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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Put Me in Summer and I'll Be a---

Fullness. That is how I'd describe summer. Full of life, unpredictability, spontaneity, and motion.

Corwin and a little friend enjoying dinner together.

A kind of big change in our house the past month or so is that Wally watched Forks Over Knives 
and decided to try going what I call vegan+ and what Wally calls whole-foods, plant-based diet. 
Basically, vegan with little added salt, sugar, oils, or processing. No, we aren't dieting. Obviously, 
if you've seen Wally, you know he doesn't need it, and personally, I think I'm just about perfect ;0)
 My parents have tried to convince us of the benefits for a while, but it took some time and the 
documentary, and, shall I say prayer on my part, for Wally to buy it. I found him watching the movie 
on his own one night, and I didn't even know there was one. Anyway, if anything, it shows me that 
prayer works even if the diet doesn't solve our health problems :) Now, for those of you who are
 thinking, "Well, scratch them off the list of people to have over for dinner." Please don't. We will 
eat what we are served and enjoy it without guilt. This is just a lifestyle/health change for us; not 
something moral. And if you choose to make a foray into vegan cooking for us, we'll be happy 
about that too. We understand from experience how difficult it is these days to satisfy every diet
 in even one family. 

Surprisingly our kids have barely noticed. They still eat and enjoy, but might comment about how 
they only will get special sugary rich foods on their birthdays or at other friend's houses now. 


Alden and Corwin making crepes for our little book study on France.

Alden's "soft house" inspired from a book. He built it each day for rest time for almost 2 weeks.

 The kids had fun at VBS, and, as always, one of their favorite things were the puppets.

When they got home, they put on puppet shows and made their own scenery. If you think Alden has
drawn a disproportionately large figure in blue, you'd be correct. He is supposed to be a giant.

And now that we have Pippin, our rowdy day occasionally continues past the kids' bedtime. This time
 it was pretty hilarious. Sorry about the garish yellow floor. It looks especially bad in the camera at night.

Somehow he got his head stuck in the dog toy. I probably should have spared him the embarrassment,
 but I had to get a clip; it was too funny.

Other Pippin fun:

"FREEDOM!". If you don't know, watch Braveheart.

Catch with Daddy. Or should I say, throw with daddy, since catching would be the part that happens
the least.

I finally had a hankering to go camping after having kids. So we went over Independence Day. The
kids were SO excited. Especially Corwin. This is how our conversations went leading up to the big

M: Corwin, sit down and eat your supper.
C: I want to go camping. 
M: What do you say when I tell you to do something? 
C: I want to go camping.
M: (SIGH) Sit down and eat your food.
M: I know you want to go camping. We will go camping tomorrow. But if you want to go camping tomorrow, you need to sit down and eat your food now.
Daddy exits line of vision.
C: Where did daddy go? Did he go camping? I want to go camping!!!
M: No, daddy just stepped out to get something out of the car. Daddy will not go camping without
C: I want to go camping.

Imagine similar conversations every, oh, 15 minutes for 3 days. I was already insane before we go

Then when we got to the campsite: 

C: I want to go to bed.
M: We need to set up the tent and eat supper, then you can go to bed.
C: I want to go to bed
Ad infinitum...

The first night went great until Corwin somehow managed to dump a whole cup of water in his
 face while he slept. You can imagine the cacophony that ensued. Mommy ended up with the
wet pillow in exchange for blessed silence.

The next day, we went canoeing. We saw osprey and these neat little birds that built their nests
from mud under the bridges. I have yet to find out what they were. The kids' favorite thing was
 to ride the wake of the motorboats after they passed. Pippin didn't know what to think of the
 water. We think he thought it was a solid surface because he jumped out of the boat almost
right away, sunk, swam, got dragged back in, and never tried that again. He ended up really
enjoying canoeing with his little front paws hanging over the side of the boat.

We had some good friends come to camp that night. Everyone had a great time.
Alden and his friend playing soccer in an empty camp site.

Testing the weight capacity for our canoe. Didn't max it out! It actually made me think of the Sound 
of Music with the boat that capsizes.

Throwing rocks.

The camping trip was a bit of an experiment to see if we thought it would work to camp for a week 

in Acadia National Park in Maine in September. We made reservations when we got back. Hopefully it won't rain!

We started up our little mom and me Bible study for the summer. This time we are going through A Girl after God's Own Heart. On the cover it is labeled for "tweens". I hate that term. I don't care if
 there are varied stages of childhood, you don't need to give it a special label and marketing. I
 think it is so harmful to the little psyche to start labeling yourself into a category like that...as if 
you were expected to fit a mold of attitudes, interests, and struggles. Anyway, the book is fine, 
and the girls are taking charge going through their answers together, which has been fun to see.

Bwackbeywies, as Corwin would say, unless he calls them stwawbeywies or bwuebeywies. 
The kids came in with a little less than 1/2 cup and begged me to do something with it. So I 
said we'd need to get more. Our park is full of them, even more so than our back field, so we 
gathered some one morning. Corwin was like Little Sal and ate nearly every berry he picked.
 He came up to me and said: 

C: Wook! I got 1,000 bwackbeywies.
M: Oh! Wow! Let's count them!
C: One, two, fwee!

It really was three. He didn't seem to note the discrepancy.

Another cute conversation:
M: You're getting so big!
C: Yeah, my potty is gone. 
M: That's because you are so big. 
C puts hand on head: Yeah, I get all the way to my head. 

We're trying to memorize the love verses from I Corinthians. This was week 2 on verse 1. So 
proud of him!

Rhianwen on the big slip and slide daddy made in preparation for Alden's birthday party. I just 
pray no one will get injured. She had 2 teeth pulled this month and took it like a champ. This 
month she also found out that her "best friend", a girl friend next door, moved away without us 
knowing that the last goodbye was the last. Rhianwen was very sad. The boys are sad they lost 
their cool older boy friend who also lived next door. 

Pure joy.


  1. Acadia!? We just got back and loved it.

    Let us know if you want to use us a stop over on the drive up or back! We've got a great finished basement and would love to see you guys, even if it was just for breakfast after a late arrival!

    Andy P

  2. Summer is such a nice time of the year and it looks like you are having loads of fun. I can't believe all of the people in the canoe!! Glad you are getting some use out of it. The ole Pippen is getting BIG! Dad just brought me a bunch of blackberries last night from one of his recent trips through SC ;-). Are these the same as dew berries?


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