Happy 5th Birthday, Ethan and Ehlana!
There’s a lot to cover today, but I’ll start with welcoming the newest member of our family! Silkie is Ethan and Ehlana’s new baby – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy that they picked up this morning while in the city. Ethan and Ehlana named her; she’s absolutely adorable; and currently having a nap while cuddled between Ehlana and Naomi in our tent. I’ll have more on that to come, but before I get to that; let’s back up and cover more news from yesterday.
Yesterday, my morning started out great with Tai Chi by the river and breakfast in the sunroom. Michael stayed for that; and we found out the details of Mom’s trip to the city plans with Ethan and Ehlana. I really would have loved going along, but that wasn’t an option; and Mom needed help around here anyway while she was gone. Sure, she could have gotten help elsewhere, but I already mentioned that I wouldn’t have missed my practices anyway; so it all worked out for the best – even if I did miss out on the fun in the city.
I helped to clean up after breakfast while Violet and Dillon went to work at the lab and Mom, Ethan, and Ehlana started to get ready and the van loaded for their trip. Naomi and Aiden were dropped off with their overnight bags, and when they were all ready to go; I saw the rest of my family off to the city – a bit of déjà vu for me when it felt a lot like Monday morning – except it was later in the morning and warmer. After that, I had chores to get started on to make sure the yard was ready for the party today; so I got to that and worked for a couple of hours before needing to get cleaned up and to the Inn for my lunch shift there.
That was extra work for me, but Miranda had some schedule shuffling to do because of the extra business they’re getting on the weekends; so Michael and I were part of that solution today. Rebecca, by the way, was out at the farm with Lucas on Tuesday; and stayed there overnight for her second day off of the week. I don’t think that counts as a day off when she helped out on the farm while spending the day with Lucas; but they did have fun together; and I’m glad that they at least managed to have one day together this week – even if they’ll both be too busy to see each other much for the rest of the week.
Moving along, I worked the lunch shift with Michael; we met up with Rowen and Tim for Michael’s afternoon break; and then used most of that time to get the tents set up at Michael’s house for our camping adventure. We also went for a swim and had a late lunch; but then it was time for Michael to get back to the Inn and for me to continue with some more chores at home until I needed to be at the school for our marching band practice. Michael was at the practice too; though that meant only helping out with the dinner rush prep work before I picked him up at the Inn along the way to the school. Our band practice went great; we had fun with our teen praise team practice at the church after that; and then we split up long-enough for me to go home; grab a shower; and pack my overnight bag – along with the email check and micro-update I wrote in my journal while I was getting ready for the rest of my night.
The campfire was great – including the first part with Jacob and Miranda; the visit from Jake, Stephanie, Violet, and Dillon at the same time that Michael’s parents were getting ready to go in and up to bed; and the teen-only time after that with just the four of us until we put the fire out at eleven-thirty or so. While that seems early, it was a work night; and we didn’t want to bother anyone by keeping the fire going until later. Getting to the co-ed cuddling in our tents after that was a factor too; though we were segregated while getting ready for bed before Rowen and Michael swapped tents – I mean before they accidentally returned to the wrong tents after our washroom breaks. No details are needed for this report for the rest of the camping fun; but I will admit that Michael and I had a lot of fun with a quiet, but fairly hot make-out session before we cuddled close and went to sleep. I’m not going to go there tonight, since tent mate swaps aren’t an option when we have five-year old junior campers in the tents with us tonight! ;^)
Michael was working the breakfast shift this morning, so we didn’t get a lot of sleep; and then I was on my own for Tai Chi by the river after he left for the Inn with his Dad. I exercised then; had a little coffee and juice visit with Miranda when she was getting ready to go over to the Inn too; and then had breakfast a while later with Rowen, Tim, Jake, and Stephanie once they were all awake and ready to do that. Next up was moving the two tents over to my house for Ethan and Ehlana’s birthday party camping adventure. Rowen and Tim helped me with that before moving on; and then it was time for me to get to work on the rest of my chores – and setting up the extra tents for the camping tonight.
While I was busy with that, Mom and Dad did a birthday breakfast with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden; and then Mom took them to pick up Silkie after walking Dad to the courthouse and saying goodbye to him there when it was time for him to get to work. I’m backing up the story again, but should mention that the entertainment in the city for Ethan and Ehlana included some shopping, and afternoon visit to SportsFusion; dinner out at a favorite Italian restaurant with great pizza; and a movie night at the theater. The two-room sleepover at the hotel included an adjoining room, so Mom and Dad were able to spend the night together instead of having boys’ and girls’ rooms for the night. There was, according to the report that Rowen and I got before Ehlana and Naomi fell asleep a while ago, some co-ed cuddling going on in the kids’ room too for a while; but there were girls and boys-only beds by the time they were ready to sleep after watching a movie while Mom and Dad were busy working in the other room.
Getting back to my story from here at home, I had my work done before Mom got home with the four kids and Silkie; and then it was time to really get busy! Aunt Leanne came over with Zack and Brianna because Mom had brought fast food for her, but while we had lunch too; I needed to keep working – and helping Mom with some cooking for birthday party salads. There was too much going on then to have any hope of covering every detail, but the next couple of hours included a lot of fun as Silkie was shown around the house and yard; we used a bit of animal-human telepathy to smooth over the introductions between Mandy and Silkie; and the work continued along with story time and a bit of birthday fun here and there.
Michael came over after finishing the lunch shift at the Inn; and he was in time to help with the last bits of work before the kids began arriving for the mid-afternoon start to the party. It was time for Michael and I to supervise the kids and run the games for the next hour or so once all of Ethan and Ehlana’s friends and younger cousins were here. All of those games were fairly-standard party fare for a summer party; and the kids all had a blast – especially when it came to the messier games that included water balloons, eggs, and ice cream. Yes, that sounds weird; but we are not talking about all three of those things in one game! ;^)
The first half of the party had a time constraint thanks to our baseball practices tonight, so after the games, we went for a swim to cool off – and clean up in some cases; and then it was time for dinner. While Michael and I had been busy with the games, and we’d had help and spectators for that; Mom had lots of extra help with getting ready for dinner too. When half of the party guests are young kids, that part of the menu is fairly easy; but Mom did have other food available for the adults and teens too; so Grandpa and the other guys were kept busy on the grills for well-over an hour as they cooked up hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and a few steaks. Michael and I were on junior kid control during dinner while Mom took care of Ethan, Ehlana, and their friends. That meant that we had all of the younger cousins and some of their friends; and we had help from Rowen, Tim, Jessica, and Patrick.
It’s funny how Jessica and Patrick got drafted to help out, but Sophia’s here for the party, so Jessica was happy to help out, and while Patrick is doing a great job helping Michael and Tim with the younger boys; he’s definitely here because Jessica is too. Maybe I’d better move up my prediction for them becoming a couple; since that could already be official – and we’re still a week and a half away from the holiday weekend!
Dinner was a blast of fun, and I especially had fun with Brianna again. She really likes hanging out with me too; so I should find a way to do that more with her this summer if I can somehow add that to my schedule. Yeah, I say that kind of thing a lot; but she is growing up fast; and I want to be part of that fun with her! We did the full cake and ice cream dessert with the twins; they opened their gifts; and then the party play time moved to the park while some of the adults were busy with their ball practice. Rowen and I weren’t in on that because our practice was at the school, but we helped with the clean-up and getting the kids to the park first; and then went on to our practice. That was fun, but not exactly a break in the action as we worked hard to get ready for our next game; and then needed to hurry back to the park to help out with getting the kids home again.
Some cleaning up was in order by then, so we did most of that through a swim in the river; followed by getting the campers ready for bed ahead of the campfire. It was past-ten by the time we had the kids ready and the campfire set up and ready to go. There were some extra guests for the campfire, but that was mostly parents, grandparents, and the cousins that were still awake by then. We don’t, by the way, have any of the younger cousins here for the camping. We have enough on our hand with the group of four and five-year old kids; and keeping up with the toddlers too would have been too much. The campfire fun included toasted snacks, drinks, music, and semi-scary campfire stories; and only lasted until eleven-thirty because the kids were falling asleep by then. Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I had help with getting all of the kids tucked into sleeping bags for the night; I had a bit of extra work getting Silkie settled in for her first night with us; and Ethan wanted Ehlana to get the first night with their new dog because he’s that kind of brother.
Naomi did offer to share her sleeping bag with Ethan so that he could be there with Silkie too, but while he appreciated the offer – and would have loved to do that; he couldn’t exactly accept when all of his buddies were around here too!
So, we had the kids in tents and most of them sleeping by midnight; and then Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I had a bit more work to do to clean up from the campfire before we could sit by the river and have a wind-down break while waiting for all of our junior campers to be settled down for the night. Patrick and Jessica joined us for part of that sit and chat time; but then they headed for bed about fifteen minutes before we did. Rowen and I had a little chat before she went to sleep too once we were in our tent; and I’ve been working on my computer since then to deal with some family business work that needed to get done.
I’m not going to get much sleep, but I have pretty much covered all of the news, and we’ve got a busy camping breakfast and morning camp clean-up ahead of us; so it’s time to wrap this up and get all of the nap time I can – or I can take Silkie out for another bathroom break. Was she reading my mind; or does she just have really good timing? I have no idea, but since we don’t want any puppy accidents in the tent, I’m going to go and deal with that right now; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!