Thursday, July 27, 2017

Long Since An Update ...

Hi Friends!
It's been a while since I updated so, of course, there is LOTS to share.  
Summer is in full swing and we've been non-stop busy!  
Soooo ... this is going to be a REALLY LONG post, segmented into weekends as that seems to be what the summer has been all about ... THE WEEKENDS!!!

Weekend Beginning June 9 - 

This was the kick-off to summer and it started with us taking our girls and their friends up to CAMP AWANA.  Molly and her friend, Mina, have been going to Camp AWANA for the last several years and they LOVE it.  Mina's sister, Gwen, has gone the last couple years and this was Brynn's FIRST TIME to CAMP AWANA!  

The girls had a GREAT TIME at Camp!  They made new friends (as they do every year) and they learned new songs (to sing about Jesus) and they had new experiences (like playing Knocker Soccer Ball).  

(they had to WEAR these giant beach-ball-looking things and try to knock each other into the goal!)

(it's always fun when your team comes in 1st Place!)

(they even had fun when the camp lost power during a storm!)

While the girls were away at camp, we took the boys camping for a few days - just the two of them with just the two of us - something neither they nor we have experienced before.

It was SO HOT that they spent MOST of their time in the water!!  
They did not mind at all!

The only low point was something we just don't seem to get used to ... it is inevitable from time to time, especially in new situations or places we don't frequent.  There were gasps and looks of shock, whispering and pointing ... from a group of children who were playing in the water.  
Thankfully, Jonah and Rees seemed oblivious to it.  Sometimes, I wish this mama was oblivious too.

When we weren't in the water, we were at McDonalds enjoying a frozen Strawberry Lemonade and taking goofy photos with phone apps!!

Weekend Beginning June 16 - 

For Father's Day Weekend, we did our best to spoil the Babas/Dads/Grandpas in our life.  In the morning, the dumplings gave their gifts and homemade projects to their Baba.  

In the afternoon we headed out for some fishing and a picnic (never mind that we forgot the worms - for the fishing, not the picnic).  

Grandpa gave Molly a little lesson on proper casting (even though there was no bait on the end of that line) ... 

... and Jonah was so enthusiastic about casting his pole that he Cast His Pole right out into the water!!!  Baba, in his wisdom and skill, was able to use a different pole to "fish" for Jonah's pole ... SUCCESSFULLY!!

It was ridiculously windy ... but, never mind, ... we had a quirky but enjoyable time ... Fishing, but NOT really fishing!!!

Afterwards, we took a little walk in a nearby Arboretum (never even knew it was there!) and then went into town for some ice cream!!

Don't these gents look thrilled to have their picture taken??

The kids took straight to the competition of checkers.  Notice the players are the two most competitive members of our household.  Don't worry ... they managed to remain stable and low-key.   

Weekend Beginning June 30 - 

My dad's birthday is towards the end of June and he is REALLY into the Milwaukee Brewers so we took him to a baseball game!

We even tailgated!!  Brought all the tailgate fixings and set ourselves up for the real deal!!

In case you missed our tailgate experience, which I previously posted about, you can CLICK HERE to read about that ...

Jonah wanted to be patriotic while tailgating.

Rees was INTO the Blue Cotton Candy!!!

It was a good experience ... AND ... THE BREWERS WON!! 
So, that was a definite PLUS!

After the game and the LONG walk back to our car, we quickly discovered that one of us did NOT close our door all the way ... which lead to the interior lights to stay on ... which lead to the battery being drained ... which lead to us not being able to GET IN our vehicle, MUCH LESS start it!! 

Oh boy!!  

Well, before you know it, there were several parties scouring the remaining cars with people left in the parking lot in search of jumper cables!  It was a pretty humbling sight!!!

We were BLESSED because someone DID HAVE jumper cables and got us back on our merry, though slightly frazzled way!!!  

Thank-you, JESUS!!

Weekend of July 7 - 

As we didn't see both Grandpas the weekend of Father's Day, we planned to see Brian's parents a couple of weekends later.
To enjoy the day and provide some entertainment, we held a little kickball (mock baseball) game ... Complete With National Anthem Via CellPhone At The Start Of The Game!!!

The game was only "SLIGHTLY" competitive ending with a few tears shed ... 

Afterwards, we headed out for Ice Cream ... because, well, Ice Cream makes everything better!!
We had FUN eating our selections and getting photos to remember the day.

We interrupt this scheduled Weekend Reporting to share some WEEKDAY news ... July 12, we got a lot of rain ... I mean A LOT of rain!!!

Our house and street were fine but houses down the street and towards the back of our subdivision were not as fortunate.  

In ALL these photos, the water is in locations where it is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE!

It was a pretty big deal where we live but believe it or not, there were other towns around us that had MUCH, MUCH WORSE situations ... like National Guard-taking-over-the-town-type situations.  
We are thankful not to have had any problems and our thoughts and prayers have been with all the affected towns/homes/people.

Weekend of July 14 - 

We went to the Milwaukee County Zoo - Jonah and Rees' FIRST TIME - NO KIDDING!!!

We, of course, saw lots of animals!

They really enjoyed feeding the goats.  The goats were really friendly ... probably because they knew food was involved ... regardless, that was quite fun for the kids.

Brian even got to get up close and personal with HIS FAVORITE ... a Bald Eagle!!
That was pretty sweet!
Did you know that a full-grown eagle only weighs about eight (8) pounds??  And MOST of their weight comes from all their feathers!!!
I was SHOCKED to learn this!!!

Brian' s love for eagles goes along with his favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31
...but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

These primates look a little glum, don't they???  

This guy cracked me up!!  
I wanted to say to him after I took this photo, 
"What?  Do I really look that bad?"

The next day we took the kids to Chicago Chinatown - again Jonah and Rees' FIRST TIME.
We weren't sure what to expect exactly but we thought the boys were going to be REALLY EXCITED!!!

But as we entered Chinatown and began looking for a parking spot, we discovered that the one day we chose to go to Chinatown on the day of their Summer Festival.  THERE WERE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!!!

As we continued to find our parking space, the boys became very quiet.  Rees looked a little worried so I asked the boys, "Do you know where we are?"
Jonah replied, "In China?"

As I was trying to respond that it was not actually China but a place where lots of Chinese people live, Rees blurted out sort of in a panic, "Mama, you take me back-leave me in China?"

Oh, the pain that was in my heart when he asked that question!!

We explained that we will NEVER take them back to China unless we go there for a visit. We are a family ... FOREVER ... and China doesn't get any of our dumplings back.

When we got to the Dim Sum restaurant and we took our seats, I thought Jonah's eyes were going to POP out of his head as he saw the ladies wheeling around their carts with all the delightful dishes of dumplings and delectables!!

They truly enjoyed the food and they loved the experience!!

Weekend Beginning Aug 5 - 

For the last month or so, we have also been planning and preparing on and off for a rummage sale!  The rummage sale is for my dad and is at his house.  For those who don't know, my mom passed away a little over a year ago and we are now at the point of making the decision to go through many of my mom's things.  

While going through some of her clothing, we came across some of her infinity scarves.  I brought a few of them home with me and when I went to put them away, ... LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!

This made me laugh so hard and I felt a really warm and good feeling!!  My mom really liked popcorn and she would buy it in these giant bags from Gooseberries.  She'd always ask me if I wanted her to pick up a couple bags for me and I'd always be like, "I couldn't possibly eat that much popcorn!"  She'd get me a bag anyway!

I can totally picture her eating the popcorn by the handfuls and a piece falling ... her looking and not being able to find it ... so just going about eating her popcorn again ... not realizing the piece fell into her scarf ... for me to find later.

Who knows how long it was in that scarf?  Who knows ... but I relished that piece of popcorn for a few days ... that piece that passed through her hands and missed her mouth ... such a small and simple thing ... yet it blessed me immensely!

I miss my mom every day ... but I am so grateful that I have good memories of her, memories that make me smile ... or laugh ... or even cry.

Friends, my mom had A LOT of things so for any of my local readers, come on out to see us as we pull off this rummage sale for my dad.  

There are LOTS of pajama sets and night gowns. Many of the sets were hardly, if ever, worn!! 
My mom LOVED pajamas!!  

There are several coats and many, many shirts and tops.  Most are sizes Large to X-Large.  Again, many are only slightly worn, while there are quite a few that are in great condition.  Some still even have the tags!!!

My mom also had a TON of jewelry ... you know the dress-up or costume type you can get at Kohls.  That was her second favorite place to shop, next to Wal-mart, of course.  Or maybe it was the reverse.  Either way, there's a lot.  My dad spent three whole days going through all of it and organizing it into the various little sets, if applicable.  Then he even bagged it all in cute little plastic bags.  Whew!!  My photos aren't doing anything any justice, but just want to give an idea.

There are also shoes, purses, bed sheet sets, books, DVDs (mostly all thriller-type ... that's my dad!!), fans, bird cages, electric and throw blankets, pictures, and lots of odds and ends. 
AND ... for my very special customers ... or any takers really ... I will making up the biggest batch of Welsh Cakes ever and they'll be available for purchase at the sale.  Who knows?  I might even be inspired and "energized" to make a few other items too.

My dad will also be trying to sell quite a few medical-related items.  There are a lot of things that were purchased with the intent that my mom would need or use them, however, most items just sat and collected dust.  So, my dad paid full price for a lot of equipment that hopefully someone else will need and use and be grateful for the reasonably discounted price.  

Prayers that the right person(s) will come along ...   

This is a Bath Tub Assist Handle = $8

This is the most used item my mom had - purple walker with seat = $35
My mom's name was written along the sides for her nursing home stay, however, I was able to get this off with nail polish remover.  What a handy tip!!

I call this the Tricycle Walker, virtually unused = $60

Wheelchair = $80

Shower Chair = $5

Portable Commode Chairs = $25
We have two of these.

Also available but not photographed at this time are a Bed Rail (Brand New), Hospital Bed, and Stair Lift.  Please pray that we're able to get these items sold to recoup some of the money that was spent.

If you read to the end of this post, ... you deserve a prize!!!  Surely, you are special and should be awarded with something ... how about an all-expense-paid trip to the destination of your dreams??

Wouldn't it be great??
In my mind, at least, I'll be handing out that award to each and every one of you!!