Catching Up.

Where have we been the past few weeks?! I will use this one long and convoluted post to catch everyone up with life around here since summer began.

While we were out, the boys discovered tennis. This is a great loss to the scientific community, for after thirty minutes of tennis, Jake declared that he no longer wants to be a scientist (which has been his career goal for a few years now, ever since the “train museum worker” wore out) but he wants to be a tennis player. He loves tennis so much that this normally level-headed boy threw a fit the first two times that we had to leave the tennis courts.

And it didn’t even deter his tennis dreams when he got beaned with the ball for the first time. That is some serious tennis love.

Item #2. Cub Scouts begin. I have blindly signed up as a Tiger Cub Den Leader next year. I wasn’t too nervous about it until we went to Cub Scout camp last week. These Cub Scout ladies mean business. I’m not sure if my “let’s wander around in the creek for an hour and climb trees” attitude is going to cut it with the good ole Boy Scouts of America. Time will tell. In the meantime, the boys at camp play games, go on little hikes, make leaf rubbings, and fall silent when the flag ceremony begins.

Tinfoil is a boy scout’s friend, handy for making boats to hold marbles or for baking bananas stuffed with chocolate chips. Cub Scouts paint hats and flags and planters that they’ve hammered together themselves. Notice the hats and marvel at the fact that they put ten year olds on the “traffic crew”, as well as the fact that if your over-enthusiastic mother comes to camp with you, your hat might turn out a little more perfect than any of the other boys….hmmmm….(no, that is not my child. But his hat sure looks a lot better than Jake’s!)

The best thing about Cub Scout camp is that at the ripe old age of 5, they hand you a bow and an arrow and stand you about 2 feet from the boys on each side of you, then they tell 60 little boys to shoot their arrows at the targets. And no one gets hurt. And if you were the mother standing behind the white line painted on the grass, you’d recognize that as a boy scout miracle.

Sometime during all of this, the cousins arrive!!! Cousins from far away who are just the right size for playing with.

We go to the beach and the pool and each others’ houses and soak each other in.

We head down to San Diego to celebrate Uncle Rob’s birthday. San Diego, where, to quote Tyler, “The very first thing I’m going to do is play Wii.” These video game starved kids have their priorities straight. So we spend some time like this.

Then we head downstairs and across the street to the Padre game for Uncle Rob’s celebration. Happy 30th Rob!

The kids enjoy some strange carnie looking guy who’s leading them through games on the grassy hill, while the adults watch the game from primo seats behind the bullpen.

What better way to enjoy a July 4th weekend than at the ballpark?

The cousins’ personalities are clearly exhibited at the game, where the first-borns watch and sit quietly while the second-borns run around and scream for the Padres and act like this:

Cousin Delaney, whom we got to play with at the beach earlier this week, fits firmly into the second-born category, as you can tell.

But back to the game. Here’s the birthday boy and his bride (my sister).

Did I mention that this birthday party included going onto the field to watch fireworks? Because it did.

But now I’m just bragging, so let’s move on.

Saturday morning Amy and Mom threw a great brunch party for all of the out of towners who were there for Rob’s party, and to say goodbye to my brother and his family after their wonderful visit. They made a beautiful brunch to be served on the beautiful (albeit cold) rooftop deck of their building.

The kids and Greg spent most of their time wrestling on the mats that overlook the stadium.

I like this one of my darling son trying to bite his dear dad’s leg.

And this one of my darling nephew clawing Greg’s eye out.

We were all thankful that Greg’s the sort who digs this kind of treatment, and he spent most of the brunch entertaining the kiddos. Without any major injuries to anyone, I might add. (These photos make me feel like saying, “No children or fathers were harmed in the making of this wrestling match.” Really.)

Did you think our week was over? Because it was time for the zoo, where we hung out with relatives of Greg who were in town for a few days. I took a bunch of animal photos to use for reference in my sketch book, but my favorite was of this elephant.

But we had a lot of fun with them. Especially since we ended the evening with a trip to San Diego’s must-visit destination: Extraordinary Desserts.

What does it say about me that I have about six pictures of desserts and no pictures of Greg’s aunt and cousins? I’m a terrible person, I know. But the desserts were to die for.

But let’s not stop there. Sunday morning means church and a neighborhood July 4th party.

And because one baseball game really isn’t enough on a holiday weekend, we went to the Angel game on Sunday night to see their fireworks. (Which, as a true Angel fan, I must say were much better than the Padres fireworks. I’m sorry Padres. You’re my #2 team. Especially since you have my favorite player, former Angel David Eckstein.) For me, the Angel game is the only place to spend the 4th of July. Eating Chinese food, of course.

So do you realize that you innocently clicked over here for the usual PeaceLiving styled post and you ended up browsing through 31 of my favorite photos of the past two weeks? I apologize. But now you understand why I’ve been gone, and now I’ll be able to remember this whirlwind week or two for a long, long time.

But I can’t say I’m complaining about getting back to our slow pace of life. Getting the house back in order. Calm days with lots of time to do nothing but color and sort Legos and relax in the backyard and read for the library reading contest. And time for rousing games with the boys, like rolling a marble across the kitchen island and yelling “Gooooooaaaaaaallllll!” when we get it past one another. And making homemade guacamole and berry crisp.

Everyday life, I welcome you back.

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