Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family Ties

Well, I was able to get somewhat caught up on reading everyone's blogs this evening. You guys write the most interesting stuff and your photos are a total joy to view, as always.  :-)

I just wanted to share some thoughts and a picture from Monday night, when my youngest brother, Mike, his wife, Debbie and their daughter, Riley, came by our house to visit, and then the 5 of us went to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant where they, and we, celebrated our wedding anniversaries. (The food was delicious, btw!)

Left to Right: Riley, Debbie and Mike
First off, it was SO good to see all of them since they live in Nevada (40 minutes northeast of Reno) where Mike transferred for his job 8 years ago. We only get to see them once a year, or maybe once every other year. Riley, now age 9, has grown like a weed--she's tall and skinny!!! (She is our god daughter too.)

Riley is considered a "gifted child" because her intelligence has always been 2-4 years ahead of her actual grade/age, so her parents, and her school, struggle to keep her from getting bored in her studies (she is an all "A" student). She is a total computer wizard, is an avid small plane "co-pilot" (her parents stay on the ground and watch while Riley flies in the co-pilot seat), and will be joining the "Young Eagles" flying club for kids later this year where she'll continue to fly in, and learn about small planes, as well as receive virtual flying lessons and learn about aircraft engines, aerodynamics, etc. Like I said, she is one smart cookie.

Having a conversation with her is an absolute joy because emotionally and physically, she is still a 4th grader (well, she'll be going into 5th grade in the fall); but mentally, she's definitely a few years older. She amazes us with her large vocabulary and ability to comprehend a wide scope of adult-type topics. My favorite hobby with her is to make her put down whatever hand-held computerized gizmo she's playing on and make her be JUST A KID. And because of that, it seems we share a special bond.  :-)

Here are a few of the conversations we had last night that truly warmed my heart...

Me (when I discovered that we were alone in the back seat of her dad's rental car
because everyone else had gone into a Starbucks to get coffee):
"Well, everyone is gone except us. You know what that means, right?"
Riley: "Yes, Aunt Deb!  It means PARTY TIME for us!"
(She's the only niece or nephew that affectionately calls me 'Aunt Deb.' LOL)
And as she turned up the volume on her hand-held kids' computer game,
it blasted music, 
and the people in the parking lot around us probably thought that we were weird 
because we had our arms up in the air, 
singing and dancing like fools.
She even taught me a new "robot" dance. LOLOL
Of course, when the rest of the adults got back into the car, we were quiet,
as if nothing had happened. 
But we shared a grin between us that was totally special.

As my brother and his wife were saying "good night" and walking out the door,
I grabbed Riley and gave her tons of little kisses while making loud kissing noises
right between her neck and shoulder
(just like I used to do to Angela when she was Riley's age)
knowing that this area was ticklish.
Riley giggled, and fell to her knees, laughing.
As she started to walk out the door, she ran back to me again and said,
"Can you do that kissy thing just one more time?"
And I obliged, of course,
which caused her to burst into new fits of laughs and giggles.

We'll be seeing Mike and his family again Saturday, which is when my sis is having all of us over for a family pool party & BBQ. And, as always, I look forward to sharing laughs and grins with my adorable niece. I think there's also a possibility I'll see the 3 of them on Sunday too, when Mike gets together with a bunch of his old band-mates (he plays several instruments) at my other brother's roomy auto repair shop so they can "jam" like they used to when he still lived in Michigan. The 3 of them will then fly home on Monday.  :-(

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your week is full of fun surprises and giggles.  :-)


  1. Glad you are having a good time with your brother and his family. I can't believe how much she looks like Mike did when he was younger! At least in that picture she does!

  2. Awww, how fun for you and Riley! She's a cutie pie! And, reminds me so much of my nephew Michael who has talked "over my head" since he was a child!! I used to try and 'get it' but I gave up and just nod my head!!

    Enjoy the time remaining of your visit, Debbie!!

  3. OMG....FLYING?? That is Some little girl y'all have there!! Wow!

  4. How great it is to see them again & catch up on visiting! Riley sure sounds like neat young gal!