Yesterday was the last birthday of the year in our immediate family, and that honor belongs to Ben. He would gladly trade that honor in for a date in the late winter or spring, like the rest of his siblings because while everyone else is having parties and receiving presents, he has to wait... and wait... and wait... which is not the strong suit of any boy that I know. But now he is nine. It's hard to believe it's been nine years since that VERY hot afternoon when he was almost born in the car on the way to the hospital... that was lots of fun, let me tell you. But Ben is a joy: sensitive, easy-going, anxious to please, goofy sense of humor... he's a great kid.
Grandma and Grandpa came in on Saturday morning just in time to see the last half of Philip's flag football game and all of Ben and Nathanael's game. You must understand that this is not real football, but it is highly entertaining, especially if you're watching one of the younger teams. They're generally clueless, but the coaches are out on the field with them, lining them up and telling them where they need to run on the next play... if the other team was even half-way paying attention, it would be a blow-out, but the other team is equally clueless, so you have a bunch of small kids running in circles around a field and occasionally, someone makes it to an endzone with the football. I know those coaches and refs must be exhausted by the end. After a full morning of this, we are more than ready to go home too.
After the games, we all headed downtown for the Barbecue Festival- one of my favorite weekends of the year! With a family of our size- plus grandparents- John went up to a vendor and told him, "Just give me three slabs." That's a lot of ribs! With sweet tea and lemonade, a corn-on-a-stick for everyone and a side of cheese fries and fried pickles to share, we were all plenty full. And still had room for fried pies and ice cream. Delicious, Southern, artery-clogging cuisine- it just doesn't get any better than this!
Ben opened presents last night, but Grandma and Grandpa brought John a big gift too. They felt sorry for John and his poor minivan and brought him one of their "extra" cars as a gift. (You can probably tell where John picked up his car philosophy of If one broken car is bad, then four must be better!) However, this car is very nice, looks nice, sounds normal, and- most importantly- runs well, just like other people's cars. Imagine! John is thrilled and we are very thankful for their generosity.
We all went to church together this morning and then the potluck afterward. Grandma and Grandpa headed home and John took the boys fishing. Becca and I will leave in a bit to go see Becoming Jane. I have been waiting for it to get to our town, but our theater is more into the latest horror flicks and potty humor. Sigh. We had to wait for Becoming Jane to show up at the "artsy" theater downtown. That's ok- we like the artsy theater, as long as it is showing something... well, normal.
It's been another fun, fun weekend. Goodbye, September!