Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Most of you Eyrealm readers will already know about this but for those who don’t consider this:
There is job training for everything except Motherhood! Our oldest daughter Saren Eyre Loosli and her inspiring friend April Perry who are the power behind their website PowerofMoms.com have organized a spectacular Mother’s Retreat at the Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah on June 11-12! Our second daughter Shawni Eyre Pothier (71toes.blogspot.com) will also be presenting and I will be delighted to be there as well.
You’ll learn about Three Steps to having a Strong Family as well as get inspiration on how to get organized, and how to strengthen the woman within the Mother! What a great gift this would be for Mother’s Day! (Your husband has got to be looking for a spectacular gift that you’ll never forget)! There is a special early bird rate for those who sign up before May 1st. For more information and a look at this fabulous facility, click here.
And since we’re talking Mother’s Day gifts remember that another great gift would be A Mother’s Book of Secrets that Shawni and I produced last year. You can get the book for 20% off online here. All royalties go to the I Love Lucy Project. As you may know, Lucy is Shawni’s three year old who has been diagnosed with a rare syndrome which almost inevitably produces blindness between ages 9 and 15. With funding for research we are hopeful that the medical world will be able to intervene. It’s at great way to lift yourself, you sister, your daughter, your friend or your neighbor and help Lucy as well!
We hope to see you at this once-in-a-lifetime retreat to help enrich your mind and sharpen your saw!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
While at the hospital, Noah and Kristi enjoyed every square inch of this new little angel! They marveled at their beautiful baby with Noah’s hands, Kristi’s/Lyla’s nose and perfect little ears!
So that Kristi could sleep instead of having the nurses wake her up in the night several times, they opted to come home after 25 hours. (Also because they wouldn’t let the kids come to visit because of worries about H1N1…after they did visit on the night Jacobson was born).
While Kristi slept and fed Jacobson and Noah hovered lovingly at their cute apartment the kids and i had a great time at the Manhattan Children’s Museum. I haven’t had enough time with these kids without anyone else around so we had a ball!
This the view through the windshield as McKay drives a NYC fire truck complete with a fireman’s jacket.
They loved shopping.
Lyla loved carrying this grocery basket on her arm and McKay loved checking her out with a real conveyor belt.
(She is a bit obsessed with carrying something on her arm or over her shoulder. She was attached at the shoulder to my purse.)
We experienced about everything from Dr.Seuss to Dora and Diego!
I guess Lyla likes Dora almost as much as Lucy does!
At about 4 o’clock we heard a buzz and found then found a total surprise at the door….Hazel with a special delivery of lilacs at the front door! In total amazement we found Saydi, Charlie and Emmeline hiding in the hall! What a grand surprise especially because it was my birthday!
Jeff was in the city working anyway so he soon joined us and we had such a great party!!!
How fun to see all those cousins together! We took all the kids to the park around the block and McKay loved teaching Hazel and Charlie how to ride is scooter.
That park has been such an important part of this NYC family’s life that it was especially fun to share it with the cousins who all had a fabulous time!
So fun to see Emmeline’s new bangs and realize that Jacobson has replaced her as the baby of the eyrealm family.
This was certainly a birthday I’ll never forget! We called Jonah for his cookie recipe…first things first of course! So good for you especially with that good-for-you flax! Some without chocolate chips for Noah (how did that kid come from me???)
We took pictures of all those adorable kids before the Shumways left for Jared and Ruth Sine’s apartment just around the block because they just happened to be out of town (they returned the next day to get some stuff and then move to LA!) Noah did a great job of getting a timed shot of the whole crowd.
After the kids were all down, Noah ordered food from their favorite Thai restaurant that was so good it made my eyes water (sorry Shawni). We enjoyed a fabulous candlelight dinner on their lovely dining table tucked away like many other things in their 480 sq.ft. apartment where they take advantage of every square inch! Who would imagine you could fit a dining table (and a cello and a artist’s easel for the kids) in addition to a lovely leather sleeper couch in their 10 square foot living room? They are amazing!
They’re even getting ready to empty the bottom drawer in McKay and Lyla’s room for Jacobson’s new bed! (JK…I think).
Dinner complete with placemats and silver chargers!
Noah ran out at the last minute to be sure that I had real cake…four kinds…banana, carrot, red velvet (sorry Charity) and of course killer, devilish chocolate!
Oh man there just isn’t anything you can’t find in the Big Apple! What a fabulous birthday! One I’ll never forget…especially with little Jacobson at the center of all the action! What could be better than having six little grandchildren living in Boston and NYC on the same couch?
With special loving care coming from the two oldest cousins:
The next morning, cute Saydi and I took everyone but the baby to the MET and, the Ancient Playground next door and we had a “lovely” pretzel/hot dog lunch in the gorgeous weather at Central Park! I don’t know how I got away without one picture but I took pictures in my mind that will be there forever! Saydi was spectacular at engaging the kids every minute in the museum and then she took the little kids to the playground and I got to have a few minutes on a special Grammie tour with Hazel!
Thanks Saydi for putting up with 8 hours in your car with three kids and without air conditioning (it was actually hot). And to Jeff who drove them home after he finished his day at Bridgespan in NY.
I’m on the plane on my way home now, wondering if all that really happened! It was like a dream to be with that little Jacobson within hours of his entry into the world along with all those adorable children and two of our children and their extraordinary spouses (spice?).
To top it all off, I sent Noah and Kristi off to celebrate their 6th anniversary this morning for breakfast at a nearby French restaurant. How terrific to celebrate three beautiful children in six years of marriage! Eyrealmers will remember that great day with Elder Perry in the temple and the fun reception at the Deveraux House. Time flies when you’re having fun with those you love!
How lucky are Dad and I that we get to go back in about 9 days on our way to Dubai! By then they’ll have the normal jaundice issues worked out and cute Kristi will be past feeling like a balloon that’s being blown up and about to pop! Ahhhh there’s nothing like having a new baby for so many reasons! We are so grateful for these two plus three! So many reasons to celebrate!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
There were a few breathtaking moments (excuse the pun) when they couldn’t find a heartbeat and he didn’t seem to be breathing with the cord wrapped around his neck, but that little blue head was followed by a beautiful football body and that first hardy cry was absolutely music to the ears of the those breathless parents!
But that chubby-cheeked little cherub is a treasure beyond measure and looks like a perfect linebacker! Noah’s pictures are terrific on their blog here. We just can’t get enough of kissing those cheeks. They may just erode right off! Sorry this pic is a bit grainy but you’ll “get the picture”.
Kristi had been ready to drop this baby for five days and when they finally broke the water at 2 p.m., he didn’t waste anytime plunging into the world at 3:40! She did it totally naturally because of a huge issue with spinal headaches for six weeks after the last delivery with an epidural, so she survived and as Charity would say, “Bless her!”
This wonder woman is even more beautiful after delivering this adorable “hunk”!
There’s a pretty proud daddy involved in all this who was at Kristi’s side every minute. Jacobson looks a little smaller in Noah’s arms!
What a special joy for this Grammie as they are giving him her maiden name for a first name. All the Jacobsons living and dead will be overjoyed! Kristi’s dad must be equally pleased to have his first name given as a middle name! His name will be Jacobson Scott Eyre.
It was totally serendipitous for me to be able to get on that Jet Blue red eye last night and arrive her at 6 a.m. this morning to see this adorable little guy! This was totally unplanned but Kristi’s parents are stranded in Guam with the aftermath of the volcanic ash and weren’t able to get here for a few days. I, of course, am in heaven with this little guy and this fun little family!
Since Kristi was at the birthing center for the delivery and then moved to the hospital with a cute French-speaking roommate who also snored, she decided to just go ahead and come home tonight! I can’t think of anything more fun (except for the actual birth)_than seeing the sheer delight of the siblings as they welcome home their new baby!
McKay was over the moon at the thought of having a brother yesterday and Lyla was not really interested. But it sure caught her interest tonight! See what you think!
McKay was pretty star-struck too!
Both kids are so enthralled and SO anxious to show their physical love that it reminded me of when I found Jonah at about McKay’s age, lovingly carrying Noah around in the front yard by the neck and shoulders when he wasn’t much older than Jacobson. “I think he’s gonna like it here” may be a little hard to swallow for Jacobson for a while when it comes to the physical adoration of his older siblings! Man does that bring back memories!
Still adoration goes a long way as this little guy begins his exciting life with his family.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I love weather. Especially when it’s changing! Finally we got a little taste of spring just as we were leaving for a speech in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dad grabbed this picture in the rear view mirror. Pretty cool.
Little Rock, as you will remember is the home of the Clintons and as soon as we saw the “Marching Ducks” (live trained ducks marching on the red carpet…go figure… to one of John Phillip Sousa’s marches at the Peabody Hotel where we were staying), I headed for the Clinton Library, just about 10 blocks up the street.
It was a fascinating look back at history that seemed as though it just happened but was actually quite a few years ago now.
It is also the home of Harriet Tubman, the great black heroine during the Civil War. Below is the plaque affixed to the memorial in her honor:
Having just finished a terrific book called The Help about a young white woman journalist chronicling the lives of several white families and their African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi during the time of Martin Luther King, it was just fascinating to hear those wonderful southern accents coming out of the mouths of the wives who came to the event. None of them had read it…being completely overwhelmed with just taking care of their kids. Only one mentioned that she had a black maid. It is a great book if you have time to read it.
Our hotel room was overlooking the Arkansas River and for the core members of Eyrealm, you can appreciate the words and music from Big River constantly running through our minds. I challenge you to see these words without the music popping into your mind…maybe for the rest of the day. “Arkansas, Arkansas, I just love old Arkansas! Love my ma, love my pa, but I just love ol’ Arkansas!” Here’s the view of the the big river from our room:
We had a fun event last night at a children’s museum
and then another one this morning for breakfast to talk more about specifics. These YPO people are really great parents, just trying their best to be better. They have really blessed kids as well as sometimes really hard kids…just like everyone else!
Home to the Tabernacle Choir benefit concert for Westridge Academy tonight. Our formal clothes are in the car and we’re excited to be there with the Carvers and about 1000 other people!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Since Saren is plunging forward with Power of Moms at www.powerofmoms.com with so many terrific ideas and Shawni www.71toes.blogspot.com and Saydi’s www.bostonshumways.blogspot.com blogs are also geared to helping moms and since Valuesparenting needs ideas and a new way to contact moms, we decided to have a 48 hour work weekend to collaborate our ideas for helping moms and families. Charity of course, was the frosting on the cake as we got lots of imput on India www.ouradventuresinIndia.blogspot.com as well as what is needed to prevent teenagers from being sent to rehab centers like the one she works at. The combination was magical and we had so much fun brainstorming like an ant colony all over the ant hill of motherhood!
We all flew into Phoenix on Saturday. Just before closing we got to the Phoenix Art Museum where we found an art exhibit photographs of four sisters who took a pictures every year for about forty years…always standing in the same order and for some reason, never smiling.
We decided we should do the same so here is picture #1…except that they just can’t help smiling! Note the “other sisters” in the background.
Sunday morning was pretty crazy with NINE women all trying to get ready for an 8 a.m. church at once! Poor Dave and Max were literally squeezed out!
Dave gave one heck of a great SS lesson which gave us fodder for podcasts which we had decided to make thanks to Saren’s urgings!
We had so much fun brainstorming about how to collaborate on our efforts to help moms be better and become better ourselves while we were at it!
We recorded five podcasts, which were really fun to do. We can’t wait to do more of them this summer and include all the Eyrealm moms who also have such great ideas. Charity hung in there on the podcasts adding to one that we made about ideas to teach kids empathy, even though we all got the giggles and it was hard to keep starting over! It will be so fun to post them on Valuesparenting which desperately needs a makeover and will be a nice addition to POM and anybody who wants to post them on blogs.
So many ideas surfaced about new ways we can reach mothers through websites and blogs as well as some new thoughts for the I Love Lucy project.
We made it through the 48 hours with just the right mix of agreements, disagreements and hardly a meltdown. How fun it was to be together to combine our brainpower.
We do have to say that we had some pretty spectacular food while were together. It is absolutely hysterical to hear these girls order food at a fun restaurant. The combination of different food tastes (luckily we are all crazy about Thai food) and gourmet cooks made it such great entertainment for me!
On the way to dinner we stopped at the famous Arizona Biltmore Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This stained glass window was actually created by him in the 1930’s.
In addition to everybody’s stimulating thoughts, many thanks to Shawni for loads of navigation on the Iphone, lots of gas and picking out some great places to eat as well as providing us with some great “kid moments” with her adorable kids! Thanks to Saren for keeping us inspired and focused, thanks to Charity for putting up with hours and hours of mom-talk and thanks to Saydi for going home on the red-eye with a stop-over in the middle of the night so she could spend a little more time with us and still be there in the morning for her kids!
We even got to see Josh! He has posted some of his pictures from Ethiopia in an album on his website if you want to take a look! He’ll be posting something on his blog soon too!
Of course no Eyre gathering would be complete without some jumping pictures! Here is my favorite one of the girls:
And my most unfavorite one of me! Looks like I think opening my mouth might make me jump higher. We laughed until we cried! It’s my knee you know…definitely NOT my age!
so we’re all back to our goodly trenches and in my case MORE snow!
Friday, April 9, 2010
When we were in India we met Rachel Denning who is living in India at RSO with her husband Greg and their four little children. They have an amazing website at www.discovershareinspire.com .She asked if I would send a post for their blog about what we have learned through the years through traveling with our children. It has been fun to reflect and collect and thanks to modern technology, we have digital photography to show for it. It’s nice to have a permanent record of at least a snippet of some of our best experiences. Here is the post:
When my husband Richard and I were married, one of the passions we shared was traveling. Another passion involved having a big family. Forty years down the road we have traveled to thirty countries with our nine children.
When we first started asking for advice about traveling with kids, people seemed to give us one of two contradicting bits of advice: (1) Long periods of travel is so disruptive to a family. It’s so important to provide stability for your kids by staying in the same place during their formative years allowing them to feel that they were growing up in a neighborhood where they have lifelong friends and are valued as part of a community OR (2) Just do it! It will give your kids so much breadth and depth, Give up your day job and experience life serendipitously, Let them see the world first hand and experience humanitarian service along the way. And then there were quite a few people who suggested it was prohibitively expensive and complicated to travel with more than a couple of children.
We decided we wanted both the stability and security and the adventure,learning and bonding that travel offers. And we decided that “where there’s a will there’s a way” and that somehow we’d make the expenses and complications work out.
We very carefully planned to have two home-bases - one in Utah and the other near Washington D.C.. Richard, a product of the Harvard Business School, had work opportunities in both places so we had built-in travel opportunities right off the bat as we moved back and forth for several years between these two places with our children going from one friendly community to the other. Richard put in a lot of work hours to generate a nest egg to draw on when we began to widen our travel horizons. There were some initial trips, like the one when we were moving across the country in an old car with two pre-schoolers and a baby with diarrhea, that we would like to forget. And we realized right away that traveling with kids wasn’t all fun and games. No matter how much we tried to simplify, there was always so much “stuff”, so many bottles, diapers and bathroom stops!
But forward we did go…first on road trips in the US and then spreading to the International scene. It would take a book to include all the details but suffice it to say that in the process of our work raising children, Richard and I ended up writing parenting books including a NY Times #1 best seller called Teaching Your Children Values and hoarded up frequent flyer miles from our book tours which helped a great deal in supporting our adventures.
Our first long trip overseas was a church assignment in London where we supervised 200 missionaries at a time for three years. When we left the U.S we had four children and our oldest was five. They still remember this experience as one of their best! Here they are, our oldest two in their Church of England school uniforms, our two year old thinking of his next adventure and the baby asleep somewhere in the house.
After three years in England we went back to our home-base in Utah. FYI: Ten years later we took all nine of our kids out of their US schools and went back to this house and the Church of England schools so that our younger kids (two who were born there and three who were born after we left) could experience what our older children had. By now the children were older and it was an enlightening education for all…especially our fashion-conscious sophomore in high school who cried all the way to school every day in her “ugly brown uniform” claiming that we had ruined her life, only to come forth in later years declaring that it was the best thing we had ever done for her! Even though our U.S. teachers fretted and often weren’t very nice about our kids missing school, this time for six months, sometimes for one month, we love the Mark Twain quote, “Never let schooling get in the way of your education!”
Usually our adventures were during the three month summer break or over the Christmas holidays. One summer we rented two little side-by-side condos in the little impoverished town of Ajijic, Mexico. That was the first eye-opener for our kids that the world was very different than in the “bubble” where we lived…and that you don’t have to have shoes to be happy!
Another summer we decided to expose the kids to the really hard work our pioneer ancestors would have experienced by building a log cabin in the wilderness of the Blue Mountains in Oregon. We lived in a teepee while we built and our two-year-old looked like he had been rolled in honey and then sprinkled with dirt by 10 a.m. every morning. In the picture below he had also just been bitten by some bug that left a puffy eye and whoever took this picture put a thumb over the lens, and blotted out a few kids but you’ll get the idea.
My greatest asset for this adventure was that I had never camped out in my life – I had no idea what I was getting myself into! What fun we had with the wonders of nature, finding bear tracks, working hard and learning to cook, first with Dutch ovens over a fire pit, and then on an old cast iron stove that we moved into the cabin when it was almost finished. There was no electricity and our refrigerator was a hole in the ground filled with ice cold spring water.
Our adventures through the years includes a summer in Japan, during which our kids had a chance to attend Japanese schools for a day and learning just how different a culture can be from our own. Our little first grader’s class ended at half day, which they neglected to tell us. He was terrified to go in the first place and not seeing his parents come to collect him at the end of a scary morning was his worst nightmare. Twenty years later, he is selling a terrific software program that teaches elementary age kids from other countries to speak English. His best story is telling them that he knows exactly how it feels to be surrounded by kids who are speaking a different language with no idea of what is going on and subsequently what an invaluable product this software is for the schools to help their kids acclimate to their new life! Who would have known?
After a few more years of going from an adventure back to a home base, either in Utah or Washington D.C. (actually McLean, Virginia) we started thinking about not only traveling for the sake of experience but also for the benefits of doing humanitarian expeditions while we were at it.
As our children grew older, our opportunities for travel became even more exciting. Each of our children has had the splendid experience of serving an eighteen month to two year mission for our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). After applying to go on a mission, 19-21 year-olds in our church receive a letter in the mail near their birthday that informs them where they would be giving their service. Sometimes during and sometimes just at the end of our kids’ missionary service, the rest of us have taken a trip to the country where they are serving. Richard and I with the help of the kids did seminars, often through interpreters, on methods for improving family life and we had the opportunity to give service while we were there. Our first two daughters went to Bulgaria and Romania, respectively so we had a chance to meet wonderful people in those countries as well as to serve in orphanages there. Dear friends organized a way for us to stay for a month in Romania during this time just after Eastern Europe was opened to the world. There we, along with our seven younger children, worked in an orphanage for children with special needs. That memory is forever emblazoned on our kids’ minds and hearts.
Other children’s missions included England (3 went back to our mission from so many years ago), Spain, Brazil, Chile and Japan. In each case we took as many children as were home at the time and let them share the experience of the mission with their siblings. This dedication to our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ has profoundly shaped their character and solidified their love for serving others as well as experiencing new cultures.
By then, not only traveling but humanitarian service had gotten into all our blood. Our youngest daughter was 12 when we went on our first official humanitarian expedition to a third world country with a group called CHOICE Humanitarian. One year when we were truly sick thinking of getting more “stuff” for Christmas, all the kids agreed that they would give up their Christmas if we could get them a ticket to Bolivia to help villagers on the Altiplano of Bolivia (14,000 feet) to bring water into their village for the first time. We left on Christmas day. With other families in our group, our goal was to finish the trenches begun by the villagers with our picks and shovels and lay enough PVC pipe from the water source on the hill to the village. When the pipe was installed, they’d be able to get clean water into the village for the first time in its history. The villagers supervised and we all worked toether diligently, including an 80 year old grandmother as we chipped away at the rock hard soil. After working for days during every minute of daylight with only our meager hand tools the villagers ceremoniously turned on the first water tap ever in their village on January 1st. The villagers were thrilled but the looks on our kids’ faces were priceless!
After our hard work in the village, we traveled to Machu Picchu where we loved soaking in that incredible historical monument to human ingenuity. It was so spectacular to climb the mountain in the background and feel as though you were on top of the world, that one of our sons (the one looking spaced out..gazing into the great yonder on the back row) took his adorable girlfriend back to that mountain top years later to ask her to marry him!
Here we are with other members of the expedition. Those memories just don’t fade!
That was so much fun that the following summer we took the kids to Africa for another project in a remote village in Kenya. We built a cistern to catch water for their use during droughts, slept in the schoolhouse in sleeping bags under mosquito nets, built desks that the kids had earned money for before we left home and learned to make bricks for a new schoolroom.
At a makeshift medical clinic our kids learned first-hand how to get rid of the scabies that dotted almost every villagers’ legs especially those of the children. Six hundred people from surrounding villages were lined up by 5 a.m.every morning for medical care in hopes of, at the very least, getting an aspirin! We had two nurses, a couple of medical students and a dentist with us. Mothers came to me with their baby’s stomachs swollen to bursting thinking that because I was a white woman I would know how to help. It was both heart-wrenching and incredibly life-changing for all of us, especially our teenagers.
After our work in the village making friends and learning about the 3rd world 1st hand, we had arranged to spend the next week on a safari on the Masai Mara and then a week climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Everyone made it to the top and though I still have a bad knee to show for it, I wouldn’t give up the experience for all the good knees in the world! Here we are the kids with our guides at the top, 21,450 feet! Richard and I were about an hour behind.
After each of our fun adventures that combined humanitarian service with a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Machu Picchu or on Safari or even climbing MT Kilimanjaro we asked the kids what they valued most. There was a resounding chorus as they all agreed that it was the humanitarian experience in the villages!
With service in our blood, the next summer we built a health clinic in a rural Mexican village and the list of fun and exciting humanitarian projects broadened until we found ourselves recently in Southern India where we met Rachel and Greg Denning, who are the creators of this amazing website and blog. They are adventurers extraordinaire and watching them create a life of adventure and service for themselves that so few would be brave enough to embrace is truly an inspiration!
Even though we are now empty nesters, the “traveling blood” continues to flow in us as well as our children and their spouses. In January after a speaking tour on parenting in the Middle East and India Richard and I had the wonderful opportunity to be with Greg and Rachel at a remarkable NGO called Rising Star Outreach begun by some giant humanitarians to help the poorest of the poor of India in the Leprosy affected colonies and their children and grandchildren in Southern India.
One of our sons was married in September to a wondrous woman and they are on a nine month humanitarian honeymoon. They began in Mozambique with an NGO called Care for Life and are finishing at Rising Star Outreach in India. What they and so many others have done to change the lives of these little children is truly remarkable! How fun it was to join them and then be joined by our youngest daughter and her roommates (in the picture below). Our son who is very tall is in the center, his wife is to the right, Richard beside her and our youngest daughter to his left. Greg Denning is on the far left.
There is just nothing like seeing your “baby” daughter surrounded by beautiful Indian children whom she is teaching and who love her. Or to see her beaming at the opportunity of sitting by a woman with leprosy who hasn’t had any fingers to cook for her family, do her children’s hair or even scratch an itch for twenty years. The lessons in life from travel and humanitarian service reaches far beyond what can be written or explained. It’s a feeling from the heart!
So even though we’ve had some incredible adventures with our children, we did go back to our home bases after each one and our kids had the opportunity to play on high school basketball teams, develop lifelong friendships, go on choir trips and be ready for the ACT and SAT tests when they were ready to enter college. All have now graduated from various colleges including Wellesley College (3 daughters) Brigham Young University, Utah State University, Weber State University, Harvard and Columbia. There are so many ways to travel with children and make it a lifelong successful, enriching and life-changing experience. This way seemed to work best for us!
With that traveling blood still flowing freely throughout the Eyre family, from January to March this year we had our two children and a daughter-in-law in India, a son on a humanitarian mission in Ethiopia, a son and his wife who just returned from living in New Zealand, a son and his wife visiting Puerto Rico, a son and his wife visiting Mexico, and our daughter and son-in law (who spent their honeymoon doing a humanitarian project in the Philippines) traveling with their three little children to Disneyland (just to prove that there’s always room for frivolity)!
All thirty five of us love being together for a family reunion in July at our “other” home base at Bear Lake, Idaho!
The lessons we have all learned from traveling is something that just can’t be learned in a classroom and can’t be explained in one blog entry. It is so much more than we ever envisioned or even imagined in our wildest dreams! We have recently asked our children to write their favorite memories of growing up with Richard and I. Every one included our family traveling adventures as most memorable and something that truly shaped their lives.