April 19, 2010

A long lost friend and Easter

Don't you love those friendships that pick up where they left off when you see that friend, even if you've only seen them once in 14 years? Thursday through Saturday before Easter I got to pick up where I left off with my college friend Wendy. She and her husband Charles, and twin boys Cameron and Austin came to visit from their home in Vero Beach, Florida. We enjoyed a couple of days of hanging out and catching up. We last saw each other about six years ago, and before that it was at my wedding in August of 1996. The weather was beautiful, the first extended run of nice days we had had yet this spring. I thanked Wendy and Charles for bringing the south Florida weather with them.

We enjoyed a couple of days of playing with kids, hanging out, riding the golf cart and four wheeler, and eating. I realized what a nice place Strong Rock is to vacation with the usual pressures of home put on hold.

Austin and Cameron will be three in July. They received driving lessons from our Powerwheels Jeep expert in residence, Shannon, and were off and running. They are cutie pies.

Wendy and I became friends at Berry because of my truck. She was a transfer student our sophomore year, and was told she would have to live off campus due to campus housing being full. Berry has wonderful on-campus work opportunities, and thanks to some friends she met through the paint crew (yes, they paint, and I mean everything on campus- including stripes on the road), she found out there was a girl living on our hall who didn't have a roommate. Details were worked out to get her on campus in a room with Kay, the roommateless one (IS that a word?), but then there was the problem of her stuff, which included some furniture that would have to be moved from the off campus apartment. These same girls lived on my hall, and knew I had a truck, so they connected me with Wendy. I met many people because of the truck. (My brother calls it "the spirtual gift of truck," because he is still forever making new friends by helping folks who need him, er, it.) We struck up a friendship right away and even had dinner together that night at the prestigious Berry cafeteria. It led to a three year college friendship, that eventually lead to Wendy, me, Kay, and another friend moving off campus together our senior year. Good thing I had a truck.

Wendy, I am making plans for you and your family to move to north Georgia, okay?

Wendy and Charles left on Saturday, and Sunday was Easter. I love family Easter photos. The kids are always so excited to cooperate and make them great.

We had slightly better success after the service.

After church we headed to McDonough for an Easter dinner at Uncle Danny and Aunt Lynn's and a whole bunch of family on my dad's side. It was a fun afternoon involving much eating, a hay ride, fishing, and an egg hunt.

My cousin Ashley, Michael, and their baby girl Caroline, who at less than 8 months has decided to start walking.

My niece Jordan and Elizabeth, who is realizing her short sleep on the way down from Cleveland wasn't enough and has assumed traditional finger sucking nap posture.

My dad's cousin Keith with his son Harrison, who just turned two. He wasn't too sure he liked the hay ride.

Jonathan, my bro.

Reagan, my niece who will be one in June.

Elizabeth thought the egg hunt was great, and ran around all over the place snatching up eggs. She liked it even more when she realized there was candy in them.


The bigger kids got to hunt eggs in the backyard after the little kids were finished in the front yard. Amelia and Shannon thought it was pretty cool to be thought of as big kids this time.

Their cousin Gracyn found the mondo super duper special prize egg. (In other words, the egg with $20 in it! What's an eight year old going to do with $20? I can think of a 36 year old who could use about five Starbucks coffees....)

When I asked them to show me their loot I didn't know they actually had loot.

My cousin Brooke's two month old baby McKinley, who slept through a lot of her first egg hunt.

Yay for bubbles! Elizabeth probably licked about a half gallon of bubble stuff off the wand after Mom handed it to her.

Boys fishing.

Amelia with Sarah.

A good end to a fun day.

We stopped by Mom and Dad's on our way back to Cleveland, dropped off the oldest three kids' stuff...and the oldest three kids. Mom had a moment of insanity earlier in the week and invited them to come stay for a few days. She thought they could have more fun without Elizabeth since they could blow off naps if needed, so Elizabeth got to come home with us and be an only child. They ended up staying until Thursday when I headed back to get them. Elizabeth missed them and asked where they were several times, but I think she enjoyed the attention she got without them. You would think I'd have gotten a lot done, but I really didn't since I still had the highest maintenance one with me. I decided in their absence that peace and quiet was really overrated, and it made me not look forward to the years when they'll be raised and gone. As nice as a break from the workload they create is every now and then, I will miss the activity and energy of all those little people. That's why I blog- so I can remember one day.

Before I get sad, I'll sign off. I have many, many more pictures to post but I'm having such a time getting to this thing. I had good intentions to do it all last week but our house was hit with Nasty Stomach Bug, the details of which I will spare you. Suffice it to say we were all down and out (except Amelia and James, somehow), and I spent my evenings snoozing instead of blogging.

Oh yeah, I have two more pictures I wanted to post for your enjoyment. And for the someday mortification of two little boys.

Avery came down the steps the other morning like this:

He said, "I've got all these (stuffed) animals down here, and now I've got a REALLY REALLY big pee pee!" So I muttered something about inappropriateness, and told him to stand still so I could go get the camera, laughing quietly all the way to where it was sitting.

Then Shannon came in my room next.

If you've seen the movie Robots you know there is a robot character with a really large derriere that knocks things over everytime she turns around. Her name is Aunt Fanny, and the kids think she's hilarious. I asked him if he was trying to be Aunt Fanny, and without missing a beat Amelia pipes up, "That's Aunt SHANny!" And if you haven't seen Robots, go get it today.

I was thinking earlier what fun it is to be in a family. Where else can a three year old say out of the blue, "Do scissors win?," and I know immediately to say, "Well, it depends on whether the other thing is paper or a rock." Random, I know, but it's fun.

One day I'll get to the rest of those pictures and post another entry, but for now, goodbye!

April 8, 2010

Happy Spring!

Here it is April already! It seems like when spring finally decided to spring, it really sprang. (Or is it sprung?) I am sitting here in shorts, and it's wonderful. This really has been the coldest, wettest winter I can remember in a long time and I finally feel like my bones are starting to thaw after a long deep freeze.

We had Open House here at camp right after my last post, and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. It was just right for showing people around camp and turning them loose to play and try out all the camp activities. Oh wait, that was the day just BEFORE Open House. Something got lost in translation between here and Heaven when we were praying for great Open House weather, and it was off a day. God came through anyway, because in spite of the rain, wind, and cold temperature, we had a bigger turnout than we've ever had before. It was still fun, and a success.

Back in January when it was still very, very cold, a friend at church mentioned that her six year old daughter would love to take riding lessons. I told her I would love to teach my own six year old but hadn't had the chance because I always have the other kids with me. So we worked it out for her to watch the kids once a week so I could teach both girls. Here's the smallest photo in the world to prove it. Cell phones take little bitty pictures.

Amelia on Maverick, Hannah on Taffy. Such cute little ladies on big horses! Amelia likes horses, and I hope someday she'll enjoy riding with me.

Besides embarking on her career as an equestrian, Amelia started sporting another new talent a few weeks back.

No, I can't do it.

Ok, I'll show you how I can shove my front tooth out.

Cute, huh?

And for my final trick, just call me Bubba. Sometimes these are the kinds of shenanigans that go on during school hours.

Saturday before last our friend Sara turned six, and had a bicycle parade party in the gym here at camp.

I forgot Elizabeth's sippy cup so I put a tiny bit of water in the bottom of a big cup. She kept going to the water cooler so nice people kept refilling it for her. They didn't put tiny amounts in it though, so she was well baptized by the end of the party.

Let the parade begin.

Of course James is going to participate, it's a bike parade, duh.

Elizabeth sporting a tissue paper cape.

Sara the birthday girl, out in front.

Avery couldn't work up the motivation to ride a tricycle that day. So he just ate a bunch of cake and pinata candy instead. What more do you need in a party?

And just a few short days later:

Voila, an official snaggletooth!

And just because six year olds can be weird....

Is it not freaky how she can look ahead with one eye and cross the other one?

Never hurts to have a couple of photos in the aresenal just for blackmail. (Psst- I love these photos. They make me laugh.)

Here are some pictures of another week before last project. You can't have Easter without colorful hard boiled eggs that hang around in the refrigerator for weeks after Easter.

It's fun to have a reader in the house. This year Amelia was able to mix the egg dye by herself, after we clarified what "lavendar" was.

Meanwhile, Shannon was outside riding his Jeep. The Jeep has had a lot of miles put on it since the weather turned nice.

Dad was in Dahlonega for the day and stopped by camp to say hello.

And then Shannon took the Jeep into the woods for a wilderness adventure.

Then he figured out what we were doing in the house, so he parked the Jeep for a litle while and came inside.

The final product. They ate two right away. Maybe those eggs won't hang on for weeks and weeks after all.

And now, because I am extremely sleepy and can't seem to keep from nodding off over this post, I shall retire to my bedchambers. I have many more photos to post of weekend fun, Easter, etc., but I just can't do it right now. I don't think drool is good for the keyboard.

By the way, my dumb camera battery decided it wasn't broken after all, so I can use my camera again. Yay dumb camera battery! Unfortunately this probably means it just wasn't making a good connection in the camera, and is a problem just waiting to resurface one of these days when I really want the camera to work. For now I'll take what I can get.

Look for more photos soon! (Don't forget, my "soon" tends to be like most people's "afterwhile.")