Friday, July 11, 2014


Sunday before last we went out to Tiny Gram's for the day to enjoy some cousin time.  Between my cousin Mary Jo's four and my three, we have quite a tribe going.  Grandma's quite brave for hosting us all!  (Just kidding -- she's used to it... MJ's mom had four and mine had three, so it's par for the course pretty much.)  Like Grandma said in a letter I just got from her: the kids, big and little, played good together.  Another quote I recently read -- Grandma's house: where cousins become friends.  So, suffice to say, these days are special.  And... days on the lake and days with my cousins have always been some of my favorites.

My apologies for the super photo overload to follow here... but I just can't help myself.  And at least I know you'll appreciate it, MJ!

Owen and Bob and all the rest of the kids are fishes.  Oboe at two is sporting the water wings and loving it; Bob at four is on to the bubble (his was mine when I was a wee one--they sure don't make em like they used to, says old lady ang).
 Owen is fearless; he'll just run right out to the end of the dock and jump in without a moment's hesitation.
 Watching him jump into water is one of my favorite things about this summer; it just puts the biggest smile on my face and never gets old.  (Bob does it too, but you know, he's been at it for years, so...)
 Ahoy, Mary Jo!  I think you need a bigger boat!
 Uncle Steven is stellar at putting babies to sleep.
 Here's Bob at the top of the slide and me in the water for support.  He thought about going for it, but with the rocking of the dock and the blowing wind it's a little scary up there at the top, and in the end he decided to climb back down the ladder.  It's sometimes hard as a parent to find the right balance between encouraging them to try something new! and letting them take the lead and do it at their own pace.  Bob is way up at the top of the slide, and of course I'm encouraging him.  "Come on, buddy, you can do it!  You're already at the top.  It's easier to slide down than to climb down."  But then, when he doesn't want to go for it, it's also up to me to say, "That's cool, bud.  It's really high and wobbly up there, isn't it? You can always try again next time if you want to."  Encouragement.  Acceptance.  And always love.
 Sarah the mermaid.  (Ahoy, Sarah!  I think you need a bigger towel.)
 Some kiddos hanging out...
 Bobbert loves all his girl cousins.
He recently sent my cousin Simone (below in the blue) a letter -- printed mostly by himself! -- asking her to make him a new rainbow loom bracelet because the one she'd given him at his birthday party broke.  She came through right away with like five of them and wrote, "I know you love pink so I tried to use a lot of pink," which put the biggest smile on Bob's face.  Such a sweet correspondence.
 The guys did some fishing... My dad said he finally understood why his grandfather never wanted to take him fishing.  Agreed.  I've been on a couple of fishing adventures myself this summer and I'll tell you, it's astounding how quickly a four year old can tangle a fishing line.  Last time I almost done lost my mind and I've since retired from the fish game.  (But I do like to take pictures!)
  This little guy here is such a lover these days.  He hugs, he kisses, he sits on laps; a total sweetheart most of the time.
 Scarlett the two year old is a little sweetie, too.
 Grampa Sonny: just as handsome as always.
Mary Jo brought cupcakes with ridiculously orange frosting, which the little munchkins thoroughly enjoyed...
 Here's Grandma showing the kiddos a bird's nest...
 Me and my bright eyed daughter...
 And, back in the water they all went...
 ...until the watermelon was brought out!
 (Gotta love my dad's classy ensemble.)

 These five are all within two and a half years of each other...
 Maisy Lou and Mary Jo the country western duo...
 Me and a couple of my favorite cousins!  We had similar days at Grandma's when we were little...
 Bob had to swim one more time...
 And then we packed it up for the drive home.  The boys each had a cup of animal crackers, and they each fell asleep mid-animal, passed out for the rest of the drive and the rest of the night.
A good Sunday, soon to be repeated!

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