Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer: 66 Days

The kids started their two favorite weeks of summer today: Johnson's Camp. It's from 9-1 at the home of a wonderful family in our church who have enough land for horses, alpaca, chickens and other animals. They also have a trampoline and swimming pool as well as various musical instruments they play so the kids rotate between games, music time, crafts, horse back riding and swimming. Today the kids brought home fresh chicken eggs and tomorrow they will be shearing the alpaca and bringing home wool for me to spin into a scarf or something. (Right!) I love them getting this kind of experience right here in the outskirts of L.A.- especially after visiting the "family farm" last week in Iowa. My grandparents sold it when I was 8 or 9 but I have so many fun, vivid memories from my childhood playing at that farm. I want my kids to experience a little flavor of that kind of life. The people that own the farm now don't have nearly as much land as my grand parents did but they do have a lot of animals. My oldest daughter figured out where the phrase "piggy back" came from when she saw the two pot bellied pigs "Wilbur" and "Charlotte" trying to mate. Then there was the baby calf named "Fillet" and the dangling beer cans with a sign that read "Red Neck Windchime". Yes, a little flavor of farm life! My sisters and I had a great time going up into the hay loft with our own kids like we used to when we were young and my mom could hardly believe it when we found pictures she had drawn as a young girl still on the wall going down to the cellar.

Back to today.

While the older kids were at Johnson's Camp I was dutifully waiting for the cable guy to come cut our cable for the next two months. (All part of my master plan for a summer of good, wholesome fun that doesn't involve SCREENS! I did upgrade my Netflix account, however.) I say dutifully because if I wanted to have the cable cut today the only time slot I could procure was between (get this) 8am and 9pm. Brilliant. So I dutifully waited at home all day (he showed up around 5pm) and easily filled the hours with backed up laundry, phone calls and paper work.

Going through backed up mail is no small feat in L.A. The amount of junk mail we receive on top of everything else is unbelievable. Even if you throw 80% of it away, you still have to go through it. (One of the first things I noticed when we moved here from Iowa was the difference in the junk mail. In Iowa it was for lawn care, in L.A. it is for plastic surgery.) We got so much mail in the one week Brandon was in Iowa that it was held at the post office for us. The really embarrassing part of this is that I already had a huge bin from the post office because I simply failed to get my mail for over a week before we left. I know, ridiculous isn't it? I have this crazy idea that if I don't get the mail, the paper work doesn't exist. I don't want to open that box until I'm ready to deal with what is inside and sometimes, I just don't want to deal with it. So I'm off to the post office tomorrow to get a bin refill. Seriously embarrassing.

I also found out today we have some new neighbors with young children so in the spirit of good wholesome neighborly summer fun I enlisted the help of the kids and we made "Magic Bars" to take over. They are still on the counter, though half of them have magically disappeared. I'm hoping to get the rest over there tomorrow.

Today's Super Summer Tally:

Johnson's Camp
Cut the cable
Magic Bars for the new neighbors.

Pretty good.

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