My parents stayed at a cabin at one of the lake resorts and took whatever kids were available on any given night. The little boys had Mega Sports Camp the first week, so John Mark, Becca and Philip stayed out there most of that week. They swam, fished, hiked with Daddy D, made crafts and played games led by the resort staff. Mom taught Becca to paint, Philip got poison ivy, and John and I ran kids back and forth, back and forth to the lake. One night we got lucky and all the kids except for John Mark and Philip were at the lake, so John and I managed to get away for a quick bite at Red Lobster (we love the lobster fondue) and a movie, Evan Almighty. The next day John and the two boys went to help a friend set up her quick-set pool (that's a misnomer if there ever was one) and I scraped wallpaper off the walls.
The second week, July 4th week, Mom and I wallpapered my bathrooms, which, though very pretty now, are still in a state of disarray. On July 4, Daddy D rented a pontoon boat and he and John fished for most of the morning until Grandma Crocker, Aunt Dottie, Uncle Steve & family arrived for lunch. We took the kids tubing in the afternoon, and that night we lay on the back lawn of the resort and watched the fireworks over the marina.
July 5 was my birthday, but the guys were planning on fishing again. John asked what I wanted to do: "I'll go shopping with you all day if you want me to..." He knew he was on safe ground making that offer, and fishing all day is not my idea of how to spend a birthday. I said I would rather go to the spa. So the guys went fishing while Mom and I took Becca and the little boys to O'Charley's, Kohl's, Linen's N Things, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and the Mall. Of course, shopping with three little boys is not my idea of how to spend a birthday either, but Mom told them they had to be very good as a present to me. It was a tough present to give, but amazingly, they did pretty well and Mom and I found the matching bath mats, towels, and accessories for the freshly papered bathroom.
I briefly saw my husband on Friday, our 16th anniversary. John had to work, so Mom and I drove to Lexington with John Mark, Becca and Philip for the State 4-H Communciations Day competition while Daddy D kept the two little boys and their cousin, Tyler. We stayed with my Aunt Mattie, who happened to be having a cookout for some of the family. I saw cousins I haven't seen in 20 years, so it was a lot of fun. One of my cousins decided to leave his two children at Aunt Mattie's for the night too, once he saw we were visiting. Although they were quite tired the next morning, all three kids did really well at the competition. Becca won Champion out of eleven competitors; Philip won champion with two older competitors in his category; and John Mark, although he made a perfect score from both judges, won third place, much to his dismay. Although it wasn't the best presentation I've seen him do, it was a solid demonstration and a good job. He tends to be cocky at times, so it was a good experience for him to do well but still be out-performed by equally talented speakers. We turned around and made the trip back home that afternoon and celebrated that evening with a family dinner at Olive Garden.
And this week? Well, John is in Texas and I've been running back and forth, back and forth... The three little boys go to VBS every morning and John Mark goes to an all-day Carpentry Camp at the community college. This is a really neat experience for him and he is earning partial college credit as well. As a class project, they are building a playhouse that will be auctioned off for charity. He really likes it, but he's managed to hammer both his thumb and his hand so far.
This morning, I dropped everyone off at their various locations and Mom and I pretended it was still my birthday and went to the spa. It was wonderful! We had to hurry and pick up the little boys at VBS, but Becca watched them in the afternoon while we had lunch and perused the antique shops downtown. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I had a wonderful time shopping with my mom. Uncle Matt picked up John Mark from carpentry camp and we all went to Pizza Inn for dinner.
Tomorrow, in addition to the already-scheduled activities, Becca has a project with the church youth group and in the afternoon, we are all going to the water park with the VBS (because of this year's "Splash" theme).
And that's what I did on my summer vacation.