Tag Archive | family

Christmas Greetings

Dear Friends and Family, Hard to believe 2011 has flown by and here we are in the midst of another Christmas Season, although we’re sure by the time you get this…its more likely to be 2012. We hope that this Christmas season finds your homes filled family laughter, love, and the Spirit of Christmas!The biggest change for 2011 is that we are officially “Empty Nesters” as of August. It seems like just yesterday we had four kids under five years old and our lives were full of diapers, sippy cups and endless hours of Barney and Sesame Street. Move that forward 18 years and we find ourselves with one college graduate and three in college–now that is superb planning!

Kyle has successfully made the transition from college student to independent living as a project manager for a financial services company in Charlottesville. He’s only two hours away so we do see him fairly frequently. He started dating a beautiful young lady from Cincinnati, OH , a grad student at UVA. She goes by “Lexie”. They enjoy wine tasting and music, as well as Kyle’s 18 month-old -massive 150 pound English Mastiff puppy, Porter, the “gentle giant”.



Curtis will graduate with a mechanical engineering degree from University of Virginia in May. He and Kyle live a couple of miles apart and are able to get together on occasion which is nice. He is in the early stages of active job hunting. He’s been fortunate to have had several solid engineering internships with the Department of Defense which he’s hoping to parlay into a job with either one of the larger defense firms or with the government. He is president of his Christian acapella group which released another CD this year. Curt and Rachael just celebrated 4 years of dating this fall.

Keith is in his second year at James Madison University (JMU)—the same school Kyle attended and loves it. He also is an Engineering major and is in Air Force ROTC. Keith also is involved with college acapella, and has become the primary “Beat Boxer”, providing vocal percussion for The Madison Project. Keith had an engineering internship last summer with the Dulles Airport Authority and really enjoyed it. Keith is a Belltower Books manager on the JMU campus, and is looking into summer internships in the engineering field for summertime. He and his girlfriend, Sarah, a longtime family friend, have been dating almost 2 years.




Kelli is a freshman vocal performance and music education major, also at JMU. She is adjusting well to dorm life with her high school friend roommate, and has amassed dozens of new friends within just a few short weeks. In addition to her rigorous music classes, Kelli is performing with The BluesTones acapella group and thoroughly enjoys the stage. She also helps to lead music in the college church worship team. Kelli works at Panera Bread Company on her holiday and summer breaks, and sells and buys books with Belltower Book company on her college campus during the school year. She and Keith get home every few weeks a visit here, but their absence has left our home very quiet since the start of the semester.


National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.

Koryn moved out of her closet art/work area this year, and into Kyle’s old bedroom-turned-studio where she stamps out handmade creations most days. Her business, The Taffy Box, has grown exponentially this year, which I’m afraid may end up costing more in taxes as a home business than we realize! Still, the success and growth has allowed for more travel to visit out-of-state family. In 2012 she plans a trip to Hong Kong to visit her good friend who recently moved there, and Seattle where a long-time friend now resides. Owning her own business makes vacation time unlimited! Her health has remained steady with a few bumps along the way, as life after cancer treatments can take its toll, but things are A-okay for which we are blessed and grateful!

Tim continues to work for the government as civilian at the Pentagon. He works on the acquisition of some of the military’s unmanned aircraft systems, many of which you hear about in the news. While Tim enjoys his “play” time, whether it be fishing, running, tennis or golf, this year has NOT been a marquee year. In May, Tim developed a very rare neuro-muscular disease called Parsonage Turner Syndrome (Neuralgic Amyotrophy) which left his left shoulder partially paralyzed and both arms and hands in various stages of profound weakness and paralysis and pain. He’s been doing physical and occupational therapy 3-4 times a week and has made some improvement. He’s a little more functional than he was during the summer. His doctors have said the progress is encouraging but to expect a 2-5 year recovery. Once he recovers, he figures it’s a good excuse to start over learning how to play golf! All in all, it’s been quite humbling, but he is grateful for progress and the prayers of friends and family. Once again, we know and feel God’s grace through tough circumstances, and we grow in our faith in a deeper way. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in November and we will take a trip to Sandals St Lucia (an island in the Carribean) in March. Despite living and travelling around the world with the Air Force, we’ve never been to the Caribbean, so we are excited. Tim hopes to scuba dive again…we’ll see.

In closing, we hope you have a Merry Christmas season and experience its joy through
times spent with family and friends. We look forward to hearing from you or even better…a visit! We have 4 empty beds now!

Tim & Koryn

Kyle, Curtis, Keith and Kelli Hutchison

A Change Of Pace

I am in Missouri this week, babysitting my 2 year old nephew and 5 year old niece. Ten days of stepping back YEARS in my own life of 6 a.m.wakeup calls and bed time giggles and story time.

The joys of childhood’s innocence! There is nothing quite like that wide eyed wonder of falling leaves, spider webs, starry skies and making pancakes!
Today we spent the day at a working farm with barn animals, a place we use to take our own kids 15 years ago when we lived here. A dry, sunny Indian Summer day, and perfect for our picnic too!

I captured lots of great photo shots (even showed my niece how to get a great pose! She took this photo of me) – and we enjoyed a visit with grandpa and grandma in the afternoon.
Even though this is an exhausting pace,it is a wonderful change of pace, and one that I am thoroughly enjoying! Read more below…
Although I am on a bit of a working “vacation”, I am ALWAYS in the fight against breast cancer, and reading, researching, and collecting all of the information that I can.The month of October has no shortage of resources! Click on this link or directly on the video at the bottom of this page to listen to what Dr. Susan Love has to say about where we need to go now in our fight, and how the pink ribbon awareness campaigns of 25 years have worn out their welcome….what we need now is to END breast cancer.


“No change”.

This was the word I received from my oncologist in a phone call today. Last week’s CT scan of my right lung noted no changes (or growth) to the nodule seen in March, and they want to re-scan it again in 6 months. An enlarged lymph node was noted as well. I guess I am suppose to feel relieved….”satisfied”….but somehow I feel, well, in limbo.  Like I am waiting for a bomb to drop. They wouldn’t give me the “all clear”…And maybe this feeling comes from having been through cancer and having a bomb dropped on me once before, without warning, without symptoms, vulnerable and scared.  A post traumatic stress disorder, of sorts.  Always feeling like I must remain on guard. Always on watch. Terrified of it coming back again, terrified of it killing me.  I’ve probably read w-a-y too many stories and heard far too many unfavorable outcomes, and so it’s easy to let myself fear the worst, but then I must remind myself that all too often its not the good outcome stories we hear about or the stories of triumph and survival, and I know there are far more of those than not .  But for the time being I must be satisfied with this result and consider it as my doctor said, “good news”. 🙂  I am taking an oral anti-cancer drug now which is suppose to starve off any lingering cancer cells that might try to grow, and I take this drug for the next 5 years so I am doing everything within my power to stay cancer free.  That is all I can do.  “Give it up to God” what I can’t do, as my son says!  Besides, there’s nothing telling us this that this nodule is cancerous,  unless it starts to grow, and so that is what they keep checking.

This coming weekend that son, Keith, graduates from high school and leaves 2 days later to work at Young Life camp at US Army Camp Darby, Italy, on crew along with a couple hundred other staffers.  We are busy getting him packed up and ready to be away for a month.  Needless to say he is a wee bit excited!

Fathers Day orders poured in last week and I have been busily stamping up my projects and trying to stay afloat! This, plus making plans for Tim’s retirement and booking all of the details for our England/Ireland trip give me little time for fretting! Now to go to a cupcake!

Here is a great song about how I know one can get through trials of any kind. It is called “I Get On My Knees”. It’s called prayer…crying out to the heart of God…take a listen! If you can’t see the embed video, click here . “Cuz I’ve learned in laughter or in pain, how to SURVIVE! I get on my knees!”


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To view archived entries dating back to Sept. 2008, see the list at the right below the photos and links.

Dinner is Done! (in advance)

Dream Dinners being assembled

Last night I attended a “sneakpeek” preview of a new business in town called Dream Dinners.  Maybe you’ve heard of these places where you assemble dinners for your family in a party type atmosphere and leave the mess and clean up behind!?  What a beautiful store!  15 or so of my friends and I came and donned our aprons and head scarfs to assemble a dinner entree to take home.  The best part of the evening was that it was FREE (and, well, the great wine that Renee brought!)  The concept behind this business is that you quickly put together meals in their kitchen, no mess at home, and easy prep on your busy nights when a home cooked meal is called for.  We live in a crazy metropolitan area here in metro Washington D.C.  People commute 1 – 1 1/2 hours to and from work each day.  Working women don’t have time to come home and cook.  At-home working women deserve a convenient alternative to cooking every night of the week!  I can definately see the market for this here!  Watch this video to see what it’s all about! Dream Dinners How To

Over the course of the evening we were able to taste test two of the available dishes, Country French Chicken and Peach Glazed Pork Chops.  Yum!  Both were really delicious and very healthy! In less than five minutes my dish was prepared.  I brought it home and placed it in the freezer for future use.  I’ll be relly glad to have a meal all ready and set to go on a busy night, and in a family with three teenagers, our home is always busy!  As with any convenience food, the cost is certainly higher than if you shopped and prepared everything yourself (about double for entree costs – average $25 for 6 entree servings) , but for many it is well worth the time, hassle, mess and headache saved.    Besides, you have a lof of fun and time with your friends in a relaxed, clean and organized kitchen setting.  For the nearest location to you, and to view sample menus and get all of your questions answered,  go to http://dreamdinners.com

A SEA OF SOCKS – laundry outa control

PLEASE! Someone come help me fold these socks! Better yet, let’s make a matching game for the kids on the ping pong table! I counted one day and figured out that over 200 socks come out of my dryer each and every week! Between the kids socks, my husbands and my work out socks, my husband’s work socks, the kids work socks (three have jobs now) ,
the kids soccer socks and church socks, well you get the idea! So one day I layed them all out and called the kids down to do a matching game and see who could pair their socks the fastest! This worked when they were 7 years old but now that they are 15 to 18 years old, it just aint happenin’! I told my family I do not fold socks anymore. The white ones go into one basket and the dark or colored socks go into another. (You don’t even see THOSE in these photos!) I’ve suggested they sit in front of their favorite TV show and fold just their own socks for the whole upcoming week. Nope! They still go to the laundry room every morning, sometimes in the frigid cold basement, and pull out a matching pair, which can sometimes take a while to find!, and only get that pair for that day! How did I raise kids like this? HELP!

IT’S HERE! my son’s new cd!

 Kyle, age 19 New CD Limelight

My son, Kyle’s singing group, Exit 245, has just released it’s CD Limelight! Hot off the press, you can hear snippettes of each song at this site, or full versions of a couple of songs at their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/exit245.
This group is 16 college guys, who sing a capella, with no instruments at all, but plenty of beat boxing sound effects and they bring in hundreds of fans at every concert. I’m one of their biggest fans! Mom the groupie, they call me! I’m so proud! (Can ya tell?)
Can you see his name in teeney tiny print here?…..>

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? puppy love!


Colby at 3 months

This is colby. He is almost 7 months old.  He is a golden retreiver, and by all accounts, the perfect pet, albeit with his quirky doggy imperfections!  Colby came into our lives last fall after the tragic sudden loss of Sandy, our 9 year old golden.  After twelve days of absolute grief and mourning, we , uh, I, found Colby at a nearby breeder’s, and brought him home to love. 

Now let me assure you, I didn’t want to admit it at the time, but an 11 week old puppy is NOT a 9 year old dog, and a male 11 week old puppy is NOT a submissive, docile FEMALE dog!  Colby has a mind of his own.  He needs much self discipline.  Much correction.  Much help!  He is a work in progress.  I’ve spent a small fortune replacing things he has chewed to bits, such as my son’s work shoes and a lead crystal angel he pulled down off the buffet.  He seems to have a fiber shortage in his diet because he devours anything paper such as newspaper, books, folders, coupons, recipes, magazines, you name it.  He jumps up to see what he can find on the table or counter, and drags it into the living room. Actually, he doesn’t eat these so much as he chews them up into tiny pieces and leaves them all over the place for me to clean up.  In short, he is like having another child to pick up after, as if four kids and a husband weren’t enough! He never does any of this when we are watching.  I get to come home, open the door, and find his little surprises awaiting me. 

I think Colby is actually more of a social critter than any of us imagined a dog could be.  When we leave the house he just goes into a deep depression and can’t help himself.  He wants us nearby and that’s that.  A mama’s boy.  A high-need, emotional wreck!  What have I gotten myself into!?  Just when my kids were growing up, more independent, and my soccer mom days becoming less chaotic, I’ve taken myself back ten years.  What was I thinking?

HERE is what I was thinking ….let me tell you…

 that I really need to be needed.  I like having someone to feed and take on walks.  I really love the feel of soft fluffy fur.  I like to be licked all over in sweet abandon.  I am a dog person.  What’s not to love? ♥