Tee Ball & Pot

DAY 44 -- Mason wrapped up his tee ball season tonight which frees up Tuesday nights for the first time in two months.

Here's to hoping he keeps his interest in baseball.

And learns to love the Cubs.

And to hate the Cardinals.

. . .

I spent much of the day working on my summer project of clearing the berm at the back of our yard. After today, I feel like I'm finally making some serious progress.

The story from today, I may have found some pot in the berm.

I may have found some jar, too.

A Beetle Bailey Kind of Day

DAY 43 -- Some days are productive. Others are not.

Today I watched a bunch of Beetle Bailey cartoon episodes on YouTube.

Today was productive.

Not to be outdone...

DAY 42 -- Anna wanted to take a morning walk with me as everyone in the campground was just starting to stir.

It couldn't have been a more beautiful morning and as we talked, I thought I'd take the opportunity to go a little deeper with her.
"Anna, you know what I like to do on quiet mornings like this before everyone is awake?"  
"Sometimes I talk to God and say thanks for the beautiful world." 
"What are we having for breakfast?"

. . .

Todd Snider tells a story of how he became a musician. As he watched Jerry Jeff Walker sing and play the guitar, he thought to himself, "Well, shit. I can do that."

I can only assume Mason thought the same thing as he watched Anna ride a bike without training wheels on Saturday. Coming home from a night of camping, Anna couldn't get outside on her own bike fast enough. As she took off on two wheels, Mason said to me, "I can do that."

Tired from camping and doubtful of his claim, I went ahead and decided to let him try.

And that's all it took.

One push and he has off.

We are now a family free of training wheels.

Camping, Biking, Leaf Man

DAY 41 -- I remember when I was younger and a sleeping bag and a backpack was all I'd need to go camping. This morning our family of five packed up and headed to Kickapoo State Park to camp with some friends.

On the way there, a few times I heard "Kickapoop" from the back seat and I knew somewhere my mom was enjoying a moment of what-goes-around-comes-around.

We set up camp and headed out for a trail hike in search of a mysterious tree with a small door at the bottom. Apparently the idea is to leave a treasure inside the door for whatever mysterious creature lives there. A fairy, maybe? A troll?

Whatever. We hiked.

And we found the tree which was already filled with random "treasures" left behind by other hikers.

Later ... Dinner on the fire. Marshmallows and lightning bugs. High temperatures in the 70s. This was pretty much perfect.

I haven't camped regularly since I was in college when the experience usually involved a case of Rolling Rock and a pack of Backwoods cigars. After such a long hiatus, I think I've got the camping bug again. Only now, beer and cigars have been replaced with ghost stories and glow sticks.

. . .

Speaking of ghost stories, our friend Matt told a pretty memorable one as the kids started to wind down for the evening. His story was about Leaf Man -- the cousin of Bigfoot who would come to your tent at night and put a leaf under your pillow if you had littered during the day. Leaf Man was smarter and more environmentally conscious than Bigfoot because he had stayed in school.

The moral of the story: don't litter and do your best in school.

Or something like that.

Anna put a leaf under Mason's pillow the next morning.

Mason was not happy.

. . .

The biggest news of the day came from Anna who took a liking to her friend Gwen's bike and sped off on her first no-training-wheel ride as though she'd been riding a bike for years. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of the time we where there she spent on that bike riding circles around the camp sites.

She was pretty proud of herself.

Rightfully so.

Astronaut, Ancient Treasure, Jump & Shout

DAY 40 -- Astronaut.

. . .

Smoothie King. Five Dollar Friday is my weakness.

. . .

Mason and I also visited the library sale today. Dollar CDs are my other weakness.

. . .

Anna wrapped up her Jump and Shout cheer camp today.

. . .

I cleaned out my closet this morning and discarded a pretty decent pile of clothes that I haven't worn in years. So long ringer tees and oversized sweaters.

. . .

Found an ancient treasure in the berm today. The kids have no idea what it is.

. . .

Tonight the kids were introduced to a classic.