Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Two Days the Same

I really laughed at myself and my life last Friday morning. A friend called and asked if we could get together. I had to decline. As I told her... "I've got the vet, a rodeo, in-laws, and the Olympics today." I love my life (usually), including weird days like last Friday. Here's a peek:

*We started by taking the kitties to the vet. Both of them weighed exactly 3 pounds 8 ounces. They actually walked right into the cat carrier when we brought it out and never cried at all in the car or when they got their shots. Weird cats. They actually contributed a lot to the craziness of the day by keeping us up all through the night with lots and lots of running and jumping and playing, including under our bed. Ugghhh!

*After the vet, it was off to the rodeo! Fortunately, there were no stampeding horses involved. Instead, there were more than 600 Cub Scouts wrapping up their "Wild West" week at day camp. Adam and I drove up to camp to be with Ray for the closing ceremonies and a picnic lunch. Then Ray got to take us around to lots of the fun stations he visited during the week. It was great to see how confident he was as he proudly showed us around and showed his brother how to participate in the various activities. But it was HOT! As I explained to the boys (after snapping at them on the way out and then guzzling a giant iced tea from the nearest fast food joint), I'm just not cut out for the Wild West lifestyle. My talents lie elsewhere. ;)

Gadzooks! That's a lot of boys!

The first place Ray took Adam was to the pool.
They both were thrilled to pass the swimming test so they could go in the deep end!

Next we were off to the shooting range. YIKES!
BB guns. I was terrified!
This went against all of the anti-gun propaganda I've tried to fill them with for seven years.
They loved it.

Fortunately I drafted some helpers at the archery station.
I have no clue how to shoot those things!

 Ray really had a good week at camp. I can't believe how many different activities he got to do! Fishing, creeking, BB guns, archery, boomerangs, swimming, woodworking, leather work, metal work, cooking over a fire, tall tales, sling shot.... Wow! He really wants to go back next year IF there are no thunderstorms. There were two scary days for him with storms this time.

*After we got home from the rodeo, we were thrilled to welcome one of Jon's sisters and her family (from Michigan) for a fun visit. We cooked out and visited and played and watched some of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics.

Cousins! So happy to see each other for a fun few days!

Ray really enjoyed playing "Opening Ceremony Bingo."
 Thank you God for fun, busy days filled with new activities and with pets and people we love. Help us to appreciate all of the experiences and relationships through which we learn and grow in love. May we recognize and celebrate your presence with us through it all. Amen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's Something About Tuesdays

I'm sure this isn't the first time I've whined here about Tuesdays..... but it seems like crappy, weird stuff happens on Tuesdays pretty often. No major tragedies here today, thanks be to God. Just a "Tuesday kind of day."

Ray is attending a Cub Scout day camp this week, which is awesome except for the fact that it's 40 minutes from home. Fortunately, a few of his friends are also attending and we are sharing the car pool duties! Today Jon took the day off work to be a helper at the camp. I was so excited for him and Ray to get to do such awesome activities together. (The campers rotate to an amazing number of cool stations - archery, fishing, swimming, knot tying, bb guns, sling shot...)

Well, let's just say today was less than idyllic at camp. Rain. Lightning. Thunder. Lots of waiting around. Camp ended up being cancelled for the day by around noon. Bummer!

Here are a few pictures Jon took ---

The only activity Ray got to do today - slingshot. He loved it!

Most of the day was spent waiting around in crowded, hot lodges.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... Adam and I waited for the floor guy to come and fix our kitchen floor which he botched WAY BACK IN FEBRUARY! Many of you know of our floor saga.... I won't repeat it all here. Today was the day that our ridiculous contractor promised to be here. (I would love to put his name here and the full story of how inept he is.... but I'll use a bit of restraint.) He was due here at 9:00am. Showed up at 11:15. Pulled up big sections of the vinyl to apply a different glue. Left glue exposed for long lengths of time.

Cats were barricaded with us in my room.... until I needed to go to the bathroom. Gloria escaped. Ran right through the glue. Glue on paws. Uggghhhh! Call to the vet. Soaking cat paws in warm soapy water (which she did not love). Such things can only happen on a Tuesday!

I'd love to say that my floor is perfectly wonderful now and finally fixed. However.... sigh. It's better than it was.

Jon was really the Totally Terrific Tuesday Hero of the Day. He brought Ray and his two friends (who needed to stay with us for the day) home from camp. He helped with the cat paw washing fiasco. He dealt with the contractor dude. He took us all to Glow Putt and Dairy Queen!

We managed to turn lemons into lemonade and have a fun afternoon. Jon did admit, however, that he will be happy to be back at the office tomorrow!

For me tomorrow will be a day of driving back and forth to camp, doing some housework and cooking,  and entertaining Adam and my nephew. At least it won't be Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012


We spent last week on vacation at Lakeside Chatauqua on Lake Erie. We shared a cottage with some good friends. It was a great week of family fun!

Lakeside is a beautiful resort with lots and lots of wonderful things to do. We swam in the lake, played at the beach, took an art class, went to a tennis clinic, went on a boat ride, played miniature golf and shuffleboard, ate lots of ice cream, saw two movies, attended a cool science show, painted rocks, rented a golf cart, built balloon powered boats, browsed quaint shops, went to a farmers market, visited a lighthouse, went on an "African safari" tour, learned about flowers and snakes and the Great Lakes, played on a playground, listened to a band, ate yummy pizza,..... WOW!

Here's a slide show of our adventures ----

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Life on the Road

If you want to reach me you might want to call 444-4444! I am totally living the taxi driver's life this week.

Adam is attending an art camp everyday this week --- on the other side of town. He's loving it! Here are a few sneak peeks at what he's doing. I'm sure there will be a whole portfolio of work to show off on Friday.

On Tuesday I drove Ray to golf, ran errands and went to the park with Adam, picked up Ray, picked up lunch, drove to my sister's, got Adam to art camp and back, and then took the boys to karate. Thankfully, Jon had pizzas waiting for us for dinner when we got home. We're just not used to that much "scurrying" all day! The amazing thing about it was that I was not teaching, leading, or helping with ANY of those activities. Just driving. That's rare! I'm enjoying this different kind of busy-ness over the summer, but I'm so glad to have our homeschool schedule for most of the year.

So if you see me on the road this week, wave! :) I'm living the mini-van dream!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Seriously! 110 degrees here!

It's even too hot for the pool today. On the news they're advising us to set our air conditioners no lower than 20 degrees below the outside temperature. We've got ours around 78... and we're just so thankful we have that.

We've actually enjoyed a nice lazy family day. The heat is a good excuse not to do chores or cook, right?

The boys have enjoyed more video game time than usual. I slept in and then spent lots of time reading a novel. We played several board games....

 We finished this 1000 999 piece puzzle we've been working on.

My mom joined us for a yummy dinner out at Olive Garden.

And then we stopped at the Red Box for a couple of movies.

 Right now the boys are in their underwear watching a movie in our bed with the fan blowing right on them. And I'm going to use this opportunity to work on some curriculum planning.

Please continue to pray for all who are really suffering from this heat, especially those who still have no power. We are supposed to have storms tomorrow that will bring a cool-down. Hopefully nothing severe. Let's hope the weather settles down so we can enjoy the rest of the summer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July Highlights

Lots and lots of folks in our area have spent the past week dealing with the aftermath of a crazy storm --- downed trees and power lines, power outages, etc. We were very, very fortunate to come through the storm relatively unscathed. We lost a cushion from our porch furniture and had lots of sticks and branches to clean up, but we never lost power. It has been swelteringly hot here. Please pray for all who are enduring this heat wave without power or air conditioning.

In the midst of all that, we had a fun celebration of our country's independence. It's so cool that the boys are now old enough to understand and begin to appreciate what the Fourth of July is all about. We've found ourselves talking about the War of 1812, the National Anthem, the Declaration of Independence, etc... at totally random times over the past few days.

Here are some pictures from our celebrations.

Columbus is celebrating it's 200th birthday!
The annual Red, White, and Boom fireworks display was bigger than ever.
It took place on July 3rd.
We watched from the airport parking garage with friends!

Ray's Cub Scout pack was in our city parade. I love this picture of Jon walking with them. He had a blast handing out candy. Check out Ray spraying his water gun right over Daddy's head!
Adam and I watched the parade with my sister, my Mom, and my Aunt Ann.
Adam was interested in only one thing - CANDY!

My favorite shot!
Adam running down the street at the end of the parade ....
searching for every last piece of candy left behind.

The candy man!

We invited lots of friends over for a cookout on Wednesday evening. I should have gotten a picture of Jon grilling in the super hot temps.... but I guess I was focused on the yummy treats instead!

Best dressed cutie at our party!
Our very colorful God-daughter!
Check out the banner in the background...
our 4th of July art project!


USA Bingo!

Jon training our Godson for some kind of professional ball playing!


Jar for lightning bugs in one hand and sparkler in the other

The "red cup" tip (from Pinterest of course) really worked well to keep the kids safe with the sparklers. It occurred to me that we spend all year telling the kids to stay out of the street and not to play with fire. And then on the 4th of July they run in the street to get candy from strangers and run around the yard with a burning stick. Gotta love America!

 May God bless our country and guide us in these trying times.