26 December 2010

Welcome to the Highlands.

~Christmas Morning~
~Happy 16th Birthday to Ty Morning!~

This was fun! Kris sent Ty on a scavenger hunt
Christmas morning to find his Bagpipes. He
about died when he realized where they
had been hiding for several weeks.

After running to the neighbors home...receiving
a clue...coming back to our home and
climbing up into the attic...Ty finally
discovers his Bagpipes safely tucked
away in the drawers beneath his bed.

Ty's first try at producing sound on his
new pipes. One learns and practices on a practice
chanter (sort of like a recorder) prior to 'moving'
to the real Pipes. Pretty cool he has
been able to actually make sound so soon!
This is no easy undertaking! The work has
just begun...but we were laughing
and having sooooo
much fun!

Awesome. Absolutely awesome. A dream
coming true. Ty has been like a little kid
literally waiting for Christmas! When he
took to the outdoors, we heard reports that
our friends on the next cul-de-sac over
heard him playing...and they were
inside their home.

I rarely am able to actually surprise Kris on
Christmas. However, I did so this year!
He has been taking lessons with Ty...but only
planned on getting the pipes for his son right now.
When all the activity died down a bit from Ty's
discovery...I sent Kris on his own hunt for
new pipes. Here, Ty is helping to tune
his dad's new find! Such a memorable
and fun morning! Next up: KILTS!!

20 December 2010

Our G-Rated 'Adult Party.'

Turlock High School Combined Choirs Christmas Concert
Jennie Falke, Davis and Darcy
Woods, Ty Hyer, and Abby Falke

Ty's cousin, Doug came to support.

Abby and Ty...the models, add to their
already huge collection of photos
of the two of them together.
Love this. Fun kids!

Each Christmas season my parents treat their children
and spouses to a beautiful evening of dinner and
dessert. We exchange gifts with our siblings, enjoy
time together telling stories and laughing, and
receive special gifts from our parents, as well.
We always call it the "Adult Party" which
sounds rather curious. But, it's all
very G-rated.

Dad and Rick taking care of the steaks.

Mom's beautiful table.

No couple ever started a family
with a well-thought-out
exit strategy. ~Robert Brault~

Couldn't resist that little bit of humor. All these
years later...dear parents are still parenting.

Molly and Mom serving dessert.


The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up
in each other. ~Burton Hillis~

Rick, Steve, and I get a little carried away from
time to time texting favorite quotes back and
forth from the T.V. show Modern Family.
Kris and I gave Rick a shirt we had made with
two of his favorites. The back of the shirt
reads "And we're back..."
Another beautiful and fun evening.
Thanks, mom and dad.

07 December 2010

The Family And The Gathering

Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Rowan's
i love little Laura's arms around Ava and Camille.

What greater blessings to give thanks for at
a family gathering than
the family and the gathering.

Long long ago dad turned the garage into
a wall-to-wall scrapbook. New photos
regularly are framed and hung. Everyone eagerly
delights in finding themselves in the newest additions,
as well as remembering past good times
amongst those that have been there "forever."

Robert and Jessica, with Ava and Sevilla.

Another Grandpa Rowan, with Sevi.

Mom's Ginko Leaves

Skepticism is a religion very rich in
evangelists but very short in Saviors.
Robert Brault

Great Grandpa Rowan, with
Great Granddaughter, Sevilla.

There are moments every day in family life
that in and of themselves would suffice
as the whole purpose of the enterprise.

This year we're having the words "There's more
gravy" stitched right on the napkins.

If you could find happiness by abandoning
those you love, exactly what would
you do with it?

What is certainty but complete faith, and how
then can faith not be the path to certainty?

A few of the great grandchildren.

Thanksgiving drawings
hung in Grandma's kitchen.

Bev and Steve

Brad and Melissa, with Cole and Hayley.

02 December 2010

Leaves and Levities

How silently they tumble down,

And come to rest upon the ground.

To lay a carpet rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,

Content to sleep,

Their work well done,

Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times they wildly fly
until they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the air,

Till all the trees stand stark and bare.

Exhausted, drop to earth below,

To wait, like children, for the snow.
Elise N. Brady

Thank you leaves.

Now. For the LEAVITY part.

During the Thanksgiving break we visited a
local Apple Store. This is how we found Ty.
Computers on either side of him somehow
were showing this same website.
His hints aren't so subtle...the closer
we approach Christmas. His teacher
just approved him for the real deal.
How convenient.

Kris and Ty practicing their chanters.
I love that Ty's eyes barely leave the
T.V. screen. You'll see why at the end.
(He finished off the season with
41 personal goals, by the way.)

Anne Marie in the background is
preparing application materials
for Graduate School, looking much
calmer on the outside than she
feels on the inside.

It's a boy thing.
I love that they are great friends.

(We must've had spaghetti for dinner.
That's the orange shirt Kris always puts
on over his shirt when we eat spaghetti.
It's been called for "when you die"
by more than one child.)

Next post: The Family and the Gathering

05 November 2010

"Time Stands Still...."

Time stands still best in moments that
look suspiciously like ordinary life.
~Brian Andreas~

Surprise: To come upon suddenly or unexpectedly.

Wednesday night Chase showed up unexpectedly.
He had flown to San Francisco to attend the big
GIANTS celebration. The following morning,
Call showed up, having taken a solo road
trip through Yosemite...landing
straight in my arms. Just wanted
to be home for a day or two.

This was Kris' lunch hour. It was "Jersey Day"
at the office and he just happened to have
his Giants jersey on when all the boys
showed up with their hats.
Love it.

I wrote a note for the boys to go to the
High School and get Ty out of school for
"unexpected family obligations."

I don't think I lied.

And what a surprise to him! They spent the
day at the park doing what they used to do
for hours "back in the day." It felt so
familiar. It was delicious and
heart-twisting all at the same time.

Me and my boys. Where did the time go?

Life is short. God's way
of encouraging a bit of focus.

How're you doing? I said...and he said we're
undefeated in our appreciation of the game.
That's against incredible odds, he added...

The "Brian Wilson."

A lot of people have the mistaken belief that
Brian does this signal on the mound only in
remembrance of his father. He actually
is referencing Christ and how
without Him he is nothing.
(Video Below)

In other recent weekend news... Anne Marie
fulfilled a new years resolution by running a 1/2
marathon. See her there behind the gal in red?
She is to the right...smiling in blue.
Her TALL roommate, Brooke, is next to her.
(Or, is Anne Marie short?) :) :)

In her words:

...running through the canyon
with all the leaves on the trees and ground, snow on the
mountain tops, and 3,000 fellow runners
all around me...
At one point I turned off my ipod and just listened
to the river we were running along and the
rhythmic pounding of thousands of shoes
on the pavement.

Often what seems an impossible climb is just
a staircase without the steps drawn in.

27 October 2010

A Perfect Day!

Last weekend in San Francisco

Hi, I'm Forrest Gump. People
call me Forrest Gump.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never
know what you're gonna get.

You have to do the best with what God gave you.

I'm not a smart man...but I know
what love is.

A sign on the wall inside
of the restaurant.

Boarding the boat to Alcatraz.

(Kris and Ty with headphones on.)
U.S.P Alcatraz
Regulation #23

If you make Groundless
Complaints for the purpose of
creating dissatisfaction and/or
stirring up trouble...you will be
subject to Disciplinary Action.

(I bought a magnet for the refrigerator
with this regulation quote on it.)

It was rainy and cold (wouldn't quite be S.F.
any other way, right?)...but Ty wanted to check
out the outdoor recreation area.

The audio tour was very well done.
We all found it very fascinating.

After an interesting time changing from wet clothes
and wet hair in our car in the underground parking
lot...we entered the gorgeous Davies Symphony
Hall to listen to...
...Joshua Bell. He played Bruch's
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. Words cannot
adequately express how fabulous the evening
was. I guess that's why it's called music. It can
only be described by listening and feeling.

For a most interesting article, including videos
explaining an "experiment" that Joshua Bell
participated in several years ago at
L'Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C.
go here. What would you have done?

Such a stunning building. After several call-backs,
Joshua returned and delivered a humorous and
compelling rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Art thou troubled? Music will calm thee.
Art thou weary? Rest shall be thine.
Music, source of all gladness,
Heals thy sadness at her shrine,
Music, music ever divine.
Music, music calleth with voice divine.

From Handel's opera, Rodelinda.

We ran into Steve and Susan Thomas!

And, we must mention that we were sitting in the
concert in S.F. when the GIANTS won the pennant
to move on to the World Series. Following
intermission, the conductor announced to anyone
who hadn't already found out via text or phone call
that the Giants had "done it." It was great
fun to cheer...even at Davies!!

I actually took the photos above and below
in Ty's room a couple of months ago...but since
tonight is the first game...this seems an
appropriate time to share a bit of fan fever.

Who would have known when we purchased our
concert tickets that the Giants would be playing
their deciding game at the same time?
It all thankfully, worked out!

(My personal favorite? The tiny
Baskin Robbins scoop hat...