Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Morning After

Here is what our recycling bin looked like "the morning after" the 4th of July.

And here is what Jules and his friends looked like the morning after running full-speed crazy/insane throughout the entire evening...climbing trees, engaging in nerf gun fights, launching a LEGO MAN on a firecracker, consuming massive quantities of caffeine, sugar, and preservatives in forbidden party food, all before passing out sometime well after midnight....And yes, that is Jules's friend, Noah, sporting his summer-time mohawk - continuing the tradition started by his older brother, Luke. They are in a semi-comatose, semi-cartoon state after sleeping on the couch.

We had a great time at the party! Of course I cleaned all day so that herds of kids could come in and out of my house all evening, tracking in dirt, grass, etc... and spilling sodas, cake, and other food items all over the floor, not to mention, letting Ranger the Pee Dog in the house every other second. My kids do not get soda very often so they, of course, went nuts over the stuff. Speaking of herds of kids, the "Big Family" arrived with only 7 of their 8 children. We missed Jack but I truly think that one more kid in the mix would have compromised the structural integrity of our house. Here are just a few shots - the teens and tweens were nowhere to be seen for most of the evening :)
The hay bails were popular. Here is Emma with the sun setting behind her, waiting for the dads to get the fireworks ready.
Here is the Boot Brigade. Jasper is still managing to get into his pink boots.

Rob and Lodie

After a delicious cook-out of both real and "fake" hot dogs and sausage, complete with zillions of sides and salads; we enjoyed visiting with our friends while waiting for it to become dark enough for the fireworks. The weather was great outside. You have to understand we have been skirting 100 degrees for the past few days. But the 4th cooled down immensely due to the gathering rain clouds and accompanying breezes. It never rained during the party, but we could feel it and smell it in the breeze and it was just delightfully perfect.

I had been encouraging folks to head outdoors with no luck (everyone remained gathered around the food) but then the teens began plugging guitars into amps and that worked quite nicely as an evacuation plan for the adults. You have to listen to 16-year-old Sarah Mueller (see proud parents Rob and Lodie up above). She is an unbelievably talented songwriter and singer. She is a solo act but also sings in Ellie's band. Take a listen to her latest song. The quality of the recording isn't too hot - I just used my little camera - but you can hear enough to know she's really good! Click on
The highlights of our parties always seem to happen when most of the guests have left, and this party was no exception. Our few remaining friends were outside under the stars in lawn chairs - it was pretty late at this point - and I decided to join them. I began dragging a chair over to be next to our friend, Kevin, when I stepped in a small hole and sloooooowly began to fall. It was one of those falls where you think you're going to pull out of it, you know? But I didn't pull out of it and I landed partially on the ground and partially on Kevin, who was just sitting there trying to relax after a long day of serving and protecting the American public. Unfortunately, my ice-cold margarita was in my left hand and that flew right into Kevin's lap. I don't think it was the best lap dance he's ever had, but it was probably the wettest - and the most unexpected. After that I suffered largely from constant comments and puns at my expense. And of course, Kevin and I have a much deeper relationship, now. Too bad there is no photo. I really mean that.
We were big risk-takers this year at the 4th of July party. We had no official supervision! None whatsoever! Usually we have at least one firefighter and one doctor. This year, neither one was able to make it. So we didn't have our firefighter supervising the fireworks that we inevitably set off during drought conditions under high winds, holding his beer while offering helpful suggestions like, "Oooh and Ahhhhh." And while we had a kid dangling from every tree, kids chasing kids with sticks, and kids playing in the snake-infested hay; we had no doctor sitting around with a beer in hand ready to say, "I don't know. Maybe you should take him to the hospital." Nobody even got hurt this year. Not one drop of blood and all fingers are accounted for. Not even one little hint of a grass fire. Wimps. They could have come.

This reminds me of a party we had several years ago. Ellie was maybe 11 and she was pretty sick with a high fever. At the end of the evening, after all the kids had fallen asleep where they stood and the grown-ups had almost ruptured the moon bounce, my friends accompanied me to check on Ellie and see how she was doing. The doctor was sitting outside, no longer even faking a mild interest in her condition. We got down our family medical book, complete with flow charts. My friend carefully followed the chart going by Ellie's symptoms and came to a very logical conclusion...."It says here we have to amputate her left leg," she said with a straight face. Ellie hasn't really complained about being sick, since.

We have been real party animals this weekend. Yesterday we went to the farm across from our place to help celebrate Jeff's Uncle Billy's 82nd birthday. Delicious food OF COURSE. Lots of fresh, home grown vegetables. We're talking steamed zucchini, baked sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, cole slaw and salads. We got a nice little sprinkle while we were there and the kids acted like they had never seen rain, before. It has been a long time. We were able to discuss natural, grass-fed cattle raising and organic gardening. And of course, we were kept in stitches by a few old-timer stories, too. And Jasper terrorized Aunt Gay - or maybe it was the other way around, I'm not really sure. But they were having a mad sword fight with tree branches. I should mention that Aunt Gay is in her 70's. Here is a pic of Uncle Billy getting on his 3-wheeler to go check cattle or the rain gauge or something.....he rides his hot wheels scooter to get to his 3-wheeler :) and here he is with his candles lit. Billy and Maxine are blessed that 2 of their 3 children live on the family farm, and the 3rd lives not too far away. So they are still surrounded by their three children. That sounds really nice to me.

Well, I have got to close this entry out. I need to go and help Jeff in the garden and get ready for a late lunch with my sister and brother. My brother is autistic and has Down Syndrome. He is currently living very close to us so we get to see him more often.

Well, I'd like to talk about food, next. Natural food. Buying organic versus buying local. The difficulties and costs associated with both. Tomorrow, maybe? And if I don't get on that subject, somebody needs to remind me.

Sardine Mama


  1. Matthew said to me today as we were getting rained on while driving to church "Wow, rain two days in a row, that has never happened before, that sure is strange." So, your kids are not the only ones who have never seen rain before :)

  2. Glad you guys had a great Fourth. Both my husband and I were with grandparents and our house was still standing when I got home from work in the morning!!

  3. i just thought i´d mention that while you guys were enjoying your 90 degree weather, down here in mexico we have to wear hoodies and jackets; yayeth!!
    glad to hear the 4th went well.

  4. greetings from lake conroe! bummed i missed the party!

  5. ^^lucky!

    love the pic of Emma with the sunset.... except it kinda looks like she's missing an arm. hmmmm...
    Anyway, don't forget to post the link to the video of Camille and Emma's play/dance/thing sometime. :-)

  6. Stephanie - it is always good to come home to find the house still standing :).

  7. Juliana - I am trying to think of something to say in Spanish....still thinking....still thinking...