Saturday, May 30, 2009

John Paul

I'm just stupidly proud of these because they were Scott's idea - he's so clever ;)

They're for John Paul Merrick's baptism tomorrow. The last guy is John Paul Jones, in case you were wondering...


But I don't ever want to forget this (I took it with my phone, while I rode my own bike). It's Charlie tonight, with the Burley hooked up to his bike, with both Mary and Sam riding in it! He's such a great brother. Mary talked about all she saw, and Sam fell asleep before we got home.
Scott and I told him we thought they would be too heavy for him, but he said he wanted to do it, since he's training for the triathlon. He's a great kid!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Slumber Party

Charlie decided he wanted to host his very first sleepover party, in honor of his 10th birthday. Seven boys in our family room did not appeal to me, so we turned it into a campout! Let's get this party started!

Drinking Tang (what's that? apparently kids today have never heard of the stuff...) after the water balloon fight~
Then we moved on to archery~
and bags~
Isaac taking a shot~
Mary enjoying the first watermelon of the season, while I prepare dinner~
More bags while daddy fires up the grill~
Getting a quick hug between burger flips~
Dinner time~
Even though we have a nicely screened-in gazebo, the boys wanted to eat in the fort~
Or under, as it were~
Sam S. taking his turn at the bulls eye~
Mary testing out the tent~
While Sam takes aim~
Isaac made this cool card~
Time for silly string~
This is war~
A casualty~
And another - Mary has to get in on all the action~
And the ultimate boy
We took out an extra insurance rider for this party~

There's something a little "Lord of the Flies" about this - it's a good thing there were still some adults around~
Maybe this is what Sam was talking about~
A highlight was what Sam S. aptly said looked like "the devil doing his business" - snakes~
The next morning, after playing Capture the Flag and Ghost in the Graveyard until 12:30, they were up and playing freeze tag at 7:30am! They slowed down enough to refuel with donuts, sausages, strawberries, and hot chocolate~

And were on their way home around 10:30. By far, the best birthday, yet! It worked out well having them sleep in the tent. I was a little worried about it getting too cold, but after the boys insisted they wanted to sleep outside (no matter what) we borrowed some pads for under their sleeping bags, covered them with every blanket we own, and they all said they were plenty warm in the morning. Of course, it's hard to go wrong with fire...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kelly Park

This afternoon a bunch of kids from the Greenhouse met up at Kelly Park in Wheaton. I'm always amazed at the many wonderful parks available to us in the suburbs.

Charlie and Isaac (best buds, with the same haircut)~
Sam found this little inchworm~

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Growltiger's Last Stand

Charlie had his last day of Greenhouse. The children all performed their recitations. Here they are during Growltiger~
I didn't do a very good job of videotaping Charlie's part, but here's a still (courtesy of Jean F.)~
Even homeschooled kids can have yearbook memories~
I love this boy~
Little Miss Mary~
Even though we no longer have Greenhouse once a week, we still have plenty to keep us busy. Now is the time to amp up some things we've been neglecting...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They're Baaaack

The boys returned tonight from their annual fishing trip. Charlie snapped this picture, on the way down, in Missouri~
They usually leave Thursday afternoon/early evening, and drive about halfway. The next morning, they make it to Gene's in the afternoon. It takes about 10 hours, without stops. But there's lots of stops (so I've heard).
This was Sam's first time going. He was thrilled to finally be included with the big boys. Here he is with the dogs he's heard so much about (Geno and Grandpa are in the background, cleaning a "slimy bastard"~
Charlie, in front of Gene's new boat, bigger than last year, to accommodate the extra passenger :) ~
Sam's first fish~
Grandpa said this was Sam, measuring for his "fish story"~
19" - that's the same size as newborn Mary!
Charlie, Sam, Geno and Daddy~
With Grandpa~
Mary - happy to have her boys home~
We went to Roundheads to watch the Blackhawks, and keep the vacation vibe going a little bit longer~
Gene (and Dorothy) really are saints in the making. Gene is Grandpa's friend from a long time ago when he used to drive a truck. This is the 5th time he's hosted the fishing trip since he retired to Arkansas. It really is man-heaven. Deer walking through the backyard, satellite TV, little-t0-no fresh fruit and bathing ;). All the while Dorothy provides homemade desserts by request. One night she happened to mention that she wasn't sure what she was going to do with her stimulus check. Charlie whispered in Scott's ear "She should buy more pie supplies!". Apparently she makes the best pie and ice cream this side of the Mason Dixon. What a great trip!
(Except for the first and last photos, all are courtesy of Grandpa).