This year, Mom suggested that instead of trying to squeeze in a gathering for both Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day with the whole family - to just pick one time and celebrate both together. Last night was the night we chose, as Michele and the kids already planned on being down. I think it warmed Mom and Dad's hearts to recognize that Michael even made the priority to leave early from work and drive down on his own (and leave first thing this morning to return to work). Way to show the love, Michael.
So, in the spirit of honoring the parents, I thought I'd finally put up a picture of the paint job Dad did on our front door - giving it a more traditional red color vs. the bitter red (too orangey) we had before. We're thrilled with it, and it's been fun to use the color during this season to run with the Fourth of July decor. =)
(This last picture makes it look brighter than it really is - hence the ones up above for a more realistic view)
I think we've almost spent more time on our side patio already this season than we did all of last year. I just can't get enough of the campfire smell and feel of it "just being summer". (It's not at all easy for those with allergies though- both Michael and the day before, Kaela - we're really suffering). I also want to use this picture to point out the wood stacked by the house in the background. I got all of that yesterday - meaning I helped "Charlie" (the seller of the wood) load it all into my Honda Odyssey minivan - and then single-handedly stacked it. Between that and the ten rolls of sod I unloaded and moved and placed in the back yard on Monday, I've determined that much of my workouts this week have not happened in the gym - not to mention the fact that minivans aren't just for soccer moms!
Michele's aware that I'm taking this pictures, hence the abundant smiles - but I thought it was worthwhile to note what her and Dad were talking about. He was complimenting her on the novel that she authored - that he had passed on to a friend of his who also loved it. Yes, Michele has written a couple of books - one that I even helped co-author...but, no, none of them have been published. I think she needs to make this last one happen though - it's pretty impressive!
Since the ingredients to the s'mores hadn't been set out yet, the kids occupied themselves between the trampoline and game-playing endeavors....
And, John, ever so faithfully, grilling away. In trying to go with a "lighter fare" teriyaki and citrus marinaded chicken was on the menu last night.
Does anyone out there remember the short-lived series "Tales of the Gold Monkey"? It came out in the 80's and our family LOVED that program. It was made even more special by the fact that the "sidekick dog" in that show looked just like my parents beloved first dog, "Scotty" - who was not a purebred and therefore "one-of-a-kind" in appearance. Before he died, Scotty had also lost eyesight in one of his eyes, just like the dog on the tv show, however, there's no way Scotty would have put up with that dog's eyepatch! Earlier in the year, when I discovered (to my astonishment) that the DVD of the series had been released, I couldn't wait to give it to him - opting for the earlier opportunity of Fathers' Day instead of waiting until December for his birthday or Christmas. =)
And, speaking of dogs, that's Mom showing some special love to Sydney. It was good she showed her kindness as Sydney is on my bad-list for continuing to to dig in the backyard - with the new sod down I just about lost it when I discovered she'd messed with it. Fortunately, the damage wasn't too bad, but for the sake of her safety, I think John really needs to re-install another in-ground wire to prevent her from ruining all of the efforts I've put towards that back yard.
Finally, s'mores. And, I've said this before - nearly each year, in fact - but right there, at the moment this picture was taken with Michele down and the family all gathered - it finally felt like the essence of summer had finally arrived.