  OK I can do this… water  and salt and  some rolled oats… I get it all made and  then add in some dried  fruits and a little  brown sugar and  milk, give it a  stir and  voila!  Uncle Mike’s  super special,  world famous,  oatmeal…..whattaya think about that?? It’s the  best I’ve ever had they say!! Ever?  EVER!!!   HA  sweet!!!  these kids  rock!!

The plan for today is   guys doing guy stuff and  girls doing girly stuff!!  The girls get all dolled up and  go to the salon to get mani-pedis  and the boys, well Uncle Mike  tries to watch a  Nascar  race  ….. instead we  ended up  playing  with an RC quad,  hot wheels and Dukie 🙂  The  girls get home and  it’s  time for another outing!!!!! This time we’re  going on foot! Christy takes  both kids   and Duke ( brave woman)   for a  quick walk  around the block, then they come back and we’re  off to the elementary school down the street where we can let Duke  run off  leash and chase  balls and  play  on the play ground .. the kids  each have a walking stick   ( old Lilly stems LOL)  and off we go!   Like before here’s  some photos to  tell the story much better than I can 🙂

 

YAY  Eagles!!!IMAG1587 IMAG1590

Tuckered out Dukie….

IMAG1580

As you can see Dukie  got wiped out,  as did the kiddos and  us too..

On the walk to and from, KD wanted to pick up  rocks and sticks,   pieces of wood, leaves and lots of other stuff and keep it for her “collection”… I explained that  the WHOLE world  can be her collection so we pointed at  natural things or looked at flowers and sticks and  rocks and  she would say “Is that in my collection? ”  Yep it  is  now 🙂   she has a very large collection  now for sure and knows that she  can leave things in  nature and  have the “collection” in her mind 🙂 ( and in the whole wide world!) Tyler  met a couple other boys  at the  playground and they   did monkey bars and  climbing and sliding …Christy and  KD  played with  Duke and the ball and  I kept an eye on everything…..  and I did the  giant teeter-totter with them and  took turns with  Duke and the kids   and the ball… Dukie even made a friend.. a little  Shitzu looking dog  named Rocky….they played the sniffing  game and ran around a  bit…. it was starting to get dark and there were some ominous clouds forming so   we headed home knowing that our time  together was coming to an end… bittersweet I think for all of us…  the kids  missed their mommy and daddy  but they had a good time  with us,  and we had a great time with them… but it wasn’t over yet!  we had asked them what they  wanted for dinner..anything they wanted… and they  chose my   favorite 🙂 Mac and Cheese and Hot Dogs!! they also wanted green beans please ..I prefer Lima  beans with my Mac n Cheese  but green is fine 🙂 so I ran to the store and got all the supplies…we have a  yummy   dinner including  “grace” ….we  play some  more  and get more horsey back rides  and jumping on  Uncle Mikes  poor back  LOL…..the wrassilin tickle  monster  shows up and  gets  the kids  giggling and laughing like  crazy …. we play  barbies and my pretty pony and hot wheels  some more  and it’s  early to bed  because  Auntie Mikey and Uncle Christy  ( yes  we were that tired hahaha re read that last line…did you catch it?)  have to  get up early  and   go to work , Auntie Christy is taking  you guys home tomorrow  because Tyler has School and your Mom and Dad are coming home  yippeee!!!   So let’s go  read one more time….. you know the drill already…brush-n- flush pj up and  hop in bed!  let’s   get our readin’  on! ( in case you can’t  tell Uncle Mike loves  reading)   A few rounds of   Monkey jumpin’ on beds and some special stores from the big book of children’s  tales…  Prayers with Auntie Christy ,  hugs and kisses all around and  sweet dreams  little ones….. we  packed up most of  their  things  and loaded up Christy’s  car to be ready for the morning so Christy could grab kiddo’s and go….  We retired for the night….  I was up and  off to work  before the sun… Christy  got up took care of the kids and got them all loaded up and delivered to  Grandpa who was waiting for them to take over    until Mommy and Daddy got home later that day…… they made it safely, we  made it safely   and we were both so  tired we  had  to take  Tuesday off from pure exhaustion  hahahaha….. we were both parents and  single parents really for a lot of our  kids  youth/toddler  days  so  we knew what we  were in for but,  I didn’t think that it would be that  exhausting on us!   Guess you have  to  acclimate  to  any situation  but no matter what we’d do it all again in a  second for those  kids, and for their parents, our dear friends.   The opportunity to  be  Auntie Christy and  Uncle Mike was  so special to us  on  many different levels, it  was  a  perfect weekend.

Kaelyn  and Tyler –  We love you  and  thank you for  being angels while you were here with us, we hope it was a fun time that you  remember for   a long time!

Jim and Nene – Thank you  for entrusting your  beautiful  children with us, we hope it gave you comfort  during your time of loss  and that you were able to relax and enjoy  the rest of your family in Montana  knowing your children were safe and loved.  We love  you both and   will always  be there for you  and them!!! You  are  wonderful parents  who really are doing a   fantastic job  in raising  wonderful  children!

 

 

5 thoughts on “Joy is Children’s Laughter

  1. What a wonderful weekend you made for those children!! You and Christy are great friends indeed!!! I hope your back recovers without too many issues..and I REALLY think you should have gotten one of those cool hats with the hands…especially if they had a BALD EAGLE!!!!
    I love your stories Michael….you always put a smile on my face!!!

    • Here again I agree with Ruth. It’s a shame too many other parents don’t do half of what you and Christy did for your extended family! I keep saying there is something very special about you two. Wish I could get a dose! You both are awesome and loving people. I love the opportunity to be able to chat with you and to read your “ramblings!” Love to you and Christy!

  2. Love you guys so much. That’s all I can say. Thank you seems so…insufficient. Thank God for true friends/family. And the children had an amazing time and memorable experiences with their Auntie and Uncle, whom they were comfy with because they already love you both! 🙂 I’m surprised you didn’t mention Sunny. Ha.

    We are eternally grateful. So…whatcha doin’ next weekend? 😉 xoxo

  3. Truly an eggscellent weekend with Uncle Mikey and Aunt Christy, I AM Sure!!! Thank you for sharing with us~~You two are Very Special and Loving people~~I am honored that you let me be part of your world through your blogs. Love to you both!!

be so kind as to tell me what you think... good or "constructive" is appreciated... and if you have suggestions for topics.