Archive for July, 2011

It’s cooling down

In the playroom, that is.

Scott decided to get a window air conditioner for the playroom!  Todd Dunston’s two sons came down (Todd owns Plumbline Carpentry) to install it today.  It was quite the job and they have been here a long time, but the unit is in and running, the guys just left, and we’re waiting to see how long it takes to cool the room from 95 (or whatever it is in there) down to 79.

Well, we were waiting to see.  Scott said that after just ten minutes it had already made a noticeable difference (hooray!), but since it’s bedtime, he shut it off and we will now sleep.


PKs face Church Army in post-season tournament

We knew it would be tough when we learned that Max (1B), Kevin (SS), and Jordan (CF) would all be gone, but we did have ten, and we gave Church Army a good run for their (mouthy pitcher’s) money.

Scott played 3rd, and as the lead-off batter, hit a solid single.  Yay, Scott!  On a later play, when by all rights he clearly should have stayed at 2nd, he took off like a shot, did a tremendous slide into 3rd, and was SAFE!!!  On the next hit, he scored our first run, and I told Katie, “I saw him hit the ball, slide into 3rd, and score the first run of the game.  No matter what happens, it’s been a good night.”

When he finally stood up after his awesome slide into 3rd – we were wondering why he was kneeling there. . . was it that he couldn’t get up, or was it just a dramatic pause to impress the fans? – I thought back over his dislocated hip, messed up knee, and four broken ribs, and was again very thankful to God that the man can play softball.

Church Army hit well – no surprises there – and we had one particularly bad inning on defense, during which we allowed nine runs.  We did stage a minor comeback, but then lost 16:9.

Give our cobbled-together team, numerous absences, and a broken-ribbed manager for the first half of the season, I think our 7 and 4 pre-tournament showing was respectable.  And at least we lost to one of the best teams.

Fall ball starts August 18, and we need players.  Anybody wanna play ball?

Two at a time

In February, snow sat on our van’s windshield for several days.  Upon melting, we discovered that the windshield was cracked.   Although the crack did work its way all the way across, it was quite low, and as it didn’t interfere with visibility and our lives were fairly full without an auto glass repair, we left it alone.

A couple mornings ago, Scott drove his car as usual to his place of prayer.  He then came home and worked from home that day.  Later that afternoon, when he went to drive his car, he was astonished to find that the windshield was cracked and badly so.  It was “soft” to the touch.  That is, he said that if you pushed on it, it would break.  Hmmm.

All we can figure is that a walnut fell on it and cracked it, but that really doesn’t make any sense, because walnuts have been falling on our windshields for lo these fifteen years, and there’s never been any cracking before.

In any case, the Honda’s situation couldn’t wait, and with two of our drivers away for a month, one of them working in Springfield full time, and one of them working in Springfield three days a week, it was kind of difficult to figure out how Andrew and I would drop off the car in Branson – and later pick it up – between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  Andrew could probably drive okay, but he doesn’t yet have his license.  BUT it turns out that Binswanger will come to your house and replace your windshield in your driveway!  So that’s what we did, times two.

One nice bald guy came out (after getting quite lost trying to find our house) and spent almost two hours replacing two windshields in the hot, hot sun.  We now have strict instructions to leave the windows slightly open and the blue tapes on for twenty-four hours, avoid car washes for forty-eight hours, and we’re good to go.

Special thanks to My Hero for working so hard and paying for such great service!

It’s hot

98 in the shade this afternoon, and that is definitively HOT!

What is 1000?

It is the number of pieces in the puzzle that we completed in 24 hours at Grandma and Grandpa’s house this past weekend. = )

My mom likes to do puzzles, so we had given her this lovely Thomas Kincaid one for Christmas. She had already put together the edges (minus one piece that never showed up – boo hoo!) before we even got there, but those were the only pieces that weren’t still in the bag when Katie and Scott decided to join her in tackling it on Friday afternoon.

With Katie, Scott, Grandma, Haley, and me all working on that beast off and on, we completed it by 3:00 PM Saturday! Wow! We all felt a great sense of accomplishment, and the puzzle really is beautiful.

Note for future puzzle-assembling reference: Our essential mantra was, “color doesn’t matter.”

It was NOT three beavers

A few days ago, I was privileged to watch a beaver swim under the 160 bridge!  How very fun he was to watch.

So this morning, when I approached the bridge and saw something black swimming downstream, I assumed it was my beaver friend.  However, as I got closer, I realized that there were two. . . no, three animals swimming gracefully by!  I was so excited that I even called out to a man and his son (total strangers) who were preparing to fish there, “LOOK!  There are three beavers swimming in the creek!”

But it was NOT three beavers.  It was actually a family of river otters!!!  Yes, right there in our own little creek!  There was a mom (total length including tail – about two feet?) with two babies (total lengths – about one foot?), one on top of the other, on her back!!!  She was carrying her babies as she swam along, and that’s not all:  there were two other babies swimming beside her!

She continued downstream, and as she approached the bridge, she looked up, right at me.  It was wild.  We were looking straight at each other.  I guess the floppy olive drab hat intimidated her, because she turned around, and the babies slid off her back.  All five of them smoothly twisted and turned and dived for about 15 seconds (as if they were putting on a show), and then she led them all back upstream to a spot on the far side of the creek, under an overhanging tree.  I watched the brush move as they climbed out of the water, and then I lost sight of them.

Five river otters, just for me!  WHAT a blessing from God!  I must surely be one of his most favorite kids.  = )

Spike to pipe

With Andrew away at Camp Lookout, we decided Monday night to do something fun – the five of us.  It was already a full day, what with me taking Andrew to Camp Lookout, Scott taking Mom to the airport in Springfield, Jessica having the Voth girls over for lunch, games, and swimming at Big Rock, and Jessica and Katie going shopping with Josiah for his upcoming China trip.

After a supper of leftovers (and MUCH discussion about what would or wouldn’t be fun for various ones of us), we landed on four square, a game at which I was queen in my Dulles Elementary days.

We chalked the squares on Coffee Road, looked up the rules online, and spent some time trying to defeat each other.  At one point, Scott was king, and we were talking about spiking the ball; specifically, he was telling us how you shouldn’t be allowed to spike it on the serve, “like this!”  And he whammed it hard across the “court,” and it whizzed over the ditch toward the front corner of our yard, by the stop sign.  Amazingly, it landed at the lowest point and rolled right into the pipe that runs under Coffee Road!  AARRGGHH!!  That was our relatively new four square ball, the one we had broken down and spent real money on at MC Sports.

Josiah ran over and looked into the pipe and announced that the ball was about in the middle of the street.  Sigh.  Scott looked too, and later told us that bending down and looking into that pipe was acutely reminiscent of looking up a chimney!  Uh-oh.

Josiah thought the thing to do would be to run water into the pipe and wash the ball out the other end.  Scott said it couldn’t be done, because there was something else stuck in the pipe (a log), and so although the water would wash it partway, it would stop at the log and be stuck.  They looked from both ends.  There was discussion about trying to get a long stick to push it through, but the stick would have to be 15 feet long just to get to the ball!

Josiah then decided he would fill a trash can with water and dump it all in at once.  Scott did NOT think that would work, but we all guessed it wouldn’t hurt to try.  The hose was hauled out.  They trash can was drug over, and the filling began.  We womenfolk cheered him on.  In a few minutes, he had a full can, and after Scott had trotted to the far end to witness the event, Josiah tipped the can and flung it all in as quickly as possible.  At the other end, crouched down, Scott waited. . . and waited. . . and. . .

Sure enough, the ball came flowing out the low end!!!  We all cheered and hollered, and Josiah was our hero!  We resumed play, until Scott got so obnoxious with his winning that it was no longer fun – at that point, we all helped Jessica re-organize her room, which now looks great.

Moral of the story:  Never spike your four square ball into your drain pipe, but if you do, be sure to have a hose, a trash can, and a Llama handy.



Camping with Grandma

We camped at Buffalo Point in our favorite site this past weekend.  Grandma Roberts was with us, as was Jarek Lilly.  Memories include:

Grandma going early with the guys to set up, but stopping for ice cream on the way.

Jessica working late (dryer issues), and the girls and I driving down in time for supper, creamy cheese potatoes in hand.

Grandma sleeping (or at least trying to sleep) on the short bed.

Andrew very content sleeping alone in the tiny tent we borrowed from the Woods.

Josiah and Jarek in the tent, one of them on the cot.

The raccoon in the night who made a racket scraping the metal bucket all over as he tried to get into the trash we left hanging on the camper.  No one is sure why it didn’t get taken to the dumpster before we went to bed.

The kids all digging in the dunes and having a lot of fun, even after someone trashed their tunnel and wrote, “HA!” on it.

Kids attacked and bitten by hordes of horseflies.

Trying to sleep in the extreme heat.

Tubing in the slow-moving, but cool Buffalo River.

The long tube run from the Hwy 14 bridge.

Eight people and tubes for seven crammed into and piled on top of the van, to get to the Hwy 14 put-in.

Food, glorious food:  For suppers, spicy chicken and LOTS of kielbasa, creamy cheese potatoes, chili in the crockpot, steak and veggie kabobs.  For breakfast, pop-tarts, canteloupe, strawberries, hot cereal, eggs, more kielbasa, and four muffins.  For lunches, miscellaneous snacking off and on all day.  For desserts, peanut butter oatmeal bars, chainsaw bars, s’mores (or just straight chocolate-covered grahams with Hershey bars); essentially chocolate in many forms.

Ladder-ball, with Grandma being the big winner.

Patty, the Phase Ten Queen AND the Queen of Hearts!

Katie being bit by a water snake on the long trek up to the diving rock.

Jessica learning to DIVE (with jump) off the diving rock.

Andrew’s amazingly graceful dives and flips.

Andrew’s many attempts to do a back dive with Scott spotting him – maybe next time.  = )

Scott’s back dives with very little twisting motion.

Scott, Grandma and Patty seeing three otters on their float down from the launching ramp!

Plenty of bridge.

Andrew’s great attitude.  = )

Scott, Katie, and Patty going home on Monday night, leaving Josiah, Jarek, Jessica, Andrew, and Grandma to tear down and pack up Tuesday morning.

Winds and heavy rain (1.5 inches!) early Tuesday morning.

Jessica battening down the hatches while Jo and Jarek staggered to the van to sleep.

Bridge before breakfast!!!

Five wet ones in the wet, foul-smelling camper for several hours while it rained.

Packing up everything soaking wet.  Ugh.

Josiah successfully navigating the van and pop-up out of the campground.  He wisely waited to mount the final bikes till he had negotiated the tight turn at the end of the loop.

Running over one chock.  It was only one.

ALL sizes of ice cream cones for $1.50 in Yellville on the way home!  Grandma was thrilled!!!

Stomachs too full of ice cream to accommodate lunch at Wendy’s in Harrison.

Our property draped for several days with wet tents, sleeping bags, tubes, awnings, and other gear.

The pop-up is truly on its last legs (leaking, dry-rotting, wood and metal frames falling apart, girls bed roof only held by one screw, etc.), and we hope to replace it someday.

What a camping trip!  A great time was had by all!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.