Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekend Craziness

Well, it happened. My brother is actually married. The wedding was this last Saturday, and we had a wonderful time. Lots of family came to visit, and it was great to get to see everyone again.

I got pitifully few pictures of the festivities, but here are a couple.

Here are the kids with my new sister-in-law "Marie". She was a beautiful bride, and she's a sweet girl, too. I look forward to getting to know her through the years. Mim and Zaya were the flower girl and ring bearer, as you can probably tell.

Here are my brother and sister (Elisha and Claye) with my cousin Moose. My sister is on the right.

This is my father's family, minus one cousin and his family that couldn't make the trip from Arkansas. I don't know why I didn't get a picture of my mother's family. It is much, much bigger as she had five siblings to my father's one. Hopefully I'll get one from the professional photos that were taken.

The kids had the camera for a while, so we have several pictures of people from the perspective of their kneecaps. I thought this one turned out well, though. Art looked very handsome in his tux. (He was the best man.)

We also had some sad news this weekend. A man in my parent's church passed away after a very brief battle with cancer. He was a wonderful man, and left behind many children and grandchildren as well as a wife and countless friends. For more about him see my mother's heart-wrenching post.

Then My husband's uncle passed away two days later after a very extended battle with cancer. He left a wife and four children (all in their twenties). We've known this was coming for a long time, but that doesn't mean we aren't all grieving for him.

Needless to say, we've been through the emotional ringer this week. And with the funeral for Art's uncle this Saturday, and my dear cousin's wedding next weekend (in which the kids are RB and FG again) it doesn't look like that status will be changing for a little while.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vacation: The Reprise

I suppose I should be a good girl and post about our vacation before I forget all the details. I've been dreading it, but not because we didn't have a great time or I don't have any pictures. It's because we had too much fun, and there's too much I want to say, and we have too many pictures!

I'll try to be kind to my reading public, all three of you.

Today will just be a basic overview of what we did and where we went. Maybe I'll have the mental and emotional fortitude to go into more detail or funny stories as the week progresses.

The first day, we went to see the Alabaster Caverns. They weren't as great as I remember from my own childhood, but the kids seemed suitably impressed. They were disappointed that we didn't see any bats. Here they are when hope was still alive.

We headed to the Great Salt Plains Lake, and checked into our cute little cabin. Air conditioning, and clean bathroom with shower, and a kitchen with refrigerator, stove and microwave are my idea of camping.

We all swam and made sandcastles and hunted for fossils up on the dam. Great fun! (The water was warm and perfect that first day, but by the next it was quite a bit colder and had risen a good deal because of flooding in the region.)

This lake is very shallow. Art went all the way out to the limit of the swimming area, and it was only up to his chest. It's supposed to be that way through most all of the lake.

The next morning we dug for selenite crystals at the nearby Salt Plains. Here's Art with his excavation. Because of the heavy rains the week before, we were able to find most of our crystals in the washed out piles left by previous diggers. The kids did a good deal of scavenging.

We played board games in our cabin each evening. The kids were also introduced to the American traditions of Battleship and Uno.

On Thursday we went to Leonardo's Discovery Warehouse in Enid. They loved the huge treehouse/play area, but were stung by wasps from the firehouse in the background of this picture. They had completely recovered by the time we went back inside. It was a wonderful little place for kids.

We went to eat at IHOP, a first for the kids, and a lady who was passing our table on her way back from the bathroom offered to take our picture.

Then we went to the mall in Enid, which is a sort of sad and pathetic shell of what it used to be. Or so we heard. The most impressive thing we found was the three pound lollipop at Candyopolis. The lady had us take it out so the kids could get a picture with it. I think she was just so excited to have a customer she didn't know what to do with herself. She was offering the kids free candy and helping us with our picture and telling us that we looked like a military family. (Yeah, I was confused too.) I love living in Oklahoma. The people are great! (OK, most of them)

Anyway, that evening we went on a (ostensibly) four mile hike. The map was wrong, and we did a good deal of circling, so I think it must been more than that.

There are all sorts of funny little things that happened, but that's your basic overview. Here we all are standing by the spillway, saying howdy to our families back home.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Drip Drop

Well, we asked for it, and we got it. Rain, rain, rain. Luckily we were on vacation for most of it, so we had sunny skies and swimming a few hours away while our little home town got soaked.

The morning of July fourth was wet, but it didn't damper anyone's enthusiasm. Here are the kids ready for church.

Art and the kids and I went out walking the morning before we left on our little vacation and we got pictures of the creek here in our little town. It was flooding out of its banks and almost touching the top of the bridge.

I'll post vacation pictures soon. We had a wonderful time, but the house hasn't fully recovered yet from our return. We had a fund-raiser golf tournament and two wedding showers in the two days following our return, so there hasn't really been time to process it all.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer Sloth and Citadels

This has been a strange day in our home, in that we're still here and have been since we woke up. That has only happened once or twice since summer started. We'll be going in to Grandma Lilibeth's church tonight for VBS, so we won't be home all day, but we have been so far. I've been a very bad girl and spent an unspecified amount of time reading a fairly depressing Alistair MacLean book. The kids have eaten, however, and are tolerably happy and healthy, so all is not lost.

As soon as I came out of my literary stupor, Mim talked me into helping with a fort. It kept expanding and now encompasses three dining room chairs, two small Poangs, a coffee table, a piano bench and two play tents. Oh, and two blankets and two sheets and a bunch of clothes pins.

Here Mim is beckoning her brother over to join in her fun. (He's busy reading a Foxtrot book. Like mother like son.)

And here's a shot of the inside. You can't tell from the picture, but it tunnels quite a way. That big red bowl there is "the caterpillar bowl". You might say, "But Carina, that looks like one of your nice mixing bowls!" And you would be right. As of this morning, however, it became a home for three caterpillars. Mim promises that they will be released by morning, but I'm going to try to talk her into letting them go before we leave this evening.

Oh, and if you're wondering, this is a Poang. In deference to my Grandpa P and all his hyper-literal progeny, I will also add that this is a Poang even if you are not wondering.