Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Big Mabel 4th of July

Let's pretend like I posted this a few days ago...

This week started out like the weekend ended, with more swimming and more friends to enjoy. On Monday, my friends Brooke and Mallory and their children came for a swim.

I rediscovered how refreshing watermelon sprinkled with salt can be and have proclaimed it the perfect pool snack, as long as I can prevent my daughters from fighting over the salt shaker.

I had put some fresh beets in the oven to roast and while we were swimming Dan grilled pork chops. As we sat down at the table I opened up a carton of cottage cheese. All were devoured while trying to keep the girls awake long enough to eat their dinner. Summer dinners are my favorite.

On Tuesday, our friends the Cartwrights brought us dinner. Seriously. You guys, I strongly recommend getting a pool, because life is just more fun. No pictures were captured, but ribs and corn on the cob were inhaled and a few basketballs were shot in the pool.

Wednesday I wrapped things up at work and packed our entire family up for a few days at my aunt and uncle's lake house to celebrate Independence Day and visit them and my cousins.

Our days there were filled with swimming off the dock, boat rides, card playing, dance parties, eating delicious food, watching movies, and generally enjoying each other.

Although perhaps she didn't want to, Ina braved a ride on Big Mabel. After watching the video, I can confirm she did not crack a smile the entire five minutes she was moving, but she lived to tell about her survival.

Cora jumped off the dock hundreds of times in her adorable mermaid swimsuit, but then fell and skinned her knees, and spent the rest of the trip mostly out of the water playing with her cousin Bauer, who also conveniently preferred to stay dry.

Mira called the lake, "ocean" and hung out on the ladder with her trusty life jacket. When not at the ladder she was at my feet crying, "hold me!"

I went tubing with my nephew Kauffman and laughed until I cried. I also went knee boarding and was so proud of myself to have got up on the first try and stay up until my legs and arms gave up 5 minutes later.

Proud until it was my sister's turn and she immediately started doing tricks like flipping herself around and skirting out of the wake all while looking like she was giving the tasks minimal effort and attention.  Add that to list of reasons why she is awesome.

We hit up the local bar's karaoke one night and everyone had a blast singing along, dancing, and shaking our instruments. Kauffman sang John Deer Green with Ina and Cora standing in front of him with the proudest looks on their faces.

You better believe that all three girls slept the entire drive home, but before she fell asleep and since she woke up back home, Cora has been begging to go back. Begging.

Now we are back to real life, with Dan starting a new job and my work being very busy and somehow having something on the calendar every night this week and a full weekend schedule, even though I swore that in July things would be less busy...

I will have recipes to share next week! <3

Monday, July 1, 2019

International Travel Party House

In the past two weeks we have had several house guests (a friend from India, another friend from South Africa (via Germany) and my aunt and uncle), a small group reunion, and multiple impromptu pool parties.

Life is good here.

When Dan traveled to India a few years ago, he met Pensu, so when we heard he was coming to Kansas City we begged to have him stay with us.

When he arrived we casually mentioned that we love Indian food and might try to cook a meal together, you know, if he had time.

You guys, he stood up and immediately rolled up his sleeves and got to work in our kitchen. The next day we made a list and went to the Indian grocery store and proceeded to cook us breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next few days, all while teaching us tips and tricks.

We made masala omlettes, egg curry, chicken curry, butter chicken, chai tea, daal, white gravy chicken, chickpea curry, chokha, grilled chicken, chai tea, and more. I did contribute naan to a few meals.

We were in foodie heaven and so appreciated the real life cooking lessons.

Unfortunately, Dan and I both caught a virus his last day here and Pensu had to leave a little early. Since then eating just hasn't been the same.

A few days later my dear friend Isabel who used to live in South Africa and work for my company but has now moved to Germany, was in the United States and decided to make a pit stop in Kansas City. The last time we saw her was 7 years ago, and even though I was slightly afraid that having three kids had changed me into someone she wouldn't recognize, we picked up right where we left off and we had such a great time hanging out with her for a few days.

We wanted to show her the typical American suburban life, so we made sure to take her to t-ball practice, Target, Wal-Mart, and Aldi.

My mom watched the girls one night and we took her to our favorite brewery/pizza place. After I sadly dropped her off at the airport I hurried home to get ready for our small group reunion.

After having a small group for a few years, you start to lose a few families to new towns, new states, new churches, and new small groups, but when they leave there is a little space that can never be filled again. Nothing makes my heart soar more than catching up with these people, watching their children grow and seeing how God is using them.

Dan says that next year we are making t-shirts.

Also, sometime in between now and the last time we talked, Ina graduated from kindergarten!

She has grown so much this year. Even though I still call her baby, there is no baby left in her beautiful and mature face. She loved her teacher, Mrs. Russell, who may have given her a little special treatment.

One day during the last week we rode our bikes to school and she took each hill and sharp turn with patience and determination.

A few other things, rapid fire:

Mira's language is exploding and every time she calls herself "Baby Mira" I fall in love with her a little bit more.

Ina and Cora spent the night with their cousins one night and my sister confirmed her super mom status by getting 5 kids ready for church before 8:00.

Ina had her last t-ball game, and her interest went from almost nothing (more interested in playing in the dirt) to mildly enthusiastic about fielding, hitting, and throwing the ball.

She was, however, always enthusiastic about snack and visitors coming to the game.

We celebrated Father's Day with a crayfish/shrimp boil, which I predict we will repeat every year due to its deliciousness/easiness ratio.

Birthday parties,


Farmer's market,

random swims,

ice cream with friends.

My cup is running over and I am soaking in every drop.

I hope you have a fantastic 4th of July!

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