First off, Daniel and Sam had a great trip to the shore of Lake Erie, for the wedding of their friend and former co-worker, Sarah. My young clothes horses bought very nice shirts, vests, ties, slacks and shoes for the occasion. Sam felt adding a jacket would be over dressing. As it turned out, he was right. Wearing your nice duds to a beach wedding is over dressing... even if you leave off the jacket.
They had driven up, and arrived Saturday afternoon. Dan said, "If you ever want to be stared at, walk in formal clothes along a beach. With your twin." An overheard remark: "Is GQ doing a photo shoot here today?"
They arrived back in Ohio in the early morning Sunday. Tom and I had arrived Saturday evening, with the kids and dog. After a nap, and a brief visit, the boys headed back to Arkansas. Jaffa went back with them.
Sunday was the planned 4th of July bash at Tom's brother Bob's house. (He is known to all the family as "Buck") It was overcast and damp most of the day, settling in for what would be a long, soaking Ohio rain by late afternoon. It slowed to a mist for awhile, and brats, burgers, and hot dogs were cooked. Someone fixed the kids plates while I was busy... and gave Tyrel a Mountain Dew "Voltage" as his drink with dinner. It has 55mg of caffeine, as well as red and blue dyes. (and 46 gm sugar!)
The kids had been munching cookies all day, and had had an ice cream cone. The soda was like rocket fuel. Yeah, real funny Grandpa and Uncle Buck. (I was told to "lighten up, it's vacation!")
We had a nice fireworks display by the small lake on Long Run Road.
The rest of the week was filled with hiking, eating, camping, sugar and soda pop. We went to a playground in Logan. The 10 acre woods were explored, the deck climbed on and over, campfires built and poked. Marshmallows were roasted, hot dogs and s'mores eaten with abandon. Tents were erected and slept in. "Bigfoot" knocked over an arched tree not far from camp, and left his footprint in the leaf mulch. (Cousin Luke admitted to the adults accidentally knocking down the bowed over tree, and the "bigfoot" footprint was only slightly larger than mine... so there we go. But the kids are sure Bigfoot was out there in the woods!)
As we packed to go, the swimsuits and lifejacket unused in the suitcase, Nickole remarked about "What a waste it was to pack a swimsuit!"
The idea to pay the kids for chores, and then charge a quarter every time they asked "Are we there yet?" worked VERY well. Nickole lost a total of fifty cents... once quarter at the 48 mile of 786 miles mark, and another at the 774 mile mark. Umpaw said it was MEAN of me to take the money. However, no one lost a single cent on the ride home! I feel justified!
I took along various magnetic toys, and got each kid a steel baking pan. They were actually grilling pans, with the round holes perforating the bottom, because they were cheaper than the steel baking sheets. The holes were great to keep the steel "marbles", as well as crayons and coloring pencils, from rolling around. The pans made excellent trays for holding snacks, a solid building surface. A clipboard held paper firm and covered the holes when the kids drew pictures. On our return trip, they played for a good eight or nine hours with the magnets. I do wish I had brought alphabet magnets, and maybe a few other items to add to the play. I had most of the loose items corralled in zipper bags (with slide zippers, because the other kind are too hard for kids!) inside of a couple of totes.
Now, we have Mt. Washmore to contend with. Groceries to be purchased. I have a few coupons for FUN to be administered in the next couple of days... and then we hit the road (kids and I) for their return to their homes by the weekend.Lightening bugs (FIREFLIES! we were often corrected) were caught and jarred. The hole in the lid of the jar was as big as my thumb, so no bugs actually died from their capture, save those inadvertently squashed with enthusiasm of the capture. Kids were released into "nature" with a camera and got interesting shots from their own perspectives.
|Tyre, Nickole, Great Granny Arlene, and Leigha Mae|
|Why yes, it does have an extra letter. "O-H-I-I-O" (or OHIHO) |
But you don't tell a pretty little three year old she doesn't NEED to be in a picture!
|Early Camp, before Uncle Buck arrived with his tent and tiki torches|
|A hat full of waterfall!|
|BIGFOOT IS REAL!|