Tuesday, June 28

Scout Stuff

The 4th of July celebrations bring us another opportunity for community involvement this year at the Spirit of America Festival at Point Mallard. The park opens the area to community organizations and vendors, and the whole celebration is a delight for all who come. Last year, the heat was oppressive, and yet it was still a wonderful time -- I can hardly wait for this year's events.

In preparation, our Den will be making new neckerchief slides to wear with their uniforms. I've been researching ideas all week, and while I don't feel like I'm any closer to being ready for Friday's meeting, I have learned a lot. One of my favorite pages so far is Scouting With A Neckerchief, a little pamphlet printed in 1927, that tells the 60-some-odd uses for a neckerchief, as well as some of the history behind the easily recognized symbol. Very cool reading, indeed. I can't wait to share this with the boys.

And one gentleman put his carving skills to delightful use making slides for his grandson. Aren't they darling? I might have a hard time turning the boys loose with those ("Wouldn't they look better in Mommy's safe? No, really. Give it here before you lose it!"), but I'll bet that little boy was *thrilled* with his.

And this site - Scout Mom (but I *love-love-LOVE* the url - fakinit. That just makes me smile and nod like a bobblehead.) Well, I didn't find what I was looking for, but I had fun doing it! She's getting bookmarked for future Scout-related sanity breaks.

Meanwhile, I finally got my hands on some Blue Cards. I'd begun to think they were myth. Or legend. Either way, I was starting to think I'd have better odds getting hold of a Luck Dragon than some of these. Tomorrow, the Bigs will pick the merit badges they'd like to work on this summer, then sometime later in the week we can get the green light and start things rolling with those.

Kiss those babies!

Monday, June 27

More Water Fun

A pool in the summer in the just the ultimate luxury. We don't have one, but we have friends who do, and they invited us Saturday to enjoy some play time and a cookout. Yes, food is good. We have awesome friends. The kids had a complete blast, playing with their friends, enjoying the out-of-doors, and wearing themselves out.

Z and I were a little worn at the end of the day, too... (kids get heavy when you heft 'em out of the water!)

And then, it seems, the kids ran off with the camera after we got home.

I love digital photography. We don't have to pay for developing pictures of the children's eyeballs, nostrils, and the inside of the wood stove. But they can wallow in the fun of taking pictures, and we can enjoy a glimpse of the world through the children's eyes, and keep a few gems from the discovery. (I now also have a good idea of which areas of the house I need to de-clutter. Not posting those, though.)

Did you have a great weekend? Are you enjoying your little ones (or not so little ones) this summer?

Kiss those babies!
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Saturday, June 25

Saturday Adventures

"Because Mom knows how much fun migrant farm work is," Zorak replied to the children's queries. Yes, we're going berry picking, which sounded significantly more fun in my head than it did when Zorak explained it. Thankfully, he lives with his tongue mainly in his cheek, and it was fun.

The farm also grows muscadines, which of course I referred to as "grapes". And was sorted out right quick on the difference. (I know the difference. I just fail to have a significant level of awareness to remember to differentiate. Six years, you'd think I'd have developed some sensitivity to Southerners and their agricultural affections. I'm trying. I really am. But in my defense, I have yet to find anyone who makes muscadine wine - which might help cement the image in my head - and, let's be honest, they do look an awful lot like grapes.)

James had a blast narrowing down all the minutiae of the ripest, sweetest, best berries for picking. This kid loves things on a level most of us don't even know exists. He will never mistakenly refer to muscadines as mere grapes. He is awesome. He also picked the best berries, and we will all enjoy the benefits of his attention to detail, tomorrow afternoon, in a pie.

Since it's neither healthy nor interesting to be too focused on any one thing, the kids found all kinds of interesting creatures: spiders, ants, and a caterpillar or two. There's one on the fence. Honest. Although I do love John's caption idea: "Is this thing electric?"

Thanks to serendipitous timing, we had a full bucket right about the time we realized we're all dehydrated and it's only getting hotter. The kids were still in high spirits, so we decided it's best to bail before the crew decides to mutiny. We checked out, bought some wonderful local clover honey, and came home to enjoy the a/c and blueberry pancakes.

And that was this morning's adventure. My timer just beeped, and now I must move on to the next adventure of the day -- time to clean. The rest of the crew knows it's better to run errands with Dad than to stay home and clean with Mom, so I've got the house to myself. True, this means I have no help, but it also means I can crank my music without any external mockery to hamper the enjoyment. ;-)

Kiss those babies!
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Thursday, June 23

This week...

This week, we had the wonderful Aunt B with us. I have pictures, but Blogger won't recognize my phone texts, and none of us remembers where we put the camera upload cord. (It's a recurring theme with us, but this time it's a fairly legitimate loss, as we only recently found the camera battery charger, which had gone MIA back in March. I'm sure we've cleaned the school room at least once since then, so there's no telling where we stuck the random-at-the-time cable.)

We took her to Burritt on the Mountain one morning. Lovely, lovely time of day to go. Pretty little place, too. I was very tempted to climb under Dr. Burritt's dining table and refuse to leave, but settled instead for taking pictures so I could show them to Zorak and whisper, "Do you see those *ceilings*???" Some people might crane their necks up to the ceilings and think they just wouldn't want to clean them. I look up there and think, meh, I don't clean the ceilings I can reach by standing on my toes - at least these are high enough you'd have to squint to see the cobwebs instead of walking right into them. And the windows? And the straw-bale walls, reminiscent of old-school adobe construction. Gah. Gorgeous.

We rented a pontoon boat and spent the day on the river. That was John's birthday, too, so we brought some friends along. There is something absolutely magical about swimming in a river on a hot summer's day. Even moreso when there are no venomous snakes or alligators along for the fun. (And there weren't, so it was one of those Great Memory days.)

We met Zorak for lunch in town, and hit the little-bitty farmer's market in town, and made s'mores on the balcony. It was a really lovely visit, and we're so glad she came. I wish it hadn't been so blasted hot, but then we had rain for two days, and that's always a treat to someone from the desert. (We've been here six years and we still geek out when it rains over a quarter of an inch at a time.) So pretty!

Today, we knew the letdown would come. So we rolled with it. The boys played Monopoly. Em and Jase watched Wonder Pets until we couldn't stand it anymore. I did all the little, boring chores that needed doing, but didn't rate doing while company was here. It was a quiet, restful day, and it was good.

Tomorrow starts our Summer of FUN. Full title and everything. Should be interesting, if nothing else...

Kiss those babies!

Well, that's better. Kind of.

We needed a change of scenery! Or a tall caramel mocha double something turbo latte. But today isn't an in-town day, so this will have to do. I don't love it, but I don't hate it (I just hate change. Change is hard and awkward. And it highlights the myriad skills I don't have - like web page layout and design. *aherm*)

Back later for some blogging. Right now, I have to make sure the children have not broken into the pantry stores down there in the basement. They're playing a game of Monopoly that makes me want to hire a medium to contact my own mother and apologize (repeatedly) for the summers I spent yelling out, "MOM, it's your turn AGAIN! MOM, where'd you GO, Mom?"

Now, I know.

She was a good woman.

Kiss those babies,