Our big event this week was driving Lydia to MN State University – Moorhead, helping her unpack and get settled in her dorm before we left her to begin a new exciting stage of her life. As we left Lydia, there was a big smile on her face. Classes will start for her on Monday. It now seems like something is missing in our home. I know you wouldn’t think that going from 9 in the house down to 8 would seem like a big change, but it really is.
On the topic of a big family, Lisa and I were in Trader Joes shopping with the 4 youngest children. A lady looked at Lisa and said, “Wow, you have 4 kids.” Lisa smiled and said, “I actually have 7. These are the four youngest.” The lady just kind of looked at Lisa like she was not normal (which is actually true). I always said that when we had four kids, people would look at us and smile. When we added number 5 we got the “you must be Mormon, Catholic or too dumb to realize that birth control exists” look. Then when we went to 6 and 7, we would often get a frown and a look of “how dare you over-populate the earth”. Well, at least we are over-populating the world with Buckeye fans!
But just think, without a bunch of kids I wouldn’t have near as many stories to tell. Like these:
We are at the table eating and Luke looks down next to Eli and sees a gross mess of something on the floor. He shouts, “Eww, there’s snot on the floor.” Eli says, “No. I went choo (and mimics a sneeze) and all my food came out.”
Isabella is deathly afraid of worms. That makes for good fun when it rains and there are worms all over the driveway. Sophia is super afraid and grossed-out by frogs. In the summer, we have frogs and toads all around our house. Little tree frogs climb on the windows at night. We leave lights on outside our garage. Frogs and toads gather there for an all-night dinner. When we arrive home after dark Sophia jumps out of the car and runs as fast as she can inside to avoid seeing any frogs.
That brings me to this story. Sophia is sitting in the basement watching TV. Eli brings over something and throws it on her. Sophia thinks it is fuzz and picks it off of her and inspects this odd item. At that point she realizes it is a dried, dead frog. She goes berserk, screaming and shouting as she jumps up and runs away. Brothers!
Eli told me he wanted to go to the zoo, but he didn’t want Luke to go. I asked him why and he said cause Luke would throw him in the shark water. Brothers!
Luke and I are lying on the bed. I touch the side of his head and he jerks back and says, “Ow, that’s where my bruise is.” I ask him, “How did you get a bruise on your head?” Luke looks at me like I’m crazy and replies, “Who doesn’t have a bruise on their head?!”
Luke has been obsessed with playing football. This week was his first week of practice and he can’t stop talking about it. He wanted to be a QB. Unfortunately at his age group, no one is allowed to be in the backfield if they are over 80 pounds. Our sturdy Luke is not fat, but weighs in at 90 lbs. He is disappointed. He’ll have to be a lineman this year.
We were eating in Red Robin. We left and got in the car. Eli asks where his drink is, and we have to tell him that we left his drink in the restaurant. He gets upset and expresses his displeasure. As we begin to drive off, one of the kids says, “Thank you for dinner!” The rest of the kids in unison also express their thanks. A short moment of silence, and then Eli says, “Not thank you for bringing my cup.”
Last Sunday we are driving in the car and see a beautiful rainbow. We try to get Eli to see it, but he can’t find it - mainly because he doesn’t know what he is trying to find. Then all of a sudden he sees it and is mesmerized. As he looks at the rainbow his first words were, “Why?” I think that is just the perfect, most innocent question. As we drive along the road, the view of the rainbow would disappear as we went by trees, then it would reappear. After that happened several times, Eli says, “There are a lot of them.” Then after a few more times of the rainbow coming in and out of view he asks, “Is it following us?”
Jake was leaving for the weekend so I text him from work and ask him to do the hand-mowing and trimming before he leaves. He first tries to get me to let him delay this task until he returns on Sunday. I insist. When I arrive home the hand-mowing is complete, but the trimming has not been done. Jake had already left to go up to his friend’s cabin so I text him and ask why he didn’t do the trimming. He then texts back, “The trimmer wouldn’t start!” The next day I go out to mow, and quickly fix the trouble causing the trimmer not to start. I put gas in it.
Jake’s football season started last Monday. He had two-a-days all week, and will again this week. Jake is not fond of football practice. He loves the games, but not practices. Jake will be playing wide receiver this year. A 6’6” target. That should be fun. The first game will be played on Sept 1st. That game is on Thursday, and the remaining games are on the traditional Friday.
Something really exciting happened to Jake recently. Minnesota Preps released the, "Top 50 Minnesota Basketball Prospects - Class of 2013." Jake was listed at #25!
Isabella will begin Driver’s Ed shortly. She is old enough to drive with a Learner’s Permit. This is very, very scary! Seriously – this is scary!
I recently helped organize a charity golf outing and Jerry Burns was in attendance. Jerry Burns coached the MN Vikings, 18 years as their Offensive Coordinator, and 6 years as their head coach. He was also an assistant under Vince Lombardi for 2 years – Green Bay won the Super Bowl both of those years. In college he played 4 years at Michigan, and won 4 Big Ten Championships. Jerry is 84 years old now. I pulled up in a golf cart next to Coach Burns and said, so you played your college days at Michigan. He replied, “Yes I did!” I then said, “Well I’m an Ohio State Buckeye!” He walked over to me and said, “I knew Woody Hays well, and I’ve never been able to say this … but …” He hesitated for effect, pointed his finger at me. Then in a loud gruff voice, says, “You’re a bunch of cheaters!!” He then laughed and then pointed his finger at me again and repeated, “You’re a bunch of cheaters!!” He laughed and laughed. Later at dinner he stood up and spoke to the group. He finished his short speech with this. “I’d like to end by giving you a word of advice about golf.” He hesitated, then in his gruff voice shouted, “Quit!” He was a nice man. It was cool meeting him.
We discovered something awesome – Face Time. It is basically the same as Skype . You can call someone - talk to them and see them at the same time. Yesterday we called Dad and CJ, had a fun conversation … and the best thing … it is free!
Last weekend I’m trimming the shrubs with a gas powered hedge-trimmer. In front of our house we have three arborvitaes that were a bit over-grown. I started cutting away at them. As I did, suddenly I felt a sharp pain on the back of my leg just below my shorts. Something had stung me. I took one hand off the trimmer and started to reach behind my leg. As I did I looked down and realized that I was standing in a swarm of hornets. I dropped the trimmers, and ran. I felt another sting on the side of my head above my ear. I had a ball hat on and took it off and began to use it to get the hornets away from my face. I kept running until I didn’t see any more hornets. Witnesses say I was also yelling as I was running. After the swarm began to subside and we could get closer, we could see a nest bigger than a soccer ball hanging from under the arborvitae. I had cut into the nest with the trimmers. I only got stung twice which was amazing.
Lisa is ready for us to leave to go shopping at the Mall of America and I need to take my shower. As a way to let me know that she would like me to stop typing and start getting ready she just yelled, “What time tomorrow are we going to leave?!” Eli yelled back to her, “45!” I guess I better go.