Happy 4th!

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." ~Erma Bombeck

Have a safe, happy and fun July 4th!


Lovin' Those Dog Days

One hundred degrees and rising.
Those are the temps this week. We can always count on a few weeks of very hot weather around here. This makes for GREAT boating days!

Saturday morning I made homemade potato salad and oven-baked chicken legs. We packed them up along with some other snacks and drinks, and took off to Levy Park on the Snake River.
It was the perfect day for being out on the water. The warmth of the sun made it so you wanted to jump in and cool off. We had a great time swimming off the boat, tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and surfing. We enjoyed our picnic lunch as we floated along in the boat.

We love days like this. I love that feeling of coming home afterwards, warm-skinned, bodies tired from activity and sun, and full from good food and family togetherness.

ps- Had to share these great photos I took of Trev!


Cubs, Bugs & Shrubs

Guess what I got to do today!

Hint #1 : I was gone from 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Hint #2: I am dead tired, and a bit spacy
Hint #3: My voice sounds strained and raspy
Hint #4: My nose and cheeks are a bit rosier
Hint #5: I had a sack lunch for dinner
Hint #6: The silence in this room sounds heavenly
Hint #7: I'm feeling appreciation for my daughters
Hint #8: Today my name was, "Monkey B's Mom!"
Hint #9: On the drive home, I sat in a daze at a blinking yellow light for who knows how long until I realized someone was honking at me.
Hint #10: The title of this entry
Hint #11: The picture at the top of page

Did you guess it?
Do you know where I was?
YES! I was a leader for the day at Cub Scout Camp (400 boys). Okay, now say this slowly...
H..O..L..Y S..M..O..K..E..S...!

I'll just sum the day up with a few negatives followed by a few positives.

Neg #1: I guess the hardest part of my day was keeping track of 12 rambunctious, excited, talkative, always-on-the-move 8 and 9 year old boys. They were all over the place, and my throat is sore just from trying to keep them reigned in.
Neg #2: Mineral study time. Although interesting, the presentation was boring and did not last long enough. Extra time meant...CHAOS.
Neg#3: Boy who will not be named. I will not go into details. Let's just say this boy doesn't quite live in the same world we do. It was a world of endless wandering off, endless dropping things off the bleachers, and ...well let's just leave it at that.

Pos #1: I got to be with M.B. all day, and he was so glad to have me there. I know this because he kept telling me so.
Pos #2: BB Gun Shooting. Fun to watch and help them. The best part was when they gave the leaders time to shoot. I finished and brought my tattered target back to MB to show him. He was amazed (so was I) that most of the holes were in the middle black circle. What was great was the way he took the paper from me and ran to show it to all the boys, who somehow seemed equally as proud of me. Great moment.
Pos#3: Boy who can be named; Chase. Followed me around and sat by me a lot, and presented me with a painted ladybug he made during craft time. So sweet.
Pos #4: MB's liquid eyes. He has amazing eyes. They are big, and the iris floats in a big sea of white. They are also very shiny, as if he produces a little more eye moisture than the rest of us. People who know him usually notice this and will comment on it. Today as I was talking with another leader, he glanced up at me with those eyes, and they caught her off guard. "How beautiful!" she said. He was embarrassed, but it was cute.
Pos #5: Although I am tired, I had a great time. Boys may be noisy, and burpy and they may like to smear chocolate pudding all over their faces at dinnertime. BUT, they have a sweetness I just love. They wanted to sit by me, and they kind of melted into the hugs I gave them when they accomplished something great. They shared with the kids who didn't have treats. They were concerned if another boy seemed upset about something. They laughed loud and long and had me doing the same. I think I really did enjoy myself.

I'm not going to say that I look forward to doing this again in the future, but I won't dread it. Somehow it was an experience I am glad I didn't miss.


A Good Read??

Anyone read a good book lately?

I need some good ones for the summer. The last two I read were big disappointments. The last great book I read was "The Secret Life of Bees" which was a while ago. I'm open to suggestions. I tend to like something with a bit of mystery, good plot, not too sappy, not too gorey, and no super sad endings.

This quote is sooo me!

"I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book." ~Groucho Marx


Summer Swim

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken." ~James Dent

Summer break is officially here! And, in keeping with tradition, we kick it off every year with the start of swimming lessons!

Who remembers the Ranchette Estates swimming pool? Well, that is where we go for lessons each morning. It's the same pool I swam in as a kid and teenager. Day after day we would ride our bikes there to cool off and to swim until we were exhausted. It's the same pool where we used to play "Shark" and "Marco Polo". The same pool where I would dive off the diving board time after time. First a jack-knife, then a front one and a half flip, then a back flip... Anything I could try with lots of air. I loved that! (sadly, as I've gotten older or maybe it's because I've become a mom, I get butterflies where jumping and height go hand in hand). Same pool where our family would go sometimes and swim warm nights by pool light. Same pool where my boyfriend had a job locking and closing it up for the night in summers.
These memories made me smile today as I sat on the warm poolside pavement, the smell of chlorine filling my nose, and the sound of splashing and laughter in the air. Monkey B ended his lesson with a springy cannonball, and Monkey A a sensible dive.
We walked out the front gate laughing and chatting about the joys of swimming and summer.


hiking it

As a family, we like to hike around together.
As Trev trained for Mt. Rainier he would climb our own local Badger "Mountain" with a 60 lb. pack on his back, 3 times a week.
Many times we would join him, and even now that the Rainier trip is over we still continue to go.
It gets our bodies and minds outside; moving, conversing, laughing and it helps us appreciate the beauty around us.
Whenever we finish, I always have that feeling that my time was just well spent.
Not one moment of it was wasted.


Just Relax and Enjoy the Flight!



Jury Duty Day

Hello! A couple things to share quickly.

Trev is back safe and sound. I admit I am sometimes a selfish person. I got the phone call a day early saying he would be home because the avalanche factor was too high and they had to turn around (no summiting this time). Part of me was happy to have him home sooner, but the selfish part of me thought, "Guess what that means! He is going to have to go back up on a different trip to summit." As I shared that thought with him upon his return, I was given his sheepish grin.
Good thing he is too cute to slug.

On another note, I got called to Jury Duty this morning, and enjoyed being dismissed off the jury for my views on depression and it's possibility of being used as a defense in this particular case. I actually would have loved to stay and participate in the whole thing, but honestly did not have the time to do it. I sat there the whole morning wondering how I could possibly be involved for 4 days, while I have a zillion places I have to be with my and my kids' schedules. Being a stay-at- home mom to 4 doesn't exactly give me the freedom to be involved in a jury at this point in my life, though honestly I would love to be given the chance again some time in the future.
So in this case, I guess it was a good thing (for me anyway), that I had some input to share, and they didn't care for it.
I was booted. So off I went to Costco, to pick up M.D. , to make phone calls to the school, to put away groceries, to put away laundry and now to pick up my kids from school.
Gotta run!

ps- just a note in case I made it sound like my schedule is more important than being on a jury. I didn't mean it to sound that way. In most cases I think I would be unbiased and would love to sit in on a case, but at this moment in time, I am overwhelmed with the thought that it would last 4 days because of all the things I am responsible for right now. And it did just so happen that I might have been a little bit biased in this case. Weird.