My oldest friend, Aerie, surprised me with a visit. Oldest friend, like I've known her since kindergarten, not gosh, she looks good for a 120 year old. And I guess it's not a myth, my eyes really do disappear when I smile.
I thought this was a nice artsy shot.
Fun with friends at the lavender farm.
Anna is disgustingly photogenic!
Moose doesn't understand the concept of smelling flowers yet, so he simply licks them. Cousin Karysse agrees with him: balloons are endlessly fun, at least until they pop.
Cora in a tree (where else would she be?)
Cora's surprise birthday party.
Some birthday pals: Sarah, Ethan, Cora, Channing, Emma.
Water balloon fights.
Well, it was time for another Idaho trip for me and the ankle biters. Strangely enough there are no misadventures to report this time: no bashing in of my van's windows, no running out of gas, and most importantly, no freak blizzards and shutting down of highways. So, pardon me if you don't get a good belly laugh at my expense today, such is life.
We started out the 2 week trip with a surprise birthday party for Cora's ninth. She was surprised, or more to the point, confused, and couldn't quite figure out how all her old friends showed up at the park at the same time. It was sweltering hot, but we had water balloons and a nice shady tree to climb up into. She was spoiled rotten, and now has the rollerblades and Nintendo DS to prove it, among other crazy amounts of loot. I can't believe it was nine years ago that we brought our little Yoda lookalike home from the hospital...sniff, snort, weep.
We spent a day at the lavender farm in Marsing where the kids got to pick their own lavender, pose by force for photos from their camera happy mamas, and pet their tame bumblebees.
My oldest and dearest friend, Aerie, and her little sis, my own little sis' oldest and dearest friend, Tanager, surprised me with an overnight visit and it was so much fun to chat and laugh and see our cute little kids together. What a blessing old friends are! I hope when my kids are grown they keep a precious handful of their childhood pals to reminisce with once they too are old and gray. Sappy? Yes, a bit, but also true!
There was a lot of time spent at Gramma and Papa's High House, mostly on the wrap around deck where Gianni polished off his potty training by running amok in his birthday suit. He gives new meaning to the term "golden arches."
We got to go see the best movie in the history of movies, The Princess Bride, at a park with a huge inflatable movie screen, one-bazillion people, and lots of snacks. Gianni fell asleep in my arms halfway through, no surprise as it started at 10 pm, and just when it started to get chilly he obligingly pee-ed on me, keeping us both warm for the duration.
We spent several nights at the Chateau Shafer, relaxing and playing Phase 10 and shopping. Mariah and I were forced, er, I mean, invited, to attend a spa put together by our entrepreneurial children. We were presented with a menu of services with footnotes that read 'Real money only,' and 'No checks accepted.' A few quarters got us massages by Isaac and mani's and pedi's by the girls. They then contributed their wealth to an ice cream treat. We were forever inspired by Sadie's superwoman strength through her chemo. She is a heroine in every sense.
The drive home, though peppered with sad thoughts of leaving behind our nearest and dearest, went well for the first 8 hours. Then we hit Rawlins, WY, which is the geographical oddity of the world. You can drive and drive and drive and never get any closer to home. It doesn't matter where you want to go, Rawlins is a black hole that is always a minimum of "2 more hours to go." I would have fallen asleep at the wheel due to boredom and frustration, but my kid's loopiness and chattiness and overall weirdness, helped me stay awake. Did I mention we have no dvd player for the car? No?
Now life is back to normal, or as normal as it gets for us. We are one home visit away from getting our foster parent certifications and are busily getting prepared for beginning the fourth and second grades. Our air conditioning/furnace mother board in our Boise house is broken, forcing our property manager to take $500 out of August's rent. If anyone wins the lottery this month, please keep us in mind. We will gladly pay you back on Monday for a hamburger today.