Two Million Plus Six Pictures That Will Show You How To Wear Your Children Out

I’m not even going to pretend it isn’t true.

I can burn up a camera’s memory card and stinking CATCH IT ON FIRE quicker than I can polish off a party-sized bag of pretzel M&Ms.  I can also drink a no-water chai tea from Starbucks about that quickly, too, which is sad, because it means that I always want another one, and Hubs is of the nature that ONE DRINK A DAY is sufficient.

Sometimes I sneak through Starbucks’ drive-thru TWICE in a day, though, because life is short, and you shouldn’t spend it sitting at home, simply wishing that you’d gotten two chais before God paints the sky orange with a sunset.  And also?  Well, I met a girl — a new girl that I’d never gotten to talk to before — the other day, and she told me that she never goes to Starbucks, because it’s overpriced, and she would never spend $4 on a beverage, because they like to SAVE!SAVE!SAVE! the American dollar bills at their house.  I’m not sure that she and I can ever really be close friends, because the monthly Starbucks bill at the Jedi Manor is written in the budget right alongside such things as RUNNING WATER, ELECTRICITY and FOOD THAT YOU CAN CHEW INSTEAD OF SIP.

No matter.  I’m sure she and her husband will retire with a nest egg the size of China and a vacation home on a cliff overlooking the beach on Martha’s Vineyard, while Hubs and I will look at one another in our 70s and say, “Dadgum!  We’re going to have to downsize to a van, down by the river, because apparently we drank our retirement fund with the three and a half billion no-water chai lattes and mocha frappuccinos that we bought in our younger years.”

But yes.  We were talking about memory cards catching fire quicker than Small Town’s summer temperatures this year, before the tangent I spun off on.

At any rate, just imagine what I can do with a camera when we all load up into Suburbans, and everyone goes to the lake, where we spend MANY HOURS IN A ROW.  When I’m left alone with my Canon for that long, I tend to get a bit trigger happy.

So tonight I’ll simply show you umpteen and eleventy-thousand snapshots from our lake trips, because what else can you do in Small Town, USA when the mercury rises so high in the thermometer that it explodes the top off and splatters all over the floor?

(I may have mentioned once or nineteen times on this blog that OH MY WORD!  HOT!  HOT!  HOT!)

(We’re having snowcones for dinner tonight.)

(And I’m buying Secret deodorant in bulky boxes from Costco.)

But yes.

We have loaded up the boy and Thing 2, and we have met everyone and all the cousins at the lake a few times in the past couple of weeks, and I can’t even put into words the fun that the kids have all had.

(I’ve had some fun, too, because Hubs’ sister brought Birthday Cake Oreos once, and I didn’t even know they existed, but I was challenged to try one.  Normally, I don’t love an Oreo, because if a cookie CRUNCHES, I die a little.  I want my cookies to be soft, with melty chocolate.  A crunchy cookie is on the same level as eating gravel, as far as I’m concerned.  But the Birthday Cake Oreos?  Well.  I have reconsidered the crunch factor, and I AM A FAN, PEOPLE!)

Of course, the Oreo-loving Hubs has insisted that IT’S DADGUM ABOUT TIME THAT I SWITCHED ON THE NORMAL and enjoyed one of the treats that America was founded on.  I’m not sure that the settlers had Oreos in mind when they floated on over from England, but whatever, Hubs.  I’m just glad you approve of ALL THE NORMAL, especially after my dream last night.

I was wearing an inflatable Halloween costume in my dream.  It was something very similar to this:

And while I had my air-compressor-powered costume on, I was walking around a field of flowers, over and over (doing laps, you might say) and hollering the word “BIRD!” out.  As in, “BIRD!  BIRD!  BIRD!  BIRD!  BIRD!”  And Hubs came up to me in my dream, and he asked me, “What are you doing?”  And I told him the jack-smack truth:  “I am walking in a square around this field, shouting out the word BIRD.”

Apparently I had a hot cup of crazy before I went to bed, because THAT was the ENTIRE dream.

And Hubs thinks I have my NORMAL on by liking Oreos these days.

He’s such a good man, and he brings the joy to my heart.

So with all of that confession behind us, I’ll just throw down some snapshots tonight, like it’s SHOP AT COSTCO FOR PICTURES night, because I have a few photos.

(If by few, you mean twenty-seven thousand, then that’s the adjective we’re looking for.)

Of course our boys were at the lake with us, and I’m not sure that Thing 2 likes ANYTHING better than being outside in the sand, by the water!

And all of the cousins on Hubs’ side were there, too, except for Big Cousin H, who is sixteen and likes girls and trucks and loud speakers, and isn’t so much interested in hanging out with a crowd whose oldest tribe member is twelve.  That’s okay.  We went ahead and ate a Jimmy John’s sandwich for Big H!

The boys can all entertain themselves for hours by skipping rocks and challenging one another to see who can get the most skips.  They will literally throw rocks until their arms ache, because THAT IS WHAT BOYS DO.  By taking them to the lake, we give them a safe environment for all the rock throwing, which is completely away from things like WINDOWS.  And also LAMPS.  And even MAMA’S FINE CHINA.

Sometimes the boys take a break from throwing rocks to scout for dead fish.  Because if there’s anything that trumps a rock-throwing contest, it’s a fish who has gone to be with Jesus, because boys are just a titch different from girls.

Miss A (The Nanny) and Miss R (The Babysitter) never like Thing 2 to be left out of activities, so they have packed him around and around at the lake, until they have worn him plum out.  Wearing Thing 2 out is a state similar to perpetual motion — it’s listed as basically impossible to achieve.  Thing 2 has himself SOME ENERGY, and he doesn’t wear out easily.

Sometimes the boys like to bring their crazy out and put it on full display.  It’s a little bit of family heritage, I think.  (Like walking around fields yelling the word BIRD for no reason.)  Cousin B wiggled himself into a tiny inner tube, and then he did some TWISTING and some SHOUTING.

And the grownups?  Well.  We did ourselves some THROW-YOUR-HEAD-BACK KIND OF LAUGHING.

And then there’s the big island.

The big island is roughly the size of Maui, but there’s never any fancy drinks involving pineapple juice and Captain Morgan and little umbrellas out there.  This is probably because the island’s population is all under the age of twelve, and they prefer drinks involving high fructose corn syrup, a plain straw, and the words MOUNTAIN DEW on the label.

We have anchored the island in the middle of the water.  Sometimes Hubs’ brother forgets the real anchor, and we anchor it with a truck hitch.  Some people may call this BEING A REDNECK, but we like to call it IMPROV.

Sometimes the island natives become a little too possessive and insist on flying flags and claiming ownership of the island.  That’s when pirates attack by ship.

Sometimes the island natives throw things at the pirates.

Pitching inner tubes at pirates seldom slows them down.  In fact, usually they just fire the squirt guns a little more rapidly.

Man down!  It was a direct hit to the face!  He’s blind!

In the end, pirates usually win.  Islands are boarded.  Island natives are pushed off the island.  Some island natives flee for their lives before they’re pushed.  Battles ensue in the open water.  Squirt guns are fired.  Smack talk is thrown down.

And then you’re called into shore for lunch, and everyone becomes friends again, as they’re united over a Jimmy John’s sandwich and Birthday Cake Oreos.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that our batch of kids enjoys lazy summer days spent at the lake.

Brother Joel’s girlfriend got to join us one day at the lake, and her kids got just as sopping wet as ours did.  And they laughed every bit as hard as our kids did.  And they had just as much fun.


So really?

Is it any wonder that there have been a few evenings this summer when my boys have looked like this?

Y’all have a good evening.

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