Thursday, June 27, 2019

Berry Picking

Playing at home is a nice way to spend most summer days, but now and then it's fun to get out and do something more memorable.

This morning, the kids and I headed to Verrill Farm, where you can pick your own strawberries. The girls went looking for ripe berries in one part of the field . . .

. . . while the boys teamed up in another part.  You can't see any other berry pickers in these photos, but there were dozens of other people there today.  The cashier encouraged us to look on the edges of the field, because the center aisles had already been picked clean.

We ate nearly as many berries as we put in our baskets, which is expected (and part of the fun).  Then I made the mistake of letting Joy hold one of the berry baskets on the drive home.  When we reached our apartment, her basket was half empty, and Joy said she was sick of strawberries.  That aversion didn't last long though. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Special Town Meeting

I attended a special town meeting in the middle school gym this evening.  It was a really interesting experience with local politics and democracy in general.

A business from a neighboring town had circulated a petition that proposed a change to our town laws.  Representatives for each side presented their argument for or against the change . . .

. . . then any citizen who wanted to could walk up to a microphone and voice their opinions.  Most were against the proposal.  One person was for it.  One old guy just cracked a few jokes to make everyone laugh.  After a bunch of people had said their piece, a woman came to the microphone and proposed that we vote on the matter.  The person leading the meeting asked the crowd if we were ready to vote, and nearly everyone said, "Aye!"  Just like that, the discussion was over, and he put the proposal to a vote.

The vote-counting system was pretty unscientific.  The meeting leader asked who was in favor of the petition, then who was against it, and whichever group was louder won.  In this case, it was easy to tell--the nay-voting crowd was several times louder than the aye-voters.  The leader said the motion failed, then hundreds of people made a beeline for the doors to get out of that hot, muggy gym.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Blankets and Blog Photos

We're a few days into summer vacation, and the kids have found some creative uses for our blankets.

Last week they made up a game called "Ghosts."  It's like Marco Polo, only the person who's it wears a blanket over their head.  They talk to the other players, who must respond each time they're addressed, and the ghost follows the sound of their voice to try and tag them.  If a ghost tags you, you have to put on a blanket and become a ghost too.  The last person without a blanket wins.  That may be because we have four kids but only three beige blankets.

The kids also employed every blanket in the house to make a big tent fort.

Meanwhile, I was in the next room taking lots of pictures for my recipe blog.  I throw away ten or twenty photos for every good one I take, but I love how this gnocchi picture turned out. :)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

An Out-of-State Organ

This morning we drove to New Hampshire for stake conference (a semi-annual meeting of several local congregations).  I still think it's kind of funny that we go to a whole other state for stake conference, even though it's just half an hour away.

Daniel's Sunday school teacher played the organ for this conference.  After the meeting ended, we went up to say hello, and she gave us a little demonstration of how the organ works.

Joy found it fascinating.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Todd's Musical Graduation

We attended Todd's preschool graduation this evening.  Daddy felt a bit of Mr. Incredible angst about calling it a "graduation," but he still came, and did his best to act like the whole thing wasn't totally irrational.  Thank you, Engineer Daddy. :)

Personally, I thought the ceremony was really fun.  The kids performed several songs their teachers had taught them.

Then they received a delightfully colorful diploma . . .

. . . and gathered for a class picture.

Thanks for everything Miss Julia and Miss Rochelle!  Todd had a great time in your class, and learned a lot about being a good friend to his classmates. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Clapping for Anna

School's out for summer!

Joy and I went to Anna's school this afternoon to cheer for Anna in her clap-off parade.  Our town has two elementary schools (one for grades K-2, another for grades 3-5), and it's traditional for family, friends, and younger students to applaud for the second graders on their last day at the younger school.

The dress code is casual, but that family in yellow decided to take things up a notch or two.  I'll bet I could've talked Joy into doing that with me, but I think Phillip would have been a hard sell.

It was sweet to see my daughters holding hands as we left Anna's (old) school.

They also found a tree to climb. :)

Then we picked up Todd and Daniel, and headed to the store for our annual end-of-school-year treat run.  I took the kids to Aldi, gave each of them a $3 limit, and let them choose anything they wanted.

Todd - Grabbed the first yummy thing he saw on a shelf (granola bars). 
Daniel - Opted for a sweet cereal.
Anna - Chose messy, totally-bad-for-you cheese puffs because her mother never buys them.
Joy - Methodically went through the entire store, and opted for a box of 8 ice cream sandwiches because she figured they would last her longer than a bag of chips or cookies. 
Mama - Bought some store brand knock-offs of Girl Scout Samoas, which are DEE-licious. 

Then we came home and traded with each other so everyone got to try everything (and all the kids got their fingers covered with messy fake cheese powder :P ).

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Our Daddy Rocks

For Father's Day, I presented Daddy with what is quite possibly the most beautiful cake I have ever decorated.

Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart.  Actually, Sour Patch Kids are a surprisingly scrumptious addition to a frosted cake.  Also, the "I am clueless about CAKE" sign is Joy's addition.  It's an inside family Minecraft joke.

Last but not least, this painted stone was a Father's Day gift from Anna, because her daddy rocks.