Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Visit with 1.2 and 2.1, up to day 4...

I came home from work early on Friday- my dear co-workers and boss taking pity on me. I felt SO awful. I took some generic Nyquil type stuff and crawled to bed. Saturday, Mr C suggested I cancel going to get the girls. I told him how disappointed Nickole (2.1) would be, and if I had what HE had had last week, I should be better soon. He got ready and drove me to get the girls. I was so grateful- I just wanted to go to bed once we got home.
Saturday night was pretty laid back. We watched Nickole's FAVORITE SpongeBob movie. Jammies were put on and everyone got to bed just after dark. Sunday morning, I got up and made the promised pancakes. I asked if blueberries were desired- and got an enthusiastic YES!!! (Nickole told me they are her and her daddy's FAVORITE!)
Fortunately, I added the blueberries to individual pancakes and not the bowl of batter. Apparently REAL blueberries are NOT Nickole's favorite. But she tried them, and then I made her a pancake without blueberries. She ate every bite!
After breakfast, we got dressed and got our containers, and we went blackberry picking. Alana (1.2) was having a wonderful time. Nickole had fun with the concept. She DID pick some berries herself. I had to laugh when, at one point, she suggested Alana and I take her bucket and pick the berries FOR her, and she would just wait in the car.  The idea didn't fly, and she helped pick more berries.
When we got back to the house, Grumpaw had been working in the garden. He brought in peas, green beans, and squash. I washed all the veggies, and the girls helped me deal with them.
Alana snipped the ends off the beans, and Nickole hulled the peas while I cut up and bagged squash.
Alana and Nickole both sampled raw squash. We got the peas bagged and frozen, and the beans refrigerated for later use.
Then we made the blackberry jelly. While I tried to get pictures of every step, I later discovered my camera was malfunctioning, and it was taking short, blurry videos and not photographs on many of the attempts.
Once the jelly was made, and cooling, the girls did custom labels for each of the jars. I toasted some 15 grain bread, and we had jelly toast. 15 grain bread was another new food for Nickole. She thought it was "too hard to eat", but managed to finish her 1/2 slice of jelly toast. (This was her decision. I told her it was her choice on whether to eat it or not when she grumbled that she guessed she would just sit there until bedtime and NOT eat it. I hadn't even mentioned her sitting there until bedtime, but hey, if that was how she managed it at home, I went with it! I told her how sad we were going to be for her to be inside sitting by her jelly toast while we were outside at the campfire, having s'mores after supper...  apparently 15 grain bread was not entirely intolerable.)
We did indeed set up a tent... and discovered that it should of simply been pitched in the trash, rather than packed up and stored! Broken zippers and torn screens and a good deal of aggravation aside, we took that tent down and set up a different one. The bedding, pillows, and toys were carried out. We had a campfire. Pottied endless times, involving unzipping the tent door, which tended to catch on the fly every. single. time.
Mr C set up a hammock to sleep in nearby, and suggested I would be better in my bed. (The coughing up gunk was worse, and every breath was a wheeze). I came inside and checked my social media... and learned that while there was no rain in the forecast, the local weather station had us under a severe storm "pop-up" advisory for our county. A possibility of large hail and 70 MPH winds.
I alerted Mr C, and we made a precautionary decision that everyone should come sleep inside.
Breakfast Monday was "minion" cereal. I had opened a new carton of milk... the gallon(?) of Almond milk in the plastic jug had run out. This was a cardboard carton of exactly the same stuff, but not in the plastic jug. This upset 2.1.... she suddenly didn't LIKE this milk (which she had been drinking by the glass full for 2 days without problem.) Since we couldn't go do our plans for the day until she finished her cereal (It was already lunch time when she awoke at 11:00 am), we waited for her to decide the milk wasn't damaging the cereal and eat.
Then we grabbed stuff to pick blackberries (just in case) and some towels (just in case) and water (having learned our lesson about forgetting water the day before) and took off. We drove to Hobbs State Park over East of Rogers. (Stopping for a chocolate dipped cone along the way!) We hiked TWO trails, of 1/2 mile each. The tall shady trees kept the paths cool in the 89* heat. The girls enjoyed the various lengths of the stream we were near, feeling how cold the water was (FRIGID!) with their hands as we observed frogs, butterflies, and dragonflies.
After the hike, we stopped in at the Nature Center. Wonderfully air conditioned! They have taxidermied animals of many varieties native to Arkansas. (I dropped my camera once... and it seems to now be working fine, no longer taking the video clips when I want still shots!) There were bear, bobcats, wild turkey, bats, raccoons, and many variety of birds on display. We got to see live snakes and a three toed box turtle in glass cages.
Leaving the nature center, we drove over to War Eagle Mill, and watched the water powered mill wheel turning. We didn't go inside, as 2.1 was more interested in the stream powering the mill. THIS is why I tossed towels into the car! Alana and Nickole waded near the small sandy shore, gathering shells and attempting to catch minnows. The water is MUCH deeper and there was so much LESS beach due to the higher water level as compared to when Becky and Paula and I were last there. We hadn't been there long when quite a number of other families began to show up... and it was getting crowded. So we headed for home.
Supper was grilled pork chops, deep fried green beans sprinkled with parmesan, and roasted cauliflower. Nickole found the pork chop acceptable, but it took quite awhile to actually TRY the green beans (I had put 5 beans on her plate, and about a teaspoon of cauliflower.) She was crying she was AFRAID of her food. Eventually she ate 1/4 teaspoon of cauliflower and two green beans. She didn't die.
Alana loved the entire meal.
Today's plan is Jones center for Ice Skating.
 But first, breakfast...

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