The Post in Which We Took Advantage of the Spring Weather!

Our weekend was full.  And fun.  And I think I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

On Friday night, we had a bit of a birthday party for our nephew, B, because the little punk decided to turn 10 this week.

There was chili.  And cinnamon rolls.  And hot dogs.  And cupcakes.

So basically all of the boy’s favorite food groups were represented (except for the Kit Kat group), and he managed to eat quite well.

One of B’s gifts was a package of playground balls, exactly like what I use in PE for dodgeball games.  After the final cupcake had been devoured, the cousins headed outside, where a hybrid game of basketball-crossed-with-dodgeball broke out.  Basically, the boys had to shoot baskets as quickly as they could, and when someone missed a shot, someone else smashed him with a dodgeball.  I can’t envision a single girl EVER playing this game, but the boys were having a fantastic time, because boys are easily entertained with games that girls simply do not understand.  Even Hubs was eyeballing the game with great interest, and I could see the wheels of his brain turning, as he invented rules for fouls and rules for extra points.

On Saturday morning, the boy hauled his four-wheeler out of our garage, and he spent the rest of the day riding with the cute neighbor boy.  For six hours the two of them criss-crossed our property lines, until the boy’s thumb was weak with exhaustion from gunning the gas.

The boy has had his four-wheeler since his fourth birthday, and Hubs has had the throttle geared way down.  The boy has never had a clue, and he’s always been content to ride!  Just ride, man!  Exactly like they did in Wild Hogs.  On Saturday, though, Hubs showed the boy how to change things around on his four-wheeler with the help of a single tool called the screwdriver.

The boy’s four-wheeler now travels at speeds rivaling the space shuttle when it launches, and it makes Mama nervous, because the boy is convinced that speed is the greatest thing, right next to chocolate.  If we were dog owners, Hubs would have been told to take his sleeping bag out to the doghouse on Saturday night for his actions.

By the time the sun set on Saturday, the boys were tired, and our boy packed a bag and disappeared off into the darkness, as he’d decided to spend the night with the cute neighbor boy.

Hubs and I were simply boring old people on Saturday night — I went to bed early, and Hubs stayed up to watch hockey on TV.

At 12:30 this morning, I woke up and felt the insomnia settle in full-force.  At 2:30, I was still wide awake, so I decided to be productive — I got out of bed, and I headed to the living room to do my Bible study homework.  I hauled our big, wooden cutting board out of the kitchen cupboard to use as a desk, of sorts, while I sat on the sofa, and I dropped the cutting board on the kitchen floor at 2:30 this morning.  It sounded like gunfire, and it plum broke the board in half.

Yes, people!  My gigantically-thick slab of wood that I use for dicing vegetables on split into two equal pieces, right down the center.  I cringed, thinking that for sure Hubs would jump out of bed, intent on beating up intruders, but he never made a single sound.

(As a side note, Hubs woke up this morning and asked me, “What was the huge crash at 2:30 this morning?”  People!  He heard the crash, and he decided that since no screaming FOLLOWED the crash, he’d just go back to sleep.  I informed Hubs that I could have been dead, and dead people seldom scream.  And yes, Internet!  I just informed you that apparently Hubs will sleep through the noise when y’all smack our basement windows with hammers and come on inside to divest us of our Apple computer and the boy’s iPod, which are the only valuable things we own.  HOWEVER, Cat 1 will plum kick you nutty.  By the time she’s done with you, you’ll wish you’d simply met a wolverine on the road to Wal-mart, because it would have been easier on you.  Cat 1 will claw your eyeballs out and eat your small intestine.  You have been warned.)

By 4:00 this morning, I decided that HEY!  I WAS ACTUALLY TIRED AGAIN! so I went back to bed, where I slept the sleep of the dead until the new 9:00 AM, at which time I squinted at the clock and grumbled about the whole “spring those clocks forward” concept, until a black cloud of ugly words hung above my head.

And then, Hubs and I were off to church this morning, where our friends, Heather and Scott, were baptized.  But they’re not “Heather and Scott” together.  Heather is half of Tyler, and Scott is half of Christy, but the two of them were baptized this morning, and naturally I sobbed like a blubbering baby, because if there’s one thing that’ll start the emotional faucets running for me, it’s a good baptism.

Afterward, Pastor John gave us a great sermon on the verses in John where Mary breaks the alabaster box and pours the fragrant perfume on Jesus’ feet.  Pastor John told us that Jesus was having dinner with Mary and Martha and Lazarus, because they were celebrating the fact that Lazarus was ALIVE!  He had come back from the dead, and if there was any reason to celebrate, THAT would have been it.  He followed that up by telling us a personal story about how he had just flown to Arizona to attend his grandmother’s 100th birthday party, because they were celebrating the fact that she had made it that far.  And apparently, reaching 100 years of age and being resurrected from the dead are all fantastic reasons to throw a good dinner party with a leg of lamb.  Every single week, Hubs and I sit in front of a band of elderly women at church.  And when I say elderly, I do mean a little bit old.  They come in with their four-wheel-drive walkers and they were oxygen hoses instead of necklaces now, and they visit their salons once every week for a wash and set.  When Pastor John told us that his grandmother had just turned 100, I heard one of the little ladies behind us tell another one, “You’ll make it that far, too!”

That one said, “What did you say?”

And the first one replied, in a louder whisper, “I said you’ll make it to 100, too!”

Her friend said, “Oh, I don’t know.  I’m falling apart.  Everything hurts, and if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work anymore.”

The first speaker said, rather loudly, “What doesn’t work anymore?”

Hubs and I adore these little ladies, and they, in turn, adore our boy, as they’re constantly blessing him with stickers that are really return-address labels that arrive in their mailboxes, but which they believe the boy would love to stick all over the place.

And then!  Well, through Pastor John’s sermon this morning, I learned that Hubs and I will probably make it to 100 years of age, too, because look, people!

John 12:8 says, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

The poor, people, will always be among you, which means that Hubs and I are obviously  going to be around for a LONG WHILE yet!  Whoot-whoot!

This afternoon, the boy and the cute neighbor boy hauled the four-wheeler and the old Honda motorcycle back out, and they traveled enough miles to put them on the other side of the United States.

Listen, Cute Neighbor Boy!  Does your sweet mama know that you stand up and ride dangerously?!

I really had to start paying more attention to the boys while they were riding, when I saw them pass one another at top speed, while one of them yelled out at the top of his lungs, “You’re IT!”

Um…hello?!  Since when do we play TAG while we are riding dangerous moving vehicles?!  The answer, boys, would be NEVER!  Because, unlike crossing basketball with dodgeball, crossing a game of tag with four-wheelers and motorcycles usually screams the phrase, SOMEONE WILL BE IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM LATER!!

Eventually I called out, “Hey, Cute Neighbor Boy!  What’s your IQ again?”

And the cute neighbor boy held up his fingers to let me know his total Intelligence Quotient!

Oh, how  adore our cute neighbor boy!  He’s one good egg, for sure.

When the gas-giving thumbs wore out on the four-wheeler and the old motorcycle, the boys hauled out our boy’s new batting machine, which Hubs’ parents gave to him for Christmas.  Out came the baseball bats and the tiny batting balls.  Those silly boys spent TWO ENTIRE HOURS hitting balls all over the field, after they had perfected the sweet spot on the pitching machine by setting it on top of an old swimming pool ladder.

Isn’t this exactly how they do it in the majors?

Hubs and I like to call THIS picture, “Just Reach For It!”  It’s because, in the beginning, the pitching machine was a little erratic, until the pool ladder was brought out for stabilization purposes.  In the beginning, if you were going to connect the bat with the ball, you HAD to reach for it!

After the addition of the pool ladder, though, the pitching machine was SPOT ON, and the boys batted and batted.

And batted and batted and batted and batted and batted.

Even the big boys got into the game.  They started as simply PLAYING CATCHER.  And then they were helping load the pitching machine.  And eventually they wriggled their way into numerous BATTING SPOTS.

See?  Here’s a big boy batting!

And…here’s a big boy missing the ball.  And getting hit with the ball.  And getting to just take his base.  Dang pitching machine, anyway.  I’m sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that the two small boys discovered how to aim the pitching machine differently.  I’m sure that they would NEVER deliberately smack a big kid with one of the little batting balls!

Even Hubs and I took turns batting, and I showed the boy that DANG!  MAMA CAN STILL KEEP UP WITH BABE RUTH AT THE PLATE!  Yes, there are pictures of Mama batting.  Sadly, they didn’t make the cut for those that appear on the blog.

But look at Hubs!  Here he is, after giving batting pointers to small boys.  Hubs has quit shaving.  Hubs informed me that he refuses to shave until the Colorado Avalanche are back on a winning streak.

Look out, Grizzly Adams!  Clearly, Hubs is going to give you a run for your beard money!

And then, the bummer of the batting machine is simply this:  EVENTUALLY YOU HAVE TO RETRIEVE ALL THE BALLS WHICH HAVE BEEN HIT.

Which, of course, makes you wish that you’d invited TEN OTHER BOYS over to play with the batting machine!

And then, because four-wheelers and motorcycles and pitching machines just weren’t enough for the day, the boy and the cute neighbor boy gave the swings a good workout, too.

Until one of them almost threw up because the DIZZIES settled in.

Happy Sunday night, y’all.

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