Saturday, July 18, 2009

wild and wonderful

so we're in west virginia for the weekend. well, me for the weekend, justin for a few days longer (speaking of which, i'm open to plans on tuesday and/or wednesday while i'm husband-less this week.) today, we had a cook-out for his dad's side of the family, complete with birthday celebration for his nephew. it's actually pretty cool to see river all grown up--the first summer i came up with justin, river's mom mandy (justin's stepsister) was pregnant with him. now we're celebrating his 4th birthday!
it was a delicious cook-out, with ribs, hamburgers, hotdogs and all of the sides. we also have a small pack of dogs up here, with 5 dogs running around among all the guests. pepper had a blast playing with a humongous kick-ball sized tennis ball that we found inside. and the popular puppy was a tiny pomeranian named "mi shu" (apparently polish for "my teddybear"--haven't verified this yet. i still want to call her moo shoo, like the chinese dish.) she's just a few pounds, cute and fluffy, and was passed between the two young girls there like a baby doll or stuffed animal.

of course, we sang to river and had him blow out his candle...
and then got ready for the water activities!


you have to understand, it barely reached the mid-70's today. i went from shorts and a t-shirt to a jacket...and then jeans... and eventually a fleece hoodie. this weekend feels more like october in NC than anywhere to close to july. but water activities were promised, so water activities were had.

the family had just recently bought a huge inflatable water slide for the kids, so that was up and ready to go. this slide used water from the hose, so it was probably closer to 50 degrees. for whatever reason, justin had to try it out, and of course--i had to document this. river also wanted to get in on the action and controlled one of the cannons at the bottom.

so down justin went...
and there's not a second picture to this series because it took about half a second for justin to reach the bottom of that slide, going much faster than any of us predicted. the slide also leans slightly to the right, and justin hit the bottom pool, kept going and bowled over river so that they both ended up on the ground in the grass! river's mouth apparently caught justin's shoulder, too, cause justin had a couple of teeth marks there and one of river's teeth was slightly bloody.

but after everyone was checked out and it was deemed that no one was too terribly hurt... there was revenge to be had.

like river completely soaking justin with his cannon...
and making another attempt at a slide (this time with him feet first and river on the other side--justin still bounced over the wall, but caused less harm this time.)so after experiencing 50 degree temps on the slide, the 76 degree water in the pool was toasty warm. it was actually warmer than the air temperature! justin first got in with river, and after much coaxing, i joined them, too. (i also got splashed a great deal while taking pictures from outside the pool and was already pretty wet.)

justin got out of the pool before i did and thought it would be funny to put pepper up on the side to see what she did. she whined and paced back and forth, looking at me in the pool and trying to figure out how to get to me. finally, justin stepped up on the ladder and put her in the pool. her instincts took over and she swam over to me, and then swam back to the ladder where justin was. i won't say that she necessarily enjoyed it, but i think it was a good experience and maybe over time, she'll come to enjoy it more.
all of these pictures are on flickr, and i'll be honest--i love the colors and facial expressions in them! click on over and check them out (and the collages can always be viewed larger if you click on them, too.)

after such a long day, we were all worn out and tired. we went down the hill to visit justin's grandfather (he lives about 50 yards away at the bottom of the hill below justin's dad's house) and listened to him tell old stories about his years in the army during WWII and about growing up in west virginia. all of this reminded me of my new year's resolution about doing a family tree. we're headed out to justin's mom's family reunion tomorrow afternoon, and i realized that this was the perfect opportunity to do some research for justin's family. the reunion we're going to tomorrow has an awesome scrapbook and several family members that are very interested in geneology, so that shouldn't be a problem getting some key pieces of information there. we'll try to get some basic facts from justin's grandfather tomorrow night, and anything i don't get, justin will try to finish up with later on this week while he's here on his own.

so now i'm off to finish up some reading and get into bed. i'm hoping to catch up on the sleep i missed out on last night after we arrived around 1 am. busy day tomorrow! later, y'all :)

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