The last week of July offered only a partial week with Whitley, as we'd be leaving on Thursday to go camping with our family at Hills Creek. It was also one of the first weeks where both of my kids were home, so I tried to incorporate them in some of the Whitley fun.
After catching up with Mikayla a little bit on our tree swing, we headed to a "new-park-to-us", Bethel Park.
It's a bit of a drive, but worth it with all it has to offer and the neighborhood it is in. When we pulled up, Whitley was literally squealing with delight and jumping up and down. And, then, she saw flowers and got totally distracted to pick them instead of running towards the playground equipment...
Of course, the swing is her first stop.
Brayden was able to entice her to some slides...
And, Mikayla got a little seesaw action with her too.
Later that evening - we finally caught up with Leona. We had yet to even celebrate Mother's Day with her!!!!! So sad! It was nice to have had a little time in between as it gave John the time he needed to get our Coca Cola Machine restored and returned (along with accessorized with signs). It was made in 1959, and Leona acquired it when John was around 10 years old (making it 20 years old at the time). Later, it was passed on to John's older brother, Tom, and then defaulted to us when he moved from that residence. When we got it, we just used it as a focal centerpiece (much to the chagrin of family friends who work for Pepsi!), however, it was not useable. Sadly, I put a plant on it at one point, and the water leaked through the pot and rusted the top. A few years ago, I felt such guilt that we'd not treasured this heirloom like we ought to have, that I suggested to John that we have it repainted. Well, if you know John, just a "surface fix" isn't enough (I'm thinking the sand court we were originally going to have in our backyard), so he had it sent off to a professional restorer. It stayed with this gentleman for 18 months (fine with me as it gave us time to pay for the repair) and then it was returned just last week. It looks AMAZING, actually chills the sodas inside, and for a mere dime, you are rewarded with a bottled beverage.
Of course, we have to buy the bottles - and have quickly realized the plastic ones are cheaper than the glass, and we have to supply the dimes, but those obviously return back to us. I had told myself (and tried to hint to the family) that this wasn't meant to be a replacement for our usual canned soda consumption, but the carbonation and quality is somehow so much better coming out of a classic machine like this. I just can't help myself... =)
I think it's safe to say that Leona was very pleased to see the machine up and working again (it had worked when the boys were little - John remembers fondly "purchasing" the soda pops for a dime back in the day....).
We followed up this "reveal" with a pleasant trip to Red Robin. =)
Proof that the card playing is contagious - at least Mikayla hopes it is!
When we were in Costco together, earlier in the week we had seen some sleeping cots for sale there. John had commented after our Hills Creek trip last year that he no longer sleeps well on an air mattress and would like to consider a cot. Brayden "tested" it in Costco, we sent pics to John and decided to have the kids test them at home. Given it is past 8am in the morning when this was taken, I'd say they were sleeping well.
In an effort to let those kiddos sleep well, Whitley and I did our long walk to Crescent park and played. On the way back, I let her help herself inside the stroller with cut up watermelon. This is what she looked like when we returned to the house. =)
Too bad our next stop wasn't Harlow, as in this picture taken Tuesday afternoon. Then, I wouldn't have needed to have given her a bath - the sprinklers would have taken care of business. It's amazing how something so simple can ABSOLUTELY delight a child. We had gone there to drop something off to Traig, but he was on duty so he couldn't talk long (besides, too long of spending time together and Whitley would have revealed his real name as Traig vs. his name at camp, "Ferb"!). As we were about to get back in the car, Whitley noticed the sprinkler next to where we were parked and was content to wait and watch, and race and get rained on....
As I wrote when I put this pic up on Instagram, "Whitley has taught me so much about taking life as it comes and embracing the most simple of delights...." (And, for the record, Whitley, Camp Harlow only gets better compared to this tiny thrill!)