Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sibling Love

Other than the extremely unflattering cut of the shirt I am wearing, I absolutely love this picture of Pete, Nate, AnnaLisa, and me.   This was taken a few weeks ago when my brother Nate came to town.  He's a world-traveler, always zipping around to somewhere crazy on the globe.   That day he was on his way to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and right now he is at Torres del Paine in Chile. He is only 13-months younger than me and although he is living a much different lifestyle than me (in that he's never-married), I am always happy when he finds time in his busy schedule to come visit his Virginia siblings.  

Although my family is scattered all across the country, I love how close we still are.  
It's one of the joys in my life and it makes me sad to hear of families that don't have the same kind of tight-knit connections that we do.   I consider all of my siblings (and parents) to be among my best friends, and I love that every single one of them makes visiting and connecting with their siblings a priority.  

My family is not perfect, but I am proud to be a Crain and pray that my own children will one day find the same joy and comfort in the relationships they have with their siblings as I have had with mine.  


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Counting the Ways

How much do I love working with the Young Women at church?

Let me count the ways...

                                              1.  Anna  B.                                     2.  Allie

                                    3.  Morgan                                           4.  Anna W.

                                         5.  Emma                                             6.  Elena

                                         7.  Maeve                                                 8.  McKenzie

                                         9.  Aubrey                                               10.  Ana

                                      11.  Sidney                                                  12.  Marina

                                       13.  Katy                                           14.  Cami

                                        15.  Annika                                               16.  Mikayla

                                  17.  Rachel                                                 18.  Miko

                                   19.  Lola                                                  20.  Kelly

                                         21.  Ashley                                                22.  Alexia

                                 23.  Courtney                                             24.  Maria

25.  Kate 

The girls are hard-working and faithful young women who inspire me on a daily basis.

And I love the wonderful ladies I work with as well….

                               1.   Sister M.                                                  2.  Sister W.

                              3.  Sister D.                                                  4.  Sister M.

5.  Sister W.  

6.  Sister H (no picture)                        7.  Sister G (no picture) 

  I am blessed to be able to spend time with them each week...
   …even when that requires wearing a hairnet and a lunch lady uniform! 
Dressed as lunch ladies for YW in Excellence
The menu for YW in Excellence
19 of the 25 Young Women in our ward
Mikayla, Ashley, Courtney, Annika, and Alexia
Rachel, Miko, and Anna at YW in Excellence
Kelly, Annika, Cami, and Katy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Inner Preschooler

Today I went back to preschool for a little while.   
The kids were doing a community outreach project for their upcoming 
Lego League competition and I got to be the one to accompany them. 

Their mission was to teach the preschoolers a little about music, so they brought instruments to play for them….

 a fun book to read to them (The Happy Hedgehog Band ),   

and in general got to channel their inner four-year-olds.  
The kids had done most of the planning themselves, which made it all the more a genuinely fun  experience  for me, the kids, and the preschoolers.

In the end, though, it made me all nostalgic for when my kids were cute  little peanuts too. 

This picture was taken only four years ago, but man do I miss those days!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Blogging is not a burden or a chore to me, but rather I consider it a key to my sanity.
It doesn't matter how busy I am, I almost  always carve out enough time (even to the detriment of sleeping or chores) to blog at least a couple times a week.   Writing blogposts simultaneously soothes and challenges my mind  and I love the visual aspect that the photos add.  It really is therapeutic to me, which is why it's always a surprise to me when I realize (usually after a family member reminds me) that it's been almost a week since I last blogged.      

This is one of those times.

I'm busy, but no moreso than usual.  And it's not that I don't have anything to blog about.  I have several post beginnings, but I just haven't sat down to finish writing them.   If anything, I think my lackluster blogging can probably be mostly blamed on the gorgeous autumn weather we've been enjoying.   We've taken a lot more long walks lately and I'm finding that the time I would normally be spent blogging is often time we head outside instead.

This afternoon is the last mild day we're supposed to have for a while and the kids are once again outside taking advantage of the loveliness that Virginia autumns are.  In our backyard the leaves are  still mostly clinging to the trees. Tomorrow it's supposed to turn cold and in the next few weeks we will be deluged with torrents of leaves and have to spend hours out there raking them up.  I know that I will have an opportunity to take a walk this afternoon while Emma is at voice lessons, so today I let them play while I blog instead.


When I left our beloved homeschool co-op shortly before school started this year, it was with a leap of faith and a strong hope that we would be able to find new social outlets for the kids and me.

Thank goodness for the S family!  

I had met Rachel, a fellow homeschooling mom, at YW camp this past summer and we connected with  our mutual love of photography and blogging.   I was so grateful when she invited us to participate in Lego League with them.   Lego League has been a fun, albeit challenging opportunity for the kids to learn teamwork, cooperation, and engineering skills.

It's been a good experience for all of the kids, but especially for Ellie.  
Ellie is a social butterfly who loves people and has a gazillion friends, but weirdly has never had a best friend.  

Until now, that is. 
Hannah and Ellie are two peas in a pod and their friendship is a joy to behold. 

Emma and Abigail also get along really well and all of them enjoy playing board games and putting on plays together.  

We love spending time with their cute family...
and consider their friendship a blessing to all of us.  

PS  All the photos in this blogpost, except the first one,  were taken by Rachel.  :) 


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