Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Matthew!!!

Happy 19th Birthday, Matthew!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, too!!

We miss you!!

You will find your birthday card below.......


Matthew has had quite a busy year since his 18th birthday!
He had three leads in three plays.......built two sets......graduated from high school....visited beautiful places....skied & shovelled.....

....applied for the Rotary Youth Exchange Program........

.........went to Switzerland....and more!!!


Here, is his year in pictures.....
.......and tell us which one you like the best and why!

I got carried away.........there are a lot of pictures........

......and I could have used one, where I used two, or three.......or more :)


Aw, well...it is my perogative..... :)

(BLOGGER puts all of those wide spaces in the post......not me!!!)

Matthew & his two brothers, last November 2008
Garrett & Malachy

Matthew had the lead in charter school fall play,
a few photos follow

this was actually just before his birthday last fall...

He also built the set.
Matthew with two co-stars.

Matthew, with his sister Sarah in the scarf....and Gavin and Kayla.

Did you know Matthew has an addiction?

Yes, we don't talk about it much.

He is addicted to babies......


he has this strange power over them.......

......getting them to sleep,

even if they were not sleepy.

Even if they just had a nap.

Above is Matthew with a new Benedict,

my little godson, son of John & Gloria, of San Francisco.



The 2 photos below are NOT from his last year, but from winter 20..

08........I told you I got carried away :)

Matthew had a great role in E/R, a play performed at the local junior college.

It was his first college role.

He was SO funny, playing a clean-cut kid who was tricked into taking an ecstasy tablet.

Can you tell?



Okay, now the rest is up-to-date!

Matthew's next role at the college was a lead part.


It was a play within a play........

a down-and-out community theater does A Christmas Carol for their winter show....

Matthew' part is hard to explain quickly....

....but within the play.....

...his six-foot-two character ends up playing Tiny Tim.....

...so, you can imagine the silliness.

See below....these photos, and the two above taken by Jason.


This was the FUNNIEST monologue........

.....and it is one of the biggest regrets in my life that I did not pirate a video of this!!!

And Tiny Tim says, "God bless us, everyone!"

That is Anne holding up the train! ;)


On the chair lift.....

Don't you love that mountain in the background?

The usual crowd:

Sarah, Maddelyn, Gavin, Malachy, Matthew & Garrett

A father and his sons: Matthew, Marty, Malachy & Garrett


And, then, we will really be missing Matthew every winter now,

for the rest of our lives......below is how he spends some of his winter

Garrett & Matthew in the backyard

Matthew on the roof, looking at the back of our house

(You should see how much snow we had in 2008!!)

Matthew cut out a little space on the roof for himself.

that's him again.....


We went to visit their Great Grandma in Eureka, California on the Northern coast in March

These are the first photos with my new camera

Matthew is browsing in one of his favorite haunts....

...a used bookstore in Old Town Eureka........where he feeds his other addiction.

I have NO idea who he inherited that from???

Across the street from the bookstore.......all six kids.....you probably know them by now :)

You also probably know that Matthew is always the tall one......wonder if his brothers will ever catch up...they are doing some serious growing now!

Maddelyn loves Matthew!!

We are at "Sunset Beach" as we call it.......we have no idea what this place is really called. But I used to ask the kids when they were little if they wanted to go watch the sunset at the beach...and the gave it the name!

How cool a shot is this???

Matthew & Maddelyn.

On the bluff looking over the ocean.

How's THAT for a piece of driftwood!!

Six kids from Hearts' Haven

Matthew with two sisters.....Maddelyn & Anne

I love this!

Love the sky and ocean......stripes behind the vertical

Uncle Steve got us out of bed at 4:30am to watch thousands of geese take off.....we did, but it was much farther away than he imagined....it was still fun to be in the hush of the early morning, before others were about....and to see the sun rise......followed by donuts!

You will notice Sarah is missing fom the above picture....she refused to get up so early. :)

Thanks, Uncle Steve, for the inspiration!!

Now the sun is up.....the kids with Uncle Steve......their Great-uncle

This place was just south of Eureka, near a preserve where we love to visit.

Still on the northern California coast, we went to visit Fern Canyon.....

.....one of our favorite places in the whole world.

Matthew & his littlest brother, Malachy.

We had never been there in March before......before the State park folks have placed the footbridges.......thus we had to walk barefoot on rocks.....in freezing cold water....needless to say...I did not do much walking :)

Matthew and his littlest sister, Maddelyn, walking in the Redwoods above Fern Canyon

Love the shadows!

on a foot bridge in the Redwoods

3 boys : 3 girls


The six again.....

....on the way home from Eureka,

on State Highway 299....this is the Trinity River

I like how Maddelyn is turned opposite the rest....it just changes the whole perspective!!

Up at midnight to celebrate Garrett's 12th birthday as soon as the clock turned.

Matthew sits with his stack of books found at the above bookstore....$1 each!!!

Matthew has been part of a cast of homeschooling/homeschooled kids making a WWII movie......this is before the shower.


Matthew & Katie

In April, Matthew went down to Davis orientation for the Rotary Youth Exchange....

......and Katie came along, as a rebounder.....

..........one who had returned in the previous year from an exchange

Katie is my friend Sheila's daughter......we have known Katie since she was five years old.

The jacket she is wearing is typical of all the exchange students.

They wear it when they are to represent Rotary.

Notice all of the pins?

The students exchange pins when they meet and collect more on their travels.


After a mass in April, we stopped for a visit at the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.

Matthew & two sisters, yet again. Maddelyn & Anne.

Matthew is the tall one...Marty is driving the car....while everyone else walked.

This is the random picture here...of the three boys the day Malachy was born.....

October 20, 2001

Garrett is 4 1/2 years & Matthew is just about 11 years old

Matthew and his mountain

Taken April 2009

at my birthday picnic at the lake


Matthew & his big sister, at her graduation with her AA from our local junior college.

May 2009

The close-up

And, the full shot.

We took some time in a crazy week,
to take a hike to McCloud Falls so AJ could see
some local falls before he returned to San Diego.

Matthew lounging on a rock just before Lower Falls
Matthew had the lead in the charter school's spring play:
The Gazebo
It was so good!
He also built this set, too.
Here is a photo essay......
Matthew is writing the plans for the set....
.....the door is from Gloria's parents house,
as is most of the furniture on the set......

Kyle, Matthew's #1
Marty is in the background
In this case,
Matthew led Marty through his building process,
instead of the other way around....

The same three.........

The cast rehearsing on the almost finished set.......Matthew is to the left.
And, now for the play.......

Matthew & Sierra
aka Elliot & Nell
This was the press release photo
Check out that gazebo!!
Matthew created it out of one piece of cardboard, it is still in one piece!
Sarah created the hearts.

Matthew & Sierra in real 1950'2 clothing.
We were playing around.......
the photo developer and an old lady would not believed I had just taken this photo the day before......

Ah, there is Matthew with a baby in his arms, yet again......
......this time it is Liam, Sierra's youngest brother.

Elliot was a writer.......you may have seen this on Matthew's facebook profile lately......

Nell & Elliot

Kyle & Sierra, siblings, and Matthew

Sierra & Matthew, and Maddelyn as the housekeeper.
Near the end of the play........this was on the night of filming,
not an actual run of the play.....
.....it was close to 2am
We have here, Sierra, Kyle, Matthew, Max & Samuel (another brother of Sierra)
Max had to learn his part in just a couple of hours due to losing a member of the cast for the filming.........you can see Matthew & Kyle trying not to crack up...Max had quite the monologue...and he had to ad lib sometimes...and it was FUNNY!

Gloria & Matthew & baby Bennie

At the end of May 2009,
Matthew participated in our charter school's high school graduation.
It was so lovely! Everyone said so.
It was the best graduation I have ever been to!
Matthew had been with our educational facilitator since he was in first grade.
A brief photto essay follows, again.......
..........because I can not seem to limit myself to one...or two...or four photos........

Above, Matthew introduces the keynote speaker, whom he had chosen and invited:
one of his favorite college teachers.......and Anne's favorite college teacher:
Eve Thompson, who had just retired the week before. :((((
A few students had volunteered.....
......or, in Matthew's case, been volunteered, to perform for graduation.
In typical Matthew fashion,
it was the night before graduation that he finally
decided to recite a favorite poem of his.
Some of you may remember he won county in Poetry Out Loud...
...this was his third poem for state.
He was able to fill this packed 500 seat auditorium with his voice.
Of course...our family is quite good at being loud, I mean projecting.
The Glove and the Lions
By Leigh Hunt

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,
And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.


Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another;
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there."

De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;
She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I'll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.


She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
"By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat:
"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."


Shelly, our educational facilitator, handing Matthew his diploma.
That is a photo of Matthew on the big screen behind them.
And, that really is the Statue of Liberty!

A crowd of well-wishers present at the graduation.
Looks like we have Maria and some of her kids: Sierra, Samuel, Kyle, Christopher
And Gavin & Max, and Matthew's siblings......

The graduate and his parents, Marty & Chari.
You can see he does not get his height from either of us. :)

The graduate & his five siblings.

The graduate & the little brother.
So sweet!

And lastly, the graduation dance, where Matthew & Sarah won the swing dance competition.
I know it is dark.....but I included it because it is when Matthew injured his knee.....a few minutes after this photo was snapped.......and he ended up on crutches for a month or so......
Taken by MaryJane.

Matthew at our summer bon fire.
With Kyle, Will, Christopher, Malachy,
Sarah, Sierra and a bunch of others not in the photo.......

Matthew with baby Liam...again

Their cousin Michael from New Hampshire came for a visit.
Marty took them for a ride up the mountain.
We spent ten days at Willa's house......
Matthew led a team of wigwam builders......

Aidan & Garrett look on.....

Sean & Matthew slept in the wigwam......and got rained on the second night :)

Matthew & his siblings and some of their best friends........

Matthew and his siblings in Old Town Sacramento

Matthew at beautiful Dunsmuir City Park, for Catherine's 10th birthday party.

Which included swmming in the great big city pool!

Matthew & Catherine, the birthday gal!
The 4th of July, as celebrated in our small town.

First, Matthew & his siblings during the Fun Walk.

Matthew, waiting for the parade and the Star-Spangled Banner singer......
with Evan & Miss Miranda, Sheila & Garrett

Oh, look! Matthew found a friend in Charlotte!!

Fireworks on the lake, like every year! And, the crowd gets bigger each year, too!
Is that Charlotte sitting in Matthew's lap??
Ha, ha.......see the crutches in the front of the photo?

Matthew stands with the local Rotary Club sponsoring him to Switzerland.
They are so happy!

Matthew & Max swim up to John & Bennie...
.....to play with the baby....how sweet is that?

Matthew & Max in the back row....of the college barbershop choir.
Matthew and his three sisters joined for the summer session.

In July, Willa's family came up to see us for a week.......
This was the boy team in the boys vs girls
in a game I cannot remeber the name of....but kind of like charades.......
Sean, Liam, Matthew, Gavin & Malachy

I love these smiles.
Matthew & Sean........friends.

Relaxing........its all about to break loose.......

Willa's boys and mine...only Brendan was missing....

On bench, obviously impressed with the photo shoot are....

Aidan, Patrick & Malachy

Standing tall in the rear are Keiron, Garrett, Sean, Liam & Matthew

Moments before Willa was trying to leave for home......all of those boys began throwing something at each other.....I cannot seem to remember what.....it made it hard to get them into the car :)


(Is Sean dancing?? Hey, Clare!! I think he might actually be dancing! ;) )

My kids put on a dance party on our front lawn in the first week of August

It became known as "Matthew's going-away party"

Matthew & Sierra S.....his leading lady from THE GAZEBO

(See photos above)

Matthew & the "boys"
~Micah~Garrett~Matthew McW~Matthew~
~Daniel McW~Kyle~Gavin~

Matthew & Sierra B.

Daniel & Matthew McW with Matthew & Garrett

on Matthew's last full day at home

The night before we took Matthew away......there was champagne......and toasts.

Anne, Matthew, Maddelyn, Garrett & Marty

Matthew hugs Anne goodbye,

as we pull out of the driveway,

to take him to Switzerland,
via San Francisco

On his way out of own, Matthew stopped to say goodbye to

Louise, Evan, Miss Miranda & the wee princeling.....I was there when he was born :)

Matthew with Sheila (Katie's mom....see photo somewhere above),
the one who most inspired (tempted???)
him to apply for the Rotary Youth Exchange Program

This was taken just moments before Matthew left our hometown for the last time in 2009

Two nights before Matthew left for Switzerland, we stayed with Gloria & John

Here are my five youngest kids (out of six :) ) and Joan & Gloria and their five youngest kids, also out of six. :)
~Charlotte-in-Matthew's arms~


~Benedict (my little Godson)~John~

Another photo of Matthew holding Charlotte..........anyone else notice a theme here?

the night before he left for Switzerland.....I believe he tucked her in and promised her some Swiss chocolate. :)

Sarah, his creative and fashion-savy sister, placing his pins on his Rotary jacket, the night before he left for Switzerland, at Gloria's house.........up WAAAY too late for what time we need to arise.

We were quite clever with his pins......see the starfish? It is a real one!

Matthew, moments before he went through security, on his way to Switzerland.

He does not know I took this photo. I love it!

It was the last time Sarah & I saw him in person.....

....August 10th, our 24th wedding anniversary

San Francisco Airport
And that my friends, was a walk down Memory Lane for Matthew's 19th year of life.......NOT a dull year!
Please leave note of birthday greetings for the boy........
We love you & miss you, Matthew!
Hope you enjoyed the journey!
your family,
waiting for you at Our Hearts Haven.
P.S. I could not get any photos of Matthew in Switzerland......please see Matthew's Facebook albums for those.
I will fix typos later...after I have had enough sleep!!