Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Catching Up?

Goldie turned 14 earlier this month. As requested, Abe took her (along with Penny and Daisy) to play Pickleball. We made summer-time gingerbread houses. (Graham cracker houses – hot glued together. Candy stuck on with frosting. I don’t know why, but this has become a requested activity at many of the birthdays around here. Haunted houses for Anders’ birthday. Easter or spring-themed houses for Dais and Pen. Traditional Christmas houses for Jesse. We use the word “themed” rather loosely of course. The only thing making Goldie’s gingerbread houses more summery than Christmassy was the addition of Swedish Fish.) Abe and Daisy willingly played Scrabble with her. We ate twice-baked potatoes (her request) for dinner. (As I made them, Abe said – referring to the potato skins, “Wait. Did you just take all the filling out of those and then put it back in?” We’ve eaten them for years. I love that he never noticed they were more than a potato cut in half with some cheese and bacon on top. They are certainly much tastier than that!) A neighbor invited us to swim. We opened presents. (Goldie is fun to give gifts to. Even the smallest trinket is met with such appreciation that you feel certain it is the most wonderful thing she has ever ever been given.) And we ended the night eating her strawberry shortcake.IMG_4637IMG_4646IMG_4641IMG_4650

Quite a lot of adventures have occurred since said birthday. And, while I try not to concern myself with staying caught up or making sure everything that happens around here is included on this blog, it does seem a shame not to include these fun pictures. So, we shall dive back into blogging with:

A parade with Mike’s family on the 4th of July. Goldie was, again, marching in the parade with the officers from her school. It was fun to hear a big crowd of aunts and uncles and cousins cheering and shouting her name – knowing how happy such a throng of supporters would make her feel.

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After the parade  we went to Mike’s parents’. My sister-in-law Jaime grabbed her scissors to help me fix the very uneven cut I gave Mette awhile back (and then didn’t dare to fix myself – lest I make it worse). Mike and some of the kids stayed for lunch and to play with cousins while I took Abe (who had to get to a short shift at work) and the two babies (who had to nap) home.

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With babies napping and the house quiet, I was hit with the same semi-frantic feeling I always get during precious and rare periods of quiet. They really are just . . . nearly non-existent in my life these days. And when they do come, they are typically of short duration. And there is always SO MUCH I long to do in those small windows of time! I wanted to clean. And pray. And read scriptures. And edit photos. And write in this space -- clearly that didn’t occur . . . as I am writing this nearly two weeks later. And, in fact, I don’t recall just what I did accomplish. And I don’t recall any of the rest of our 4th of July day. Nevertheless . . . the parade was happy. And these pictures were cute. The end.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Father’s Day at Bear Lake

When our first few kids were young, we could adventure off any time we chose to. We’d go on work trips with Mike to California. We spent a September in GA. And, when we first lived in WA, we could come back to visit family any time we chose. It was a bit of a shock when our kids began school and we had to start working our vacations around weekends and school holidays. (I suppose that alone might be reason enough to consider homeschool! And perhaps might truly be . . . if we travelled more than we actually do.) But now, they have taken things further, these kids of ours! Why, even when we plan get-aways during perfectly reasonable school-free days, it is beginning to be that our older kids have their own scheduling conflicts!

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Abe will have to work, there will be some gathering with friends they are loathe to miss, some church activity they have committed to, some school dance, a weekend bike meet, or other such nonsense (yes yes . . . I know, it isn’t all nonsense). Still, it has made our Bear Laking just a bit more complicated than it has been in the past. And, after planning on Memorial Day weekend up there, and then cutting it down one day due to one thing and another day due to another thing (and finally cancelling it altogether), I was incredibly eager to get up there, as we did, over Father’s Day weekend.

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While we spend a lot of time riding four wheelers on the dirt roads near our cabin, going to the lake, hiking, or sitting out on the deck, the kids don’t typically play much directly around the outside of the cabin itself as it is primarily covered in prickly weeds (despite Mike’s efforts to have pasture grass take over). So, this trip, Mike and Abe put together a trampoline and swing set just outside the basement door of our cabin. They then weed-whacked the surrounding area and spread out several truckloads of woodchips. (And hopefully we’ll add a hammock or two eventually.) It was fun having the kids all out there or watching them swing and jump while sitting on the deck above them. And I think it will make for a much more pleasant “waiting area” when we are taking four-wheeler turns.

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Abe commented on how strange it was that the younger kids probably wouldn’t remember the cabin now without this little playground area. And then someone else commented on how strange it was that they very well might not remember cabin trips with Abe!

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That was a sad thought! And yet, it got me thinking a bit about how things play out when you have children over a long space of time. In my own family, my older siblings talk all of the time about “the old house” (one I never lived in), about the time when there were no trees lining our backyard, about our family dog Chester, and about the three grandparents I never knew (and they can never get over the strangeness of me not having known them). And, in truth, . . . all my own memories of growing up going to Bear Lake are made up of trips with none of my siblings but the two closest in age to me. Strange things to consider.

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But! For now, all nine of my little people are together for these excursions, and, I shall do my best to aid their memories by writing about (and taking one billion pictures of) each of these trips! And if that isn’t enough. Well, I will remember for them.

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The weather was a bit chilly this trip. But we still took the wave runner out (its first Bear Lake trip). And we still got shakes – wet and cold as we were, and late as it was.

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And before we end: Waiting for pizza. And . . . Mette when she had decided (seemingly all at once) that she was done being cold and sandy (don’t feel too terrible looking at her dear, sad, little face – she had a glorious time riding the wave runner with me, she gleefully destroyed several siblings’ sand castles, and the shake she got shortly after these pictures restored her to full and complete joy).

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