Friday, August 31, 2007

The family grows!!

No, we are not expecting a new baby, but I am getting a new brother!! Yes, Max has, to everyone's great delight, asked Jenny to be his wife! As Sally, Kendra (Max's sister-in-law), and I all waited impatiently at Daniel and Kendra's house down in LA, Max took Jenny out for a sea-side dinner date and a moonlit walk on the sandy shores of Malibu. He proposed, and she said, "YES!!!" They came back to the house, a ring on her finger and smiles on their faces, and we all jumped up and down (well.......I did) with joy.

From a sister's perspective, I have sat back and watched this relationship grow from the minute Max asked Dad if he could pursue a relationship with Jenny by way of courtship, 'til now, and simultaneously have seen God's hand directing it every step of the way. I am amazed and awed at God's blessing in Jenny's life. I was aware of her concern that if she didn't go off to college she may never meet someone that she could marry. God has amazing timing!!

Over the past six months, I have grown to love Max as a dear, dear brother (and he most certainly is that!), and I consider Jenny to be one extremely blessed woman.

Max and Jenny - I am so thrilled to be able to be a part of all this. You have set me a wonderful example of a godly relationship and have shown me how truly blessed are the people who follow in His will.

Max - please take good care of my dearly loved sister. Even though it will be hard to let her go, I know she is in loving hands who will care for her. I know she will strive to be all that a godly wife should be.

Jenny - love, clean, cook, bake, have bunches of kiddies......Bask in God's blessings and do all these things which you have longed to do as a wife and mother ever since you could say "please help me clean the house, Kaylee. Don't you see how messy it is!" :-)

I am looking forward to many more years of watching you love each other more and more each day.

Your loving sister,

Kaylee bean :-)

The classic movie scene -- *dramatic music playing* He runs to her....she runs to him....they meet and he swings her around. :-)

Olivia was not sure what her Uncle Max was up to.

OH!!! They're sooooo sappy! ;-)

Daniel and Kendra Parish, the other lovers :-)

Going shopping for wedding dresses!! We went to David's Bridal, but unfortunately we cannot post any pictures of our trip because Max isn't allowed to see them. Sorry Max. :-) If anyone, besides Max, really would like to see them, they are on our computer.

Sally and I had our cameras close at hand all the time.

Jaelyn, filling everyone in on the details of the weekend on her play cell phone.

I only realized what Jaelyn was doing after I took this photo. She was actually running her tongue up and down over the fence board.

She was quite taken with all the mirrors in David's Bridal.

She enjoyed the shopping trip as much as any of us.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Experimenting with Picasa

While Kaylee's away, mom will play! (Kaylee got antibiotics for her pneumonia then left for L.A. - sorry, Kendra! -- but not before sharing cold germs with me!). Toying around with various Picasa options for photo editing -- and can't think of a good way to send them / share them... except on the blog. So, this is Lori taking a few minutes to relax with photos. Probably not many captions - nothing profound! (most pics are from the camping trip).

Not a "special effect" on purpose, or an old moldy photo, just a very, very dark one with some light added - voila! There are people in this picture! Still might not have been worth saving, but I thought it was kind of neat. (And I lied about the "not many captions.")

I like sepia. Kaylee likes everything!

There's nothing like a campfire for inspiring some good ol' guitar strumming, huh, Jeremy?

And here we see why Lilly woke up with a fever after her nap the next day.

Hmm, got a tad heavy on the pinkish-orange stuff! Sorry, Simon. It's that "some black and white, some color" thing (with a little edge-blurring going on) -- but somehow the color's a bit like, well, that vintage lipstick the girls tried out! Oops. And published for the world to enjoy.

Max - not to be outdone by some sixteen-year-old-younger-brother-sailor.

That pneumonia has a way of creeping up on ya', huh, Kaylee? Maybe a verse or two of "Hate That Doggone Fever" blues - soothingly strummed by Simon - would have chased it away.

Discussing the day's race.

Pondering life.
(Like that nice half b&w, half color effect again? Makes ya' just feel that fire, doesn't it?! And Simon's face remained normal this time -- no tangerine tint on the lips and cheeks!)

Day's end, trip's end (for the McCs), and that not-too-perky feeling that settles in.

But wait! There's more!

Here they are again - revived, refreshed!

(If they all used the same cleanser, we could advertise it here and earn a little cash.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pitiful sunburned pneumoniac :-)

Yes, I have pneumonia. :-) My sunburn isn't that bad anymore, and I am feeling a lot better now that I have a powerful antibiotic in me. So this picture should show me looking a little more perky than this, but mom thought it looked so funny and pitiful that she said I should post it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A great camping trip

I won't go into detail much here because I tried to tell stories of the trip in the pictures below. But I do want to thank the Parishes for inviting us along and giving us a wonderful experience for our first time at Huntington. We enjoyed ourselves so much.

Kaylee for the McCs
We had some wonderfully peaceful times around the campfire every night. One of the nights we had smores, so toasting marshmallows was a highlight of the night. It was fun to watch Jayni, Jacob, and Lily eat their very first smores and smile in delight with sticky faces and chocolate covered hands. What great times!
" I saw three ships come sailing in....." :-)
I think Simon is on the boat in the middle. This picture was of the first race.
My mom, Mrs. Parish, Sally, and I stayed at the end of the trail while Simon went closer to the falls to get a better look.
At this point, I started wondering if I was getting sick. I was piled high with blankets. :-)
Mom likes to label this one "the serious sailor." :-)
It was so sweet when Lilly started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and looking up in awe at the sky. She made sure to point out the stars she saw to Simon.
Connor took on the duty of washing the kid's clothes in the lake. They, of course, never failed to get them dirty again in short order. ;-)
Sally and I got to wash the kids themselves at our campsite in a couple buckets that we had. Poor kiddies.....we didn't realize how cold the water actually was until Sally and I washed our feet in the same buckets a few minutes later. They were real troopers to put up with such cold water being squeezed over their little bodies. We both pulled our feet out the second they touched the water because it was so cold. So, so sorry guys.
We all took our turns riding out with Simon in his boat. Jeremy and my Mom are in this boat load.
Max made it clear that a dunking was in store for anyone that splashed Jenny with lake water. Connor thought a dunking from Max would be a load of fun. So without delay, he gave Jenny a little splash. It wasn't very long before he was under Max's arm being taken out for that dunk he was promised. :-)
Mom wanted to get a picture of all the sunburnt faces. The color of our faces doesn't show much, but they were bright red and crispy, let me tell ya. :-)
To Jayni, the best way to warm up and dry off was to lie like this in the dirt and sand.....
The only problem with this method was that she ended up becoming one with the shore. One could hardly tell them apart until Connor cleared all confusion by dunking her in the water and pouring buckets of water over her head. We were all relieved when we could see Jayni once again. ;-)
Believe it or not, Jeremy caught this fish with his own two hands. Granted, the fish was already sick and dying. But with it jumping and wiggling, as I hear it was doing, it was still very cool that he ended up catching it. Way to go Jeremy!
This should give some idea as to how big this fish was.
Simon had the great opportunity to get to participate in a race while we were camping. He got to be part of the crew on one of the larger sail boats.
He also took us for many rides in his own boats, the Jubilee and Bobber. The wind was great and we got to see a good portion of the lake. Thanks Simon! We all had a great time.
The hike to and from the falls was a beautiful one. The road to get to the beginning of the trail has a story of its very own. In short, it was extremely bumpy and rugged. And I, at least, will never forget how fun and hilarious it was as we all yelped and gave directions to the driver as to how to maneuver the next glitch up ahead. :-)
Jacob was determined to get me better by some means. His method: he came up behind me, put his hand under the head rest, started hitting it and said "git bettuh, git bettuh, git bettuh!" What a funny little guy. It only hurt for a couple seconds, so no harm done, little buddy.
On the way to and from the hiking trail we saw a deer. It was really gorgeous and fun to look at it for the time that it stayed still.
What a happy bunch!
Jayni kept insisting that she comb Max's hair because "It looks funny!", she would say. And so we developed a hair-styling train because she wouldn't let me fix hers unless she could fix up Max's too. :-)
Taking pictures in the dark proved to be difficult. But the light from the campfire sometimes gave a fun glow.
The guys never failed to jump right in to do the dishes while the girls cleared the table of food. Thanks a bunch, guys!
With Jacob, regular smiles are only available occasionally. :-) I love ya, Jacoby Man.
"The hills are alive with the sound of music..."
The view of the waterfall was beautiful even though it wasn't rushing as hard as it would have been in the later spring. Our Father definitely knew what he was doing when he created waterfalls.
These two cuddled and sang songs with Jenny all morning one of the days. Selections from Hide 'em in your Heart rang throughout the camp, and their small, yet beautiful, voices earnestly gave their praise to our Father in heaven. Matthew 21:16 "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, " 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise' [ Psalm 8:2] ?"

I actually have no idea what Connor was doing in this photo, so don't ask.;-) I will leave it up to your imagination. :-)
Sally was sitting so gracefully, and the view behind her was so dazzling that Mom had to capture the moment.