Saturday, July 7, 2018

Backyard Camping

It only got up to 80 degrees today. 
It's actually a lovely temperature outside. 
So at the last minute, we decided to open up Nana's camper, and 'air it out'. 

By air it out, I mean, we don't turn it on, no air, no water, just people camping in it with pillows and sleeping bags.

Jake and I shared one end. 

Chris and Sam got the other end.  

We weren't planning on opening it up all the way, just enough for some boys to enjoy a reasonable temperatured evening.  Which it really is!  

But we aren't the only ones out enjoying the evening.  

Somewhere to the south of us, people were blasting off fireworks until just now.  
We watched for a while, until we couldn't see anymore.  
Then the kids conked out.  
But Mommy stayed awake, because our neighbors who don't talk to us are having company.  
They were out back yapping, cheering for some sport on tv.  What sport is on at 11pm?  I don't know. 
But it was obnoxious.  The kids managed though.  They are superchamp campers.  
We're going to go actually use the camper in a couple weeks with Nana, and they can't wait! 

We'll just call this a test run. ;) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Glorious 4th

Why is it we call it the 4th of July, but we don't do the same for 25th of December or 14th of February?

Just more random thoughts that occur to me today while we were resting together.  Ahh, Freedom!  Freedom to sit around and watch a parade, or be in it, or have a cookout, or just stay home and appreciate all our Blessings.  And we have Many. 

We started our holiday participating in the Brownsburg Community Independence Day Parade, which as it turns out, is the 2nd largest local Parade in the state, 2nd only to the Indy 500 Parade!

We got Spirit, yes we do!  

OK, this is the 1 picture I did not take today.  This is the Boy Scouts from Troop 396 that led the Parade, holding the starting banners.  Note the nutty one up front with the wild hair and goofy glasses.  Yep, that one is mine. 

Meanwhile, the Cub Scouts from Pack 396 all wore their Camp shirts so they could ride in the Parade.  

Sam and Jacob sitting in the truck, ready to ride! 

The big kids walked it and the littles rode.   My kids both rode.  I had fully planned to walk it, but at the last minute they needed an adult in the truck back with the littles, so I hopped up.  Eric had parked the car and hadn't caught up with us yet, we caught him just as we were turning from Williams Park setup to the street to just starting, and he hopped up with me.  

The Littles in our truck waving their flags! 
There was a trailor behind us with hay blocks that the other kids sat on, and a couple coolers. 
As we got moving, they started passing out popsicles.  I had no clue we'd be handing those out.  
No doubt we'd run out!  We ran out of popsicles just after crossing 267. 
But right before we'd run out of our own, we got stuck at the light, and some citizen came up and handed us handfuls of popsicles for all the kids... and a couple grownups.  It was hot out, but this was the most fun I'd ever had doing a Brownsburg Parade!

As the Parade progressed, Jacob wanted to snuggle. 
Only the Best Daddy in the World would hug this hotbox on the hottest most humid day in IN.

  After we got home, we recovered. 
We got home and showered, as cool as our bodies would tolerate, and Jacob made us all put on our Mickey flag shirts.  

Eric cooked out, brats and hot dogs for lunch, which were Awesome, as usual.  We ate with some Grippos chips we'd gotten from down South, and after which we still all were tired, so we sat and chilled out watching 1776.  This is my Favorite 4th of July Musical. 

We paused for naps, and dinner, and Kumon, and stopped just in time to go outside as the sun set.

All three boys discovered and worked the beauty of Pop-its!
They dropped in unison.  
It did my heart good. 

They love stepping on them too.  

They ran through a good few boxes of Popits, each.  
Then we broke out the big guns. 

 We had been telling tales of last year when Chris discovered 'sparkulars'. 
I think it moved them to curiousity. 

Then we offered a sparkler to Jacob.  
You'd have thought we offered him $1000. 
His jaw dropped in shock. 

And he took the Sparkler!

He didn't do much, just watched it burn down.  Fascinating.

 Chris felt like he was the old pro with them, since he'd begun last year. 
But he was very cautious.  Comfortingly so. 

This was mine.  
I was playing around with my camera, trying to get some 'action shots'. 
This one turned out fun!

We asked Sam if he wanted to try a Sparkler this year too. 

I think he overcame his fear by giving them a try this year.  
He just held on and didn't move. 
He was the last holdout.  
And he Loved them! 

Next thing we knew, they were lighting them off of each other. 
Getting braver with each sparkler.  
I was so proud of them!

Trying to capture my happy Patriotic jamberry nail wraps.  
I used Kaboom and Born to Sparkle, with a blue polish I had covered in the holographic Independence. It's one of the happiest combos I've done in a while. 

More Sparkler Action!

And Drop another round of Poppers!

Jacob started getting a little more feisty with his Sparklers. 
See?  He makes more faces than just angry. 

He started to spin, but he zapped his finger.  
We had to tone him down.  
Still, he was happy.  

Then the kids let me challenge them while I played with my camera!

S for Sam. 

C for Christopher.

J for Jacob. 

E for Eric.
The kids felt the need that Daddy and I get in on the action too.  

C for Cathy. 
Christopher took this for me!
What can I say?  The kid has a good eye. 

With the last round of letter sparklers, they went crazy.  

Then we went in to try to find some fireworks on tv. 
We've got too many trees around here to see much other than the occasional high spark. 

We watched the Macy's day Finale, to which Chris felt the needed to dance. 
We caught part of Capitol 4th, with them playing some John Williams.  That thrilled all the boys. 
We tried to watch the Indy ones, but the news was just showing snippets, and all the fireworks were interfering with our reception of live tv.  Youtube worked best as it turned out.  From youtube we caught Disney's 4th Celebration from last year.  They liked that, and then NYC was the perfect note to end on.  I love a good fireworks finale.  
Meanwhile, we decided to go to a baseball game later this month and catch some live fireworks there.  We'll let the party continue all month long. Hope you all have had a Glorious 4th too. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Memorial Day Runaway, Cincy Day 3

Joe snuck off first thing in the morning for donuts. 
Apparently, they are the Best In Town. 
They have two stores, one downtown, and one close by. I think it was Holtman's.
They were really good! 
Sam and I split a chocolate bacon, and Eric and I split a blueberry cream cheese. 
So Good! 

Jacob has a new friend, who will make sure that he doesn't drop anything while he's having his super chocolate breakfast donut.  

The other critters come out to observe breakfast. 
Apparently, it took Gandalf the cat 3 days to warm up to us. 

We opted for a Morning Swim before hitting the road!

All the kids had a great time playing in the pool together. 

Jacob is a goofball, in case you didn't notice.

Daddy is being attacked by Sweetboys! 

Please note all 6 kids are playing together happily in the pool. 
All 6!  
And I'm not in there.

See this?  
This is what happens when kids can swim. 
I can sit in a chair in the shade, and watch them swim. 
All 6 kids are not drowning in the pool. 
This was the furthest I've been away from them in a pool. Ever. 

Big Step for Mommy!

One last photo for the road.  
All 6 kids in the music room. 

See, miracles happen when all 6 kids can be sweet for a photo. 
Well, jury is out on Jacob. ;) 

After packing up, we decided to go to Jungle Jim's.  
Chris desperately wanted a cheeseburger for lunch.  And we found them at the Big Boy right by the Jungle Jim's. This made everyone happy. 

Time to go shopping at Jungle Jim's. 
I told the boys they could each pick one thing. I figured they'd find one unusual food. 
They each picked a Lego kit. Duh Mommy. 

The alligator tells me how tall Jacob is. 
37 inches, or 3'1".

Sam is 4 foot, almost 4'1".

Chris is the tallest, 4 foot 5.  Almost 4 1/2 feet. 
I can't take it. 

The last time we went to Jungle Jim's we spent <40$.  That did not happen this time. :O
But we've found some new favorite things from there like Grippo's and Ski, and some amazing new beers.  I could totally go right back! 

Yeah, toast. 
This is how Jacob is happiest while we travel, let him have the Greatest Showman lyrics. 
After Jungle Jim's, we headed home, ending a Wonderful weekend. 
I can't wait to get together with them again!

Memorial Day Runaway, Cincy Day 2

Saturday morning was rough, since Jake and I had been hot and awake for half the night.  I woke to Jacob stating, Mommy it's light outside.  Light is for waking up.  Apparently, all wishes for sleeping in, are lost on Jacob.  But luckily, we weren't the only ones having a slow go on Saturday morning.

This is Padme Amidogma.  She's Joe and Kate's mix of Great Pyrenees, Husky, and possibly Golden Retreiver.  Her humans do a great low voiced impression.  I imagine she says Yup and I Love You a lot.  She has her own couch, and whenever someone moves off it, she hops up... sometimes while people are still there.  And she's got the most gorgeous yellow eyes.   

She makes me sleepy, and hot.  She's the sweetest hotbox ever!
We snuggled during breakfast.  
As we discussed the plan of the day, it was decided to hit the Cincinnati Nature Center before lunch and a trip to the pool.  The Nature Center was where Lucie and Amelie went to Preschool.  It's pretty Awesome.  And we avoided the crowds! 

6 children be sweet. <3

6 children be crazy. <3 

My sweetboys model and pretend to be butterflies. 

They have this pond. 
Preschool rules are that you have to sit down if you want to be near the edge.  

Mr. Turtle on a log. 

We found another turtle hidden among the grasses.  

Purple chinese irises in bloom near the pond were a gorgous pop of color!

We found a second pond, and heard some bullfrogs chatting.   There were turtles out there too.

Stop, we have the opportunity to learn something. 
And see another pair of turtles on a log. 

We have a froglet.  
See that tail still on the frog? It's not quite fully grown yet, and not quite a tadpole. 

Turtles on the log. 
Amelie named them, but I forget what.  
They have a few turtles they know.  
It's handy to go to preschool at the park!

The road less traveled.  
This isn't the path we took, a tree came down. 
The kids could limbo there, but not us. 

All 6 kids stop in one place. 
Just for a moment. 

There's just something therapeutic about being in the shade of tall trees. 
Even if some of us were hurting, it was All Good. 

Mommy always brings up the rear, and watches. 

The mud pile. 
This place legitimately had a mud hole, for the kids to play in. 


You know they're never playing in a mud hole at home. 
but there was a foot/hand shower right around the corner. So we figured what the heck. 
Plus I had emergency outfits in the car. This time of year, I always carry a backup. 

Sam and Jake's pants crack me up. 

After mud hole time, we hike a bit to the nature house where the Daddy's visited to do some shopping.  They were having a plant sale. 

They had this neat bird feeder set up where all kinds of native birds would come and we could watch. I could've stayed there for a long time.  
We get a few of the same in our backyard too.  Still, I would've loved to stay longer. 
But the kids were Toast. 

Sam studies... SCIENCE! 

For lunch, we tried something new.  Grippos' chips.  Um my new favorite!  And Joe picked up some curried chicken lunchmeat to try among the basics that the kids liked. 
Plus beer.  Eating at their place was AWESOME! 

Remember that other time that 6 kids all ate at the same time. 

After lunch, our crew hit the pool. 
The pool was 2 doors down from their house.  Nice! 

Our whole crew attacks the pool! 

After our swims, some folks needed naps (Um, Jake and Mommy, and Joe.) so the big kids had some quiet screen time.  They all were inventing minecraft worlds together when I woke up. 

This was all of them playing joint screens.  My heart overflows. 

We found Amelie's favorite pizza place in downtown Milford, Paradrino's.  
I tried this blueberry beer, that was scrumptious and a fancy pizza.  
They couldn't handle a party of 10.  They didn't know what to do with us.  
I could've put tables together faster, but the food was good. 

This is slumber party time.  
It took no time for them to go to sleep.  

This one was initially disinclined to go to sleep Sunday night, but he eventually got there. 
We kept the window cracked all night, got some good breeze going, and slept well.  
It had been a busy day, but with breaks built in, we did great.  
It turns out our families have a lot more in common than I thought.  
I'm so glad we came.