Monthly Archives: July 2013

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Hydrangeas

This is one of the lesser known commandments but look at thses photos and you shalt understand:

My Hydrangea (yes, I think there are 4 whole petals)

My Hydrangea (yes, I think there are 4 whole petals)

My neighbor's Hydrangeas

My neighbor’s Hydrangeas


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“Hey, Throw This at My Head!”

1254880_shiny_brain_I was in my lab the other day (OK it was the beach) and I was informally studying the behaviors of pre-adolescent boys (it was hard to miss the large group of unsupervised boys that were fine except during the safety break).  I was trying to figure out how just a few months ago I sat in awe as a group of 50+ pre-adolescent kids, supervised by only one man, managed to reproduce (loosely) the magnificent sounds of Mozart.  Johnny’s band concert was amazing.  Yet here, on a sunny afternoon with probably some of those same kids, there seemed to lack some of that focus, that intellect.

Observing the pre-adolescent male in his natural environment caused my eyebrow to furrow at times, at times my eyes to squint is disbelief and at times to smile, envious of the fun they were having and the carefreeness they enjoyed.

However the following observation highlights one of the unique characteristics of the pre-adolescent male brain.  The kids had probably been there all day and thus perhaps were running out of things to do… maybe.  So one kid is standing on the beach with a wet tennis ball.  The other kid is floating with just his head sticking out of the water.  HE is the one who suggests, “Hey, throw the ball at my head as hard as you can and I won’t move.”

The other boy of course said, “No, don’t be silly, I might hurt you, come on lets take a break and read on the beach for a bit.”  WRONG

His eyes light up at the chance, he smiles and giddily whips the ball at he kids face as hard as he could!

I have a couple of pre-adolescent boys and truthfully I could see them playing the same “game”.  However, how is it that we would have a hard time picturing a couple 14-year-old girls in their cute bikinis splashing around a bit and then, “Hey, Olivia, why don’t you throw this ball at my head as hard as you can!”  Or can you imagine a couple 80-year-old guys finishing up water aerobics at the Y and as one gets out of the pool, the older one, still bobbing with his floaty belt, “Hey, Willard, whip that tennis ball at my head!”

Thus I believe the behavior I witnessed is unique to both gender and age.  I’m not sure what evolutionary purpose it preserves but what do I know, my teaching license only goes through 6th grade after that I know nothing!


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THAT Curly-Haired Girl?

“Excuse me, do you know who belongs to that curly-haired girl?”
“Oh, that’s my girl.” My husband chirped in. We were at Lexi’s soccer game and I was sitting watching the game with the blanket set up behind me full of toys for the girls. Jerad had just arrived and was standing behind me.
Usually when someone asks about the curly-haired girl (Cassie) they offer up compliments about how cute her curly hair is. I knew something was up when this lady pulled Jerad aside and started talking to him.
She must be a Scout! Looking for models for Cheerio commercials! Right?!
I could tell immediately from the tone of the conversation this lady was not going to offer our daughter a modeling contract. In fact I thought perhaps Jerad would say, “Oh, THAT curly-haired girl, oh no that’s not mine, she belongs to that curly-haired woman in the red chair.” Pointing in my direction. But he didn’t, he handled the issue and after she left called me over.
4th of July 2013 002Apparently Cassie had been over by the parking lot (she was supposed to be looking for frogs and I was watching from a distance) she picked up a stick, threw it at the lady’s car and ran away!! Argh! THAT cute little curly-haired girl did that?  I’m glad Jerad did respond to the lady, “Well you’re lucky, last week she was throwing rocks at cars.”  (Creating a Scene)  At the soccer party she kept throwing the landscaping rocks in the lake.

She’s not a devious kid, not trying to be naughty, just very spontaneous (and lacking in good judgement).  Jerad apologized to the lady (luckily no damage was done to the car) and talked with Cassie but what else can you do?  She’s 5.  I guess we will just have to make it clear to her how serious it can be.  In the meantime if you come visit,  you may want to park a block away and walk.  A 5-year-old doesn’t understand what paying a $500 deductible on someone elses car will do to a parent!


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What do People Do in the Evenings?

976588_hammockWe have four more days until soccer is over for the season. That means next week, starting on Monday we will no longer have to eat dinner at 4:30 to make sure everyone eats before eve. activities. We will no longer have to play Carpool Amazing Race. We won’t have to plan ahead for going to three different events making sure we have snack if we won’t be home before bedtime. We won’t have to remind anyone to bring anything, anywhere!

So what do people do in the evenings in summer after all the hoopla has settled down?


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4th of July Week

We are back from a week at the cabin. I could seriously get used to lake life on a permanent basis. We had beautiful weather all week except for a few showers over the weekend. Our friends came up on Tuesday and our relatives were up for the fourth. A nice combination of visitors and just time by ourselves. Got some fun photos from the week so I’ll just give you the highlights:

4th of July 2013 002The week started last Saturday with Cassie and Callie’s soccer tournament. They played one game and won! (Although at this age they don’t keep score and everyone gets a medal at the end. The girls each scored a bunch of goals so that was fun. My parents came down to watch and we all had pizza for lunch.)

Sunday night we went up to the cabin for the week.  We did a lot of fishing, swimming and relaxing.  Tuesday our friends Terri and her kids (5th grade daughter, 3rd grade son) stopped by for the afternoon which was a really nice visit.  They caught a turtle in their fishing net.

Tuesday night we drove back home for two soccer games, Lexi played in Westonka and we picked up Joey after his game to bring him back to the cabin.

4th of July 2013 0064th of July 2013 015Wednesday, Jerad came up and took some of the kids to get a new canoe!  Now we can take the whole family to the Boundary Waters (of course you know I’m kidding, taking all six kids to the Boundary Waters…yeah I don’t think so).

Thursday (the fourth) we did venture to Quarry Park and went rock climbing.4th of July 2013 016

At lunch time my family joined us for the day.  My brother Tim, his wife Merrilee and their two little girls, Savannah and Chloe and my younger brother Bill spent the afternoon with us and stayed for the boat parade and fireworks on our lake.  Someone always puts on a professional style fireworks show that we can watch right from our beach!

The rest of the weekend was swimming, playing with the neighbors at the beach, biking, watching wildlife (check out the Crane on our dock), fireworks and a friendly game of “forks” (the spoons were all in the dishwasher).

Overall things went smooth and we had a nice time.  Next year we will have to get our canoe dollied-up for the boat parade.


4th of July 2013 0084th of July 2013 0274th of July 2013 0364th of July 2013 0284th of July 2013 013

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