Monday, July 25, 2016

Keeping Ourselves Amused

We are apparently running out of ideas to keep ourselves amused.

So Nicholas made the girls into his canvas.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Despite it All

Broken vacation--four of us here and two of us there.
Worried about Ben, and fighting some amazingly poor healthcare administration.
Watching the view of the men working on the building right through my beach view or their equipment left just out of my window.  (I was a particular fan of the trashcan labeled as a lead hazard.)
Giving in and going shopping when it rained and I knew not what else to do while I worried over the boy.  Then finding out that the only store at the mall I wanted to go to had gone bust.
Un-inflating all of those inflated things.
We still found our bright spots.  But we'll look forward to a do-over this time around.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nerdy Burger

When the girls and I saw this piñata at the store, we couldn't resist.
We saved it for the beach.

20 whacks, five a piece and it flew open on the last whack.

Why nerdy burger?
I have no idea.  One of the girls came home with a binder from school last year with an identical looking picture of a burger drawn on it, labeled "Nerdy Burger."
And for some reason, we have been tickled about this ever since, even though it makes no sense.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

And then we were four

And we worked on our tan lines at the pool a lot.

And they didn't seem to mind that dad and Ben had to leave part-way through.

And a little more attention, and more bacon.

And then we went out shopping and for sushi, which they adored.

And so I spent some time on the phone, worrying about Ben, having fun with the three, and wiping fog off of my camera lens from the touch of humidity we experienced.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Ladies!

Oh girls, you are a mess.
When I came to pick up Ben (and you) from camp the other day, we were in the emergency waiting room before I noticed just what a mess.  Dirt, unwashed makeup, crazy hair, and white paint spots all over your faces. When I asked why you were such a disaster, you answered me nearly with exasperation.  "We were making ourselves into reindeer, mother.  And then they said that Ben was  hurt and we couldn't get it all cleaned off before you got there. We're sorry."
Girls, you are beautiful. Even when you are a mess.

Elaine, you are a bright light and a constant. 

Alida, you are determined and independent. 
And I can't imagine a world without you!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ben's Beach Vacation

When I found him in the pool with his arm sticking out dutifully above the water, we went ahead and wrapped it in a trash bag.
He was a good sport.

Eating steak with one arm/hand is tough until you have help cutting it up.

There was no way he was going to sit out taking a whack at a piñata.

And then after some seriously messed up medical referral and doctor's office screw ups, he was scheduled for a realignment on Tuesday afternoon. 
Follow-up this Tuesday and a more permanent cast for five weeks.
No surgery!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Not Always Magical

And when the outings with the grandparents are over.
And the Fourth of July celebration has been extinguished.
Your mother makes you clean out this mess.
Just to keep us all a little grounded and a little humble.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


The girl answered the phone right as she caught that. Find the fishing equipment, and you find Elaine.  She turned out to be the most proficient fisherman of the gang. 

She is capable and strong.
And her heart swells for all things, and cleaning the fish is not really the best part.
I love you, Elaine.  No one wants to clean the fish; they never do.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Find the airplane, and you will find Alida.

Ready for adventure and ready to take on the world.
You tickle me, every day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Most Lovely Party

These girls turn 9 in just one week, and I love a toned-down celebration that focuses on the ladies.

They planned and made the cupcakes with grandma, and they waited for Patric and I to join them for Sunday dinner and gifts.  And it was perfect.

Happy Birthday girls.

Monday, July 11, 2016

And They Keep Going

I wish we could say this was the girls' birthday party, but it turns out that grandma and grandpa just have some really fun friends who throw really fun parties.

Here one of the boys is performing some American Ninja Warrior action.

And, I'm sure I have no idea what is happening here, although I note that those logs definitely look like the blow-up kind.

And Ben rides a bull.

And Elaine rides a bull with style.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

That's not right

The day before beach vacation; the last hours of camp.
Poor guy. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

They Just Keep Going...

And when they weren't at grandma's or the ranch, they were going.
Here they are at a marble factory, learning a new trade.

New clothes from shopping with grandma.

Books from the library.
I hear that Ben was not as engrossed.

Visiting old friends.

And making new friends with grandpa.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Ranch

And when they weren't enjoying Lawrence, they were at the ranch.  Driving the golf cart, a favorite.

In the water.

Paddleboat fishing.

Working on the new house.

Water play--it was hot!

Ghost stories with grandpa.

And many more golf cart rides.

And one evening we drove in to collect those kids, and we wondered why we would ever bother to leave with views like this.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Keeping Summer Going

Two weeks with grandma and grandpa in Kansas. 
There was time at the hangar, with flying.

Artwork at grandmas, of course.

And typing lessons for the ladies. 
Wonder if they'll look at this some day and attempt to even imagine what a piece of paper is.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

This guy promptly burned his face with a punk while blowing on it. Thankfully, this and one other punk burn on Elaine were the extent of our injuries...

We started off with some traditional smoke bombs, spinners and snakes.

Then things started to boom.

Really boom.

I tell myself that at least they were not all facing one another with Roman Candles.  Preference--mini Roman Candles, the larger ones they did not enjoy as well...

Then when the sun started to go down, we started to really light the place up.

In a big way.

And an often very bright way.

And we ended with a round of sparklers for all.
Surprisingly here again--the smaller sparklers ruled the day. 
And we were in for the night by 9:00 pm.  I'm pretty sure the neighbors were glad for this.