Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Germans are coming... they came, they're gone!

Can you tell we studied the Revolutionary War last year? So I stole a famous line and tweeked it a bit. My brother-in-law, David, is married to a lovely gal from Germany, Susann. Thus, their children are all at least slightly bilingual, and they spend a lot of time in Germany (where all of her family still lives), as well as hosting German visitors to the U.S. This summer, they are playing host to 4 German guests -- Julia, 19, Lara 16, Jessica, 10, and Fabian, 14. They brought them, along with 7 of their own 9 children and one girlfriend, to visit last weekend. So we had 22 people in the house for the weekend. It was a blast, but I didn't take many pictures... here's just a taste...

Loaded up for the canoe trip on Saturday -- we also took our mini van, but it just carried people.

A part of the group during one of the meal times...

Besides eating and canoeing, activities included church, paintball, horseback riding, a trip to the Splash Zone, multi-age/multi-cultural wiffle ball, English country dancing,and various card and board games. We had a wonderful time!!! Thanks for being such great guests -- come again!

4th of July Fun

My grandfather Lindenbaum's birthday was July 3rd, and my mom has fond memories of family gatherings during the 4th of July holiday with homemade ice cream. So, for the past several years, she has hosted a family reunion in Forrest, my hometown, on the 4th of July weekend. The first time we did it, we had beautiful weather, and my then-100 year old Grandma came to sit in the park and watch the fun. Last year it rained, but this year it was clear though HOT. Sister-in-law Kiersten provided the cherries for the traditional cherry-spitting contest, and Andy took over the championship (cousin Brad was not there to defend his title!) Elizabeth even got into the act, and ended up with completely purple hands and shirt... We played tennis, volleyball, & basketball at the park, and ate a delicious picnic lunch before going home for croquet and homemade ice cream. My sister Deb and hubby Brad weren't able to come, so I provided the ice cream (blackberry) and we brought along some Missouri fireworks. Due to a mis-communication, none of my cousins were there, but we look forward to seeing them next year!

Cousin fun on the merry-go-round
Elizabeth in the watermelon spitting contest

Drexel, Isaac and Max - The Three Musketeers!

The Croquet Game

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Missouri Weather

We got hit by a pretty intense storm Sunday afternoon. We left at 3:45 to go to a park in town for a party, and it was raining when we left. By 4:15, however, the rain had intensified, and shortly after that, the tornado siren in town went off, so the party quickly dispersed. We drove home through rain blowing sideways -- crazy, and arrived home to find almost all of the north facing windows leaking -- they aren't designed to keep out horizontal rain at 60 mph. It was pretty crazy for awhile, and we hung out in the basement until it passed. When it finally stopped raining, this is what we saw outside...

Our flagpole over the fence and snapped in halfA river going through our property on the west side of the house
The trampoline on the other side of the fence (in the horse pasture)
The horses hunkered down, acting like nothing had happened; fortunately, since they were in a makeshift corral with no shelter!

The baseball field completely flooded (3rd base was floating away, I'm told)

Later that evening, we noticed that, while it was raining again, the sun was also shining. We looked around, and saw one of the most intense, beautiful rainbows we've ever seen.. Not only was it complete, but it was a double rainbow. Zeke did a pretty good job capturing the sight!

Elizabeth's 6th Birthday

Elizabeth turned 6! She was in Illinois with her grandparents and cousins on the big day, but we celebrated here at home when they brought her home. It was also Dan's birthday, and that's him in the background with his cherry pie (Elizabeth got blackberry cobbler -- yum)
She was very goofy -- I think maybe running on adrenaline?