What a week!  We have
had so many things going on (yeah, I know… lazy summer… whatever), I don’t even
know where to begin.  One of my new
favorite blogs, Dig This Chick, does a thing called “Humpday Nuggets” which she
describes as “little bits of the season in photos
and words about the last week”.  I love
that idea because so much of my life occurs as little nuggets.  There are few things that warrant a
full-fledged essay (though I can certainly turn a lot of them into one with
little coaxing), but there are lots of things that, to me at least, are
noteworthy, and those are the things I really want to remember years from now.

So, here’s the weekly

First, VBS turned out really
well.  I have had more positive comments
from parents whose kids really enjoyed the program and got a lot out of it than
ever before.  Despite my mopey attitude
at the beginning of the week, it turned out better than I had even hoped and a lot of good came from our efforts.   

What’s better than song and dance, crafts and games, and good friends?

Story time and activities with Miss Karen

Harper Lee’s class putting mailing labels on letters for Habitat for Humanity.  They also made friendship bracelets and sold them to fellow Vacation Bible Schoolers.  They raised $87.77 for Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity.  Who says little people can’t make a difference?

Saturday morning, I frantically unloaded all the deflated pools and buckets of water guns from our Friday night VBS party and reloaded the Jeep with Isaac’s car and Harper Lee’s wagon for the downtown Fourth of July Children’s Parade.  Lined up behind the fire truck were nearly 100 kids on bikes, in wagons, on scooters, and on skateboards all decked out in red, white and blue banners and sparkly ribbons.  

In my rush to get out the door that morning, I completely forgot my camera, which was a bummer, but Harper Lee and her friend made the front page on Monday so I do have at least some record of our participation.  I’m only sorry that I don’t have a photo of Isaac’s very large, blue pedal car.  It was a sweet ride.

After the parade, there were water balloon busts, live music by Porch Dog Revival, sidewalk chalk, bouncies and free lemonade.  It was small-town America at its best.

And then… Mabel came.

Harper Lee has wanted a kitten for a very long time, but because our elderly Blue Heeler did not enjoy the company of cats, we had denied her this request.  Unfortunately, Ellie passed away in April, but this also opened the door for a new addition.

Most of our friends know that we have had many barn cats.  We are, in fact, a drop off spot for people looking to ditch their unwanted animals, but the cats we’ve had over the years have been aloof at best and hissy/spitty at worst.  We spay and neuter, get vaccinations and feed and shelter, but these cats, though pleasant in their own way, are not of the “dress me up, snuggle me in your bed” variety, and that’s the kind of cat Harper Lee was looking for.

When we told her she could get a kitten, she spent a month poring over the PetFinder website in search of the perfect cat, but I knew that finding cats is really not that hard and that all we really had to do was ask around.  Turns out, Deanne knew of someone who was trying to place a litter of six kittens.  We called, drove over, and in a matter of 20 minutes, we were on our way home with our newest family member, all 2 lbs. of her.  

Mabel has made herself quite at home.  Harper Lee is thrilled that she loves to sleep in her lap, the baby carrier and her bed and that she doesn’t seem to mind ribbons and bows.  She also is great at attacking pieces of yarn and the mop.  I’m thrilled because she is a litter box pro.  I think Harper Lee made a good choice.  Last night, as I was turning off the hall light and doing the last check on the kids before turning in, I peeked in Harper’s room to see her fast asleep with Mabel snoozing right alongside her.  Their arms were linked.  Perfect.

The rest of the weekend brought church, long runs for both Rob and I, and some mountain biking for Rob and Harper Lee.  He took her on her first mountain biking trip to Fisher River Park, which is fairly technical.  She was undaunted by the first several spills and eventually got the hang of it.  That’s my girl!

Rob is loving these banker holidays as well.  Holidays of any kind were pretty much unheard of in his former life, but now he actually gets these things called four-day weekends.  Who knew?

The Fourth of July began with the Yadkin River Freedom Float.  He took the kids with his friend Nick and his boys in our very big, red canoe.  Apparently, they don’t make canoes that big anymore, and its weight shocked a couple of people, but that’s OK because it’s faster than the new ones too.  I think that’s a good thing.

They stopped on an island for a little exploration.

This is right up Isaac’s alley.  I see a future Boy Scout here.

I regretted not getting out on the water with everyone else just a little, but my house had fallen into a dismal state during our week of VBS.  Now that it’s clean and livable again, I’m glad I chose to stay behind.  It’s sort of amazing how dirty and gross a house can get in just one week.  

The huge thunderstorm that tore the canopy off our back porch and flattened my tomato plants blew in around 4:00 that afternoon.  It was a whopper.  The rain continued for several hours right up until our cookout at Nick and Kate’s.  The dads gathered under a tent to grill and drink beer, but the house was overrun with 10 children under the age of 9.  Still, it was a really good time even if it wasn’t exactly what we had planned.  

Eventually, the rain cleared off, but the fireworks display was cancelled.  Fortunately, Miss Kate and her neighbor, Brent, had plenty of home fireworks to keep everyone occupied.

Colorful smoke bombs in the driveway

Isaac and fireworks are very loud!

Happy 4th of July!

Pop-its and sparklers– Miss Kate knows how to throw a party!

What a great little town and great friends.  Here’s hoping you all had a joyous and old-fashioned 4th.

God bless America.