Monday, July 13, 2009

Fun and games in the Buff...

Ryan's mom and sister came into town last week. As you can tell from the photo, we had fun. (As you can also tell from the photo, Ashley is a former cheerleader, Ryan is a good basketball player, and I am...well...uncoordinated. I am a pathetic two inches off the ground.)

We went to Palmyra for a spiritual uplift. The church historical sights were crowded and therefore not quite as peaceful as usual; but the Hill Cumorah pageant was awesome. I was amazed by the special effects!

We also ventured into Canada for a day of shopping and fun in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We got in trouble for taking this photo in a hat shop. We didn't notice the 100 signs all over the store that say "no photos." Oops.

Ashley and Ryan were also quite excited to see Lake Ontario.

In fact, they were so excited that they just had to jump for joy again. (I, however, chose not to embarrass myself with a repeat performance of my uninspiring leap.)


"Miss Ashley" (who is a fabulous cook) hosted the Cookie Club one afternoon. She helped the kids make caramel chocolate cookies, and I have to admit, they might be the yummiest cookies those kiddos have ever had at the Nielson's apartment. (I've been shown up!)

A highlight of the trip was the "cookout" with Deborah's family. Deb's mom, Patricia, was so excited to meet Sally and Ashley. When I called her a few days before their arrival to make final plans for the BBQ, she asked if we could come a little early to help her set up and grill the food.

"Sure!" I responded. "What time would you like us to be there?"

"How about 11:00?"

"Sounds good!"

"And if you come at 11:00, I figure we can eat around 3:00."


What was I supposed to say to that?? I was speechless. (And that doesn't happen very often.)

So, long story short, we learned that a real Buffalo "cookout" is an entire day event with lots of stories and soul food. (We especially enjoyed the greens.:)) It was rainy, so we sat in the garage and ate and listened to rap music. We also played a rowdy game of Jenga. They are delightful.

Deborah lost this round but blamed me for distracting her.
She knocked the tower over just as I snapped this photo. :)

The moms did all of the grilling.
Check out that old school grill...the ribs were smoky and delicious.

Before we left, Patricia found out that Sally and Ash (or Janice and Gail as she kept calling them) have never tried a buffalo wing. She immediately insisted, "Well, you'll just have to come over tomorrow after church and I'll make you some!"

I wasn't sure if I could handle two full-day cookout events in a row...but (perhaps fortunately), we already had dinner plans for the following evening. So Ash and Sal will have to wait another year to try one of Patricia's famous wings. The Tilleys are so generous and welcoming. We love Buffalo.

Overall, it was a great week. Sally spoiled us, and it was a treat to have a mom and a sister around.

Thanks, Ash and Sal, for coming to hang out with us in the Buff!


  1. Wow, it looks like you had a ball with Janice and Gail!!! :) That cracked me up! As did your jump. :) Ry looks great in that hat! Hats are trendy for guys...maybe he should become a hat guy when you guys are out and about in the sun!

  2. oh my! I am going to talk to sally and ashley about not inviting me! Rude! You haven't had a cousin come visit yet!

  3. That sound SO FUN! Makes me pumped for my visit. Woo hoo!

  4. Looks like you guys had such a fun time!! My mom read the post and said, "I had no idea Ryan was so animated!" I thought it was funny considering she only really knows him through your blog :)


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