Saturday, April 28, 2007


When we moved in our cul-de-sac, these two (Lilli & Sarah) were Kami's age (see pics below). They seemed so grown up at the time, but now, almost 4 years later it's hard to believe they are on the verge of bursting into teenagehood!!! What's nice is that they still like to visit us and play with all the kiddos. They read books to them, fix their hair, play board games, computer games, hide and seek, and give piggy back rides. Here they are with Ellie and her friend Brooke.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Shoulder to Lean (Sit) On

Is this not a great picture of how a dad helps, supports and goes the extra mile for his son? Luke wanted to look for a little friend over the fence. Tom could have said no or just hoisted Luke's face over the fence for a second. But he put Luke on his shoulders and found a spot where Luke could really see. It seems to me to be a nice picture of God, who loves us supports us, and will go the extra mile for us. He wants to help us SEE His love, His truth and his guidance. He is patient with us. He has our little frames up on his strong shoulders. All we have to do is ask, "Daddy, will you help me see?" Psalm 119:118 - Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. [Or maybe what we have here is just a peeping Tom :) ]

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Real, Live Treasure Hunt

There is nothing that kids like better than going treasure hunting. So on this past, beautiful, Sunday afternoon, I packed all 5 kids up, and went out in search of new letterboxes. (In the fall, we found a couple of letterboxes, and the kids have wanted to go searching ever since.......) I won't give away the locations, just in case you decide to go letterboxing yourself, but we followed the clues we found at We found TWO letterboxes, one in midtown and one in about 5 miles south of our house. One of the letterboxes, as you can see below, was actually hanging in a bush, right at Kami's eye level. She and Hallie and Ellie peered into the bush, but she was the one who discovered it. Then, the chaos ensued as the kids scrambled to stamp their notepads with the stamp in the letterbox. Each of them were then able to stamp the notepad in the letterbox with their own stamp, which represents their personality. You don't sign your name, just give your "handle."

Here are the kids handles:

Kami - Moon Beam

Ellie - Happy Lemur

Luke - Hot Wheels (real original, huh?)

Hallie - Bouncing Bunny

Lauren - Beautiful Bird
More information can be found on letterboxing HERE.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

America's Next Top Model(s)

Several weeks ago, we were asked to be in The Common Thread Fashion Show, benefiting the Scott Carter Foundation. If you know me, you know my middle name is definitely not Grace. Let's just say that I'm a bit clumsy, and that traipsing down a catwalk is not my thing. Especially in heels! But I tried to enjoy the entire experience, from picking out my outfit at a hip boutique (I'm not sure if I was hip enough to go there!) to finding coordinating dresses for the girls. Ellie doesn't like lace or frills, and was looking for something she called "funky." What we ended up finding fit her personality pretty well, as did the pretty dress that Kami wore. (both from Kathleen's Kids.) Kiki (Kim) and her kids were in the beach category, and they were on first. The dressy category, which we were in, was the last, and when our turn came, I just asked God that he would not let me fall off the end of the platform. It was very possible with the dark room and blinding spotlights, that I might not see where the catwalk ended.... I could picture myself taking a big step into nothingness, pulling the girls with me into a big heap on the floor. But, of course, the night was perfect. Our 15 second walk went smoothly, and when we went back out for the "finale," hundreds of gold and white balloons dropped on us from overhead. I don't think I've ever been the receipient of a balloon drop, so it was kind of fun, even for me. When the fashion show was over, our babysitter Leialoha picked up the kiddos from the show and took them home. I got to stay and enjoy a fabulous meal and adult conversation, and when I returned home, Lei had cleaned my kitchen, bathed my boy, and had the kids ready for bed. What a great night!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Welcome Back!

Thanks to all of you who checked on us, making sure our family and our blog didn't fall off the face of the earth. What happened was that I had a cyber-stalker (probably just a little grandma in Minnesota) who was checking my blog multiple times a day. My mind got to imagining things (think man dressed in dark hoodie with mean, squnity eyes staring at pictures of my children) and.... it started weirding me out. So, I had to make this blog a little more anonymous, thus the address change. I have made a few other adjustments that make me feel more comfortable with a public blog. And now that I'm up and running again, I have nothing to blog! No pictures at least. So, I'm posting this fabulous poem by my "friend" Beth Moore. I have a link to her blog below, and here is a link to the lady who designed this "worship art." Beth Moore is an inspiration to me!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Book of Thomas

I sometimes wonder, if our family's life were a book of the Bible, documenting all of our trials and tribulations, etching out for future generations the riverbed of our lives, what would we look like? Would people say, "those silly people, running from God, just like Jonah"? Or would we be perceived like disciples in the boat during the storm when Jesus turned to them and said, "oh you of little faith?" I can only hope that there would be a verse or maybe even a chapter that would find us faithful, standing strong, anchored in truth. I want so much to be like David, like Ruth, like Jacob, like Nehemiah, but unfortunately, I often feel like doubting Thomas! But God even had mercy on Thomas, didn't he? He helped him believe! God help me to remember your words to Thomas: "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Pictures

Every child loves Easter morning, but dreads, I'm sure, the taking of the Easter pictures. And if you are a child in our family, there is no doubt that you really, really dread it. As we line all 9 of the kids up (all aged 8 and under), there are no fewer than 6 people with 8 cameras squealing, "look over here!" "say cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese" and "JUST ONE MORE PICTURE!" If I just happened upon the scene, I'm sure I would find it quite humorous, or possibly disturbing. I guess they are getting used to it, even Kyler who used to refuse the family papparzi because look at these precious pictures of these amazing kids. I'm breathing it in cause I know it won't be this way forever.

Here a Rae, There a Ray, Everywhere a Rae Ray

From Left: Kimberly Rae, Maggie Rae, Ronda Rae, Kamryn Rae, Anastasia Rae, Ida Pondarae, Freddy Ray and Raelynn Marie. Due to the amazing people in this pic and the strength of this family name, I am thinking of changing my name to Annie Rae. And I'm not kidding.

We miss you Grandpa Ernie Ray!!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Wee Bit Tired

I always know it's coming, but the knowing of it doesn't prevent the happening of it from making me worn out. Basketball season stomps out of my life with March Madness. And it seems about that time I can sense a bit of relief coming. A life preserver is flung before me. But it's still actually a month before I will grab on to that life preserver and relax. The guys are doing their ever-so-important recruiting throughout April. That is not sarcasm, it is seriousness, especially with the reality that Caleb and Ken have moved onwards. So, Tom is out looking for some new tall guys, as the kids like to say. And I support that. Believe me, I know how important recruiting is. But, wo! It's this final stretch that can be the toughest test. It's the time of year I think my children have been replaced by rebellious, conscienceless, vindictive aliens and I become a wideeyedcrazilyravingshorttemperedfreakazoid lady who I don't really know. It's the time of the year that puts me on my knees, asking for one last bit of strength! He always provides it, in the form of encouragement, joy, laughter, friends, family. And finally, May comes!!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Compliment of the Year

Ellie: Mom, you rock this house.
Me: What? I what?
Ellie: You rock this house, mom.
Me: Well, thank you Ellie... but what exactly do you mean by that?
Ellie: You just make everything soooooo special!!!!