Saturday, August 13, 2011

In Which Flat Stanley Goes to a Church Picnic

You may have noticed that Flat Stanley is visiting us for a while. About a week ago we took him with us to our church's annual summer picnic. A kind gentleman (who lost his wife not long ago, yet still manages to be a most gracious host) sponsors our group each year at his waterfront home. This year was no exception, and as always, the kids were thrilled to be able to go. What is there not to like about a church all-you-can-eat potluck buffet, the promise of a big potful of crabs to pick, water to splash in, a boat ride, red-neck horseshoes (don't even ask) and football, and a huge bag of silly quirters, bubbles, and more fun kid-friendly games than I can mention?

In my enthusiasm to enjoy the good eats (and with the challenge of juggling plates for four young ones and a Stanely, plus a dog...yes, we took the chihuahua who recently adopted us and he was the life of the party), I neglected to take pictures of all of the food. But you can take my word that Stanley loved his burger, the ambrosia salad, the mac and cheese, and of course, the scrumptious chocolate cake that was absolutely overloaded with icing. In fact, he got some on his face, but I wiped it off.

Next, we got a chance to ride on a church member's boat. The incredible thing about his boat is that not only did he build it himself from scratch, but it runs on vegetable oil, which he gets used. Now that's my kind of recycling.

Hubby loves the water. I guess it's good he's in the Navy!

I could get used to these rides. I think we all could.
Well, all of us except for Stanley. He seems a bit afraid of the water, or maybe it was the wind. He's a bit skinny, you know. He needs to eat more. I think I saw him heading back for the dessert table. There was delicious apple pie there, too. Yum.

Definitely not seasick. Sea-exhilarated!

Boo notices that his thumb is salty. Mmmmm.

A family picture, short a few members who were having too much fun on shore to join us. Notice we are wearing Bubba's new horseshoeing business shirts. They say: No Hoof, No Horse. It's an allusion to that old saying, "For the want of a shoe, the horse was lost..." He gave us each one as a gift. I think he just realizes the kids are so adorable that they will be free advertising. :-)

I could do this for hours. Do you enjoy the water?

Cowboy was fascinated by the waves, the boats, and the many osprey nests we sped by.

On the left is a picturesque waterfront town. On the right is a lovely farm I wouldn't mind having...

Our pastor is a fun guy. His wife is as sweet as they come.
 Back at home port, we find that Peppy (the chihuahua) has been pleasantly entertaining the ladies who volunteered to babysit him. He performed his usual adorable begging poses and big-eyed mournful faces. And apparently, he missed me,, because they said he whimpered for me. Why is it that dogs always bond to me when I am just not a dog person? It's like my near indifference to them draws them in. Weird. Well, if I ever liked a chihuahua, I like this one. He is cute, quiet, and mannerly. Not to mention, he is very tolerant of the kids.

See what I mean? He even lets Boo walk him.

Apparently, Bubba has passed the time playing Redneck Horseshoes.
Don't ask. I really don't get it. It's two colored balls tied together with a length of rope, then you toss them at those PVC pipe contraptions and try to wrap them around one of the bars, which correspond to different point values (I think). Whatever it is, they seem to like it!

Then it was time for a game of Skins vs. Shirts. It appeared to be Bubba and Hubby against all the younger guys. I don't know how it turned out because I was busy watching the kids play in the water over by the pier. I heard that the "old guys" wore the younger guys out. Good on ya!

Fun in the water...a hallmark of summer days. How can playing in the water ever not be fun? It's even more fun with friends to share it with, and hard to leave behind. But all good things come to an end...

Hubby helpfully helped corral the water babies and we headed back to the picnic to get a few photos and visit for a they leave, Boo chases them with a...what is that? A shark chomper? Too funny! Apparently, they had to have some "chomper battles" on the way back to the fun (sharks vs. lobsters),  with promises of a second trip to the dessert table to persuade them it was time to dry. I don't know how they can still be hungry. I am stuffed.

My boys. They grow up too quickly.

When learning is a lifestyle, you find moments to explore nature and God's wonderful fingerprints that we see demonstrated in its marvels everywhere we look, from an artistically curved, delicate snail, to a curious crab scuttling over the rocks.

 My adorably sweet girls.

A few final moments to be silly with special friends, visit with fascinating folks, and find all of our stuff that has spread itself all over the yard, thanks to Boo.

 One final picture of a dear church member who wanted a picture of the two younger boys on his lap, because one of them has his first name and the other has his middle name.  How sweet.



Next up: Stanley reveals a surprise. You are gonna love this one.

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