Extended Family

Double Trouble at the Rink

On December 15th my six-year-old twin cousins, John and Joel, arrived for a sleep over. The following afternoon, we went roller skating. Not long after I began helping one of the twins around the rink, Mom took over and I skated on in a slippery fashion, however, I never fell. Haydn soon came along my side and I took his hand. After leaving me at every other turn (so he could go fast), Haydn spent the majority of the rest of our skate time with me (which I greatly appreciated since I can skate much faster, and with more confidence, when holding someone’s hand). John and Joel spent the greater portion of their time on the floor but, as our skate time ran out, they could be found inching their way across the rink feet at a time before they toppled over again. In the end, everyone left the rink a better skater than they were when they entered the building.

Extended Family · Friends

Pool Time


On July 26, we went to the pool with the Rawlings family. We played several games including but not limited to Marco Polo, Blob Tag, and Statues.  There was one specific round of Marco Polo when Abi was dead set on getting me tagged. She followed me around like a shark before locking me in her arms. Haydn, Ansa, and I have always played with “no sacrificing” as a rule so several times during my struggle to free myself from Abi I exclaimed, “Surely there is a rule somewhere against this!” Abi and Noah, both very entertained by my struggle, were each faithful to give me a “no” in reply. When I realized talking Abi out of sacrificing me was getting me nowhere, which I realizedimg_9820 when the gap between me and Joshua was quickly shrinking, I kicked things up a few notches. I began to squirm, kick, and wiggle which, for the first couple of times, allowed me to successfully free myself and I managed to swim away before Abi was able to catch me again. The third or fourth time she ensnared me yet again, Haydn joined in. With Abi immobilizing my arms, and Haydn a hold of my legs, I gave up. I was already breathless and the energy it would have taken to shake off Haydn, who is stronger than me, in addition to Abi would have taken much more energy than I was already using. Still, when they approached Joshua I gave one last kick so that Haydn ended up being the closest to Joshua and so most likely to get tagged. Although it would have been cool if that had happened, Joshua had already tagged another swimmer and so the game continued.

On August third, Hunter broke our “how long a human tower can stay standing” record. This is not something we time, we just knew.

img_9826On August fourth the Heffernan family (my youngest Uncle, Aunt, and cousins on my mom’s side) were in town so we spent the day with them. I had a lot of fun with John and Joel. They are six now so the usual simple answers and exaggerated facial expressions one does when talking to little kids no longer convinces them. I’m sure their IQ has shot up since we last saw them. We spent the afternoon with them at the pool. John spent most of his time atop a human tower before plunging backward into the water. Joel was usually found in the corner testing the limits of his breath-holding abilities. I was very impressed by how brave John-John was and by how long Joel could stay under the surface.

To view more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Extended Family

Tea with Grandma

IMG_4984On April 22nd the ladies at my Grandma’s church put together a mother-daughter tea party. The women in my immediate family had been to a similar event in the past and so accepted Grandma’s invitation, looking forward to making more tea-time memories.

After a savory dinner, tea was served and we were released to eat the treats that had been staring us down from their spot in the middle of the table since we arrived. Everything was delicious and the music and speeches were wonderful. I had a great time and am even more inspired then I was before to host my own tea party some day.

To see more photos from this event, click here. Once in Flickr, click the arrow on your right to view the next picture. Thanks!

Extended Family · Family · Holidays · Redeeming Grace Church

Easter 2016

IMG_5087After the church service, my family and I went to my Grandparent’s house for Easter dinner. Once stuffed full of Grandma’s delicious cooking, we opened up an egg decorating package. It was fun to mix up the colors and experiment with differents ways to apply them to the eggs as we worked together in trying to decipher which way worked best. In the end, we had a patriotic egg, an egg sprinkled with gold, and many other eggs of various colors. Happy Easter!IMG_4495

Extended Family · Friends · Holidays

Christmas Break 2015

The Johnson Home

I usually get out of school at 1:30 PM on Fridays, but Friday the 18 was an exam day so, since we only had one exam that day, we were released at 10:30 AM. The weather was nice outside. A bit chilly but, overall, rather nice. My family picked me up, we drove two hours to Greenville, Tenessee, pulled into the Johnson family’s driveway, got out, and it was snowing. Talk about a change of weather! My first reaction was, It’s not supposed to be snowing! It’s December! We’re not supposed to get snow until March! Ansa said she wanted to go home but I’m sure she was joking, right?


Ellie and I spent the afternoon running around taking pictures. That evening we went to their old church to enjoy a local Christmas recital that Simon participated in. I had fun hanging out with them while we tried not to freeze to death. 😂


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Saturday Ellie and I filmed half of a soon to be music video. The boys joined us as we made our way back to the house which is when they discovered large pieces of ice behind the barn. Simon broke a big chunk over his head which looked really painful but seemed not to scratch him. Once back inside we played several games with the rest of the family including dodgeball and Buzz Word. Later the girls decided to open my Christmas presents to their family and they posed for pictures before we retreated to the basement to play more games.

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Sunday came, as it always will, and we had to go our own ways. I had a lot of fun with you guys! Hope we can get back together really soon!

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QOTD: It seems we have always been, and will always be, friends. Time can change much, but not this.


The Heffernan Home

On December 21, we arrived at my Uncle John and Aunt Christina’s house. After unpacking, we spent the evening hanging before the kids and Uncle John went caroling at a nursing home.

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On the 22 we played Ticket to Ride before Aunt Chris, Mom, Haydn, Ansa, John, Joel, and I went to Martin Nature Park for the afternoon.

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Christmas Eve was filled with cake decorating and a lovely dinner and Christmas day, of course, was filled with present opening and the enjoyment of our gifts. Merry Christmas everyone!

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The Blackert Home

On December 26 we arrived at the Blackert’s home in Dearing, Kansas. Mrs. Blackert, or Aunt Barbi as we call her, has been my mom’s best friend since high school so visits with her and her family are real treats since they now live so far away.

Over the summer the Thomas and Blackert kids performed The Phantom of the Opera. We had a lot of fun producing it so, over Christmas break, we attempted Les Miserables. Sadly, this project never reached completion but we had a lot of fun and made many memories while filming what little we did.

It’s insane how much Heide looks like the actress who plays Cosette in the movie.

It snowed while we were in Kansas so our days were filled with a mix of filming and breaks spent in the frozen water.

IMG_1531 And then there's Haydn. LOL.

On New Year’s Eve, we did our best to stay up all night but weren’t able to keep our tradition as well as we have in the past. Heide fell asleep around 4:00 AM, Ansa around 4:30 AM, I around 6:00, and Haydn around 8:00. I had A LOT of fun with you guys and hope we can visit soon.

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Extended Family · Holidays

Thanksgiving 2015

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my kith and kin (friends and family). They are a true blessing from God and I do not know what I would do without them. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Extended Family

Grandpa’s Birthday 2015

IMG_9831On September 20th we celebrated my grandfather’s 92nd birthday. It seems like just yesterday the entire family was here celebrating his 90th birthday. We are all extremely thankful to the Lord for him. Happy birthday, Grandpa! And may you have many more.

Extended Family

John and Joel’s 4th Birthday

By now you probably have heard of my adorable twin cousins John and Joel. Well, this past summer they had their 4th birthday. I thought I would share some of the photos taken with you.

Grandpa cooking corn
John’s Silly Face
Joel and Ansa
Haydn & Brenden
John & Joel watching Haydn play Mine-Craft
The Heffernan Family
Blowing out the Candles
Opening Presents
Extended Family

A Day with John and Joel

For about a week in June of 2014, my cousins John and Joel came east from Oklahoma. One of the days that they were in town they spent with us. They came over to our house where we played for about an hour, and then we went to the pool along with our other cousin Brendan and two of our neighbors, Josh and Ethan.

During the time that we were playing at my house I had my camera out and was clicking away. John and Joel had each taken a Nerf sword from Haydn and Ansa’s room and had found great joy in slicing away at people’s legs. It started out when John hit Ansa’s legs and she fell to the floor, playing dead. He started laughing and Joel said, “No, John! Let me do it!” They kept “killing” Ansa and then did so to everyone else as they came in. I quickly discovered that the only way to get them to stop hitting you was to fall down, as if you were dead. Even though their whacks could sometimes hurt, there was lots of laughter. Sadly, most of the pictures turned out blurry.

John and Joel Closing in on Ansa
John and Joel Closing in on Ansa
John Shooting the Camera
John Shooting the Camera
John Killing Ansa
John Killing Ansa
Joel Killing Josh, Ethan Stopping Joel, Haydn Running Away
Joel Killing Josh, Ethan Stopping Joel, Haydn Running Away
John Killing Haydn
John Killing Haydn
Joel Closing in on Brendan
Joel Closing in on Brendan
Ethan Defending Himself
Ethan Defending Himself
Joel Taking a Break, or is He Wounded?
Joel Taking a Break, or is He Wounded?
John Attacking Ethan
John Attacking Ethan
Joel Murdering Brendan
Joel Murdering Brendan

When the twins proved to be unstoppable, the boys fled to the front yard and flew up the tree. John and Joel ran around it trying to get them. I was on the driveway taking pictures when I saw John standing by our front bushes rubbing his cheek and whimpering. I went over to him and picked him up. I tried to calm him down and asked what was wrong. Then a thought came to me. “Did you get stung by a Bumblebee?” I asked. He nodded. I took him inside and as I carried him upstairs he said, “I got stung by a Bunglebee.” I giggled at his mispronunciation of the word. I brought him to Dad and told him the situation, asking what we could do to help it. Dad said to put mustard over the sting, so I set John on Dad’s bed and dashed off to my room. I returned with a packet of Mustard and spread it over John’s sting. Then I carried him downstairs. Once hearing about John’s Bunglebee sting, everyone stopped fighting. With all the attention on him John squirmed to be put down, and I lowered him to the ground. A few minutes later I asked and he told me he felt fine.

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Extended Family

Modern Day Rupunzel

Modern Day Rupunzel

One of my cousins, Caroline, has super long hair. We are sorta in a “who has the longest hair” competition. She has always been the one in the lead. Caroline wears her hair in a braid most of the time but every once in a while wears in long. I managed to capture a picture of her one of the rare days she wore it down. All of the Colberts have really long hair, even Maddie’s hair is longer then mine! All in all it is pretty cool to have a cousin who is basically modern day Rupunzel.