Tag Archive | SCA

Three things Thursday

What three things are new and interesting?   Um… at first thought I couldn’t remember anything cool to report because I’ve spent the last 4million waking hours going through all the toys in the playroom.  Then I remembered a few fun things, the problem with busy busy weeks is that a week feels like 3 weeks sometimes.

  1. Northshield Auction; The most fun thing in the week is the ending of the fundraising auction.  We put in a group item, offering 4 carloads of people a weekend of training with our group.  I choose the conditions carefully because I wanted it to be fun.  The issues I was trying to overcome first- offering to train someone one on one or a group has been done, and, over the years I think it has worn thin because the actual logistics of the people meeting and training are difficult.  Going to them costs the teacher travel money usually in excess of what was donated.  It also got dishearting to go far to train ‘a group’ and have it only be 3 people. Attempting to get a higher bid puts pressure on both parties, and, makes the item inaccessible.  The 1:1 thing is good in concept but ignores 99.9% of interested people with a ‘winner takes all’ experience.

My solution to this, and I think it will work, is this;

  • we made it a specific date in the auction, on April 25 this will happen.  This eliminates the back and forth of trying to figure out a mutually good time.
  • by offering a ‘car full’ we are opening it up to more people for accessibility and cost share, both of the auction price and of the travel expense.  Side bonus, it gives room for being creative and people love thinking around the rules.
  • Since it is a ‘come to us’ event we eliminate the drive to see a group that isn’t really a group.  They already have a plan on who is in the car and it is their prerogative to fill every seat or bring fewer but it won’t be wondering day of who will come.
  • We opened up 4 spots to win, this gives nearly everyone interested a good shot and keeps the individual price reasonable but added up the kingdom does get a good donation.  also, with a group of 20-30 we are better able to batch and match and nobody feels pressure to ‘be on’ all day.  It is also small enough (and we have 5+ teachers) that everyone will get individual attention.

It was really fun to watch the comments and back and forth and there was even a surprise entry 1 min to the end for drama!  I’m very excited to have the actual event.

 

2. Gear shift, I was called in to be ‘that mom’ who comes to the legislature.  I’m beginning to be known and I actually went to a meeting without the entire group and didn’t get lost in the literal underground labyrinth of tunnels.  I still don’t know if we effect change with these visits but I always learn something and as an example if my kids remember mom going to fight for their schools and equity and equality that is as good a legacy as I need.  (ps. I do remember my mom and grandmother fighting and working for affordable housing in NY)

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3. Back to local – the STEM aspect of our kids school is never stronger than on science fair day.  Every year I’m impressed by the project ideas, execution, research, creative ideas and presentations.  I know parents help some, that is great, that shows that the parents are interested in learning too.  I totally learned a few things from some of the projects and there were very few that looked done without care.  The fact that all 100+ kids seemed engaged is amazing.  The 6th grade actually gets to create an invention with a design phase, technical drawing, and patent application – a very cool intro to the game of inventing.  #1 created a pet feeding machine that does a visual scan of the pet to ensure the right pet is being fed.  Obviously, this is because our cat chows on the dog food and we can’t put it anywhere that the tiny dog can get that the cat can’t get….  her invention has an app for programming a great variety of options and I actually hope we can make a working model someday.  #2 had the question “can people smell the difference between artificial and natural smells” and we had a great time getting pairs of sents and designing the experiment and then getting friends to be our smell testers.  We all learned from both exercises and the most important part is both of them (and the majority of their peers) seem to have fun doing it and they are excited to do more.

Now I go back to my sorting of toys.  The goal is to yardsale or give away a very big chunk.  I’m impressed by how well we have kept sets of things intact, even after a move.  It is sad to say goodbye to some toys they loved as toddlers but space is finite and we need room for them to grow into new hobbies.

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My SCA resume

A few people have asked me what I’ve done over the years in the SCA and encouraged me to make a record of it.  (Here seems like a good enough corner of the internet to make a list).

My first reaction is “oh, you know, just the normal stuff”.  When you are *in* an organization it means you participate.  Sometimes that means running something, sometimes that means sitting with friends and being part of the scenery.  I encourage people to try things, I have a tremendous list in my head of what other people do so I can match make, and I’ve literally driven to peoples houses and picked them up and brought them to events (and home again, I’m not mean).  I like being useful and part of the solution.  Other times I’ve had to focus elsewhere in my life and for me, that is very normal, I’ve been doing the SCA since I was 4 and if I went full throttle I would have burned out long ago. In my mind, I have not done any ‘shining star’ giant project but a few friends have encouraged me to actually list out what I’ve done so here it is

Right now:

Archery Scores clerk for the kingdom. Duties: inputting scores I’m sent and general cheerleading of the archery community. *I also volunteered to do the same for thrown weapons but haven’t heard on that, it is the same computer system so no real trouble to do both.

Assisting the Rapier community to hold a round table discussion to help move forward with the right collective goals and ideals with respect to all gender, rank and ability. So far I created a short survey to get a pulse of what is on people’s minds, collected the data, crunched it to fit into useful categories and then had a meeting on the top two items where I served as moderator.  After the meeting, there were three sets of notes that other people were extremely kind to take and send to me that I smooshed into one document to publish for the community that couldn’t be there.  I’m working on next steps now with the community leaders, it is a long slow process.

Unofficial Rose Reminders – One time the rose ceremony didn’t get done because nobody talked about it and it got lost in the sauce.  It is my personal mission to at least bring it up to every new incoming rose.  There are infinite ‘right ways’ to do the ceremony and I’m glad that each Rose gets the opportunity to receive the award in their own way.

 

Recent Past (northshield years)

Kingdom Regalia Minister – In charge of the regalia, check-in, check out, maintenance etc.  During my time I did a photoshoot to catalog everything so crowns could look at a gallery and choose.  BTW, we have way more ‘stuff’ than you ever see.  I started a few balls rolling like getting thrones in Canada so crowns don’t need to transport them across the border.  I also took all the regalia to the 12th night and set it up so everyone could view it all, that was a fun bit.  I feel bad I couldn’t do more but I passed on the job when we won crown the 2nd time and didn’t have enough time to do it justice.

Song Book – I created a song booklet at the request of Hroder and Guilia for their coronation.  It was a fun project where I did illuminated borders for their favorite songs and then made copies so everyone at coronation could have a songbook for the day.  I recently found my drafts and maybe I will revisit the project for the next auction.

Family Point 2019 – I was asked this past Pennsic to help run the Northshield day at Pennsic at Family Point.  It was only a half-day and Pennsic has a very nice system for setting up things in advance so most of the prep work was just follow up on details with the staff and day of my partner and I had fun with the 20 or so kids that came through.

Northshield camp fees at Pennsic – Since I’m there early I was asked to help collect camp fees from people there the first week.  This took something off the Camp Leads plate and it was actually pretty fun to go to visit everyone and tell them to “give me their money”.

Unofficial Rose tournament matchmaker– This fell in my lap one year, there is a fabulous tournament at Pennsic sponsored by the Atlantian Roses and it is one of the best places for an unbelt to really meet fighters from other kingdoms.  In reality, they DO NOT turn people away but still, people can be intimidated by a tournament that implies you need an invitation/sponsor so I went about finding roses to sponsor any fighter that wanted to fight.  I got some great smiles from the ‘permission slips’ I created on the fly so our Roses at home could sponsor a fighter at Pennsic.

Service to the crown – I will always believe this is a duty covered by my rank.  Like a Knight should teach as they were taught, I should serve as I was served.  I was head retainer for Guilia, I retain at least once every Pennsic for every crown.  I do my best to make our crown look bright and shiny ~ at one Pennsic that was wrangling and arranging the interkingdom gift, and another it was running to find details about this or that function so our crown looks on top of things.  Behind the screen, I’ve helped here and there,  giving advice or just listening.  The point of this service is to be invisible and to make the kingdom look good.

Royal coordinator for coronation – a variation on the theme of service to the crown, I basically made sure that the royals were in the communication loop and taken care of at the event.  This is a crazy big job sometimes but I was working with very cool people who were zero trouble so all I needed to do was make sure everyone was on the same page and help unload and load up a truck.

Peer Pokemon; A fun little project a few years ago when there was some negative chatter about pokemon taking over the pennsic site because it does actually have a good set of gyms etc there.  I decided to SCA the game and made a ‘catch them all’ form where participants were on a quest to meet a peer of every flavor from every kingdom.  There was a good number of people playing and I heard at least a few positive stories.  It was a formating and photocopy project then toss it out to the world and let people have fun.

Water on the field – I have brought water to thirsty fighters from my earliest memory of the SCA to this Pennsic.  I’ve brought water as a  child, as a young woman, as a girlfriend watching her boyfriend, as the Queen, I’ve brought water pregnant, I’ve brought water with a 5-year-old holding my hand and I’ve seen my daughters take on the job right next to me and now on their own.  Bringing water is both useful and fun, it is the best view and you get to run all over the field.  I am not usually the one organizing the whole thing most of the time but I’m happy to pitch in, I learned ‘how to’ from some really great people and learned tons of tricks from people along the way.

Does making stuff for people count as service?  I have no idea how many tunics I’ve made for a new person or helped in mass sewing/stuff making projects for crowns or baronies or whoever asks for help.  The most recent was helping out with a cooking project where the person needed my hands to work the task but also needed company and a pep talk.  I’ve also made scrolls and white scarfs and whatever else I’ve been asked to help come up with.  I love seeing the projects walking around or on peoples walls in their homes.

Future

Kingdom investment research – Brand new role but enough people believe in my skills in investing that I’m going to help dig up good ways for our Kingdom to do it.

Crown autocrat – Like any autocrat job, I’ll be working on getting the ducks in a row with a great team who all know what they are doing.  It is a details chasing job and I’m pleased to be offered the opportunity.

 

Ancient History items of note

 

Pennsic Media relations – When my mom was the autocrat of Pennsic I was a helpful daughter and took on the role of tour guide to the local media people who wanted to see what was going on.  It was fun to show them around.

Group herald – I hardly remember that far back but for a time I was the herald for my local group.  I don’t even remember if I was 18, I don’t think I was, but the job needed to be done and I was willing and able.

Autocrat in the east – I ran our big baronial event once, it was a fun experience and in reality the autocrat is just the person organizing all the people doing the jobs at the event that they like.

Kitchen help – kitchens are really fun places and feasts are usually relatively simple because they are for a large number on a small budget.  Most of the time the day-of work is quite within the skill set of a kid and I learned a lot from my time helping in dozens of kitchens when I was young – I believe this was probably why I got my AoA way back – generally useful kid stuff.

 

Writing this has taken me nearly 2 months because it is just a list of things that I did because they needed to be done or they are natural/fun for me.  Where do you draw the line on what to put on this ‘resume’?  Do I put talking to new people? Talking to people who look like they need a way to feel more comfortable?  Taking a shift at troll? How about holding someone’s kid so they can go to the bathroom or feeding all the kids running with mine?  Cleaning up chairs? rolling up the fighting mats?  Pitching in; this is all just stuff you do but as I listen to some of the issues in the society about being welcoming and facing burnout – apparently it isn’t as natural.  Personally, I think if everyone did these little things they would all feel like they belong more and have more fun. Anyway, this won’t get better sitting in my draft any longer so publish I will.  Regardless of this positive accounting, I feel obligated to note that I do say no to stuff I can’t commit to or that stresses me out.  I’ve turned down opportunities to serve and I’m sure those people were annoyed but I would rather say no early then just do a bad job or fail them in the end by dropping last minute.  For me, saying “I can’t” sometimes is how you take care of yourself well enough to do more in the future.  I also enjoy helping my mundane community so sometimes the balance tips toward PTO or Girl Scouts or School Board.  It is all about balance and I’ll keep doing stuff I like to do or that need to be done, or making sure I’m doing my share even if nobody ever notices because that isn’t why I do any of it (but Lars is making me publish this).

No good ending is coming to me and I do need to go to bed.  I bet I remember some big thing I did in about 20 minutes just as I’m falling asleep….

Nuisance snow week

I love the fun new ways to describe snow.  The Eskimos and we should have a snow word off because the descriptions get pretty fun after a while.  I’m used to the last few years creations like  “wintery mix” meaning snow with rain and some ice and then “heart attack snow” meaning super heavy wet and people shoveling beware but Nuisance snow is the new one for the season and it means periodic snow for about an inch at inopportune times like rush hour.  It is also little enough you don’t need to shovel but after a few episodes suddenly you have 6 inches compressed into a driveway glacier from driving on it for a week.  Anyway, that has been our weather for the past week.

Fortunately, the weekend was very nice.  We had an event and it went really well overall.  Usually, we have a full house with guests but life etc for our friends left us solo but that works out too and we still had a good time.

My Monday and Tuesdays are now super crazy days.  Monday I woke up ready to get things going for the week and the cat peed on my comforter right in front of us.  That cat is now on borrowed time….  There are some things we can change so we are but washing my comforter 2x on Monday was not in the plan – pushed all other laundry activity for a couple hours.  To further irritate me, I attempted to renew my license on Monday afternoon before I got the kids.  I gave an hour but had to give up because the line estimate was over 3 when I got there.  Usually, our office is no wait or maybe 10 minutes but the ‘real ID’ is just a tediously long process.  The joke that you need an original copy of the Declaration of Independence is really not far off the level of crazy documents you now need.  It is seriously easier to get a passport but that won’t actually count as of October for domestic travel.  Crazy.  Monday now includes #1 going to soccer instead of JuJitsu but I figured out a schedule that works, even includes a workout for me, but I do a ton of driving.

Tuesday I woke up to no cat pee so that was a positive.  I gave another shot to the real Id situation and I brought my passport, tax returns, birth certificate, old license, car insurance (proof of address) and I still needed to fish a bank document off the internet and email it to the clerk helping me.  She was great, the process is just insane at the moment.  I spent a lot of mental energy on the holes in this system including how difficult it would be if someone married a person who already owned a house and then didn’t have a job or their name on a bank account – at that point they just don’t exist?  My dinky job where I earn $40 a month but I get a tax document was truly important.  I am unsure how to try and help this situation and that is troubling because it is a slow-rolling disaster.  The day kept going with a complicated ballet of who has who doing what including girl scouts, choir, feeding kids, and the extra challenge of the day; orientation for middle school for #1.  It worked out but I counted that I was out of the house for 8 hours and that isn’t counting the work I did while at home.

Today is the easy day!  I’m catching up on the undone things of days past and trying to get a jump on the next two days because I’ll be at a conference until Friday.  I’m commuting so I won’t miss the kids, and I’m looking forward to all I’ll see and do, just needing to get ready.  Hopefully, the nuisance snow doesn’t complicate my plans for tomorrow or Friday but that is not up to me.

Finally, I’m still organizing.  Today’s submission is the kid’s bathroom closet.  I did not have a clue what to really put in there when we moved in and it hasn’t gotten more organized in a year.  After thinking about what the uses are, I ended up with all the kid towels, pet/clean up towels, sheets for singles or doubles, and a designated spot for washcloths and hand towels so they don’t all get lost.  I pulled out the lightbulbs, ‘odd’ pillow covers, a stack of table cloths, a collection of extra soaps, and hopefully, this will be an easier system to maintain.

Before:

After:

A marathon weekend

Someday I’ll plan a cruise or relaxing vacation.  This was not that at all.  It was very fun and we stayed up so late so many days in a row last night I put the kids to bed and then I think I was asleep faster than they were.

Recap:

Friday I woke up early to get some housekeeping done pre trip and ended up having 3 kids with homework need so less time for what I needed to do but I’m very glad I was up early.  Drama#1 – the car we planned on using to go to the airport refused to start.  We had to take the family car that we intended to leave for easier weekend kid transport but it worked out.  We got to the airport and (drama 2) the flight was delayed for an ‘unknown’ amount of time so we went to get lunch.  Lunch was uninspired but when we went to check back on the gate we narrowly avoided drama 3 because they were on final boarding already!  This wing of the airport is new/under construction so the announcements didn’t acutlaly go out over the area we were eatting even though it was the absolute closest one.  It worked out and we were only about an hour late landing and that was all the drama for the weekend.  I much prefer getting it out of the way!

We saw our friend’s new house and then hopped in the car to drive to Canada.  Only a 2h drive to the border and that 2 hours is obviously the buffer since there is NOTHING there, no trees, a few little hills, but if Canada invades we can see them coming for a long way off.  Crossing the border was super easy, they took one look at us and decided we were no trouble.  It was dark, but, looks like the Canada side of the border is also using the flat and empty technique to see if anyone ever invades.  We got to the event site around 8 and had dinner and then event part 1 started at 9.  Tons of friends, snacks, mingling and catching up and we forced ourselves to go to our overnight accommodations at 1am.

8am start the next day, can’t be late for the actual event!  I was excited to see an event in a totally different kingdom and to see how it is the same and different.  Our group both stood out (in a good way) and also fit in and we did the normal event stuff for the next few hours.  The main event happened at 1pm and the performance and presentation were worth the drive.  By 3 we decided we needed a nap because the dinner was scheduled to start at 7 and the next court to start at 9pm.  For us, events tend to end about 6:30, this was fun but added to the marathon feel.  Post nap and mostly refreshed we had a great time at the dinner and then the second court of the day lasted until well after 10.  At this point we are more than 12 hours of social on 6ish hours of sleep but still so fun we kept going to the after-party back at the hotel.  By midnight we were getting low on energy so we went back to the house to talk there for an hour before actually sleeping.

Up early again because we wanted to visit just a little more with our hosts and the other friends before everyone needed to get going.  I wish we all lived closer but the trip does make the time more special.  On the road by 10am full of Canadian unique goodies to share, leaving them fun American ones like Girl Scout cookies, super-strong alcohol, and crazy sugar cereal we reversed the trip and got back to Minot with a brief stop for lunch in a Canadian grocery.  Drama 3 (knew it could not go perfect) was our credit and debit cards refused to work in Canada, we ended up overpaying for things using American but I have a stern phone call in my future to the bank.  It is fun to play tourist in a different countries grocery, I can imagine parrel universes because basically they already exist.  There are so many small quirky differences between virtually the same location – a 200-mile drive is not that much in the scheme of things but crossing a border is really like stepping left or right into an alternative reality.

Back to our friends house who insisted that we truly did not need 2 full hours at the small regional airport (they were right) so we relaxed and took a dip in their hot tub and discussed options for their new house and when we might see everyone again.  Airport was small but quite professional.  We had more stuff investigated in our carry on than at the giant one we live by.  They actually found something we had been missing for ages in Lars’s backpack!  All good-natured and friendly and the flight was on-time and easy.

The last step of the trip was walking over a mile from our gate to the terminal, getting the luggage back to the car and out of the maze of parking and home again.  By this point the lack of sleep and general travel was condensing into a massive headache but we made it home and did dinner and bedtime and I only started losing it a little and then I put myself to bed too.

This morning I still have a little fog from such a busy weekend but got the kids off and I’m starting the shed base today and all the things of the week.  It was a grand marathon up and back and we certainly maximized our social time,

Mid vacation

Today I opened my laptop for the first time in nearly 2 weeks.  It sounded like a pinball machine dinging with all the alerts and messages that it had qued up in its little body.  I’ve been having a great time with just my phone, a few facebook posts, skim the emails for anything urgent and basically back in the bag.

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ready for my role, I don’t usually wear this outfit but I enjoyed visiting an early period fashion

I’m on our traditional 2-week camping adventure in PA.  Every year is a little different, every year it is nicely the same.  I can nearly walk the site with my eyes closed but each year there are new areas I become more acquainted with.  This year I got to participate in a cool ceremony for a person I think is great, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m am so glad I was in a position to do it.  This year is also 100% less stressful.  Sure, still a bit of stress over this or that – a difficult person, random drama, or, an uncontrollable situation but since I’m not at max stress from moving it is all much more manageable.

Why do I vacation in a place that is built to be not relaxing?  I’m trying harder this year to take a break here and there but old habits die hard.

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our camp

The positives, aside from the role I got to play included giving a fun camp tour, watching my kids excel at boffer, seeing my kingdom have a great time on the field, seeing two friends new babies, tons of time to have conversations with friends from various points in my life, I’ve helped a few people out, built a great camp, attended a class I’ve been meaning to get to and even the weather has been really pretty good.  The kids have hit a milestone of being able to be (even) more independent and it is very nice to know they are happy and taken care of by our fabulous nanny, and, she isn’t frazzled because they are overall less needy.  We are growing into the tween phase that includes boys stopping over but I gave a stern lecture to my camp family against any threats against any boy.  The adults do mean well, but, “I’ve got a shovel” is a threat that we need to let go of.  It isn’t cool the threaten kids, and, if you don’t mean it (and they really never did) don’t waste your words on something people auto-dismiss. Slowly slowly we can shift away from empty threats that imply our children are helpless.  I think the phrase that actually hit home was when I asked them to think about if they had a son and someone said that to them – I’m sure the parents of the boy who has been hanging around did as good a job as me, and, I would be pretty offended if I heard someone threaten my child based on nothing but their age and gender.  I also want the kids where I can see them so having the camp that is friendly is one of my goals.

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tour group photo opp!

I’m short on my hour of internet here, I got the mundane life details dialed in and the bills paid.  No matter how vacation brain I am, bills still need attention and an hour now prevents a ton of problems later.  Next up I pack up Lars who could only join us for a few days and then Friday we put this all back it the box and move on to vacation part 2 – the NY phase.   I’m visiting family and friends and I can’t wait to see them even though I’ll be missing Lars and the house and pets and friends at home.  Pennsic, as always, is a special time and place and I’m glad we can come.

 

Summer of 6 Part II

Still Alive!  All of us!  And back in our original locations

I attempted to write something partway through the experience but if  I thought me sitting at a computer was a signal for 3 to line up to ask questions, fight, gush blood and generally interrupt my flow of typing – it was doubled with 6.  We also went out more.

There were crazy moments but nothing too crazy.  Nobody actually gushed blood, there was one minor fireworks related burn, and I don’t think we wrecked anything too badly with Mr Diabetic/No Gluten.  We didn’t even lose anyone or leave anybody behind on any of our many many outings (although it was occasionally tempting).

The positives absolutely outweigh the negatives.  We had tons of cousin interaction time where they could just play and get to know each other.  Like the magic of adding a friend, there were actually fewer “I’m bored” and general fights then if I just had my 3.  We did have quite a few visits from local friends to keep the fresh fun rolling, and, sent a kid off on a playdate a time or two to keep things fun.  It totally helped that all 6 are self-sufficient in the basics and 5 of the 6 can be left home alone so grocery shopping was not me + 6 every time (only 3 times, that was plenty).

Ever notice that you do more when you have guests?  That was absolutely the case here.  We didn’t do some of the ‘normal’ things we do in summer like tennis lessons but we did get the opportunity to get out and show off our awesome state.  The cousins are living in Texas, the word hot does not accurately describe their daily weather – I think you can make driveway jerky from the long slow dry heat baking through their neighborhood.  Here we hit 85 a couple times but we also went down to 65 and sweatshirts were required.  TONs of outside time and I never felt guilty about kicking them out to use up some energy.  In our 3 weeks together we:

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Went to the MN sculpture garden after picking up #1 from camp.  This is ‘the’ famous sculpture for the Twin Cities.  (don’t have a clue why)

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Hiked the interstate trail from MN to WI and climbed around all over the pothole area on the MN side.  Kids hiking is always an adventure, it was only a couple miles but to some of them, it was a very long walk.img_1619

We hit the weather jackpot for our Duluth day, sunny but cool and perfect for playing on the shore, building rock sculptures and general sightseeing on the great lake Superior.

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We also took a boat tour in Duluth, it was actually cold out on the lake.  PS, this is the last we saw of Zoe’s sweater, she left it at the park in Duluth shortly after.  I hope someone adopts it.img_1504

Lots and lots of trips to our local parks, we were waiting on a particular park to reopen so we went more than once to be disappointed that it *still* wasn’t open but they had fun anyway.  Helps that I bring snacks.

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Everyone enjoyed our only rainy day at the bowling ally.

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Can’t visit the land of 10,000 lakes without swimming in at least 1 or 2.  This is one of them and even Prima got in the water.

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#1 suggested that we participate in a volunteer event at Feed My Starving Children where we packed food for kids in other countries.  Our session packed enough for 65 kids for a year!  It was a nice change from frivolous summer or boring regular life and we did a good job working together.

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I didn’t get many actual 4th of July pictures because I was IN the parade and they had fun watching.  Again a gorgeous day, not too hot and a good breeze.  My shoe broke at the very end but that was the only negative.  We did the BBQ thing with friends and then local fireworks.  This picture is actually from the weekend when we went to a friends house who really really loves 4th of July and the party was fantastic.  Over 30 kids all in the right ages, a river to swim in, shade trees, trampoline, as Zoe said: it was ‘paradise’.

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Obligatory sunset over the lake.  They swam in this one too

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They really got into putting mulch in the garden.  There may have been icecream bribes mentioned but I didn’t expect the team effort going on.  We didn’t get much done around the house over the 3 weeks beyond the basics of food, laundry and dishes but we did get the garden full of weed blocker.img_1712

Toward the end, we headed out to the Franconia sculpture garden.  It is way more fun than the downtown one.  This has stuff you can climb on, walk around and it is more a discovery than a walk in a park.  We had not been there in a few years and there are tons of new installations as well as old favorites

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Last but not least, we got this kid to his first SCA event.  He wanted to fight so badly that it made the day trip worth it.  Usually, we camp but this year with the extra kids we didn’t want to worry about overnights.  We wished we could stay but their flight was 8am the next day so we had to take what we could get.

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Not shown are the trips to the pool, many meals together, tablet and tv time where they all puppy piled together, books traded back and forth, adventure games spread over the entire playroom floor and board games all over the table tops.  Sure there were fights and short tempers and some moments where you wonder how they survived on earth this long and my attention was pulled 6 ways at all times but I would do it again for sure.

And now starts the next phase of summer.  A two-week interlude before our travels where 1 week all three kids are in summer camp and the next week we need to get ready to be gone for nearly a month.  I’m glad I’m not moving like last year,