Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where to begin?

So wow. Let's recap the week in pictures.

Father's Day. We updated Lincoln's handprint T-shirt. The last time we made him one there were only two handprints to put on it. We also made him his favorite dinner- stroganoff sandwich and a very rich, very chocolate cake. Renie is helping clean up.

Wednesday night was another concert in the park. It was a fun performance by Piano Fondue. They took requests from the audience the whole night, playing all the classics- Brown-eyed Girl, Crocodile Rock, American Pie, Piano Man, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, even Dueling Banjos and Bohemian Rhapsody. They were a lot of fun (two pianos, two guys) and we had a great time. I made a big ol' batch of popcorn and brought a thermos of water. We sang, the kids danced (as you'll see in the video), and we enjoyed another perfect summer evening.

On Thursday I took the kids and went strawberry picking with my friend Bethanie and her kids. Kennedy took a bunch of pictures for me at the field. I love the one of me because it captures perfectly what it's like every time I take my crew to go do something. A kid on my back, a kid on my lap- WHILE I'm picking strawberries. Everyone actually did very well. I had some anxiety before going because when my parents went to pick strawberries when I was a kid, children were not allowed in the field. I've always been a little afraid to go because I feared I would do something wrong. Say nothing of bringing 5 KIDS with me! But it was very family friendly and the kids were really good. Jesse was not nearly as fussy as this picture implies. I moved him into his stroller and he sat next to his little buddy Andrew and was pretty content.

I then spent the rest of Thursday hulling berries and making jam. Go me! My first time making jam. It was so fun and very rewarding. I know jam isn't exactly going to feed my family through the apocalypse, but it felt good to lay up food for the family. I did a batch of freezer jam and a batch of canned. On Friday I did a batch of strawberry-rhubarb freezer jam. And finally today, Saturday, I got around to making a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Can't wait to eat it. It looks great!

Thursday night we went to the lake as mentioned in yesterday's post. I love this picture of my boys walking up the beach.

In our travels this week we took some photos of flood damage. We drove to Spring Green last night to eat at a fun drive-in burger place, Rumbleseats. When we got there we found the little playground flooded and the placed closed down. There was a six inch pipe coming out of the window with water flowing out of it. Spring Green is right in the Wisconsin River valley so they got hit pretty hard. (Keep in mind this was a week later.) The shots of the washed out road are from Sunday. Lincoln took the kids to Blackhawk Lake to go for a walk and found the road washed out on the way there.

We finally got our pool pass for the city pool. We went on Friday afternoon and had a delightful time. Devon can touch easily in the shallow end of the big pool now, which is a big relief. Renie and Jesse are content to play in the baby pool or hang out on the steps of the big pool. There are always people we know there so I can usually get someone to watch kids in the baby pool while I watch the kids in the big pool or vice versa. And there are always six lifeguards on duty which is fantastic.
So I'm now focusing on getting us ready to leave for vacation in 5 days. Today we bought a car top carrier and tried to buy a new cooler that would fit in the car better. We found the perfect cooler on sale at Sears. Wow- the last one! Lucky! Only $12! Lucky again! We got to the register and they couldn't sell it to us because there is a recall on it. Argh! What's with all the recalls lately? Did you know that Cinnamon Life has been recalled? Did you also know that my children LOVE Cinnamon Life and every single morning they ask me if I was able to buy it yet? C'mon Quaker! I'm dying here! Fix the Life already! So still no cooler- it would've been nice to get one at Sears with our discount. Now we'll have to get one that's not quite what we wanted at Walmart. (Was the cooler going to kill us? Was it going to release some sort of toxin into my food? If not then couldn't I make the decision myself about whether I wanted it or not?) So packing, organizing, getting the car ready. Did I mention that our liftgate is falling off our Mountaineer? Yup, one of the hinges just gave up the ghost, popped apart, Bam! That's when I remembered something about a letter we got a couple years ago in reference to ----wait for it------a RECALL on the hinges. Are you kidding me? So I called the dealer and sure enough I did remember correctly and they are under the recall. So I have to take the car in to have them replaced on Wednesday, one day before we leave. Talk about cutting it close. When I called to set it up I explained that we needed it done right away because we were leaving on vacation. When the lady called to tell me the part was in she said, "Do you want to go ahead and schedule that right now?"

"Umm, YES."

"OK, any day next week.....after Wednesday."

(Thinking, so why not say Thursday or Friday? It's not "any day", it's one of 2. Not 1 of 7. One of seven you could start with 'Any day') "I guess Thursday then. We're leaving on vacation that day at 5:00, can it be done by then?"

"Oh. How 'bout I put you in for Wednesday and I'll check with our service technician to make sure we can get you in?"

(Thinking, then why didn't you say after Tuesday if you thought you might be able to get me in sooner?) "That would be great."

So Wednesday it is. It takes about an hour to do the labor, but requires 2 hours to let the adhesive set. What I'm going to do two towns away with 5 kids for three hours is beyond me, but at least the car will be fixed.

So, despite the chaos of getting ready to leave, I'm SO EXCITED to go on vacation. I love to be on the road with my family. And I get to do fun things and see fabulous people that I haven't seen in years! Take for example one of my missionary companions , Chari, we'll be staying with in Utah- 12 years! I love her and she helped me have a great mission. She taught me how to have fun while doing the work. We were only together a month (is that really all it was?!) but we became great friends. She is great at keepin' it real. And funny. And boy, you all know how hilarious I am, so imagine the 2 of us together. And then there's Charlene. She was a missionary in my ward when I was a teenager. She and I clicked and she had a great influence on me for good. I've always said she's a soulmate. I'm sure our spirits knew each other long before we met in Potsdam. It's been 8 years since I've seen her. Then there's Jenn and Dawson who we'll stay with in Las Vegas. You know when you meet a couple that works perfectly with you and your spouse? No? That's because it's rare. But they are that for us. We met when we were all newlyweds living in New Jersey. We were just starting our families and the boys were just starting their careers. We have stayed close through the years and always have great times together. It's been 2 years since we saw them. And last, but certainly not least, Jessica and Erik. Jessica is my cousin and I just love her. We've been close forever, traveling together, working together, living together, being in each other's weddings. And happily, we both married people that the other likes so we can get our families together and continue building memories. We saw Jessica 3 years ago, but haven't seen Erik and their son Carter in 6 years and we haven't even met Bridger!
I'm sure you'll hear lots more about all of them after our visit.
So- a long rambling post that no one stayed around for the conclusion of except me. That's OK. This is after all, my journal. Sometimes I'm the only one reading!


jrt said...

not the ONLY strawberry packin.........jam makin Mama you !!!

I made strawberry jam a couple of goes quick.......not sure if Lincoln remembers it or not

and also............don't they allow ADULTS to dance at those concerts ????

im just askin here ! LOL

Jenn-Lee said...

I need to learn how to do that! So fun! Will ya teach me? :) You guys look like you are jam packed full of fun things to do every week. I love it! Love the pics!