Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fun times :-)

Just a warning to all you moms out there, I have the sweetest, most adorable little girl there is! (She is also probably in the running for most physically violent toward siblings and parents, and biggest grouch when she doesn't get her way :-)

This afternoon, we were "playing" hide-and-seek. Not the actual game that most of you remember from growing up. The Reghan version. This version consists of Reghan and I (yes me) hiding in her extremely small closet on the tiny toddler couch together. I am not allowed to move. At all. Occasionally she opens the doors and goes running for a blanket or a bottle for her doll, or some other necessity (ahhh, freedom & a quick stretch of my cramping legs!!). Then it's back in the closet, cover mom with a blanket, cover herself with a blanket, and pull the door shut...ripping off both blankets in the process. After about 10 minutes of this, she realizes that (oops!) the only two people involved in this game are both hiding, and NO ONE is coming to find us. So out she goes again to bang on her bedroom door and yell "Nate, Daddy, tome find me!"

Nate is a good sport, so in he comes as Reghan frantically dives back in the closet and shuts my toes in the door with a "torry mom!"
Nate calls out "Where's Reghan? Is she under the bed?" To which Reghan replies in a whisper "no!"
"Is she under the covers?"
Again, a whispered "no!"
"Is she in the closet?"
Now she's really excited, and it comes out as a bit of a cross between whisper and squeak "yes!"
By this time I am cracking up, and Nate asks "Is she laughing??"
Reghan can't contain herself this time and she replies aloud "No. Dat Mommy! I not laughing." So we are found. But miraculously, we are not "it." We don't even get to come out of our hiding place. Nate just walks out the door and Reghan tells me "dote move, otay?" as she runs and slams the door shut behind him so the game can begin again.

Replay the whole scenario up to the point where Reghan shuts my toes in the closet door...only this time she doesn't because I keep my knees tucked right under my chin and my toes curled over like they're in the womb.
Enter Nate. This time he thinks he'll try a little trickery, so he calls out "Reghan, what's your full name?" (She loves to tell us that she is "Reghan Telly Obay").
Not about to fall for his trick & divulge our secret hiding place, she opens the closet door and points at her brother. "Shut up, Nate," she says. Then pulls the door back closed and waits for him to check the usual spots before 'finding' us.
At this point my back, legs, and toes can't take it anymore, so I volunteer to be 'it' and come find her in a few minutes. I think it might be more interesting if Reghan looks for a new hiding spot, and I mention this out loud. Right. I am met with a look of total disgust and the simple, no nonsense reply "No. I hide my tloset."

Guess I'll know where to come looking... :-)

She is getting to be so imaginative and I just love it! I remember when we were young, Kyle used to play in the cupboards all the time. I think my mom had one she just left empty so he could climb in and out of it. And he just KNEW that Hudam Hussein (Saddam Hussein...he was on the news every night during that time period, so we were intimately accquainted with him and viewed him as the ultimate enemy...), lived in our kitchen cupboard. And yet, he still played in it. Maybe he was blowing him up. Who knows. Anyway...recently Reghan has discovered a mostly empty bottom shelf in my pantry cupboard. She pulls out the few items in it on an hourly basis, then climbs in, pulls the door shut on herself, then peeks back out. After making sure she has my attention (and with no prodding or lessons from Kyle) she says something like "No worries, Mom. I just going in my car. I just going tee Tanta Clause. Tee you later!" Only once did I try to force her out of the cupboard before she was done visiting with Santa, only to be met with "Mom, just tool it, otay?"

That was good enough for me...I spent the next five minutes or so reflecting on the hilarious and adorable things that come out of her mouth, and she got to spend as much time with Santa as she wanted :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

~ Holidays 2010 ~

Well, another eventful year has come and gone! It seems like just a few weeks ago I was sitting down to write last year’s Christmas letter.

We started 2010 in our typical style…ski trips to Grand Targhee. Living in Dubois put us pretty close to good skiing, and we tried to take advantage of that whenever we had a free day!

Ralph and Reghan and I took a summer trip to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills area. We decided we’ll have to do that again next summer with all the kids – it was really neat, and a great family vacation area! The most memorable part of the trip (for Reghan, at least) was visiting Old MacDonald’s farm, where she could play with all the animals, and the “goat bite my shirt!” She still reminds us about that, so it must have been pretty traumatic.

Over the summer we were able to head back to Idaho for the Anderson and Ivie family reunions. It was so good to catch up with so many of you! I might be the only child in my family who remembers the last Ivie reunion, so it was much needed and lots of fun to see so many cousins and family members!

We also bought a boat last year, just in time to store it all winter. I worried all through the winter months that Ralph might get some crazy idea to sell it and buy snow machines (living in Dubois we might have been the only family in town without them), but he is learning about making the wife happy if he wants to be happy, so we were able to spend quite a bit of time this summer at the lake skiing, knee-boarding, wakeboarding, and riding the tubes.

At the end of the summer, Ralph was offered a job back in Casper, and we jumped at the opportunity to return. Moving to Dubois was a blessing in many ways, and it was hard to leave our friends there, but Casper is home and we are very grateful to be here. (I will also be very grateful if I can write our Christmas letter next year without including another move!)

Reghan turned two in October and is right in the middle of the terrific or terrible twos (depending on the moment J). She loves to play the piano and sing “I am a Child of God” or “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” She also loves to be silly! She has pretty sweet dance skills, and loves to crank up the 80’s music and dance with daddy. A few of my favorite quotes from her are “I’m sick. I need go see my Dopter Popper (Dr. Pepper),” and (every mother’s favorite) “I wu (love) you sooo much!”

Carlie is 9 and in 4th grade this year. She moved to a new school, and loves it. She was excited to report that she doesn’t even have any “mortal” enemies there J. Carlie is a sweetheart, and I don’t know how she could have enemies anywhere! She still loves soccer and swimming, and if she could have one wish for Christmas it would be an indoor swimming pool so she could swim year round! Carlie is such a good big sister to Reghan, and even gets up with her at night when she stays with us.

Ryann will be 12 in January. She is becoming quite the young lady/computer nerd. Her latest facebook quiz labels her as “jaw dropping beautiful & best personality on earth…” And since we all know that facebook is the ultimate authority in these things, we’ll just leave it at that :-). She just finished her competitive soccer season by winning the championship in the Boise tournament. She is involved in basketball right now and loving every minute of it!

Nate is 15 and a sophomore in high school. He played center on the football team at Kelly Walsh this year, and is now in the middle of alpine ski season. We finally have enough snow to open the main runs at the local ski area, so he got to put in some slope time last weekend & is looking to compete for a varsity racing slot this year! He got his first elk this fall and takes pride in reminding us that he provided dinner each time we feast on his elk. He also has a driver’s permit and has dubbed himself the family chauffeur. I think we are all excited for the time when he has a license and can be his own personal chauffeur (maybe)! :-)

I have been blessed this year to be able to stay home with Reghan, and also do a little bit of substitute teaching. I didn’t realize while I was teaching how much I truly loved it, and I have missed my junior high kids (Agghh! Did I just admit that in writing??). I also teach a few online math classes, and while that is not as fun as being in the classroom, it does make me a positive contributor to the family finances J. I was privileged in Dubois to get to work with the young women in church, and go to girls camp, which is always one of the highlights of summer! I currently teach the 9 year old primary class, and I’m pretty sure I have the best group of kids in church. They never fail to amaze me with how much they know!

Ralph is working at Midwest schools as the Assistant Principal / Dean of Students. He is over the entire school, K-12, and is loving the opportunity to interact with the elementary kids (he says when he feels underappreciated, he just heads down to the kindergarten classroom for his daily round of hugs :-). He was able to take Nate, Ryann, and Carlie elk hunting in Grand Teton National Park this fall and introduce the girls to some of the finer points of outdoor living. Carlie loved it and volunteered to pack out the meat, but I think Ryann preferred her book, ipod, and seat in the warm pickup.

As we contemplate this Christmas season and the year leading up to it, we can’t help but reflect on our many blessings. At the top of that list of blessings are the wonderful family we have been blessed with and the many amazing friends in our lives. We are truly thankful for each one of you. Merry Christmas, and may the Lord’s choicest blessings be upon you and your families this Christmas season and always.

With love,

The Obray Family