Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meet my family...

There are 5 girls (from left: AnnaLisa, Heather, Mom, Kristina, Lara)  and 5 boys  (from left: Matt, Tim, Dad, Nate, Pete).    I am the oldest and wisest of the siblings and can still strike fear into the hearts of my sisters with a glare and a little flick of my pinching fingers. 

We now live scattered around the country, but deep inside we all still consider ourselves Minnesotans at heart.  Put us all in the same room and youbetcha we can whip around a good Northern accent and toss around some cold weather stories like nobody else.  In fact my brother Pete, now a father of four cuties, still loves to reenact the explosive Arctic blast of air that came through one year by jumping spreadeagled off ledges while yelling, "Arctic blast!" like he did when he was 8. 
Actually I stretched the truth somewhat when I said that we were scattered all over the country now.  While it's true that Kristina and Nate live in California and my parents and Tim live in Utah, it's also true that everyone else lives within an hour of us!  With 5/8 siblings and 10/12 grandkids living close by, we definitely hold some serious sway here in the DC area!

They think they all moved here because of the mild weather and strong job market, but deep down everyone knows that the real reason more than half of the Crain family lives nearby is to be closer to Cami's gourmet cupcakes and Emma's to-die-for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Although we had more than our fair share of squabbles in our younger days, as adults we are pretty tight knit.  Rarely a day goes by that I don't talk to at least one member of my family and those of us that live nearby try to gather together monthly for dinners and holidays. 

On January 10th I dropped the bombshell on my family when I told them that Spencer had leukemia.  I hadn't really ever mentioned Spence's health woes before and since nothing anywhere near as serious as cancer was even on our own radar screens, it came out of the blue for everyone.    Within a couple days my mom and sister Heather were at our doorstep ready to roll up their sleeves and help any way they could.    A week or two later, my dad came too.  Matt, Pete,  and families came frequently for visits.   AnnaLisa started helping more than she already had been.  

In other words, they not only helped to alleviate the day-to-day stresses in our lives, but they also helped to keep life as routine as possible for the rest of the family. 

While we were busy with Spencer, the kids were attacking Uncle Matt....

Snuggling with Grandma...

Playing Beyblades with Aunt Heather...

Chilling with Grandpa...

laughing at Uncle Pete....

and being silly with Aunt AnnaLisa....

Luckily being at the hospital didn't prevent Spencer from joining in the "fun" as well...
I am pleased to announce that, in all the extra time we've been spending together, that I haven't once had to inflict any of my big sisterly tortures on any of them.  That is other than snapping photos of them while they slept.  ;)

In all seriousness, my family has been a wonderful blessing to us through these last couple of months  and I just wanted to publicly thank them for their love and support!   LOVE YOU!


  • Spence is still experiencing chest pain, but luckily it is somewhat reduced from yesterday.  Mostly it hurts when he takes a deep breath or moves around much. 
  • Today was his last day of receiving chemo.  It's a shorter duration than the first two rounds, but the chemo is much more intense, so it's still expected that he'll start feeling cruddy sometime next week. 
  • His weight has been staying steadily around 57 kg. (125 lb.) for the last few weeks.
  • Adam and Aunt AnnaLisa went to the Harlem Globetrotters game today.  With the tickets purchased a few months ago, it was an outing originally meant for Spencer and AnnaLisa, but since Spence wasn't available Adam was happy to take his place.  He came home laughing about all the players' fun tricks.  My sister AnnaLisa is so awesome to plan regular one-on-one outings with each of my kids. 
  • Cami and I went out to eat with friends and then to the YW broadcast tonight, where we got to listen to some amazing inspirational messages. 


"Taking life by the yard is hard,
but life by the inch is a cinch. "
                                                                                           President Thomas S. Monson


K said...

In my unbiased opinion, you have the coolest family in the world! Glad you are surrounded by helpful people both in the family and out.

Hope Spence feels well today!

PS I hope PP never decides to run for political office, because that picture of him will undoubtedly ruin any chances of a successful run!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

put on your shiney!

annalisa said...

I love those pictures of Pete :) Actually I love all of the pictures.

Pretty much this area is the cool place to live ;)

I hope Spence's chest pain gets better soon.

K said...

Hey now! SoCal is a cool place to live too. Someday, all the siblings will want to come live by me, I hope.

Anonymous said...

I was planning to run for President as soon as I turned 35. Thanks a lot Lara for ruining my plans! Now I'll have to run on a socialist/communist platform. Oh well, that platform worked out pretty well for the last guy.

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