Posts Tagged ‘family’

Family Vacation Extravaganza!

November 5, 2016

My baby sister called me a year ago to tell me some thrilling news but her voice didn’t hold the excitement I felt it should have. A couple from their church invited my sister and her pastor husband (whose rapper name is Big Sexy but that’s not part of this story) on a two week cruise in the Mediterranean with 3-day stops in Venice and Paris. A DREAM vacation! I am pretty sure I was WAY more excited than she was about the cruise! I have taught Renaissance history… there are about 27 million places, buildings and works of art that I would kill to see. Well, maybe not kill, but close. Maim. Yeah. Maim.

My baby sister lamented, “I don’t think we should go because then we couldn’t come home to Arizona for Christmas next year.” I laughed loudly in her ear. A three week trip to Europe or Christmas with the cousins??? Seemed like a no-brainer to me. I felt like asking, “Are you dumb?” but I’m the nice sister, so I refrained. Then I remembered that we were going to Canada for Christmas and wouldn’t even be in Arizona. That encouraged her just a tad to consider the magnificent adventure at her finger tips.

The fervor had not returned in her voice. Still sounding forlorn she asked, “What would we do with the kids for three weeks?” HELLO!? You live in Maui. I WILL COME! Hence yesterday’s blog about Hana, the beach chair, returning joy and cat barf. So they went.

Knowing that we would be staying in my sister’s home, which is the parsonage twelve steps away from the church they pastor, (which consequently used to be the offices for a sugar cane plantation 50 or so years ago) I began to have visions of our own Crosby Family Vacation Extravaganza!  Whooo HOooooo! With some cousins thrown in! Party like it’s 1999.

Mr. Wallet and I discussed the opportunity and we enthusiastically presented it to the kids one night at dinner. Here is how it went down:

Me: (Can’t stop smiling!) Your Auntie and Uncle are going on a trip next November and have asked us to go over and take care of your cousins for two weeks. So we are all going to go and have a blast in Maui together!

(No one cheered.) (Maybe they didn’t hear me?)

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go. It is my last state band competition for high school.

(Again, I am weighing the alternatives: band or Maui?) (No brainer.)

Me: We could go the last two weeks so you could do the state competition and then go.

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go then either. That would mean I would have to have my 18th birthday in Maui.

(And the problem is?????) (I am pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.) (Well, that just saved us $600!)

Our 19 year old son: Yeah, I don’t want to go either. It would be hard for me to get my jobs covered and I’m driving bus for the homeless on Sundays.

(Since when did ministry come before self indulgence?) (KIDDING!) (Another $600 saved!)

The 12 year old Colombian princess: Do I get to go? 

(Didn’t I say FAMILY vacation?)

YES!!!! Her eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face. That’s my girl.

THEN a few months into the planning, Mr. Wallet counted his vacation days and decided he was going to save another $600 and stay home. What the heck? How can all these men be related to me? I live for vacations! My sons had free food, lodging and flights to Maui but turned them down. I just don’t get it. I am pretty sure when they are 40 they will regret the foolish decisions of their youth.

You guessed it… GIRLS TRIP! Nora and I are having a blast! She hasn’t flown on a BIG plane since she came to America six years ago, so of course she had to tell me all about them…. trays that come down out of the seat for your table… tiny bathrooms… free nuts! So many things to look forward to!


Oh, you know I’m posting pictures of facebook, snapchat and instagram and tagging my sons. BEST GIRLS TRIP EVER!

Whirlwind Weekend!

May 28, 2014


Whirlwind Weekend is now behind us.  Our eldest son, Austin, graduated in a beautiful ceremony for which Rick and I were responsible.  There were a few snags, but the evening turned out to be very rewarding for the 145 graduates and their family and friends.  They felt loved, celebrated and prayed for! So worth it, in my humble opinion, to put on a grand celebration for homeschool graduates!  A homeschool graduation is a day to celebrate the parents who chose this often difficult educational route, the mama who toiled endless hours in subjects she’s not all that familiar with, the siblings who were right there in the thick of things and of course, the graduate who survived.  This child in particular, caused more prayer hours in my life…. so far….. please read the previous post to learn why we are so proud of him!

aus grad family

After cleaning up the church and scrambling home by 11:00p.m., we slept for four short hours and then jumped in the van to drive 17 hours to a wedding in Oklahoma.  Son number two has had his driving permit for one week…. no, not even.  Five days.  F I V E.  So we endured a few white-knuckled hours of experience for him during extremely uneventful stretches of flat highway across the top of Texas and Oklahoma.  How can he be allowed to drive?  He was chubby and cute and three years old just a few months ago???


The wedding was beautiful…. truly… as beautiful as a wedding can be.  Our daughter was one of the bridesmaids and it was such a joy to experience the love between the young couple starting their new life together! And blast it all, I didn’t take one picture of the couple together!

IMG_1820 IMG_1827

In the fairytale setting there was a fairytale swing… one of the tallest I’ve ever seen.  Nora had a few moments of terror after the ceremony.  Her scared belly laugh makes me giggle.  It’s the laugh she can’t hold in… throaty and deep.  I love it!


Above all, I’m glad to be home.  Home sweet messy home.


ROAD TRIP to Canada Day #1

December 26, 2012

Every five years, our family makes the trek north to our homeland Canada where we met and fell in love with starry eyes and warm hearts.  Crosby Family Christmas was occurring in Abbotsford, B.C. at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.  Three out of the four siblings arrived with kids in tow along with Rick’s folks…. 15 of us in all.

We never leave on time for road trips.  Various circumstances contribute to this, mostly, however, is my dear husband’s tendency toward tardiness.  Day #1 had 12 hours of driving on the agenda, but there was not an impending arrival time that we were aiming at.  This was a godsend because my great aunt and uncle are staying in our house for us and watching the doggies…. which translates to the house needing to be spotless… way beyond the normal “leaving on vacation” level of cleanliness…. causing three of my four children to roll their eye balls at their mother.

Soooooooo, departure time was chosen for 7:00 a.m.  At 9:15 a.m. dusting and mirror cleaning were still in progress.  We pulled out of the driveway at 9:38 a.m. BUT there were three scheduled stops before we could leave town.  Rick had some checks to drop off, his work truck to take to the mechanic and we still needed gas for the trip.  At 10:27 we pulled into Circle K in downtown Phoenix and Rick announced to his wife and four children, “Everyone go to the bathroom because we’re not stopping for a long time!”   Into the gas station we obediently traipsed.

11:01 a.m. we officially left Phoenix and began our trek westbound.  At 11:18 a.m. Rick mousily squeaked from the middle row of the van that he needed to go to the bathroom….. so we turned into another Circle K in Buckeye, AZ!  And thus began our 3,400 mile ROAD TRIP to the Great White North….  only 3+ hours behind our scheduled departure.  Not bad.

Nine-Year-Old Tales

August 9, 2012

I bring to you today MORE Nora-isms.  Our beautiful little Colombian princess says PRICELESS tidbits daily!  They bring joy to my heart and a smile to my face…. and often a giggle to my lips.

1.)  Nora, to her 7-year-old cousin, Luke, “Hey, my friend’s dad has a truck just like that one!”

Luke, “Which one, the Dodge?”

Nora, “No, the blue one.”  (Same truck!  hahahaha!)

2.)  When we just had Christmas in July with family friends, Nora opened the fantastic purple girl’s Lego car from the Friends collection and was THRILLED!  When asked how much she liked it she replied, “A million!

3.)  Tonight at the dinner table Nora said, “I was looking out the window and I think that giant white rat, Stuart Little, is out there watching us.  I think he is saying, ‘That is a nice family!’  Mom, we should adopt him.”

4.)  Nora:  Mom, did you just say anniversary?

Me:  No, I said birthday.  Do you know what an anniversary is?

Nora:  Yea, it’s a big party with rocking and roll.  (She experienced our 25th Anniversary party!)

5.)  Nora tells me her dreams often…. her latest one:  “Mom, I had a dream that you were down in the ground and we pulled you out and you had no legs but you were still alive.  ……..  Do you like that?”

6.)  “Mom, I’m going to ask God when I go up heaven why we have dreams.  Dreams are awkward.”


Beachcombers R Us

April 26, 2012

We spent last week at Monterey, California and God blessed us with unbelievable weather for April on the coast!  Sunny and gorgeous!  My friend, Connie, got our whole family hooked on searching for sea glass…. I’m not quite sure why it is so addicting.  Possibly because it is FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing.  We found this little cove, after much climbing and crawling over large rocks, where the waves were bringing new pieces of glass with each crash and roll.  After my entire tennis shoe went under the water, in pursuit of a huge green treasure, even I joined the freezing barefoot ranks and took the plunge.  Usually I prefer to view the water, not feel the water.

The majority of our discoveries were green and brown….. 7-Up and beer bottles in past lives.  But we did find some rare gems in PINK!, red, yellow, white and royal blue.  My 15-year-old son saw a shining royal blue bottle in a thrift store and asked if we could buy it and throw it in the ocean…. for our next visit in three months!  GREAT idea!

What do we do with the sea litter, you ask?  There are mini jars at the beach house that have sorted-by-color sea glass…. so I added my finds to that happy color display.  For homeschooling we count this as math…. sorting.  :o)  It could also be categorized as history, science and social studies.  Whatever we call it, it was the BEST kind of schooling, in my humble opinion.  The rest of the family brought home their glass pieces …. I’m not sure why.  Possibly because they were FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing!

And no, we didn’t color coordinate our clothes with the ocean… it simply worked out that way.  It was a matchy-matchy sort of day all the way around.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2011

From the SIX Crosbys to you and yours!  May the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Linda be ever present in your thoughts and abundant with blessings and guidance in 2012!  Make this next year ROCK for Jesus!

Family Pictures….. ugh.

December 13, 2011

This pretty well sums up our family picture attempt.  We laughed.  We cried. It moved us, Bob.  (sorry… Veggietales does it to me every time.)  The sun was too bright.  The shadows were too dark.  We squinted too much. And on and on.

It started at 10 a.m. when I realized that it was the only day in the following six that we had a chance to take a family picture when the sun was still up in the sky.  I picked light blue for everyone to wear… but this did not go down without major whining from the chillins.  Good grief. Calm Down.  We did have to borrow a shirt for Larisa from her cousin… and jeans for Keeve from his cousin.  I’m very thankful our cousins live across the street and are relatively the same sizes as most of my kids!  Also, my sister-in-law, Julie took the photos for us. 

After the clothing issue was settled (at least in my mind) and the fronts of all the shirts were ironed…. we moved on to hair.  Two haircuts were had by the shaggiest members of the clan. And showers were had by most.  By then it was noon.  Off to the park… where the sun was shining so brightly we could barely open our eyes.  It was awesome!  Not really.

That was as good as that pose got after 17 tries…. good grief. Calm down.  The shadows were just too harsh and we moved to the shade, much to my husband’s chagrin as he loves sending pictures of green grass in December to his friends and family in the frozen north.  We moved to the back of the community center cement sign… so it looks like we’re in the hood.

Finally, at least most of us are smiling half-normally.  And a family photo shoot would not be complete without some planking……

2:00.  Bam!  Family pictures done for another 12 months.  Only took four hours.

C R I S I S!

December 3, 2010

The computer is such a marvelous device when combined with the internet (thank you, Al Gore) and Skype.  We have been able to see our family back in the USofA and in Canada.  We’ve introduced them to their new Colombian family member and Nora has seen her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins.  It makes South America not seem so far from home.  It has made this stressful-happy time not so stressful and more happy.

Then two nights ago our computer charging cord gave up the ghost.  Died.  Kaput.  Do not resuscitate.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  I had a bit of fear and misgivings about three more weeks without contact with home.  How would we know how much weight our dog has gained at our friend’s house? And how would our family know if we were alive or dead?  Yesterday our guide took my teenage daughter and myself way across town to the north side of Cali.  There is a mall there that is solely filled with electronics stores.  EVERY single store had computers for sale…. and cords.  Thank God!  We were able to find the one we needed… and it wasn’t even a fake brand made in Taiwan!  It was an original Compaq brand made in China!  We were only without contact for 24 hours, and our family didn’t even know there was a crisis.  They thought we were ignoring them.  :o)

We also took the Colombian princess to buy some tennis shoes.  The shoes we brought are all too small, with the exception of the sandals that I bought for her four years ago when we started the adoption process.  We were at Payless Shoesource in 2006 and it was B1G1 50% off.  Larisa picked out a pair of shoes and I couldn’t find any for myself…. so I wandered over to the little girls section and found these gems:

They have been sitting on the computer desk all this time…. collecting dust… waiting for the princess.  Her little brown toes look adorable in them!

Back to the story, we were buying shoes and explained that she needed warm shoes for when we go to Bogota in a couple of weeks.  It is cold and rainy there and the elevation is 8,355 ft.  COLD especially after being in balmy Cauca Valley her whole life.  After we picked out the shoes, she asked, “What clothes are we going to buy for me to wear in Bogota?”  HAHAHA!  A true shopper!  But, sorry, sweetheart, mommy brought warm clothes for you!

We are enjoying the swimming pool every day for the few hours the sun is shining.  We are relishing the Colombian food!  We are taking naps almost every day!  We could get used to this!  Nora is doing so well with us and the kids.  She SOOOOO was ready for a family!

Dilly Bars

July 6, 2010

In the van on the way home after the fireworks display on the 4th, our daughter says, “The only thing that would make this night better is if we had Dilly Bars!”  These are fine delicacies from Dairy Queen, in case you haven’t tasted the ambrosia offered on a stick at DQ.  I immediately pulled out the handy-dandy yellow pages that I keep under my seat in the van.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my glasses with me and could not read a blinkin’ word on the page.  Larisa came to the rescue and started listing the addresses for DQs. Thankfully she came across one that was four blocks from where we were!  Sweet victory!

Dairy Queen on 27th Avenue and Camelback Rd. is not in the nicer part of our fine city, Phoenix.  As we pulled into the driveway, my brave husband spouted, “Let’s go in!”  Three of the four of us simultaneously responded, “NO!”  To match the neighborhood, the drive-through speaker is not of the best quality at the aforementioned DQ either.  We gave up and drove to the window to order our Dilly bars.

Dilly Bars are $1.29 plus tax….. OR six for $6.00 plus tax.  Yes, there are only five Crosbys at the present time.  Yes, that was a steal-of-a-deal to which my dear husband succumbed.  We were happily devouring our Dilly Bars when one of our sons asked who got the sixth stick of ice cream dipped in chocolate?????  And thus began the Dilly Bar Quest for Gold.  “Here’s the rules!” my husband declared.  “I’ll put it in the freezer right in front on the middle shelf.  The first person who wakes up after 3:00 a.m. without an alarm can go to the freezer and move the Dilly Bar to a hidden freezer location.  This way, they can save it for later. If you go down and the bar is moved, DO NOT EAT IT! or you will owe $5 to the winner of the Dilly Bar Quest for Gold!  Remember, you have to sleep first!” The scheming began.

One son said he would eat it all right when he won at 6:30 a.m., our early riser.  The other son said he would save it to eat in front of the rest of us losers.  (How nice!)  Our daughter just sighed, as she is a hard sleeper and late waker.  I thought I stood a good chance as I awake every morning at 5:00 a.m., just to look at the clock and go back to sleep. Just my luck, it didn’t happen last night.

The next morning, at 9:30 a.m. I came out of my bedroom to hear my sons arguing…… “You set your alarm!”  “No, I didn’t!”  “How could you wake up right at 3 a.m. then?”  “I just did!”  “I dreamed of ice cream, but I didn’t wake up!”  and on and on and on it went.  So, the son who wanted to eat the golden Dilly Bar in front of us, did so at breakfast.  Congratulations!

Independence Day!

July 5, 2010

Fireworks shows are hard to come by in Phoenix, land of the flammable landscape with heat and wind to keep the fire crews busy eternally. Permits are required for pyrotechnics.  My children have never had the thrill of holding a sparkler in their hand, or shooting off bottle rockets, or lighting those gray growing snake dealies or even witnessing the smell of a fireworks stand.  However, we do the best we can to be patriotic and go out of our way to see Chinese-made fireworks in our fair city.  My parent’s church always puts on a grand display so that was our intended destination at 9:00 p.m.  As we were climbing in the car at 8:38 p.m., my dad phoned to tell us the fireworks show was half way through….. it was a 15 minute drive and would be over by the time we arrived.  So we drove a mile from our house to where we could see the tiny fireworks in the distant and stood on a curb watching them in disappointment.

Our youngest son has a gifting toward music and with that came sensitive ears.  He is 11 and has only enjoyed the Fourth of July without a pillow wrapped around his head for four years now.  Finally he enjoys the BOOM in his chest from the firepower, just like his mama.  I have semi-fond memories of sitting in the car with him with his pillow around his head when it was 105+ degrees even at dark, while the rest of the family sat on cool grass to enjoy the show.  Last night he kept asking, “Where are more fireworks?”  and “Can’t we go somewhere else to see fireworks?” and “Are we going to see more fireworks?”  You get the picture.

At home, after the miniature disappointing distant display, my husband scoured the newspaper for fireworks show listings.  I searched the web.  We discovered that the BIG Phoenix display was downtown at 9:30!!!  We could make it! We jumped back in the car again, with our 3-D glasses for fireworks enhancement, and headed down the highway.  We arrived just in time and after three or four attempts at finding the right side street that faced the display area, we scored!  Only one billboard slightly off to the left, but we had a grand view.  The picture above is proof that we were in Phoenix, see the flammable palm trees??

Fourth of July checklist:  watermelon – check, bbq burgers – check, cheesy $4 Walmart flag shirts – check, fireworks – check.  Job well done.