Friday, September 6, 2013

A Blurred Summer

Once my grandpa's funeral was over, we wended our way home-ward. Of course, we wended a bit in the opposite direction first as we headed south to the Wisconsin Dells. I'd been there once before, as a bored and unimpressed teenager, and it hadn't made much of an impression on me. In my defense, we only drove through, we didn't stop and see any sights. So to me, the Wisconsin Dells was a gas station where I'd picked up some maple fudge.

Um, if you've never been there, let me assure you, there's more there than fudge!

We were in a hurry, so I still didn't get to see much more than part of the main drag, but I was very impressed. Every square foot is devoted to huge, ostentatious tourist attractions of every kind.

Watch Genuine Lumberjacks perform!

Come see African animals!!

Experience ancient Greece! With Roller Coasters!!!

See the White house destroyed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex!!!!

Our plan was to go on the jet boat tour, but while buying tickets, my mom discovered that we could go on an earlier tour---AND take the dogs. (It was a terribly hot day, so taking them along was a perfect solution to our dilemma of what to do with them ). No jet boats, but we could ride the Wisconsin Ducks.

The Wisconsin Ducks are a fleet of amphibious vehicles left over from World War II, now used to give land/water tours of the Dells' scenic attractions. The tour itself was very enjoyable---there were the requisite corny jokes from our tour guide, beautiful scenery, and a couple of very exciting plunges from solid ground into very liquid water!

This was just after we entered the river. My, that water was close!
For those of you who've never experienced an amphibious vehicle, it's very interesting. Even though your brain tells you that it is OK for your car to plunge into the river, it never feels quite right. And having some slightly traumatized poochies on your lap doesn't help either. Their brains weren't telling THEM it was OK!

It was so much cooler out on the river, and so refreshing after the muggy heat of the afternoon. But we weren't as refreshed as the jet boat occupants we saw whiz past at regular intervals. They got very thoroughly soaked. Repeatedly.

After seeing that, we were glad we hadn't taken the more sensitive members of our family (read: men) on that tour. But the more adventurous of us (read: women and teenagers) decided we simply had to return some day and experience it for ourselves.

Well, after that, the summer just flew by, full of adventures and memories.

And lots of work.

We had a busy Vacation Bible School, a revamp of our program for campmeeting the month before. I don't know how people put on those VBS's where they have hundreds of kids---I find it sufficiently challenging to have around 20!

I helped with our usual children's booth at the fair. It's always so much fun, but VERY exhausting to sit in the heat all day and still bring the perk. This year I "happened" to need to be out of town for one of the days, so I got a little bit of a break. (Insert evil grin here)

 The theme was  "Jonah and the Whale". We had coloring, face painting, and a Jonah craft for tired-out kiddos to do. We also tried something new this year---I made up gift bags with a few ocean toys and stickers and a copy of the story of Jonah so we could hand them out to the kids. I needed to make way more of them, but I liked how it turned out. That way, even if the kids are too busy to pay much attention at the fair, they have something to take home to tell them about the Bible.
No, I did not paint the whale. It is a cut out. But thanks for thinking that...

I installed a pool. Oh, you didn't think I was capable of doing that?

Hey, there's no limit to what you can do if you get hot enough!

(You can do it, too. Just cover one old tire with some plastic and tarps. Add water and enjoy your very own butt pool.)

My home for unwed mothers received a new resident who proceeded to present me with 4 cute tabby kittens. Anyone need another little sweetie? Just checking...

I got curly hair!!!!

But only for one day, and only because I had my hair in braids.

It was still nice...

There were some great sunsets to cap off our busy workdays...

We even crammed in a trip to California, but more (lots more!) on that later...

 Yep, it's been an amazing summer and I can't believe it's over already. Caleb's back in school, football season has started, the days are getting shorter, and the nights cooler. It won't be long now until the snow starts to fly and I'm curled up inside for another long winter. But for now, I'm enjoying summer's gracious farewell and thanking God for a  vacation full of blessings.

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