Journey 130: Mother’s Day (or the Gathering of the Sisterhood)

Mothers Day 2015

It’s been an amazing weekend, with a wedding yesterday, and most of my family able to be present for that joyous event. Today, it was a special treat to have my sister Debbie and her family still in town to celebrate Mother’s Day together.

The day began with breakfast at my mother’s house, lovingly prepared by my niece’s husband, Jon. This kind and cheerful young man is talented in many ways, and cooking happens to be one of his fortés. The moms assembled…Linda, Debbie, Ashley, my mother and me…enjoyed being pampered. Jon prepared blueberry pancakes, sausage, fresh strawberries and individual omelets. He gave each of us a small bowl and we selected the ingredients for our omelets, placing them in the bowls and then lining them up as Jon cracked eggs. The food was delicious and I appreciate Jon so much.

Mothers Day  2015 Jon

Later in the day, my daughter Elissa and grandson Dayan met our group at Golden Corral as we treated Mom to a Mother’s Day buffet. And yes, the lines were long and the restaurant crowded. That didn’t deter us or bother us in the least. The staff moved us through quickly and seated all eleven of us together. We enjoyed all the food choices available and Ethan and Kaleb especially enjoyed the dessert buffet, wearing a great deal of chocolate from the fountain on their faces! More great conversation flowed around the table, easily, humorously. Being together was the most important part of the meal.

Mothers Day 2015 lunch

Mothers Day 2015 lunch 2

We all gathered back at Mom’s briefly, mindful of storm clouds massing to the west. I sat with great-nephew Kaleb on my lap, while watching my other great-nephew, Ethan, create a game on his iPad. Although he is only nine, Ethan is skilled at not only playing games but creating his own. I watched, fascinated, while in a matter of minutes he created a Frogger type game, chatting to me about each step. Ethan learned to email over the weekend, and he sent me a picture of a vehicle in one of his games, with a logo on it that he knew I would like…Albert Einstein. He successfully emailed me a screenshot from the game, which I am delighted to include in my blog. I promised Ethan I would email him a link, so he can see his work here. It’s all good practice for this intelligent boy, who dabbles in technology as easily as the rest of us breathe.

Mothers Day 2015 Ethans logo

My great-nephew Ethan has a funny car logo on a game called Turbo Dismount

It was a grand day, spent in the company of precious family, with six mothers present. My sisters and mother and I form our own Yaya Sisterhood, except we are Yaya, Gigi, Meem and Mimi, who is the only one of us who can boast of great-grandchildren. My mother is the matriarch of this clan, and she has raised my sisters and me to be strong, independent, capable, loving and fiercely protective adults who have passed these qualities on to our own daughters and sons, granddaughters and grandsons. She presides over us all with strength and love and a good dollop of humor. I deeply appreciate her, knowing the sacrifices she has made to raise us well, provide for us, champion us in all our endeavors. I couldn’t ask for a better mother and I am blessed to have her influence and presence in my life still.

Mom on her birthday

As we hugged good-bye this afternoon, departing for our homes, little Kaleb gave me a bright yellow dandelion and a fuzzy one, the seeds forming a white globe. I stood in my yard, and held the fuzzy dandelion up, ready to make a wish before blowing the seeds away. Instead of wishes, I thought of my blessings: my extended family, whose love surrounds me like an invisible yet powerful force field that nothing can penetrate, my three beautiful children and their significant others, who have gifted me with their love and devotion…I am appreciative of their texts and visits today, and a surprise gift card from Adriel and her Nate to Lowes (garden center, here I come!), and my five gorgeous, talented and loving grandchildren who continue to show me the world afresh through their young yet wise eyes. The seeds scattered as I blew on the dandelion, and my thoughts scattered as well, carrying gratitude, love and blessings to their intended recipients. May they all know how much I love them.

Mothers Day 2015 Wishes

Day 200: Christmas in July

July Xmas other side e

I know many people who celebrate Christmas midyear. However, my family has not done this, until this year. My sisters, our children, all have families and traditions of their own. It is difficult nowadays to get most of us together to celebrate anything! For my first today, I gathered with many members of my extended family to celebrate with a traditional Christmas dinner.

This was a fun day. Another first for me was the privilege of including Joey and Oliver in this family event. My son Nathanael had to work today, and his lovely bride-to-be, Megan, had a day long class at MSSU. They couldn’t join us today, but they allowed the three children to ride to Broken Arrow, OK with Greg and me. I was excited about this, our first outing. I have to say, the kids did great, riding in the car for such distances and playing with cousins. Many more adventures together await us.

July Xmas Greg and Aubrey e

My niece Ashley, and her husband Jon, once again hosted the family for a large dinner. They are such gracious and generous hosts, opening their beautiful home and planning and carrying out these get togethers. Parties are such fun….and a whole lot of work. This young couple focuses on the festive aspect of parties, not the hours of labor involved. I am grateful for them.

Everyone contributed a side dish, sodas or appetizers. Mimi Jerri and Steve brought the chocolate cream pies! Jon deep fried the turkey breast and it was delicious and juicy. We all feasted well and enjoyed a day of visiting, laughing and taking turns keeping an eye on the kids. I was grateful daughter Adriel was able to join us, and grateful for daughter Elissa as well, who was accompanied by boyfriend Josh and his son, Jonathan. Linda’s son Scott and daughter-in-law Nicole were able to be there, with toddler Weston. By the time we say Merry Christmas again, in December, this wonderful couple will have been blessed with a baby daughter. We missed Nate and Megan, my grandson Dayan, who was with his dad, celebrating their Christmas in July this weekend, Adriel’s husband Kelly and Linda’s son Eric and his family. Mom and my stepdad Walter stayed home too, as Walter is recovering from heart surgery.

July Xmas left side e

July Xmas Josh e

We didn’t exchange gifts today, or sing Christmas carols, although we did wish each other a very Merry Christmas. The purpose today was to take time now to get together, as a family, and celebrate life and successes and express love and joy to each other. And those are the greatest of gifts, to offer and to receive.

July Xmas kids e

Day 185: Cornhole Lawn Game

It was another beautiful day on Lake Dabinawa. We are experiencing unusually cool  temperatures for July. The recent days have been mild, breezy and low in humidity. Which meant, it was a perfect day for being outside near the lake. I spent the entire day outside, beginning with some peaceful time on the dock early in the morning. When the cousins returned from a fishing trip, Tim gave Greg and me a tour of the lake. I enjoyed cruising the perimeter of Lake Dabinawa in the boat. It truly is a beautiful and friendly community. Neighbors waved from their boats or docks as we motored by. I see the advantages of having a private lake to play on.

cornhole game on the boat e

After a hearty brunch, presided over by our gracious hostess Lisa, we all returned outdoors, where we remained for the day. The youngsters gathered on the boat dock, ready for swimming and tubing, and launching water balloons at passing boats, which is a tradition here on the 4th of July. There was some confusion over whether the parade of boats was today or tomorrow. After filling many balloons with water, the Moore Clan Generation 2 discovered it was officially being held tomorrow. However, several boats launched today, decked out in appropriate party décor, and the kids enjoyed pelting them with balloons, and dodging the return volleys.

cornhole game younger cousins 2e

I enjoyed observing all their antics from the nearby shade of a large tree as I relaxed in a lounger. Today was one of those days where there was absolutely no need to hurry doing anything or being anywhere. When a game of cornholes started, I moved my chair to a better spot so as to watch this new game. Cornholes is a lawn game, played with two people or two teams. It is also known as bag toss, tailgate toss or corn toss and is played by throwing bags of corn (or beans or chalk dust) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag that goes through the hole scores 3 points while a bag landing, and sticking, on the platform scores 1 point.

The matches are played with two sets of platforms and two sets of 4 bags. Different colors are used to distinguish the team’s bags. The platforms are 30 feet apart. When teams play, each member of the team stands at opposite platforms. All four players take turns tossing the bags, alternating between the two teams, and the points are tallied for each round. The scoring is interesting. If both players land on the board, or get a bag through the hole, the points cancel each other out. For example, if one player lands a bag on the board and gets one through the hole, that’s 4 points. But if the second player gets identical placement on and through the board, the points cancel each other out. There is no score. If the second player gets a bag through the hole and 2 bags on the board, he ends up with a score of 1, after the other points are cancelled out. The first team to reach 21 points, or for a shorter game, 15 points, wins.

cornhole game 6e y

I watched the teams play and thought it looked like a fun game. As a teen, I was the pitcher for a girls slow pitch softball team. I wanted to give it a try. When teams reformed for another tournament, I paired up with Tim Moore and entered into the competition. Although it is not as easy as it looks to hit the board and even more difficult to get a bag through the hole, the game is very fun and challenging. Tim and I made a great team! We advanced through the tournament, taking on new challengers, and defeating them. Each team played best 2 out of 3 rounds, and Tim and I never lost a round. This was primarily because of Tim’s skill! I did okay though, placing a good number of bags through the hole and landing even more on the board. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, the competition and learning something new. Cornholes, and winning the competition with my team mate, Tim, was my first for today.

It was wonderful to spend time with this generous and loving group of people. We all agreed we would not let so much time pass before meeting again. I am grateful for their hospitality, kindness and fun loving spirits. Until next time, Moore Clan, God bless our journeys and bring us back together once more.

cornhole game cousins close up e