Campfire, birthday reunion, and muddy feet

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Our weather’s been a bit sporadic, going from hot to cold with a few thunderstorms in-between. On Saturday, it was a bit rainy and cool, but still perfectly fine for a mud day at Fontenelle Forest. Vivian and I took the kids for a barefoot stroll through the woods, and then the kids got to play in mud, make some mud paintings, and splash around in a pool of mud to make muddy footprints. It was good clean fun, naturally, and we were able to enjoy it all before the rain started coming down in earnest.

Hannah also got to show Grammy her new robot puppy, which she was able to earn doing her reading lessons this week. I did a bit of yard work, tilling the garden as Vivian introduced the kids to the “helicopters” from our maple tree.

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On Sunday, our old friend Ben had a birthday party at his new house in Bellevue. We joined a bunch of our old friends to have some flame-broiled burgers and brats along with some cake (reminder to everyone — never leave your grill unattended).

Vivian and I had first met these people over a decade ago when we were a rag-tag group of Christian singles. Most of us have gotten married since then and even added a few kids to the mix, who immediately enjoyed getting sugared up and playing with each other. Ben also showed us his new robot lawnmower, which seemed to spend the afternoon criss-crossing the lawn randomly trying to figure out where the grass was.

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Then on Monday, Hannah seemed eager to roast marshmallows on a campfire, making her own mock-campfire out of random items in our living room. I gathered up my collection of fallen branches along with a fresh stack of firewood and lit up our fire pit for a little evening cookout. We invited the Mills, whose four kids played with ours as we made a handful of s’mores together. We were able to burn through nearly all the wood before we called it a night, which was nice since the city won’t take fallen branches anymore in our weekly garbage pickup.

In the meantime, here comes summer. Swim lessons are already underway for the kids at the Kroc Center, and before long we’ll be camping for real again.

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