Thursday morning we slathered sunscreen and headed out for playtime on the "lake".
The boys still talk about the paddleboats - we are specifically directed to thank God for "Uncle Steve and the paddleboats" every night at prayer time.
Thomas got brave and waded in the water a little bit.
And Jonathan got to try fishing!
I hope that we can manage trips to visit Uncle Steve reasonably frequently as our boys grow up. He's the sort of man who you really want your boys to imitate.
Mom, Mom, LOOK!!!!!
I heard this story later: when they caught the fish and were showing it, still living, to Jonathan, they asked him if he wanted to eat it or let it go.
Jonathan: "Eat it!"
Men: "That means that we'll have to hit its head on a rock and kill it; is that ok?"
Jonathan: "Yeah, let's kill it!!!"
I wondered if he'd regret it after the fact, but he never seemed to mind. It was all just one exciting and fascinating experience.
Mommy is naturally a bit squeamish about things like dead fish, but since I do not want my boys to be so, I looked, praised, exclaimed, and acted exceedingly interested. The fish really was beautiful, at least until it got cut open. At that point I hid behind the camera.
I'm glad that the boys got to see the cleaning, though. If they're going to catch fish, it is very right that they follow through the rest of the process, even the messy parts.
In the late afternoon, Gabe, Steve, and Josh packed children into backpacks and headed out on a hike to a firepit where we planned to cook hot dogs for dinner. Katie and I packed the car with food, equipment, and Josiah and followed awhile later. Steve had given us directions before he left, which sounded simple enough. He described some landmarks, explained a few turns, and ended with "just follow the road. You can't miss it."
We followed a dirt road past the first few landmarks without difficulty, then got worried.
I ask you, dear readers, do you see a road?
You can't miss it.
I'm so glad that Katie was with me, because if I had been alone I think I would have been a) frustrated and b) feeling like an idiot for missing the "can't miss it" road. But since Katie and I had both decidedly missed the road...
Well, maybe we were just both idiots. We turned around and retraced our path. Still no road. We went all the way back to the Ranch in the hopes that we could find Steve's dad and ask him where we'd gone wrong. Nobody was home.
So off we went again, creeping along at 5 mph, praying that our poor Sienna wouldn't get a flat tire or lose something important to the engine as we jounced over a road meant for jeeps, not minivans. This time when the road ended, we kept going. The sun was going down and we didn't want to leave our husbands and kids stranded without the hot dogs and wondering what had happened to us! We could see the landmark where we were supposed to end up, and driving across a meadow seemed only slightly more dangerous to the car than the road we'd just left.
The men were on the lookout and Steve came running to meet us when we were about 2/3 of the way across the meadow. He tried to send us back to the "road" that he insisted was there. I drove towards where he was pointing and informed him that the "road" was a ditch and we'd get stuck if we drove there.
Steve pushed us back out and we took off again, cross country, eventually making it nearly to our destination:
It was a great place for a campfire. :)
(No vans were harmed in the making of these memories.)