Ready for round two?
One evening, we brought out the ice cream maker and made us some smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream! We then topped it with strawberry topping made with fresh strawberries from our garden.
It was a big hit!
Well . . . for most people. Let’s just assume he had brain freeze here, okay?!
How much mess can 12 kids make in one living room?
One time, I needed it cleaned up pronto – as in “already done”. So I shouted out that the kids had two minutes to get it all cleaned up. You should have seen the pieces fly!
Then my dear mother asked me what was going to happen if it didn’t get finished by the two-minute bell! I honestly didn’t know. There was no punishment! It is simply a way my kids and I like to work – all together, really fast, so we can move on to bigger and better things.
I suppose I could have threatened them by taking away 12 of their 200 popsicles . . . . maybe next time.
A picnic in the orchard.
My sweet sis and I.
Monday evening, about halfway through my sister’s family’s stay here, we ditched all housewifely and motherly duties and played hooky. Mom, Krista and I went out for shopping and to try out the new Mexican restaurant in our little town.
Not a glamorous evening, but we desperately needed some time to ourselves. Moments like this don’t come but every seven years now!
So I threw supper in the crockpot for the remaining two men and twelve kids. It was so simple that I told Lowell all they had to do was open up and shovel it in! How much easier can ready-made spaghetti and applesauce get?
We had a delightful time – but made one crucial mistake. We didn’t stay away long enough.
When we arrived home, we found our two husbands calmly sitting in their lawnchairs – cell phones in hand – while watching the kids play “Andy Over the Chicken House”. They did not look stressed enough!! In fact, they had the audacity to tell us it was a piece of cake. I don’t believe anybody was even running around with a messy diaper. Shocker!
So since they had shown what pros they were . . . we took a very long walk the next evening – knowing they were well able to handle any pieces of cake that flew their way.
Andy Over the Chicken House
See what I mean?
This is only one pile of bodies in the living room. Once our second visiting family came, we had 24 people residing at our home. So that night, the living room contained eight people, the camper contained three, and the bedrooms held the other 13. We were chock-full!
This is one of the evenings our second visiting family came – all the way from Mongolia! Les and Tonia Ebersole, a first cousin of Lowell’s, were taking a road trip across the U.S. and stopped in here for a couple evenings.
We enjoyed getting to know them and their children and hearing of life in far-off Mongolia! And we even got to take them over to the zipline too, plus eat lots of marshmallows and s’mores around a campfire.
It’s what summers in Idaho are made of.
And by next morning, Mom and I were up by 2:30 am to head to the train station in Montana for her ride home. I will have to say here that this time of feeding and caring for so many people at once made me appreciate my own mother more fervently than I ever have. She cares for her children and feeds all of us when we show up on her doorstep – and makes it look so effortless and done with such grace!
Maybe when I grow up . . . I will be like her someday.