Extra!  Extra! Read All About It!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

It’s official!  For the first time in Pennington history we found every. single. Easter egg.

Not that it was easy.  No, we spent 1.75 hours finding most of them until we got down to 2 that were still missing.  Now, normally we might let it go and just not look for them.  That fact can be proved by the eggs we found that were from last year, all full of rotten candy…..gross.  I heard one of my boys daring another to eat it when I jumped in to stop the madness.  But the 2 eggs that were missing didn’t have candy in them….no.  They had money.

And no one was inclined to give up looking.

I bought some character shaped eggs that I put $5 bills in and there was one for each child (I use the term “child” loosely because 3 of my egg hunters are over 18, which basically means they wanted the money most of all).  I gave them pre-hunting instructions, “When you find your character egg, you can’t get any more, so if you find another leave it for someone who doesn’t have theirs yet.”  But after nearly 2 hours we were all on a desperate search and it was every man for himself.

Earlier in the day while we were hiding the eggs James suggested I take a picture of where I hid the money eggs.  But did I listen? Nooooo (a fact he reminded me of at least 7 times during the last hour of the hunt).  In fact, the last time he said it I replied, “You are completely right honey, I should have listened to you and next year I will definitely do whatever you say.”

“You know,” he said with a smirk, “You could just start doing whatever I say tomorrow.”

Don’t push your luck buddy.  Next year will be just fine.

When we finally found the last money eggs the kids and I sat outside while they emptied their eggs into baskets.  James went back to his normal March activities of doing people’s taxes (he’s a CPA, in case that didn’t make any sense at all) because, as he said as he walked away, “3 hours is more than enough time to spend on Easter eggs hunts for 7 people.”  Since I bought pre-filled eggs this year (except for the money eggs) there was mostly bubble gum or Now & Later in their candy piles.  I know it’s not as exciting as previous years when I’ve picked candies that each child loves most, but I was just too tired to spend 4 hours filling eggs like I did in years past.

Why so tired?  Because I am barely recovering from washing sheets last week after our house full of guests.  It took me 3 days to get it all washed and put back.  And I have a washing machine!  Can you even imagine washing everything by hand?!  I would still be out in the river beating those sheets on rocks and wouldn’t have even had time to hide any plastic eggs. 😉

After the egg hunt and cleanup from our traditional ham and scalloped potatoes meal, I crashed in my recliner and didn’t get up until bed time.  I have no shame in admitting that I went to bed at 8:30 on Easter Sunday.  Celebrations wear me out….especially when they involve crawling under bushes searching for plastic eggs that I hid in the first place and everyone is being passive aggressive saying things like, “Maybe SOMEONE ELSE should hide the eggs next year.”

The good news is that since Easter was so early this year we have a whole month with no holidays so I can get rested up before the next celebration.  And since the next “holiday” is Mother’s Day, I should get some rest with that, at least in theory.

Have a great week!

A Testimony to the Power of Prayer

A Testimony to the Power of Prayer

Back in the day when my kids were little, my husband would walk in the house at the end of his workday and say, “Hi honey, what did you do today?”  And I had nothing to say.  I felt like I had been crazy busy, but when someone asks you and you can only think of small things like diaper changes and spilled crackers and crying babies and nursing the baby it feels like you did nothing.

And that’s how I feel about last weekend.  My thoughts are a blur of activity, none of which are worth telling you about.

Unless you want to start on Friday morning.  That was pretty exciting.

I woke up and decided instead of doing my morning run I would exercise in the pool.  I just felt like a change of pace.  But it was a bit of a “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation because I discovered a big mess of pool toys left out from the boys swimming the night before. I so stuck my head in the house and called for the boys to come out and clean them up.  One of them was in the kitchen and he came out and started cleaning up with me.

But then as we put away the toys I noticed that there was rain water (from who knows when!) in the container where they keep the smaller toys, so we cleaned that out, and then I saw that the large toy storage was a mess, so I called another boy out and I had him straighten that and another boy came out and I had him start trimming some overgrown limbs that were dragging in the pool and the last, unfortunate son came to see where everyone was so I had him carry the cut limbs to the burn area in the back of the yard.

I finally got in the pool after half an hour of working with the boys. But only about 10 minutes into my exercises someone came running to tell me that our 16 year old son Noah had been bitten by “something”.  I got out of the water, wrapped myself in a towel and went into the kitchen where he was sitting with ice on the sting.  As I was assessing the situation he said he was starting to feel worse.  His hand (where he was bitten) had swollen to nearly double its normal size and he was covered in hives.  He said he felt like he couldn’t breathe and that’s when I started to freak.  My husband was walking in the house so I yelled for him to take our son to the hospital.  He rushed over to us and immediately agreed and while I helped Noah to the van while my husband ran to get his keys.  Our oldest son, Jacob, came out to see what was going on (I may have been screaming, I really don’t remember) and he jumped in the car with them.  They drove off and I ran to change out of my wet suit and I followed right behind.

Oh.  My.  Lord.

That was pretty much all I could say in prayers as I drove.  We live about 15 minutes from the hospital if you’re speeding.  A few minutes into my drive I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to ask people to pray.  I knew my son was already having blurred vision when they left so my mind was not working and I couldn’t think of who to call….so I just put it out on Facebook.

“Y’all please pray for my 16 year old son.  We are rushing him to the hospital.  More later. XO”

Two minutes after I asked for prayer my husband called me and said as they were pulling into the emergency room driveway our son just started breathing.  He kind of woke up, didn’t feel faint, could see and was breathing fine.  He said the swelling and redness was going down.

THE POWER OF PRAYER!!!

A beautiful testimony about how God answers prayer!

We decided that they would sit right outside of the emergency room while I ran to the pharmacy and got whatever the pharmacist recommended.  As long as he was breathing fine and didn’t have any other symptoms we didn’t think we needed to spend the morning in the ER.  But at the same time….we didn’t want to be far away if it happened again.  I took the bottle of Benadryl the pharmacist suggested to the hospital parking lot and gave the OTC meds to Noah, but honestly….except that his hand was still very swollen you couldn’t tell anything was happening to him.  He was completely fine.  I just stared at him amazed by God’s miracles.

Then I did what any mother would do…..I started to cry and pet him and kiss him and be generally annoying.  I announced that when we got home I would be sitting next to him and staring at him for the next 24-48 hours.

And here’s the message for you kids who might be reading this: If your mom was just scared out of her mind that you might die any second and she tells you that you will have to sleep next to her that night so she can listen to you breathe….there’s no point in arguing about it.

We waited there for a while then decided it would be OK to take him home.  He announced that he was really hungry and could we get him some food.  These boys are always, always, always hungry.

It’s as it should be.

So we fed him burgers and let him sit on the couch all day eating ice cream and playing wii because frankly I was too worn out from the morning to even think about him going back outside.  Plus his swollen hand was useless and he was a little sluggish from the Benadryl I gave him in the parking lot.

And the rest of the weekend after that is a blur.  While I am sure I did some other things, I really don’t remember much.  We cleaned house and went to church and to my friend Sara’s beautiful anniversary party and we shopped a little and I worked on book stuff and I barely recall any of it because the only thing on my mind was hugging my kids and thanking God for them and trying not to cry.

On Sunday evening I asked my husband if we could buy our son a pony…..or maybe a car.  He gave me this shocked look, “A car?!?!”

I know, I know.  I just wanted to do something for Noah so he would always know how glad I am that he is here.

He will have to settle for all the burgers he wants ‘cuz I can’t afford a pony or a car.

Have a great week!

An Easy to Build Outdoor Game

An Easy to Build Outdoor Game

For last weekend’s graduation party, we decided to build a new game.  We had all ages coming, so we needed something everyone could play.  I bought a sheet of plywood and some 2x4s and told my oldest son what I had in mind, but let him tweak it however he wanted. Here’s a picture tutorial for you…..

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Cut a sheet of plywood in half & draw three sizes of circles.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Just use whatever you have for the circles.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Drill a hole inside of each circle.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Just make sure it’s big enough to fit a jigsaw blade into.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Jigsaw out the circles.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Easy.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Make each half the same.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Get out the 2x4s.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Cut four the size of the plywood, about 4′.  Four at 3′, four at 4’4″ and the last two will be the finished width when you’ve attached them.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

You can change the sizes.  You just need four frames that are exactly the same.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Screw them together.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

1, 2, 3, 4.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Screw those to the plywood.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

It’s a great job for a son.  We attached one more 2×4 between the frames along the back for stability.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

One hour – done.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Two colors of paint is more fun than one.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

I used a daughter for this job.  We sanded the circle openings a little bit first.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

I didn’t take pics of us painting the X on the front, but it was just painter’s tape and a sponge roller.  Nothing hard. Then we sewed little bean bags with fabric scraps.  They should be loosely filled.  That’s a great job for an 11 year old.  You could use balls if you don’t sew.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

I made the numbers with plain paper and a die cut machine then just glued them on.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

Then play.

 An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

At any age.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

This was a hit for our party.   After a while the older boys played by hiding behind the boards like forts and pelting each other with the bean bags.  The younger kids ran around with the bean bags, there were lots of variations on the game.

An easy to build outdoor game that's great for all ages! -- The Pennington Point

It took a few hours and the total cost was $37 (but I already had paint and other supplies).

Have fun!

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Graduation – Check!

Graduation – Check!

A high level of activity over the weekend has put me into a state of joyful exhaustion.  We have been building toward this weekend for the past 18 years.  Graduating 2 of our daughters has been such an emotional ride.  Happiness at being finished with their schooling and such grief that it’s over.  No more days of mommy school outside on the patio, weaving weeds into wreaths for our hair while we learn.  Although I have to admit, we haven’t done that for years.

This makes 5 graduates under my belt with only 4 more to go.  It’s a weird feeling having graduated more than half of our children.  I should have some kind of sash with badges on it for each child.  I could wear it to homeschool conferences.  And Miss America pageants.

We had about 50 people here for a small ceremony and dinner, then ended the night with the worst fireworks display in history.  The founding fathers would have been ashamed of our shabby little show.  Even the sparklers were a dud.

We didn’t do a ton of preparation for this party.  The grass was mowed and the porch was swept, but no big decorations or fancy table settings.

The girls did set up a table with some of their memories and accomplishments.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

My little cuties…..

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

After James and I said a few words the girls thanked Mom and Dad and all of the guests, then sang a song they wrote together.

 homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

We served up some delicious bar-b-que and sides.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

I ordered brisket, chicken, potato salad and beans from a local place and we added chips, green salad and both wheat bread and gluten-free bread.  We also had a trough full of cold drinks.

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

The morning before the party we put ice cream into mason jars and put them in the freezer.  We filled little bowls with various candies and toppings so they would be ready to serve.  We made labels for everything and had it all ready to go.  When it was time to serve dessert we put the ice cream into tubs of ice, opened the toppings and it was ready!

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

We had trail mix, gummy bears, dark chocolate m&ms, milk chocolate m&ms, peppermint patties, peanuts, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and whipped cream.  Oh…..and cherries of course!

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

As the sun went down and about 30 the people were still around, we pulled out the fireworks, also known as “an hour of lame”.  I thought I was ready with 2 new lighters and plenty of ammo.  My friend Sara also brought some fireworks to add to the what we bought.  But she and I have no idea what we’re doing when it comes to pyrotechnics and nothing we bought amounted to anything exciting.  Plus the lighters weren’t working right so it took about 5 minutes to light each one, creating a serious lull in the festivities.

I tried to keep the crowd from revolting by handing out snacks, but it didn’t work.  There was quite a bit of complaining, mostly from me and Sara.

Despite the lack of fireworks excitement it was a wonderful evening.  Great friends.  Great conversation.  Kids playing together.  Celebration.  What more could I ask for?

homeschool graduation -- The Pennington Point

Have a great week!

Sweating is Not My Thing

Sweating is Not My Thing

We have been working in the yard for the past few days getting ready for a big party tomorrow.  Two of the girls are graduating so we are having a small ceremony with family and close friends.

I don’t like yard work.  I am not one of those people who enjoys sweating and getting my hands in the dirt.  I hear people talk about how satisfying it is to get their hands dirty and all I think is, “Yuck.  Haven’t they heard that cleanliness is next to godliness?!”

I also don’t like tomatoes.  Just a random bit of info that I thought you might need to understand that I don’t care for yardwork.  It seems like people who love that also really like to grow tomatoes.  That’s just my assessment from the other side of the glass.  By that I mean inside the house where the air-conditioning is.

What DOES interest me is having a beautiful yard.  So sometimes I do actually have to sweat and get dirty for that to happen.  Thankfully I have a full crew so our family rallies together like a little machine and gets the job done.  Then we jump in the pool.  Because lounging in the cool water does interest me.

An as an update on our green swamp, it is crystal clear and staying that way.  I used the advice from a website called Trouble Free Pools. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but now it’s going fine.  It has been freeing to be able to do this myself without the help of the expensive pool store chemicals.

Back to the graduation prep, there’s also plenty of inside work to be done.  Bathrooms have to be cleaned and stocked, tablecloths have to be ironed and someone has to cut a watermelon half into a Pinterest worthy fruit bowl.

Being a true Texas gal, I am ordering bar-b-que from a local place that slow cooks it all night into a melt-in-your-mouth slice of heaven.  The whole meal is going to be gluten-free in honor of the 2 graduates who both are GF.  It’s been a challenge, but I’m up for it.

I decided on an ice cream bar instead of cake.  This morning I’m having one of the kids scoop ice cream into small mason jars so it will be ready to just pull out and serve.  No bowls and scoops and drippy messes.  Seriously y’all.  I am making it as easy on myself as possible short of hiring servers and landscapers.  Which I tried to talk James into but he insisted it wasn’t in the budget.

He and I don’t see things the same way.  I see a whole week’s worth of exhausting work ahead and he sees coming out of his office on Friday night to a beautiful yard and prepared food.  But then, I see the money in the bank account as just magically appearing, and I don’t think he sees it like that at all.

I am looking forward to hanging out with my people and laughing about the old days.  There’s nothing like an evening with the people who knew you when you were 12 to keep a girl humble.  It will come as no surprise to any of them that I don’t like to sweat.  When I was in the second grade I insisted on signing up for girl’s softball then cried through the entire first game because it was hot.

It’s gonna be fun.

Have a happy fourth!

The Annual Wet Swimsuit Battle Has Begun

The Annual Wet Swimsuit Battle Has Begun

The summer is heating up around here.  We got the pool clear enough to swim and the boys have turned into fish.  Swimming, swimming day and night.  I can only get them out for food.

That means it’s also time for the annual, “Don’t leave your wet swimsuit on the floor,” battle.  Every. Single. Year.  I have a whole setup for the wet suits, but for some reason the boys act like it’s the first time they have ever heard that a wet pile of clothes behind the bathroom door is a bad idea.

We built a clothesline in the side of the yard where I ask them to hang the wet swim suits and towels.  But for some reason it takes them a month every summer to figure that out.  I look out my kitchen window to see the deck railings lined with wadded up shorts and t-shirts.  I know I should appreciate the signs of children living here, but I would rather embrace it with a view of clothes neatly on the line blowing in the wind.

Last Friday my daughter and I spent the day recovering all of our outdoor pillows.  We also made an easy dust ruffle for the bench by the pool.  It is looking great thanks to the gorgeous outdoor fabrics I got at Online Fabric Store.  It’s a breath of fresh air after how bad it looked last year.  I also made a spot in our storage building to keep the pillows after the summer swim season is over.  I’m getting wise in my old age.  Ruining a set of cushions that took you a solid week to make will teach you to put them away.

pool bench

On Saturday another large family came and spent the day with us.  We all had a blast playing games and, what else, swimming.  I think the boys were in the water most of the afternoon.  The other mom and I lounged on the newly covered bench and talked and watched the kids play.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday was filled with Father’s day, church and our 28th anniversary.  We decided to put off the anniversary celebrating for another day.  We may do something overnight later in the summer.  I wanted to focus on Father’s Day and give the kids a chance to do stuff with Dad.

That man is so hard to buy for.  To show you how difficult it is….the kids gave him a Star Trek Barbie set.   I have no idea what he will do with it.  Probably put it up in his closet next to the duct tape wallet they gave him last year.

This week we have family visiting all week, so we’ll be playing a lot and of course, swimming.  Which brings me full circle to the wet suits on the floor battle.

There are definitely worse problems to have.  Like what to do with a Star Trek Barbie set.

My Brain Hurts

My Brain Hurts

Sooooo…..I have this pool problem.

I know I shouldn’t complain because having a pool is a blessing.  I think I spend as much time in the summer floating around in the water as the kids do splashing and diving for toys.

But it has been a battle.  Lisa vs. Algae.  And for the past 2 years I am the big loser in this war.

brain

We made the decision this year to invest in our own pool testing kit.  This kit tests for a bunch more things than just basic chlorine and PH.  It sounded like a great idea until the kit arrived in the mail and I opened it to discover that I would need to go back to school for a degree in chemistry to understand how to use it.  My mad skills in watching TV and sewing pillows don’t come in handy when you are trying to calculate how much bleach you need per 10,000 gallons of water depending on your PH and TA levels.

This is what I was doing yesterday, “Reference the CYA/Chlorine chart to know what your FC shock level should be.  Adjust the PH to fall between 7.2 and 7.5.  Slam your pool no more than once an hour using the PoolMath calculator and run the pump 24/7 until you pass the OCLT.”

I am not kidding.  And that’s the easy part.

My 15 year old son and I decided to make this “swamp to oasis” a mother-son bonding project, so crying was out of the question.  I started to well up once when the kit told me to decide if I wanted to measure my CC by .2 or .5ppm.  But I pulled myself together and confidently said to him, “This is your time to shine, son….you choose.”  And we forged ahead.

For next summer I am considering hiring a pool man.

Except for the brain exhaustion of doing complicated pool math, I have been enjoying my week at home.  I have done a lot of resting, replying to emails and talking with the kids.  I took a three hour nap on Monday, which you would think would keep me from sleeping that night.  But nope.  I rubbed on some lavender and slept like a baby.

Even though I was planning to go light on the extra projects, I did pick up some paint at Target to try.  Did you know they sell paint there?!  I had no idea!  It’s a bit expensive, but the colors are nice and that guesswork being done for me has value.  Plus they have wallpapers that coordinate with the paint which makes me so happy.  I’m not generally a wallpaper person, but I kind of got in the mood when I was looking at their options.  My bedroom desperately needs painting and this might be just my solution.  I bought a sample container and put some on the wall where I can look at it for a few days to see if I like it.

SO much easier than the pool test kit.

I may send Target a thank you note.

Unless I have to figure out how much paint I need using a complicated online chart.  In which case, I will be having my son do that part.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pool pictures!

My Beautiful Summer Porch

My Beautiful Summer Porch

It was past time to repaint the front porch floor, so we painted it last weekend.  That also meant painting over the old painted rug.  Even though I loved that rug, I couldn’t do the same thing again.  What’s the fun of keeping it the same when you can do something fresh and different?!

I really liked the black and white though, so I decided to keep the colors but tone down the pattern a little and move some of the furniture around for a completely different look.  Buh-bye rocking chairs, hello pew.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

The houndstooth rug is painted on….cute huh?!  I loves it.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I will do a tutorial on how we did it next week, but I couldn’t wait to show you the porch all cozy and ready for you to stop over for a visit!  I’ll have water with peppermint or citrus essential oils all ready for ya!

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I picked up my Relax sign at a roadside stand a few weeks ago.  It’s the perfect message for our guests when they arrive.  I want it to be a place where people can rest and find peace.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

And we got the bunting and flag screens back out….they just make me happy.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I really wish you could smell it out there.  The vines are to.die.for.  I also put some potted plants in old buckets and added my collection of gas cans that I have gathered over the years.  No reason for gas cans.  I just like ’em.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I filled my little flea market shopping cart with games and balls to encourage family togetherness.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

 Now that the porch is dressed up for summer I want to have a picnic or something.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

 Thanks for stopping by!

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A Little Makeover & Other Stuff

A Little Makeover & Other Stuff

There’s been a lot going on around here in the past week.  I have things to say.  Important things like the fact that I have a headache from jump starting my diet again.

I was on the plateau from you-know-where for the whole month of February.  I figured when it lasted more than a week that I needed to do a little jump start, so I went back to the beginning on Monday.  I am watching my food more carefully and not veering one bit.  Apparently I have been eating little cheats that I didn’t realize ‘cuz I’ve already lost a pound and I’m climbing the walls wishing for a snack.

I have to keep reminding myself that it will pass.

The good news is I figured out how to maintain without trying.  The bad news is I still want to lose about 25 more pounds, so I need to cut the snacking out.

Did I tell you that I am doing a 5K at the end of this month.  I know, it’s crazy huh?!

Speaking of short marathons, last week while James was in California the kids and I worked out some big surprises for him.  We gave the front of his office a budget makeover.

His office is a garage that we enclosed a long time ago.  It was in desperate need of some TLC.  I mean it was sad folks.  So sad.  I’d walk out there every day and wonder how he could stand it.  But he’s a guy.  He didn’t think much of it.  Sooo maybe the makeover was more for me.  I’m starting to see that now.

Before:

a little budget makeover

We built a deck across the front with old lumber and made a small awning for above the door.  We painted the door and touched up the wall, cleaned everything and added accessories.  It was such fun to work on it all together!

After:
a little budget makeover

Oh, and we made him a new sign.  The whole thing was a graduation gift for finishing law school.

a little budget makeover

He was so surprised when he got home.  I managed to miraculously keep it all hidden for the whole week.  I had to hold back complaints, questions and my general excitement at doing this project without his help.

I am a pretty good secret keeper, except from him.  Him I tell everything.  Even when his eyes start to glaze over I just keeeeeep talkin’.

Thanks for listening.  Have a great week!

Babies, IKEA and Archery All Rolled Into One

Babies, IKEA and Archery All Rolled Into One

As each quiet summer weekend passes behind me I feel myself getting more and more  relaxed into just being home and hanging with my peeps.  It’s so delightful.

On Friday I headed for Austin early so I could go meet my new niece…less than a week old.  I went all alone because, frankly, I wanted to go to IKEA while I was there and this is my kids’ least favorite place in the entire world.  Or the dentist.  It’s a toss up.

I met my friend Lindsay who blogs over at Makely Home and we had a ball walking through the store talking about how we could alter the pieces and where we would put them in our houses.  It’s my favorite thing to play…..I call it The New Furniture Game.  What you do is pretend you could have furniture that actually fits in your house with plenty of storage and it looks nice too.  I love this game.  This may be part of the reason my kids would prefer to skip it.

Then I headed over to see my sister and her new baby and got my snuggle on for a few hours.  I held that baby as much as possible since the next time I see her she won’t be teeny anymore.  Enough about that or I will start to cry over the loss of all of my babies and how mad I am at them for growing up so fast.

I did at last give her back to my sister and drove home pouting.

Since Saturday is our regular cleaning day, I announced at breakfast that the whole family would be washing their sheets and we made a sheet washing schedule.  With 10 beds I tend to lose track over the which beds have been changed and I get all paranoid that someone will be sleeping in weeks worth of grime so I make myself crazy trying to wash them all in 2 days.  I picture myself outside with the birds singing while I hang laundry on the line, but really it’s more like a military operation with me at the helm threatening 50 push ups for the person who can’t keep up.

It’s even more fun than the New Furniture Game.

After a day of cleaning we were all ready for some family silliness, so we had a pool party after dinner.  Just the 11 of us splashing around.  Actually, James and I tried to keep hidden in our little corner of the pool while we watched the kids make up racing games and targets and all kinds of activities that I am almost certain were invented purely to torture nervous mothers.

On Sunday after breakfast we got out the archery equipment and the whole family sat in the shade taking turns shooting at the target.  My son Noah is really the archery guy, but the rest of us each participated and enjoyed some time outside.  I took my turn with the bow and was doing pretty well until my release hand pulled back and I hit myself in the face.  I don’t care enough about archery to walk around with a black eye, so I stopped.  It’s not for wimps, and I am definitely a wimp.

The rest of Sunday can be summed up in two words: Nap Time.

Don’t you love a relaxing family style weekend?  Me too!  I can’t think of a better way to wrap up summer.

Have a great week my friends.