One-Yard Wonders projects

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summertime Memories

I think the single most important thing we can do as parents is to provide the backdrop for really great childhood memories. And everytime I take the boys to the farm, I think I do that.

When we arrive, the boys get out of the van commenting on the "aroma" of the hogs, but by the time we leave 24 hours later, they're yelling "Goodbye pigs! We'll see you soon!" They're now understanding and appreciating the same summer pleasures that I experienced as a kid, and as far as I'm concerned, that beats the city anytime.

Our farm routine
We don't usually get to the farm until 7:30 to 8 p.m. and the last couple of times Dad has been in the pool waiting for us. The boys are so excited to join him that they strip down in the yard to put on their swimtrunks! (Apologies to anyone driving by that night who might have been mooned by some pint-sized, very white little butts.)

While Dad and the boys swim, Mom and I get a quick supper around -- usually something grilled. We haul the boys in for supper and dessert, then let them watch a dino documentary for awhile, and then take Bo up to bed. Mazy usually gets to stay up a little later -- maybe to play a boardgame with us or watch a movie. This week Mom popped them her famous popcorn and they were in heaven!

Saturday morning we all sleep in until 8 to 8:30 (except Dad, he's up at the crack of dawn). Mom and I make breakfast -- sometimes waffles and bacon, sometimes cereal and fruit. And then the boys and I hit the pool for a couple hours.

Fun with cousins
It's always an extra bonus if there are some cousins around to join us for swimming. This weekend was nephew Kael's 9th birthday and we were thrilled to have him for swimming and fun all day. And later in the afternoon, cousin Marla and Libby showed up with their suits to join the fun. I don't think you can ask for a better playmate than a cousin and the boys are lucky enough to have many of them around.

That's the typical weekend farm routine. Simple, relaxing and fun. Shawn usually joins us Saturday in time for lunch. We almost always stay for supper. Yesterday, Shawn and I went to the Arganbrights for a visit while Bo napped and Kael and Mazy swam with uncle Troy.

I've said it many time and I'm sure I'll say it many more, I love farms and the Arganbrights is pretty spectacular. It's a totally different experience than my parent's farm. I feel like I'm stepping back in time when I'm there. I'm taking the boys with me next time because it is a great farm for exploring. Ideally, you spend your afternoon visit on their big wooden wraparound porch -- feeling the cool breezes, listening to the guineas and peacocks, looking at the pond down the hill. Yesterday, it was too hot for the porch so we sat in the living room -- sharing stories and talking politics with cousin Jeff and great Aunt Bev (two truly outstanding and educated liberals).

Great Aunt Bev
I love being around Aunt Bev because it's like getting back a few minutes with Grandma Betty -- so many similarities in their smiles, their eyes, their mannerisms. When I'm there, I always imagine Grandma Betty in the room with us, laughing and smiling and agreeing with our opinions. We had a wonderful chat, looked at old books and photos, shared some interesting stuff we'd brought (you'll see and hear about those later this week) and stayed much longer than we'd intended. It's a great place.

Afterward it was back to the farm for Kael's birthday supper, cake and then, of course, more swimming. My brother Bandy and his family joined us, as well as all the grandparents and Uncle Doug. 

And that, my friends, is how I relax on the weekends and enjoy life to the fullest. Family and farms. It doesn't get any better in my opinion.

 Friday night swimming with Grandpa

 Watching the dino documentary and waiting for lunch on Saturday

 Birthday boy Kael

  Kael with his new little brother Maddox

Blowing out the candles on his cake

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