Friday, November 15, 2013

Summer summer summer slowly turned into fall . . .

One of our favorite songs for the summer: 
I think the boys know all the words.

As fall is slowly fading into winter I think about how quickly time is going by! I wanted to post pictures from some summer activities we squeezed in as summer turned into fall.

First, a drive-in movie at Gibson City. We saw Planes! I felt like we had traveled back 60 years. The commercials, the snack stand, the drive in were all old-timey. Before the movie started Todd and the boys played frisbee and tag while Mabel and I chilled on the blanket munching goodies.

We also took advantage of the warm weather and did a little extra swimming post Labor day. 
Theo's our little alligator. Mabel loved swimming, too, and Henry loved doing rocket launches and jumping in the pool.

The babes and I in our hats.

We also camped with our ward at Middle Fork Campground! For dinner we enjoyed potluck sides complementary to delicious meat that was cooked in a homemade--huge--oven. Members of the ward performed skits and told stories for the evening program. Todd told two family favorites from Pop's book (Todd's maternal grandfather). You can enjoy them, too!

Old Bess

"Along in the early thirties we had a few burros on the Ranch. Mostly for us kids to play with, because they weren't worth much for anything else, except to butcher when fat and render out the lard into 'burro grease,' which was an excellent oil for preserving leather saddles, harness, bridles, etc. It would get kinda rancid and smell bad, but really did the job.

Well, anyway, one of these old beasts was a big white mare burro we called Bess. She was a real pain and caused so much trouble opening gates and getting through fences and into buildings where hay and grain were stored that Dad entirely lost his patience with her and swore he would kill her the next time he saw her.

We didn't go to town very often, maybe every month or six weeks. Wouldn't you know it, the whole family was in the car on the way to town, when there stood old Bess up on the side of a hill. Dad usually had a gun along, so this looked like a good time to get old Bess. Mom was a soft hearted lady and didn't want Dad to shoot her, but the die was cast, so she said, 'Well, just don't shoot her where I have to see it.'

This sounded okay to Dad, so off he went. Old Bess just stood there about 200 yards away. Pretty soon we heard the BOOM of Dad's old 250-3000 Savage rifle. Old Bess gave a great jump, let out a couple of long terrified burro brays and started down the hill. Another rifle shot didn't stop her. Do you know that contrary old thing came struggling down the hill right to the front fender on Mom's side of the car to thrash around with blood all over that white skin and finally die about four feet from where Mother sat! Contrary to the very last. As I remember, Mom and Dad didn't have too much to say on the trip to town."

Mormon Coffee

"Dad and I were down at Three-Way one spring looking after cattle that had been brought over from the Homestead pasture. We came in one afternoon about 2 or 3 o'clock and began to fix something to eat. Dad was able to mix up a batch of biscuits on the top of a flour sack without using a dish of any kind, just a fork to stir with. . . . We were just getting started with the biscuits and some pork chops when Ross Perner, our neighbor from the Horse Prairie Ranch, came in. Ross was hungry and was invited to stay for dinner. Knowing he liked coffee, and since we had none, Dad suggested I make up a batch of cocoa.

At Three-Way, we had a cement cistern by the side of the house that caught water from the roof when it rained. Only, it was dry most of the time because it didn't rain much, so we relied mostly on tank water. Well, we had neither at this time, so Dad suggested I drain enough water from the radiator of the pickup to make the cocoa.

This I did and proceeded to make up a nice batch of cocoa with canned milk, sugar, and radiator water. We all sat down to a nice lunch, but when Ross took a drink of cocoa he got a funny look on his face and said,

'I don't understand you Mormons--you don't drink coffee, but you will drink something like this!'

Well, it did taste pretty bad, and when we got thinking about it, we knew why. To begin with, it was red Dry Lake tank water, which was all right, but the antifreeze in it didn't help. Then, on top of that, just the week before we had castrated a few young studs there, and being out of water again, had used the radiator water to make a sheep dip solution to be used with teh animal surgery. Then, of course, we poured what was left back in the radiator. We had forgotten about this sequence until we tasted the stuff.

Well, anyway, we just poured that nice big pot of cocoa back in the radiator and went down to the cow tank for a bucket of fresh water."

I love those old stories.

Though the night was cold all five of us stayed pretty warm. Mabel slept with me inside my sleeping bag half the night and all was well. Todd and I made a mix of eggs, sausage and cheese in the dutch-oven and enjoyed orange juice in the morning. As we sat around the campfire a few 6 year olds taught Henry about quarks and what a google is. (Now he sounds pretty smart when he throws those terms around like he knows what he's talking about.)
We also went for a quick hike and Henry played baseball with his friend, Benjamin. They used large nuts and a stick.


Lastly, we made excursions to Hoopeston, the Sweet Corn Capital of the World.
We attended the demolition derby that a brother in our ward was driving in. We met the Zhangs and Walkers up there and were having fun until a heavy thunderstorm rained us out. Everyone scurried to their cars and we were soaked. The kids fell asleep naked, but warm, on the way home. 

We also went back for the fair. We enjoyed a magic show, corn, and some rides.

Sometimes I still can't believe I have three children!

We love the Hoopeston sign.

The only thing we missed in Hoopeston was the beauty pageant--the Miss National Sweetheart. What a shame! Maybe next year . . .

These are good times! We love the midwest and life with our little ones.
Life's good in these parts. 
Stay tuned for updates on Halloween, Mim's visit, and the Science Fair.

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