As promised; here’s the double update – and maybe that’s very appropriate; since we’ve pretty much been celebrating the twins’ birthdays for two days!
Thursday morning began with some really awesome wake-up calls – for the boys; since Naomi, Ehlana, and I had fun with doing that – and I put Naomi first for that because it was her idea; and she was most-enthusiastic about helping Ethan to start his sixth birthday with some remember-forever kind of fun!
Tai Chi by the river was pretty good too, but while Michael stayed to do that with us; he headed for the Inn right after that workout so that he could help with the rest of the breakfast shift while Mom and I took care of the birthday breakfast – though he stayed long-enough for Ethan and Ehlana to open their gifts from us. My brother and sister were happy to do that; had fun with the gifts from Mom, Naomi, and Aiden while having their special breakfast; and then they spent the next couple of hours playing with their best friends while Mom and I took care of the work around the house – including getting everything packed up for a birthday party adventure at Quarry Lake!
Yes, boys and girls; we had our second visit of the week – and summer – to Quarry Lake today; and Mom and I did that with a small gang of kids with support from some other parents helping with transportation or kid control while we were out there from late-morning through until late-afternoon. Ethan and Ehlana invited three friends each for the day and overnight camping, so Mom and I had eight kids to keep track of with help from Michael while he could do that with us between the breakfast and dinner shifts. There was bonus grandparent support too, but Grandma and Grandpa mostly helped out with the younger cousins – including when some of them needed naps after lunch.
I’m not going to write about every detail from those hours of extreme but kid-rated fun; since it’ll get boring if I write about rock walls, zip lines, swimming, and biking every time we go to Quarry Lake this year – especially since we all want to do that more-often now that we have more to do there than ever before! As always, what is important is that the birthday twins and their friends had an amazing day; and I’m glad that I got to share a lot of that fun with them today. Michael would have liked to spend the entire day with us, but Miranda needed him at the Inn for the dinner-to-close shift; and he picked the Quarry Lake and camping fun over other work options while I took the entire day off to have fun with my family and Ethan’s and Ehlana’s friends.
Michael returned to town earlier than most of us did, but I came home with him; and got started on the birthday dinner prep work while Mom got to stay and play a bit longer with the other kids. Our cousins and their chaperones were next to get back to town; and I had more help arrive – including from Rowen when she finished work for the day at the computer store. The cooking wasn’t a big deal, since we were having standard barbeque fare and cold sides and snacks for the meal, but we also set up the tables and chairs in the back yard; added more tents for the camping; and made a run to the Olde Bakery for the cakes and other treats that were mostly for breakfast on Friday morning.
There was a social hour ahead of dinner once the twins were there with their friends; other guests had been invited that weren’t staying for the camping; and Dad surprised the twins by driving home from the city just to be here for their birthday dinner! That was awesome; but it was also tough for Dad to do that; get his homework done; and get back to the city in time for work in the morning. The dinner was a hit with the kids; the gifts, cake, and ice cream kept all of us busy for quite a while; and then we had games and prizes going on for an hour after that while some of the volunteers – including Rowen and me – took care of the dinner clean-up that included dunking some little kids in the river to clean them up because that was faster than cleaning clothes and body parts a bit at a time.
We had some short canoe rides after that including visits to the park playground; more swimming near dusk; and then the campfire started as it neared full-dark. There was a fairly-large gang around the back yard for that part of the birthday adventure, but it was still all about the twins and their friends; so the campfire songs and stories were almost all kid-themed or rated. Yes, Michael and I had some pop song duet requests from the kids once he joined us after finishing up at the Inn, but those requests came from Ethan, Ehlana, and their friends. Mom allowed the campfire to go on until eleven o’clock, since it was a work night; and we didn’t want to keep the neighbors up with an all-night party – not to mention that it would have been embarrassing for the seniors if their grad party hadn’t been the best one of the week! ;^)
There were some disappointed cousins and other kids when it came time for them to go home for the night, but Mom had put a strict limit on the campers so that Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I weren’t overwhelmed with too many kids to chaperone overnight; and that worked out especially well for us when we had a bit of a thunderstorm problem in the middle of the night. I’m getting ahead of the story, but that really was the biggest news for the camping part of our fun. After we were down to four chaperones and eight kids, we all got ready for bed; had some girl and guy bedtime fun that included the guys trying to scare us while we – the girls – were having our bedtime chat and giggles; and then we were split up into four tents with one teen and two kids in each tent. Yes, we could have crowded six into each tent, but by then, we’d expected the kids to sleep after a long, busy play day; and that worked out as planned – until the thunderstorm woke all of us at around three-thirty.
For me, that meant after a very short nap, since I ended up doing some work on my computer after Ehlana and Naomi were sleeping, but while a couple of the kids were freaked out by the storm while in tents; we all had fun with the extreme weather experience – even when that was in a thrill ride sort of way for some of us!
That storm didn’t last long, and the kids all went back to bed for a while, but I ended up staying awake long-enough to see Dad off on his way back to the city and have a little chat with Mom before having another nap until the sunrise wake-up call for Tai Chi on Friday morning. Michael had to work at the Inn for breakfast again, but Rowen and Tim stayed with me to help with the kids; and they took the day off from work – or at least enough of it off so that they could come along for the canoe trip to the whirlpool adventure we did today with the eight kids!
The sky was overcast first thing this morning, but the rain had ended with the thunderstorm; and cloudy isn’t a bad thing when out on the river in canoes – even if things were a bit wet around the yard and at our little campground. Breakfast was an easy-meal with the bakery treats as the highlight of that meal; Rowen, Tim, and I took care of getting the canoes and gear ready to go; and Mom handled most of the picnic lunch packing for twelve. We had the work done by the time Michael could join us; we headed upriver with one teen and two kids in each canoe; and had a blast paddling upriver all the way to the whirlpool. The kids wanted to play in the water first once we were there; we did that for an hour; and then had our picnic lunch before getting back to the water fun and games for another hour before it was time to paddle back home again.
All of that exercise went a long way toward tiring out all eight kids, but that was also the end of the play time for Michael, Tim, Rowen, and me because we all needed to move on to work at the Inn, shop, or computer store once we had the post-canoe-trip work done. Michael and I were booked for the dinner-to-close shift; so I missed out on another barbeque dinner at home and the co-ed baseball game that Mom played in while Grandma and Grandpa had help for grandchildren kid control from Violet, Dillon, Christina, and Josiah. I’m sure that they had a lot more fun than I did at work but then we did have a pretty good night at the Inn; and I had a blast working with Miranda, Stephanie, Rebecca, and the rest of the servers.
I suppose that I also had more fun than the Roughriders and their supporters did – at least from the losing the game perspective; but I don’t think it’s fair for me to get any blame for the team losses just because I can’t be there to cheer for them while I’m at work. Dad took some heat for that too, since he didn’t get back in time to play in the game, but they only lost to the Ridge River Ranchers by a run; so I don’t think it’s a big deal. Those jokes are sure to continue, since I will be able to cheer for them during their Fourth of July match – especially if they win that game; but I’ll have to keep you posted on that potential joke and story.
For today, I had a good shift at the Inn, did pretty well for tips; and brought Michael home with me after we closed the Inn so that we could let the twins, Naomi, and Aiden talk us into one more camping night. That had been given parental approval by then, and while Michael and I might have liked to have a sofa sleepover more; the bonus camping wasn’t something we could refuse when that is something that we won’t be able to do with Ethan, Ehlana, and their friends for much longer. I don’t want to even think about going away to college tonight, though; so let’s not do that.
We didn’t have a campfire, but we did have some bedtime fun with Mom and Dad in the sunroom; some story time with all six of us in one tent; and then a bit more fun when Naomi tried to sneak into Ethan’s sleeping bag; Ehlana and I did the same with Aiden and Michael respectively; and we had some quiet cuddle fun with the boys before heading back to our own tent by a bit after eleven-thirty. Michael and I were tempted to just stay in the one tent with all four kids, but we didn’t do that; and I needed to be good with that because I had some work to do on my computer once Ehlana and Naomi were sleeping for the night.
I’ve done all of the work that needed to be caught up on now, but it’s late again; and I need to get started on my nap because Michael and I are working the breakfast shift. We also have more baseball tomorrow; I have chores to help out with around here; and I’m working the dinner-to-close shift at the Inn tomorrow night too. It will be almost-all-work for me through the rest of the weekend, but after two major play days; that only seems fair – and we won’t get to have more play days than work days most weeks through the rest of the summer – even if that would be amazing if we could do that!
Sleeping does need to be my top priority now, though, and I have covered the major news now anyway; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!