Friday Fun

Julie and I decided that we were going to take this whole pack of kids for a Friday bike ride.  It sounds like fun… in theory….

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We took off with six kids on bikes, one kid in a bike seat and two adults wrangling them all.

We didn’t even make it out of the alley before we  had our first casualty.   After we returned him to home with his dad, we set off again.

I have to add this picture… well, just because it makes me laugh. It does not fit anywhere, but it is special.

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We went on our ride, and we had a good time.  Some kids held up better than others.  A certain one of my children did not quite have the stamina  to pull of ten miles and so we got to spend some time together waiting for the rest of the crowd to make the return circle.

Isn’t she beautiful?

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We took lots of breaks, and our last big pit-stop was at the playground. It was nice to see the kids playing. Kids don’t PLAY enough anymore.

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#3 and #4 were determined to play on the springy horse thing… I think that she is a little too big for it….

Um… Buddy… I think you are too big for that too!

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It was even fun to watch the big bad teenager relax a bit and have a little fun.

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I LOVE this picture of him. He is actually smiling!

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What fun would a playground be without a toddler? You have to have a toddler!

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This boy… He just melts my heart. He is just stunning!

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We worked really hard to get a picture of the five of us… well… this is as good as it gets.

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We decided that we have to do this again next week.  Some of the kids are less excited than the others. LOL!  The moms thought it was fun.

I think I am getting older

I know.  Shocking, eh?

When we were young and dumb, and moved to Wyoming thinking that we could live on love and $18,000 a year with no health insurance, we looked at all the “Old People.”  I was always looking at those people with not just kids, but BIG kids.  You know, tweens and teenagers, sports and instruments, school and youth group, and all the things that came with being a parent of the older kids.   They did not have to have babysitters. Their kids had their own friends.  They did not worry about nap times, and they could do things not on a cranky toddler’s schedule.

I looked at them with a certain amount of envy, and thought they were SO much older than me. I was busy have babies and toddlers, and they just seemed like an entirely different stage of parenting than me.  They were OLD and boy, did they have it good!

Until very recently, I have still thought of myself (maybe not JP as much …LOL) as the young parent.  You know…so what if I was in my thirties, but I have little kids, and I am young… you know… kinda…

Every so often something happens that snaps me to the reality that many years have passed since Donny Paulson used to call me “Sparky.”

Last year, when our interns Tony and Haley came to work I was HORRIFIED that these CHILDREN were old enough to be married and here to live with US!  They were just CHILDREN!!!!!  Only four years older than my own child and married and on their first missions internship.  OH MY WORD!

Well,  tonight, it happened again.  We attended a wedding rehearsal, and someone decided to let CHILDREN get married!  Only three years old than my own child and MARRIED!!!!  OH MY WORD!

How many times have I heard myself say lately, “Twenty years ago…” ?

Tonight I had to admit to something that had been at least twenty five years previous!  Oi vey!

I have friends that I have known from that long or longer!

I don’t FEEL old! that is the crazy thing.  Here I am on the down hill slide to the big 4-0, and I don’t exactly feel old.  Sure, things might not be as flexible, resilient, strong, or durable as they were back then, but I am not exactly falling apart!

But then I look around and all these CHILDREN are doing things.  Like driving cars!  Have you seen how young children are when they drive cars?!?
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This kid is like SIX and he can legally drive a vehicle with a responsible adult in it with him!?!?

Kids are getting married at like twelve!

My contemporaries have children graduating and picking colleges or enlisting.

I blinked my eyes, and the years went by.  I am the old parent and Sparky is someone new.

Back in those long days that I was so overwhelmed with the exhaustion and continual drain, I remember the sage words of so many mommies who said, “You will soon wonder what happened to these days. ” They were right.

Not that I want an armload of babies anymore, or a toddler clung to my leg for hours a day, but I want to remember that each moment is precious.  You do blink and wonder where time has gone.

You think you will remember exactly what it felt like to hold that squishy, wiggling little baby, but the memory does fade and you struggle to imagine every detail that you once took for granted.

I am trying to savor the moments.  Even the ones that I make me want to strangle someone, because I am sure I will miss even those.  Pretty soon, Someone else will look at my children and wonder how they got so old.

The little man is in charge

When the big kids were away, the littlest guy had his plans for what we all were expected to do.  The very first thing we were to do as soon as we left the other kids at camp was to go fishing!  He really, really wanted to take the row boat out and see if we were going to sink.

We had to disappoint him, and we did not get to a chance to see if we could walk on water. However, we did get to go fishing!  We picked up some bait and we headed out to Four Lakes.
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He really, really wanted to catch a fish.  He tried REALLY hard.  He was happy for a while.

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He talked Grandpa and Grandma into going with us.  My dad had not been fishing in years, and I think he enjoyed it.  My mom, well, she just doesn’t sit still well.  Fishing is not exactly for her, but she wanted to see the little guy catch a fish!

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They went everywhere looking for the mysterious and illusive fish.

FINALLY, He was able to reel in the BIG ONE. He was SO excited!

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Isn’t it the cutest little fish you have ever seen?

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What a beautiful boy on a beautiful night!

Knocking down the list…

If you know anything about me, you know I have a constant to do list.  I always have projects and lists of projects that I need to get done.  I, of course, have list to made for this summer.  One of my first projects for the summer was to finally get the sidewalk and front flower bed problem fixed.  When we removed the extraneous door several years ago we were left with a sidewalk to no where.  Last year when we put on the new deck, we finally removed part of that sidewalk.

After we put on the new deck, the other sidewalk did not match the walk way either.  So we had MORE concrete to tear out.  I was also left with unkempt flower beds and missing grass and extra rock.
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All winter long we walked on pieces of wood in order to stay out of the mud on our way to our beautiful new deck.  The whole place was embarrassing to even look at, let alone call “home.”

Well,  I have made some progress…
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I removed the sidewalks and all the rocks, and let me tell you…. Swinging a railway sledge awakens muscles that you forget you have.  Then I had to bring in dirt to make the water flow away from the house, because we have so many water issues.

Then I was able to put in the flower beds, and I was able to save the perennials that came from my grandma.  I still have her periwinkle vine, Asiatic lilies, mums, and hollyhocks, and I am thrilled that they have a nice place to be now.  New grass had to be planted and then, a new sidewalk.

We didn’t have a lot of money for this project, and I wanted something with a little character. I opted for pavers.  Pavers are a totally new thing for me, and there was some learning, but we got it done.  My dad helped a lot of course!

Now, I have some landscaping to get working on to make the rest of the deck look presentable.

The way I see it, in another ten years, this place might look half way decent.  Just maybe!

Yeah…we did it again.

Last Christmas I got a special Christmas present.  I got my sweet puppy dog King George.  I always wanted a wiener dog when I was a child, and I finally got one.  AND to top it all off,  I got a strange looking one!  Well, George is now nearly nine months old.

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Well, George is growing up and now a big brother.  For some reason, my husband decided that the Griffin family needed a THIRD dog!  So today, Princess Penelope came home to meet the fam. Okay, so not the WHOLE family because three kids are away at camp, but she met #4, George, and Gizmo.

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Penelope took George’s stick… he wasn’t very happy about that!

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Then she played with his favorite hot dog squeaky toy.

Well, then she met Gizmo.  Gizmo is really not so sure what she thinks about having to deal with ANOTHER puppy!

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Poor  little Penelope has been thrown in the deep end.  It should be a very interesting few days.