Friday, August 09, 2013

Family Weekend 2013

Since Dan was in from Vancouver, we had our annual family weekend at my parents’ house last weekend.  As always, it was fun, activity-filled, concentrated family time.  My dad always has some tricks up his sleeve to add to the fun; last year it was the zip line; this year it was these:

One of them is an old one that we drove when we were kids and hasn’t worked for years, but the other two are “new.”  My dad and brother got a two-for-one deal, so one is actually my brother’s but he was kind enough to share.  He may have regretted that when each of my kids drove straight into flower gardens and bushes.  Oh well, it was nothing we haven’t all done.  I remember driving too close to our tent that was set up and getting the supporting rope hopelessly tangled in the wheel and gears.  I’m glad that my dad must have remembered all the good things about mini-bikes instead of the muffler burns, bad wipeouts, and damaged trees.  They are pretty fun; Chloe and Spencer loved zipping around on them and I’m so happy they’ll grow up knowing how to drive a dirt bike.  In hindsight, I can’t say it’s been a valuable life skill for me, but if there’s ever a dirt bike emergency at the Chamber, I will come through with flying colours.

No helmets required.  Safety is not always first.

How's that working out for you?

Other activities included ladderball, playing in the pool, volleyball, the zip line, blowing bubbles, fireworks, sitting by the fire and watching falling stars, beanbag toss game, climbing tall structures and drawing ballerinas.  My older nephew Jordan's drawings resulted in much fun and merrymaking.  He was kind enough to give Neve some of his sketches so we now have a picture of a ballerina-octopus hybrid on our new fridge.  Thanks for that, Jordan.    

Not pictured is the ride in the back of Jim’s monster truck.  Our poor exchange student held on for dear life as Jim drove through ditches and accelerated sporadically.  Yumi writes a journal entry every day in Japanese, and I’m supposed to write a note in English.  I wish I could understand what she wrote that day; all I saw were lots of exclamation marks.

The weather didn't fully cooperate on Sunday, so there was more time spent inside than on any previous family weekend.  

Seven kids crowded around an iPad

Not sure who's helping who

The kids were put to work (yeah, right!) chopping wood and digging potatoes just like pioneers.  Pioneers with mini bikes.

We saw the strangest bug ever (Dan's research concluded it was a type of wasp).  That white circle on its tail is like a fan that slowly expanded and then suddenly deflated and was sucked back into its tail.  I took about 30 pictures of it.  I feel like a National Geographic photographer.  

These weekends are a highlight for us and give us a chance to pretend we're kids on the farm again (without having to hoe trees or sweep out granaries).  I love that my kids have a chance to experience it too.

Until next year!  


Anonymous said...

I love all teh photos - especially the ballerina drawing one and the crowded around the ipad one. Is that Neve or Bella either stealing Yumi's drink or sharing Yumi's drink? And the one of teh three littles in the pool - beautiful!!

Fun weekend, Ellen!!


Anonymous said...

PS - I love that yours kids do crazy possible loss of limb activities in FLIP FLOPs.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics Ellen!! Looks like we had more fun than I remembered!! Now if we could combine the mini bike,axe, fire ,and the zipline..........THAT would be entertaining. Maybe next year. Jim

Anonymous said...

"Pioneers with mini bikes." This sentence is why I love you.

That bug freaks me out. How could you take pictures of that bug but be afraid of birds?

And agree, danger in flip flops = awesome danger. :)

P.S. Yumi is going to think that Canadians are way cooler than we really are living with you guys.

joan said...

Awesome pictures, and hilarious blog as usual! It was a fabulous weekend!