The Korenaks, Able, & Kari went up to the farm Friday evening for quiet farm fireworks. We joined them Saturday around 11 as our crew needed to sleep in after a late night. Once there, we met Allison, Uncle Mark, Uncle Scott, and my cousin's Jason family (everyone joined and left in waves throughout the day). There was lots of playing in the gardens, swimming, eating, talking, and general random fun. E took me on a little tour and rode the tiny tractor a bit. The garage was pretty hot so we headed back outside to find the others.
Uncle Zach set up the badminton nets and taught the boys the finer points. (I should note B and Ro slept for large portions of the day as both needed to catch up on missed sleep, but we carried on without them).
E tried to work up the moxy to swim all day. After many failed attempts he fell in love again with the water as dusk drew near, when he had the pool all to himself.
B was shy (and tired) much of the day, but discovered in the evening that he and Joel were friends and love many of the same things. For a a few magic hours at the end of the day they had the most fun playing and laughing together.
These two little dudes are somewhat more likely to hit each other with things than laugh so far, but they are working on it. They sometimes head off on adventures together, which results in an adult scurrying after them to keep them out of whatever new mischief they may find.
I love that after a rough start to the day (including refusing to join the family picture) B found love and laughter all around. Here he is being teased by Uncle Zach and loving it.
Good-byes are hard. Good-byes with Great- Grandpa are the hardest. We all get as many hugs as possible, take pictures, and hope we have many, many more wonderful days together like today. After Great-Grandpa, Uncle Scott, Uncle Mark, and Allison were gone, the younger set headed for fireworks:
Zach, Jason, and Brent were the ring leaders, but all the little boys and girls that wanted to got to light a few fireworks and we all ooh and ahhed.
Lady M chose not to, but did snuggle with me on a blanket in the grass enjoying her glowing necklaces. She eventually had one each of red, white, and blue, and spun them together to create cool designs when it was fully dark.
I promise B had used sparklers before, but seemed to have forgotten and loved rediscovering that wonder. After fireworks, it was time to say goodbye to Jason's crew and put our kids to sleep (E & Ro had gone in earlier, happily). E kept Brent and I up in the night for the first time in a very long time so we're a bit sleepy.
E, however, was ready for pony riding first thing. He also explored the tent with Zane & M a bit --- feeling very big this morning.
Brother riding time-- Grandma has added a second, smaller pony, but E still loves Peanutbutter (the pony, not the food he's allergic to).
Then B worked with E on their badminton skills as we began preparations for one last adventure hike.
Grandma has lots of small camelbaks now so the big kids each wore one and shared with E, who may be slightly too small for adventures, but Brent carried him along as they are so fun.
Here is the intrepid crew ready to head out for their hike.
Getting out the door takes a lot of coordination, but I'm told they had great fun, found some bones, climbed on trees, checked out the creek, etc... Audra & I packed and cleaned up a bit while talking with Grandma. Then it was time for a snack and a tiny bit of playing before we all headed out.
Here are the kids at the end. Tired, tired. M did not want to go and did not want another picture. B did not want to stop reading for the picture. E is still in to the flag waving, but also, tired. All good fun, and I'm sure all rebounding shortly after a bit of rest. Hooray for a wonderful long weekend with family and friends. Happy Birthday USA!