Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simple Summer Pleasures

Today is our official last day of summer. I return to teacher preplanning on Thursday and Robert has meetings tomorrow. In a last hurrah to our summer time together, we took a road trip to Dunnellon, Florida to tube the Rainbow River. We were pleasantly surprised to find this natural beauty tucked deep in the country. Kristina has never been tubing and she gasped at her first glimpse of our destination. Emerald green grass waved to us from the bottom of crystal clear waters as we made our way down the two hour float. Turtles sunned themselves along the water's edge on fallen trees and egrets studied us as they skimmed above the river's surface. A small four foot gator lay hidden in water reeds only 20 feet from us. He paid us little attention as we floated by.

The serenity of the environment was only broken by the random scream as Robert flipped the kids out of their tubes or the boys splashing into the water after attempting to surf on top of their tubes. Somehow I managed to get sunscreen on everyone except myself and now the tops of my legs are bright red. Ugh! We had a blast and will definitely return.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Heeellllloooooo, Internet!

(Insert crickets chirping here)

If anyone is still out there, just thought I'd let you know we have internet again! We are officially back online! It has been a wonderful summer. God has been good to us and we have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our time off.

We've been spending a lot of time playing outdoors and getting as much exercise as possible. Most mornings Robert gets everyone up and out the door by 7am. We're back to biking the local trails several days a week, having covered over 50 miles this week alone. Finding new paths has become an adventure and we're always asking ourselves, "Can we bike there?" Video needs to be returned to Blockbuster? Its only 6 miles round trip, so we ride. Kids want to get new books at the library? Eleven miles. I know it sounds like a long way, but its really not bad. We try to be out early before the Florida heat sets in. To encourage everyone to stay together and keep up, Robert warns, "The T-Rex picks off the slowest in the pack!" ??? They just shake their head and pedal faster.

This morning we got on one of the trails and headed to an uncharted section for us. A new pedestrian bridge went up over Interstate 4 and the kids have been wanting to see the view over the traffic. Once we got to the top, the kids laughed themselves silly at the truck drivers who blew their horns and the commuters waving to us. At one point, Robert lifted his shirt tail to wipe the sweat from his brow and was greeted with a flurry of car horns. A mortified Kristina urged him to "put his shirt down"! Big mistake. Knowing how much it embarrassed her, he found every opportunity he could to show off his 'abs'. Sometimes he will randomly break into song as we're riding along and the kids will quickly distance themselves.

Robert takes an unusual pleasure in embarrassing the children. We've been playing tennis at our community courts quite a bit. Even though there are seven of us on the court, the ball usually ends up getting past somebody. Robert says its proof we need more kids! We might not be very good at tennis, but we enjoy trying to get that little yellow ball somewhere other than over the fence. But the heat on the courts can be intense and last week Robert shouted out, "I'm burning up! Tom Cruise, use your witchcraft to put the fire out!" The girls rolled their eyes and hid behind their rackets. But the boys are starting to pick up the joy of embarrassing others. Chasing a ball across the court, Nathanael broke into Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". How and why he knows the lyrics to that song, I have no idea, but invariably it raised the "Mom!" response from the girls. When does this phase pass???