Tag Archive | Memorial Day

Spring and summer ever after

Here’s the song reference.  Here’s a second reference, brought to you by Bugaboo.

We awoke yesterday to a heat advisory.  I had planned to make a quick run out to the store for milk and eggs, and once Bugaboo, Beanie, and Daddy were moving about the house, headed off on a resupply mission.  What started out as a quick trip to the grocery store morphed into a run to two big-box stores, as the first one’s entire supply of milk was dated for yesterday, and I had realized while driving that we were also low on sunscreen and mosquito repellant.  In the end, I returned home with ten bags, to a very warm welcome from four tiny people and my husband, all of whom were intensely curious as to what the bags might hold.

In addition to the milk, eggs, sunscreen, and bug spray, I’d picked up some chicken for a cookout, a huge net bag of freezer pops, new crocs for Mr. Man . . . oh, and a sprinkler.  We had a most excellent beach ball-shaped sprinkler last summer; unfortunately, Smudgie decided it was a most excellent tackling dummy.  Puppy teeth and vinyl inflatables mix poorly, we’ve discovered, and thus we were sprinklerless for the first genuinely hot day of the year.  As I was unpacking the goods, Daddy advised me that Deedaw was still ailing, and after a short discussion, we decided this would be a “stay day” for us.

Bugaboo was the first to figure out that the mysterious, ropy object with all the bright colors was a sprinkler, and brightly informed us that she was the proud owner of a bathing suit which would be eminently useful in playing with such a thing.  Daddy and I grinned, I cut open the packaging, and we set about attiring Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man in their swim gear.  Mr. Man was quite upset that he would not be permitted to wear his brand new Spidey sneakers to play in the water (and resultant mud), but, upon peering out the window and spying the fun his sisters were having, consented to wear his new crocs.  Baby Guy and I played in the boys’ room for a while, then headed upstairs to make lunch.

Yes, there is a photo gallery, but the videos are better.  Trust me.  I almost burned the barbecue because I kept watching them from the kitchen window, narrating the goings-on for Baby Guy, who was happily cruising around the kitchen.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing in each other’s company, with no place to go, no pressing obligations, and not really paying attention to the time.  I took several opportunities to explain to the girls what Memorial Day means, and that at every opportunity, they should pray for the families of fallen soldiers, for the children whose mommies or daddies can’t be there to grill chicken or set up sprinklers.  I told them every man and woman who serves in the armed forces takes the risk of not coming home to his or her family, and they do it to protect us.  Soon, we’ll start a summer project of sending cards and letters to wounded veterans.  Being free has a price, and we want our children to understand how important it is to thank those who offer to buy the tickets.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You blessed us with a land in which we may come and go as we please, in which we are free to worship You, in which no man may tell us how many children to have or what we must think.  Thank You for the freedom to live according to Your law.  Help us teach Your blessings the difference between freedom and anarchy, and that the greatest and most lasting freedom comes from obedience to Your law.  You taught us that if we know Your truth, we will be truly free.  Thank You for all those who have died to preserve the freedom to know Your truth for us.

Sundays in the park, twice if it’s Memorial Day

Here’s the song reference.

Deedaw has been under the weather for the past couple of days, and since she did not wish to share her bug with the tiny people, we found ourselves with a planless Sunday.  Since the tribe was manic, and Bugaboo was agitating for an opportunity to ride her spiffy new scooter, we quickly changed them into playclothes, tossed some juice and snacks into a bag, and sped off to a local park for some fresh air and sunshine.

Once we arrived at the park, Bugaboo promptly decided that the playground equipment looked like more fun than the scooter, so it stayed in the van, while the Presidential Limo (our pet name for the big double stroller that has been our saving grace since Beanie’s arrival in 2008) was loaded with the Baby Guy crawling blanket and the rest of our supplies.  I pushed the stroller, and Daddy walked ahead with our two very excited daughters.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten to check Beanie’s wardrobe choice before we left the house, and as she scampered up the sidewalk to the playground, she found herself suddenly hampered by the descent of her shorts to  her ankles.  It seems a pair of Bugaboo’s drawers had accidentally made it into Beanie’s drawer, with the predictable result.

Apparently, sometimes Mommies DON’T realize their children left the house in THAT . . .

One quick knot and two unbuckled boys later, we had four kids on the loose, making new friends, inventing new games, climbing, swinging, running, laughing, and sweating.  Daddy took swings detail, while Baby Guy and I set up camp under the single shade tree.  Our youngest made the amazing discovery that if one tips one’s chubby little self over to the side whilst sitting on a hill, one rolls in a highly entertaining manner.  After about an hour of fun and frolic, everyone was hot, tired, and hungry, so we headed home for lunch.  Poor Mr. Man had worn himself out to a point that he didn’t even want to eat, and for the first time in recent memory, didn’t protest when I tucked him into his crib for a nap.  Baby Guy followed after demolishing a hot dog and half a banana, at which point Daddy and I decided we could use a nap, too.  He stretched out on the couch with Beanie, and Bugaboo followed me into our room with an armload of stuffed animals.

Not much napping was actually accomplished by either the girls or Daddy and I, but it was thoroughly pleasant to be able to relax horizontally for a couple of hours.  Having rested, although not with any measure of sleep involved, the girls were ready for more adventures before their brothers awoke, so Daddy took them outside with a little plastic tub to see if our raspberry thicket had borne any edible fruit. As it happened, the three of them harvested about half a bucketful of sweet golden and purple berries by the time the boys awoke and drank the cups of milk that function as their coffee.  My poor husband scarcely had time to give the berries a quick rinse before the tribe descended upon him like locusts, and he had to enforce turn-taking to ensure that each tiny person received a fair share of the fruits of our horticultural labors.

After the raspberries had been devoured, Bugaboo started agitating for another opportunity to ride her scooter, since she had eschewed her earlier chance.  Daddy looked at me and, after a moment’s thought, I started tossing the makings of a picnic supper into  a bag, calling over my shoulder that the boys probably needed to be changed and all the ambulatory members of the tribe needed shoes. Within five minutes, we were back out the door, headed for a different park.  We did make a quick pit stop at Arby’s for a handful of roast beef sandwiches to round out our meal.

The tribe thoroughly enjoyed an alfresco dinner, then scattered across the playground at the second park of the day.  Bugaboo and Beanie made a brief plea for a visit to the pool, which was quickly quashed by the reminder that none of us had either swimsuits or sufficient cash on hand to make a pool visit feasible.  It took considerably more persuasion to convince Baby Guy that the mulch with which the playground surface is covered does not make a suitable dessert.  I’ll be glad when he gets past the age where he will pass up a cookie to eat whatever he’s found on the ground.

On both visits to the park, we left our watches at home and our cell phones in the van, as is our custom when we’re out with the tribe.  We don’t have so many hours where all of us can be together, rejoicing in each other’s company and the day the Lord has sent, that we want gadgets to rule or even intrude upon that time.  It always saddens Daddy and I to see the parents sitting on the park benches, eyes glued to the screens of their smartphones, disregarding their children’s pleas for a push on the swings or their summiting of the giant rock wall.  They always seem to be in bad moods, too.  We’re choosy about where we direct our attention, I guess.  There’s a time for electronics, and there’s a time to enjoy all the beauty that the unofficial beginning of summer holds.

When all the water bottles were empty, it was time to head for home, with very little objection from the tiny people.  Baby Guy was actually the last one standing this time, and the only one to utter a protest as we left the park.  Once we got into the house, I asked if anyone would like a bowl of frozen rainbows (local argot for rainbow sherbet, a summer staple at our house), and was met with a chorus of affirmatives.  Bugaboo, after two bites of sherbet, decided she would rather have a popsicle, so Beanie found herself with a bounty of fruity frozen goodness.  Four baths later, we assembles the troop in the living room for prayers, lullabies, and stories, the NASCAR race muted on the TV (NASCAR is great when you have kids who are learning numbers and colors).  By 8:01, we had four contentedly sleeping tiny people, and thanked God for a day where the rejoicing enormously outweighed the reprimanding.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for a Pentecost Sunday on which the bright summer sun reminded us of the Holy Spirit’s fiery descent from Heaven, covering us with warmth and filling us with joy in the knowledge that You surround us everywhere we go.  Thank You for bright light and heat that are blessings, that signify life and mirth, and remind us to always keep those for whom they were the end of their days on earth.  It is fitting that on the weekend our country honors those who laid down their lives in defense of their brethren, we also celebrate the day You sent Your Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, and keep us.  Please grant wisdom to our leaders and grace to the families of those who stood in harm’s way by the orders of those leaders, and help all hearts open to Your Son’s message of love for neighbor.