Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nelson Family Reunion

We had alot of fun at the reunion this weekend. Madline and Lillian can't stop talking about all their cousins. They were asking how long it was before we got to go see them again and figuring out how old everyone would be at the next reunion.
Madeline was quite the dare devil as she tried the zip line and loved it!! (Video below) She reports going five times but we think it was 4. Lillian became a fish before our eyes in the pool with water wings. The only blip was when she got lost in the maze of the locker rooms and couldn't fine her way out to the pool. She will tell you all about it when she sees you. Madeline was the critter catcher of the group. Toads, bus, fire flies, spiders...... She also enjoyed the pool. I was not very good at getting pictures of everything but I'm sure others did.
It was great to see everyone!!

Mom and Carla

Lillian getting ready for a canoe ride.

Madeline's big adventure.

The Fair

Eric took the girls to the fair a while back. I stayed at home. They had a nice evening. Smiles all around.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More pics from the 4th....And this weekend.

Sarah with Madeline and Lillian after the water fight and in all their glory.

The girls at the parade on the 4th.

This weekend we were at Mark and Pat's. Madeline was taking Grandma to Critter Camp. Critter camp had mixed reviews. Madeline was ready for a day of searching, cathcing, and most importantly touching/holding snakes. Grandma was not so sure about all of this but was good sport. Unfortunately, it did not live up to Madeline's expectations. She didn't get to search for anything, she didn't get to touch/hold any of the snakes, the fishing was lousy and they came home two hours early!! Madeline said she still enjoyed seeing and learning about the snakes and liked to see the fish at the aquarium but that was it!! Grandma let out a sign of quiet relief:).
When we got home Madeline started a water fight with David. David is our neighbor's guest from Sweden. He was Don and Gaylene's first foreign exchange student and returns for visits. Sarah (a friend of his and neighbor) was all too happy to help Madeline in her quest to start the water fight. In the end all were wet, including me, (I'll get you in two years David!!). After everyone was wet the girls played dress up with Sarah. Thanks Sarah for entertaining!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pics from the 4th.

The boat ride with Ben at Leta's. Madeline at the helm....Scary!

The girls Friday night on the dock at the lake, before fireworks in Osceola.

Can't have the 4th without some watermelon!!

OK, despite not being in Crawford, we had a great weekend. We packed in a lot starting with a trip to Aurora to see great Grandma and Grandpa. We vistied, ate lunch, got grandpa signed up for a facebook account, and the girls took a spin with Grandma on Grandpa's scooter chair. We took the girls to the Plainsmen museum for a couple of hours which was fun for us and the girls. The girls like all the antique dolls and Eric and I enjoyed finding pictures of his great grandma and seeing his grandpa's display of railroad equipment.
Then we headed North to the lake for supper with Grandpa and Grandma Mark and Pat and then to Osceola to see the fireworks with G & G and Roger, Mandy, and Reese. We got home at 11:00 and crashed. The next morning we got up, prepared for the day, drove to Platte Center for the parade, came home, took naps, and made food for the party at the Jeffryes. When the food was all ready to go we head to Leta Greene's first and then joined the gathering at Jeffryes. I'm not sure how but the girls had a blast playing in the pool and with the water slide despite it being very chilly. Once they did get cold we started lighting fireworks. We had at least two hours of fireworks to light before it got dark and about 2 hours of fireworks once it got dark. Lilly was so tired she slept till 10:30 Sunday morning.
Sunday morning we decided to get out of the house and go swimming at the lake. So we gathered the essestials and joined Mark and Pat for some lake time.
It was a good weekend. Both girls asleep by 8:00 Sunday night. The sign of a fun filled holiday weekend.

The 4th

I have come to the conclusion that when you are from Crawford Nebraksa, the 4th of July is part of your DNA. There was a certain aire about the hustle and bustle of Crawford as it could always sense the coming of the 4th. It seemed everyone anticipated the holiday. The air changed for at least a week before. Relatives from Georgia, Oregon and such fanciful places (to a girl from Crawford) would arrive. If we were really lucky our friends from Oklahoma would arrive early for wheat harvest. It was/is the biggest event the little town was/is known for.
Growing up the 4th was always the highlight of the summer. Big picnics, lots of relatives, lots of food, lots of fun. These are some memories from those years I still hold dear to my heart and wish I could recreate. Maybe not all of it but the best parts of it.
When I was younger I always looked forward to the watching the parade and then playing with cousins at my grandparents. I also recall watching a couple of my older cousins (Renee' and Deana) holding court in my grandpa's front yard, flirting with all the boys cruising by. Yes, as I became their age my best friend and I would hold that same court.
I recall all of my great aunts, aunts, and my dad's cousins cooking and preparing mountains of food. I am especially fond of the fried chicken everyone brought! It was also a day that I could gorge myself on pop. There were coolers full of it. Just as long as you knew which one's were pop and which one's were Barley!
As I got older I began taking part in the parade. Our 4-H club, Guys and Gals, and later Corn Valley, would spend many a late night creating floats. I think I could stuff green and white tissue paper into chicken wire in my sleep after those nights. There were also the times that I twirled baton in front of the high school band and then later played in the marching band.
There was always the curb wars that occurred for the prime parade watching real estate. Grandpa and Grandma lived on the corner where the parade turned to head down main street. It was the busiest part of the parade route. When I was younger Grandpa would often let us stay with him the night before the 4th and when I was older we stayed with him to help take care of him. Part of the gig was that you got poked early in the morning (about 5:00 a.m.) with a cane and told to hurry and get the lawn chairs out on the curb before the neighbors put their chairs out there. When I was older I really resented this as I had just laid my head down to try to get some sleep before I had to line up in the hot sun to march. SSHHH. Don't tell, I'm sure my parents and relatives don't know this:).
After the parade it was hours of picnicing, water fights with friends and cousins, walking down town, and seeing how much trouble you could get into without getting into too much trouble. Twoards the evening you had to get dolled up for the PRCA Rodeo. When I was little I just wanted to see the bull riding (because I wanted to see the clowns) and the fireworks. When I was older there were more things to worry about. :). Like finding a cute boy to dance with at the dance after the rodeo:).
Over the years the 4th routine has changed quite a bit. Once grandpa passed away we didn't have the house on the corner to stage the family picnic. We still feel displaced. We still like to view the parade from the same corner but our hearts ache just a bit when we can't just turn around and walk into the house and hang out on the porch people watching. Now, we gather a few relatives and head to park where everyone else without a cool house to hang out at gathers. I still beg Emily or Jackie to bring fried chicken. The 4th would not be complete without it.
My heart aches when I can't go home for the 4th. I missed it dearly this year. Growing up I didn't realize how much the rituals of the 4th defined how I viewed the holiday. Even though we had a great time trying to fill our weekend with fun I still missed my family and relatives and the feel of Crawford this weekend.
We had a great weekend and saw lots of great friends in our adopted town but truth be told I will always wish I was home on the 4th. I even had fried chicken. KFC but none the less, fried chicken. We watched a parade but no horses, bands or 4-H clubs. There were tractors and fire trucks which was good but not the same. The girls didn't notice because they were pleased with gathering loot! All-in-all a good weekend. But not Crawford on the 4th.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Excuse my playing around. I'm trying to figure out how to blog from my phone.

I found some pictures!!

This is a little peek at some of the action this summer.

Madeline in the crowd at dance camp.

These are a couple of bags Madeline decorated for the Relay in Memory of my best friends mom and Eric's best friends dad

Madeline's new haircut!! She had asked to cut her hair this summer so we thought we would try it. She loves it but I miss the pigtails!!

Lillian at the water park. Last year she couldn't crawl up the "tube" to slide down the ladder but this year it's no problem. She had a blast.

Hmmm.. This is suppose to be Eric, Madeline and Lillian. Didn't realize the color wasn't very good. Sorry.