Friday, July 5, 2013

Spooks and Pranks - 7 Quick Takes

Another crazy week of summer has flown by for our family.  Yes, we are still headquartered at the B & B, and it looks like we'll be here for another week or so.  Before I put my apron back on to prepare the evening meal for the crew, I thought I'd catch ya'll up with a few tidbits from the past week.  

I don't think in all of the years that I've been running, that I've ever ventured off into a cemetery.  But, because there is a trail that wraps around the cemetery behind the church across from where we're staying, I have really enjoyed ending my runs there.  It's a peaceful, and a very calm place to pray.....until a couple of days ago, when a little boy jumped out from behind a very large headstone and scared me to death (sorry, I couldn't resist)!  Hearing his mother scream was victory for Henry, who fell over in stitches onto the grass.  We ran back to the house together, laughing, and I asked him how he knew that I was at the cemetery.  He said, "Oh, mom, I just knew you would be here praying after your run, so I snuck over here to wait for you!" Sure, because the cemetery is my favorite prayer spot? Silly boy.

One of our family's favorite ways of expressing love is through teasing and laughter. The boys are always playing practical jokes on each other or on on a parent (see #1).  Two days ago, exhausted at the end of a very long day, I was struggling to get the boys to stay in bed.  They kept taking turns stealthily sneaking upstairs, and when I would question why they were being so secretive, all they could offer for an answer were giggles and shoulder shrugs. Needless to say, I was too tired to investigate the matter any further.

The next morning, I thought that everyone was suspiciously quiet around the breakfast table.  Eventually, it was revealed that the boys had collaborated a plan to play a prank on Jonathan, a college student (whom they adore) who is helping us for the summer.  The night before, when the crew came in around 11 p.m., Jonathan, looking forward to a hot shower and a peaceful night's rest, was met with pillows stacked behind his door, causing a serious jam, styrofoam coffee cups under the comforter, ice packs under the fitted sheet, and this:
Yes, that's a styrofoam food container with Jonathan's name on it....inside, in place of an evening snack was a fresh pair of undies. I have to admit, I was secretly a little bit proud.  They got him good!! 

Yesterday afternoon, Steve called to inform us that the crew would be shutting down early for the holiday.  Steve's mom, Kathy, and I flew into serious action, making a last minute grocery run and sprinting around the house trying to pull together a festive look for a surprise impromptu party for the crew.  We did it! Appetizers, cold beer, grilled steak and all the sides made for a tasty meal - sitting around the table together for the first time in weeks made it even better!

While the adults enjoyed a leisurely supper and good conversation in the dining room, the boys snuck outside and set up chairs and blankets across the street behind a neighbor's home on his backyard acreage (the folks out here are so incredibly kind and generous!).  They couldn't wait to impress us with the most amazing fireworks show ever! How fun it was to watch them take delight in every little spark! After lighting the big ones, they would run away as fast as they could shouting, "For Freedom!!" at the top of their lungs.  I caught a lot of proud chest bumps and high fives between brothers, which was more entertaining than the fireworks.

5.  PIC
Do you know how much patience it takes to get 5 boys to focus for a picture??
Too, too much.  Thank goodness I had a few sips of the punch prior to the execution of this bad idea.
Feel free to fill in the bubbles here.  Let me give you some examples:
Why is my deodorant failing?
Is that the grill smoking or my short fuse?
Has anyone seen my cocktail? 
We usually shoot for 3 out of 5 humans actually looking at the camera. Although the usual two have no idea what's going on, we chalk this one up as a success.

6.  HYMN
9:00 a.m. mass was surprisingly full yesterday.  I was touched by all of the elderly ladies and gentlemen who came dressed in their patriotic colors, and who sang our nation's hymns and anthems with so much pride and sincerity, it brought tears to my eyes.  Will the younger generations love and cherish this land as much as they do?? I can only hope and pray so.  One of my dad's favorite patriotic hymns is the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The lyrics are undeniably stirring, but this particular verse is my favorite:
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

7.  CUFF
While I've been typing furiously,  George and Henry have been seriously focusing on the challenge I gave them to make as many clothing items as possible out of construction paper and pipe cleaners.  In my 30 minutes of blogging, they designed (and modeled proudly) a top hat, sandals, a belt and gladiator cuffs. (It really should have been an accessories challenge).  
They were so proud of the cuffs, and I was too.  So, I ditched my #7 for this week, and gave the cuffs their proper glory right here.  Bring it, Russel Crowe.



  1. All of the family pictures are wonderful! Never a dull moment, huh? :)

    1. Never a dull moment, indeed! Dull, sometimes, would actually be nice!

  2. Great pictures - sounds like an awesome day!!!

  3. Poor Jonathan - but your boys did well. ;)

    1. I know, just when he thought he was getting away from the fraternity pranks for the summer!!

  4. Love the family photo session - I would say you were successful indeed!! lol :D


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