Days 2017

Days 2017

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Whole Famdamily and some Curious Green Bananas

Well, this summer is going a little smoother than last summer when it took me about a month to adjust to having five kids at home all day every day.  We have a pretty good chore routine, etc., in the morning.  Unfortunately I spend all morning directing chores and finally get to my own stuff later--with much interruption.  Oh well.  It's more important that the kids learn to work than it is for my own bed to get made every day.  Here are some pictures to prove that we also have done some playing.

Luke decides summer is pretty sweet.

She loved the magical Rainbow in her pose here.

Macy entertained herself by doing "Mermaid Poses" and making me take pictures of them.

Leslie wanted to remind her of the True Mermaid Pose.  (Ariel.)

All that playing with the big kids wore this little tyke out.  Nothin' like a warm fluffy towel.  And I dont' even use Gain!

Leslie had a fun second year of Girls' Camp experience with good friends and good weather, just thought I'd post some of her pictures here.

They got to ride a bus up.  This is quite early in the morning.

They stayed in large cabins with plywood bunks.  There was more than one bunkroom per cabin.

They had a log and ropes course of different team building games.  In this one they had to get the girls from one end to the other without falling off.  Everyone was teasing Leslie for being the tallest and on the end.

 I think this may be a "yay, no brothers!" face.

While Leslie was at Girls' Camp, my brother and his cute wiffy were so kind as to take my two older hooligans up to Montana early for Haynes Cousin Camp.  They (Boston and Cooper, my Mom and Dad, my brothers with their families, my sister Darcy's family, my Aunt Kelly with her family) went on an adventurous 15 mile bike ride on the Hiawatha Trail near Missoula.  The trail goes through miles of tunnel, necessitating some fun headlamp action. I think most of it is downhill, making it doable for kids.  A bus brought the whole group back with their bikes.  Wish we could have made it.
Love this one with Dad and his boys.   Minus Luke and Jett.  Addy making a strong showing for the girls.

Jaxon, Cooper and Boston.
The boys also made it to the lake without us.  Twice.
What other Grandma tells stories and also sleeps out in the tent with her grandkids?  All Week Long?
While the boys and Leslie were gone, I took Luke to the sitter's so Macy and I could have a trip to Seven Peaks Water Park all to ourselves.  (It was fun but also gave her something to brag about to her spoiled brothers.)  Finally Leslie joined us, missing her last day at camp, and we had a strangely peaceful nine hour drive to Montana for the 4th of July festivities.  It was the first time my siblings and their spouses have all been together, and the first time in seven years for an extended family picture.  Pretty fun.  The weather was great, and my parents did a fabulous job keeping us all entertained with a bounce house, 40-wheeling, water guns, volleyball and badminton, archery, slip n' slides, rockets, hunting gophers, fireworks, WWII family artifact evening, parades, fishing, boating, tubing, campfires, visiting with friends and relatives. And lots of eating. Sheesh, if we'd packed that much fun into a few days when I was growing up, I might have decided to never grow up!  I guess there were a few uninvited mosquitoes.  And I don't know how many times the dishwasher ran.  Oh, and in Montana, a lot of people don't have air conditioners because you only need them in...July.  Maybe that's why mom liked sleeping in the tent!  Mark, Luke, Macy and I slept in a very comfortable camper that was nice and quiet for Lukey's (and my) naps.  Thanks to the Giles' family for that.  It was also very beautiful, as usual, but for some reason this time I kept noticing how vibrant all the colors were.  Maybe because usually we come in August and things are a little dryer and browner by then.  Boston and I saw a marvelous sunset out on a walk, we'd go forward for five steps or so, then turn around and notice how much it had changed in that short of a time.

The boys even had fun just sitting on the 4-wheelers.  A lot.

I think these two will get closer and closer as they age.

I don't think anyone was impaled.

I taught Macy what every little girl should know--how to suck the nectar from a honeysuckle (columbine).

My no-longer-single brother.  Thanks, Natalie, for making my sibling family complete!

Even Leslie quite enjoyed the bounce house.
Papa got a belated Father's day gift from Utah.
Vollebyball.  And I love that Macy in the swing is center stage.

We get along so well when we're well fed!
Roasting marshmallows with my namesake (I guess I'm his namesake...) Happy Jack.  Grandpa's pretending he has Pepsi.  Either that or he was too smart to put down his water cup with all the tinies all over the place to steal it or spill it.

Ah, the snake fireworks.  Nostalgic, but we didn't remember them being so hard to light and I think Jake finally threw them all in the fire.  That was entertaining.
Happy Jack with some of his greats.  And a little smoke, sorry Dylan.

Good cookin, Good Lookin!

Two girls with a view.

Sparklers.  Also nostalgic.  Although I think we should have spread the kids out a little here.
Watching Duke's firework show.
The Japanese blade, captured by my Dad's Uncle Harry Van De Riet, Jr. in WWII.

Dad's sister Margie.

I LOVE this picture.  Harry and the Tough Guys!

Oh, and there were a couple of very patient dogs to play catch with.  We like Other People's Dogs.
Up again this year, singing the Old Gray Mare.

Macy (center) is enjoying our family's "private" lake, Willow Creek Reservoir. I kept mispronouncing it Willow CrEEK instead of the more correct Willow CrICK because that is also the name of Leslie's Junior High. 
My sister-in-law Rachel is Champion Auntie for building rockets with the kids.  I think all I did was take naps in the camper with Luke and wash a few dishes.  I guess I did make some brownies at one point, right kids, heh heh? 
We survived the family picture. 

And then all the grownups peeled out in their cars, speeding toward the Canadian border as fast as humanly possible.  (Insert Evil Laugh Here.)  Love Dad's face in this picture, right in the center.  There is another variation of this shot where Dylan is slapping the baby instead of sticking his finger in his ear, as shown.  No lie.  Hilarious.
Love you guys!  And also love how this picture makes Brooke (nearly six feet) look short.  That's what brothers are for, right, Brooke?  Look how good you all turned out since I was the oldest and set such a stellar example!!!!  You're very welcome.
   PS.  On our drive home, just after reaching the highway, Boston saw a farmer irrigating out in the field.  "Oh look!" he says.  "There's Grandpa, out irritating!" 

The first week we were home we got toilet-papered.  The first one was a little one roll job, fessed up by the young men.  Before we discovered the culprits, Mark (not-your-smartest move ever honey) sent a text to some friends that he thought had done the deed, and that it was a pretty pathetic job of it.  They hadn't done it, but apparently it egged them on.  A whole team (including members of my BOOK CLUB that I publicly acknowledged on facebook as being obviously innocent!!!  This means YOU DeAnn break-no-rules Kettenring!) did this  "wonderful" job a few days later.  Mark was not even home to appreciate it, being in Park City on his annual fellas weekend with his high school buddies and their sons.  Thanks to Leslie and Steve our next door, innocent but not unaware neighbor, for cleaning it up for me.

The yellow on the side is a poster of a minion from Despicable Me.  That was a clue, I guess, that Mark understood.

Macy thought it was crazy, Luke kept pointing and saying, "Uh Oh!  Uh Oh!"

 After all that work and a week at home under our belt, we decided to take a break and spend the evening at our favorite Dry Creek park.  I love that we almost always have the place to ourselves.
The kids had fun catching water skeeters, etc., while Mark grilled and I pushed Luke in the swing.

Mark liked the idea of this outing because he could soak his sprained ankle (basketball) in the creek.

This was the first day his ankle turned purple, it was a pretty bad sprain, his first in a few years, although he has sprained this same ankle several times since our marriage, and once before on his mission in France, always playing basketball.  Maybe he should take up rugby and be on the safe side.

This park has several HUGE trees to play around, overturned and sideways.  Macy kept calling them her magic treehouse.

Boston takes it easy.
Summer has truly arrived.  The other night our bishop gave us some zucchini.  Luke was mystified by the new arrivals on the kitchen counter and brought one over to us after the other kids were in bed.  "Banana!" he declared.  That led to a pretty amusing argument that I'll close with here.

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