We actually sat on the beach at the Oregon coast in shorts and tank-tops, which is hardly ever possible due to temperature and wind.
Mind, you don't swim at the Oregon coast, as the water - sweeping down from the Arctic (or at least Alaska) - doesn't vary much from 55F (about 12 or 13C for some of you) be it winter or summer - and is much more likely to produce hypothermia than anything like a good time.
But we had a good time. A great time. A relaxing time.
Playing in the sand, reading, flying kites, playing games, watching movies, picking agates (not many this time), and just hanging out together.
Unfortunately, we were short a couple of family members. Kerry had work to do (and there was much rejoicing) and my brother had a job interview (and a second interview tomorrow - praying for good results!) We missed them, but they'll get another chance in November.
Arrived home to find chaos in the yard. Apparently a neighbor had hired a backhoe and not used all his allotted hours, so Kerry got some of his time at a bargain - pulled two stumps, picked a huge rock out of the lawn, dug out the jury-rigged steps into his garage office preparatory to pouring concrete steps (which we Do Not Have Money to do just now...), and began a trench for his future rockery. Very ambitious.
However... the stumps were in my flower beds and disturbed a number of plants when they came out, the rock left a gaping hole in the front yard, his office is now only accessible by jumping up a series of stacked concrete tiles, and the turf and rocky dirt from that and the rockery site are piled on and beside the driveway, thank-you-very-much.
So the boys and I spent much of Saturday screening wheel-barrow after wheel-barrow-load of dirt (removing rocks) to refill the holes in the flower bed, rescuing plants pulled out with the stumps, screening yet more dirt to fill holes left in the lawn by the backhoe, and carrying rocks to a pile that is NOT on the driveway.
And what is it about all the rocks anyway?! Our first house, across town, had lovely, lovely soil. Dark and rich. And neighbors with horses (ie compost). Things grew wonderfully.
Not so much, here. The soil is hard and gets crusty on top. Not much organic matter. But lots of clay. And rocks. What is it with the rocks?! Well, I suppose it's glacial till. And bigger glacial erratics. We've pulled rocks out of our yard nearly as big as a washing machine. And the "little" ones (from ping pong ball to football size) just gradually bubble to the surface. How do they do that? And why???! (Other than
After spending several hours moving dirt and rocks around we heard from some friends whose little boys are inheriting our play equipment. They came over to pick it up. That Little Tikes stuff just never quits. And - hallelujah - they took the swing set, too :D So the whole yard is much changed.
All in all, I really needed a real day of rest today! As I missed church last Sunday (and Kerry - who was there - didn't exactly register the details) we were caught unprepared for a potluck lunch after the service today. Thankfully, as I think I may have mentioned, our chapel takes their potlucks very seriously, and one family (or several) showing up without food was no catastrophe. There were even leftovers, which relieved any nagging guilt.
And, for my last little tidbit of useless information, we stopped at Big 5 (sporting goods) because Wyatt and Tate both could have used new soccer shoes last spring, and didn't get them, and really needed them for this season. And as they tried them on, and I took a closer look at Wyatt's other shoes and remembered he had been mentioning they pinched a bit, I had a really stellar mom moment.
Had him try on a pair of regular (play) shoes and he had gone up two and a half sizes. Really. I bet they were pinching a little! He brought up foot-binding and gave me stink-eye, and walked out with three of the six pairs of shoes we bought today. (Kerry's new running shoes, Wyatt and Tate's soccer cleats, Wyatt's nice shoes and play shoes, and Gunnar's play shoes - he also went up a size and a half.) But, we scoured the sale racks, found just what we wanted, and got them all for $120, so I was pleasantly surprised. I don't know if homeschooling or my incompetence at anything fashion-related has much to do with it, but thank heavens, the boys couldn't care less for name brands.
And that is that.