I know posting has been rather sparse of late. That's just due to me livin' my life, my friends. I suppose I could do a giant brain dump to catch everybody up on life here, but I suspect there's only so much you'll find interesting. So I'll summarize with one of these random update listy things. With a few pictures.
1. We had a nice long visit with Stuart's parents. They retired in June and are spending the first several weeks of their newfound freedom on the road visiting various family members spread all around the country, starting with Stuart's older brother and his family in North Carolina, then us in Wisconsin, and Stuart's grandpa and uncle in Montana. It's quite a trip; I think my MIL said total miles would be around 5000 by the time they get back home to Kansas.
2. We were lucky the weather held out. Most of the time they were here it was pleasant and sunny, so we spent plenty of time outdoors: at the pool for swimming lessons, at the park to practice bike riding (for Daniel especially, and boy has he caught on!), at a nearby state park for picnic and beach play-
- at Olbrich Botanical gardens for their annual butterly exhibit-
- and outside on the back deck to eat nearly every meal together.
3. This last item - eating on the deck - is because our kitchen is small and just plain too cramped to fit six people in to eat a meal. Sitting around the deck on camping chairs worked well enough, but it got really aggravating to be constantly running out of room and bumping into people in the kitchen. Building an addition to extend the kitchen and add adequate dining space for growing kids and lots of out-of-town visitors is in the long-term plans for this house, but after a week and a half tripping over each other just getting to the back door with a plate of sandwiches, the remodeling couldn't happen soon enough. Not that we can pay for it yet, of course, but the wheels are turning. I swear, the only time I have house envy is when I walk through someone else's dining room and find myself saying, "Wow! There's room in here for everyone to sit down!"
4. After nine days of a full house, as of this morning it's down to me and the kids. Stuart's parents left for the next leg of their trip, and Stuart himself is traveling for work until Wednesday night. Right now it's kind of nice having the quiet evening to myself, but there's been a lot of clean-up to do before the next round of visitors. My parents and my mom's sister are arriving Wednesday night for a few days' visit. To them I promise clean sheets and towels, but not necessarily freshly vacuumed rugs or pristine toilets (thank goodness I can refer to "toilets" in plural now). I was hoping to get more done today, but it turns out that after nine days of undivided attention from no less than four adults, they become rather needy and demanding when it's suddenly down to just mom.
5. They're also crabby from the heat. We're at the beginning of a 5-day heat wave. It's all anyone can talk about here. The NWS has issued excessive heat warnings Sunday through Thursday, with temps in the mid-90s and extremely high humidity. It's miserable. Five minutes outside hanging beach towels on the line had me drenched in sweat. I'm quite grateful now for central air conditioning (which we rarely use, but it's necessary in weather like this) and local aquatic facilities. We've been to the pool so much lately, I thought a change of scene would be nice, so right before dinner I took the kids to a nearby splash park:
They had a blast and played happily for at least an hour before it was time to visit the port-a-johns (really? you can't hold it? le sigh...) and go home for a late dinner. I couldn't help but notice that there was far, far more ethnic diversity at the public splash park than at the private pool we joined for the summer. I'm not sure what else to say about that, just an observation. In any case, we got home and put together homemade tomato soup with everyone participating in the process (Anya is scooping cooked tomatoes into the food mill, which Daniel is churning into the soup pot):
I think that's really enough for now. In the middle of all this activity, we took Daniel to the doctor and learned that his ear problems will probably not go away without surgery, and he was put on antibiotics for yet another ear infection (this makes #6 since February), but I think that is another post for another day.
TTFN (ta-ta for now)!