1) My Great-Aunt Gee passed away last week. She was 89, I believe. While it was very sad, particularly for her son and daughter-in-law (who had been her caregiver for years) and their kids, her health had been failing for quite a long time, and I think she was ready to go. She was a spunky lady with a very quick wit, and she will be missed.
The funny thing about funerals, though, is that they are very often the only way to bring together family members and friends who don't often have occasion to visit with one another. This is certainly the case in our family, where my three aunts and uncles all live in faraway states, and other cousins and second-cousins are scattered to the four winds. A funeral is a sad reason to get together, true, but that doesn't make it any less fun to catch up with each other and enjoy one another's company. It was wonderful to be able to sit down and share a meal, horse around outside, and hug and kiss each other. Charis seemed especially fond of my Uncle Jim. He took her to go looking for the deer he accidentally scared away, which was an activity apparently right up her alley. Later, she glanced around the crowd of people, and, not finding Jim among them, said very seriously, "Where's that Jim? I love him."
Here's a photo of my mom and her siblings. In the front row, there's mom, Grandma, and Aunt Diana. In the back row, there's That Jim and Gary. Gary, incidentally, beat me soundly in a game of washer horseshoes. In this game, very similar to horseshoes, you toss these huge washers toward pipes sunken into the ground, with the goal of getting the washers inside the pipe. Hey--it's a lot harder than it sounds.
2) Here's Charis helping us navigate on our trip to Ohio. She pointed to random spot in the middle of the map and exclaimed, "There's our home!"
I asked her where we were going.
"Go home and take a nap," she said.
"You want to go home to take a nap?" I asked.
"Yes, but first we need to read. This map says, 'We need to go take a nap!"
Apparently the child was tired.
Judah made no mention of a nap whatsoever, so I can only assume he was well-rested and full of vim and vigor.
Though, he was of no help at all in navigating.
3) The day after our return, the kids were desperately in need of a bath. Judah had maple syrup and banana in his hair, and the soles of Charis' feet were black. Abe gave Judah a bath at about 7:30, and got him all dried, combed, and dressed. Charis was slated for the next bath, so I took her up and got her started. I had forgotten the comb for her hair downstairs, so I hiked down to retrieve it. In the meantime, Judah went up to make sure Charis was okay in her bath. He's always so concerned about her. Abe and I heard a soft plop noise, and immediately knew what it was. Abe took off upstairs to make sure everyone was okay. I grabbed the camera on the way by, because I knew that if everyone was okay and that plop noise was what I thought it was, it'd be a pretty good picture. And it was--here's Judah enjoying bath #2 with his sister.
4) To continue the theme... Yesterday, I took a mini-holiday with two of my sisters-in-law, Beth and Auntie M. Beth and I ran Moriah's volleyball team's practice in the morning, then we headed up to the bigger city to our north for an afternoon of lunch at a favorite cafe, pedicures, and shopping. Whilst Beth and I got pedicures (which I could happily do weekly), M got some gel nails--a true departure for her, since she is a 15-year-old athlete and definitely NOT a girly-girl. I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't brought my camera to record such an event, but when I returned home that night and saw the pictures Abe was able to capture, I was pleased the camera had been left behind.
It was truly a dark and stormy night last night--even when it wasn't actually night. Both Abe and my mother-in-law called us while we were shopping to make sure we were safe and dry--storms raged through, downing trees and power lines, stranding cars and causing accidents. The downpour cut power in many of the area's neighborhoods, including ours. When the rain had subsided a bit, Abe and the kids went outside for a bit of dirty fun. Take a look:
Yes, those are my children sitting in the mud, surrounded by construction detritus, and yes, Judah is playing with a cat box litter scoop. Don't think for a minute I didn't cringe when I saw that. Rest assured that he wouldn't have been playing with such a toy if mama had been home...but I think daddies are a bit more lenient about that sort of thing. "Aw, they'll wash up."
I did ask Abe to please change the kids into grubby clothes the next time he lets them roll around in the mud.
5) Judah's new word is Hello, and it's the cutest thing. I had called my brother to wish him a Happy Birthday, and during the call, Judah woke up from a nap. I put the phone on speaker so Judah could hear his uncle's voice, and Steve said, "Hello, Judah!" to which Judah nonchalantly replied, "W-Oh."
"Wait, did he just say 'Hello'?" my brother asked.
"Yeah...I think so!" I replied. "He has never said that before!"
I think it was very cool that Steve, who lives hundreds and hundreds of miles away and doesn't get to experience very many of his niece and nephew's "first" things, was the first to hear Judah say Hello. Happy Birthday indeed, Steverino.
Well, that's all for now. But stay tuned.
*Please note: I've been playing with the formatting of this post for a while now, and I just can't seem to stop it from squishing all together. My humble apologies for this mishmosh of a post!