We have a special guest celebrating Independence Day with us this year! My brother, Neal, flew out for a couple days while he's on vacation this week. He's on his way to adventures in other places, but we're thrilled that he decided to come hang out with us, too.
Yesterday we took advantage of some connections we have and spent the day at a lake having fun!
It's nice to have friends in high places, you know. Lake front sort of places.
Even "sure, borrow my jet-ski" sort of places!
It is an awful lot of work, I found, for me to get everyone ready to be gone all day. I made a lot of food! Then I packed up all the swimming stuff and extra clothes and sun screen and bug spray and diapers and and and and... We left before lunch time and were planning to be gone until late (after fireworks!), so I had to have stuff for everyone for the whole day. And then while we were there, I felt like I spent most of the time feeding people and baby holding and rubbing on sunscreen and getting drinks and and and... I guess that just comes with the "mom territory". I can remember as a teenager at various functions seeing the young moms who don't seem to get to have fun because they're just doing kid-duty all the time. I used to think, "wow, I'm so glad that's not me." And now it is me, and... it's just fine. Doesn't really bother me, I guess I've grown into it. And I can certainly have fun, too!
We lovingly referred to the old pontoon boat available to us as "vintage" and had a great time out on the water.
Jonah likes to drive, of course.
The fourth of July may not be the best day for fishing on a busy lake, but we went for it anyway. Neal bought a one-day fishing license and he and Nathan and Jonah had a great time not catching anything.
For a while, anyway...
Eventually, Neal pulled out a bass which was just barely under the limit for keeping, so he had to throw it back.
After that, their luck changed and they started pulling out sunfish...
Evan had a peaceful nap wearing a life jacket in my lap, but that only lasted while the motor was running and we were going around the lake. Being the ridiculously light sleeper that he is, he woke up as soon as the motor was switched off.
He wanted to fish, too!
Until he didn't want to anymore.
That's okay, I kinda think fishing is boring, too.
And drinking iced mocha.
Oh, I said that already.
Good stuff, that iced mocha.
I thought I would be alright with the sun, being already tanned pretty well, and staying mostly in the shade, but well, we were at a lake and I guess the solar radiation was magnified a little and... you know where this is going, right? Yeah, I'm burnt. When will I learn?
And Neal, he got burned, too. We're feeling a little tender-skinned today.
ALSO, Uncle Neal helped his nephew work up a little nerve...
....off the swimming platform!
Jonah is becoming quite a brave swimmer! I'm impressed, I have to say. I was always such a chicken about swimming as a kid, and Jonah has always been somewhat timid about anything that he considers to have any danger, whatsoever. But he had a great time swimming with his Uncle Neal!
Evan tried new things, too. However, we were disappointed to find that his legs are not yet long enough to reach the pedals of the paddle boat.
He was not amused.
Oh, and contrary to what theses photos might suggest, I was there, too!
Looking very... plump... oof.
I had to suggest that Nathan take a picture, so I could show I was included in the fun, too. Usually, I have to resort to taking pictures of myself...
We played and played until it was almost dark, then we headed out to a nearby town to watch fireworks. I admit that I really just wanted to go home and go to bed by this point, but what is the 4th without fireworks?
We stopped at a gas station on the way there and Neal got a screamin' deal on a variety pack of fireworks. Jonah was thrilled.
Um, hello, guys? Safety, much?
I knew that Evan would not be very much into the fireworks due to the "scary things after bedtime" aspect of it. Nathan ended up sitting in the van with him. And I thought, "oh boy, next year-- three kids out late after bedtime for fireworks!" We only started going to fireworks at all a couple years ago, and that's only because Jonah became old enough to be aware that such a thing existed.
When we pulled into the driveway at 11:30, we realized that there was a bucket of sunfish in the back still needing attention. Aaaand the goats still needed milking. We couldn't just hit the hay after all. I took care of getting kids to bed and goats fed and milked while the guys set to the fish.
Guess what we're having for supper tonight?
We'll each get just a tiny taste of fresh fish! Yum!
So my plan today was just to sit around and write a blog post and feed people and do pretty much nothing else. Okay, I guess I really need to do something about those five loads of laundry waiting to be folded... But otherwise, nothing.
And then the guys decided to... build the pantry! Okay, I definitely cannot complain about that. It meant I had to empty out the existing temporary pantry, which is not such a bad thing, either, considering the amount of crap that has built up in there. But I had to get off my duff and... do... that. And now the contents of my pantry are piled all over the kitchen. But still. Can't complain. Am very, very, very excited to be getting a real pantry!
I'll take it as thanks for all the picnic food I made!