Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Stuff We’ve Been Up To Edition

As summer vacation winds to hot, muggy close, I’ve lost the ability to create a cohesive theme. This is stuff we’ve been doing, things pulling me in different directions as we try to savor summer.

–1–

The Mobile Drive-In

Our township has been doing these drive-in movies at the park for several summers. Until last week, the timing and the chosen movie never worked for us. Friday night, I took my kids and one of their friends to see The Peanuts Movie (truly a great little movie) at our park. Our arrival was somewhat delayed by our inability to find where my husband hid our camp chairs, but arrive we did. The whole atmosphere was fun. The park at night, the families, the free Twizzlers handed out. Just as the movie was about to begin, the entire screen deflated. It was a full hour and several attempts at re-inflating and restarting the movie until we began. By 9:30 p.m., most of the little kids present were probably ordinarily asleep, but here we were just getting started. All in my party agreed we’d do it again IF it started on time.

mobile drive-in

Moments before the epic deflation.

 –2–

Eagle Scout Project

Not my scout’s project. But, he’s spent quite a few hours helping out another scout with his. It reminded me of my favorite thing about scouting (and from what I’ve seen so far, 4H): kids DO stuff themselves. Sure, they need directions, but they’re pretty capable when you let them have at it. Scouts has forced me to allow my child to do many things I wouldn’t otherwise expect him to do, and, for that, I’m grateful. Laying pavers and mulching this week? Yep. My 13-year-old can help with that.

–3–

Totally Awesome ’80s Party

I took the kids to an ’80s party hosted by our friends where I had to explain to them who Boy George was and got to impress them with my vast (useless) knowledge of ’80s tunes during a game of Name That Tune. Sadly, we don’t have much ’80s attire around here, but with my husband gone on retreat, I made my son where his gnarly mullet wig and gave my fine-haired daughter the highest teased-out side ponytail we could manage.

'80s party

Totally awesome get-ups, dude.

–4–

Retreat Meetup Fail

Ordinarily we meet up with my husband on Sunday morning of his annual weekend retreat for the closing Mass at the Lourdes Grotto in Emmitsburg. Unfortunately, the sequential late night drive-in movie and ’80s party left me unable to wake some of the kids up early enough to accommodate our hour-long drive. You’ll have to rely on this post from last year to catch a glimpse of the grotto.

My husband got to spend time in adoration on retreat. We actually argued about this later, just to keep things real for you.

My husband got to spend time in adoration on retreat. We actually argued about this later, just to keep things real for you.

–5–

Fatty McChrysalis

Although our garden is teeming with milkweed, we’ve found only two Monarch caterpillars so far this season. In order to help the little guys along (as recommended to us by an official-type Monarch expert), my butterfly girl continues to catch and shepherd them through their metamorphoses. For the first time, one died after making its chrysalis. Its companion, however, the lovingly-named Fatty McChrysalis, has made himself an exquisite chrysalis, and we wait for him to emerge a beautiful butterfly!

Monarch caterpillars

The caterpillars, pre-pupa stage.

–6–

The Astfalk Family Olympics

Inspired by the games in Rio, my kids have begun their own games minus the dedication, discipline, and rigorous practice required by real Olympians. So far there’s been a bicycle/tricycle race in our alley and water gun target shooting. I believe light saber fencing is up next.

squirt gun target

One of the squirt gun targets.

–7–

The Toy Store

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I made a run to our local toy store to pick up some gifts. Everyone should have a toy store like this nearby. Here you find the unique stuff, the fun stuff, and the nostalgic toys you won’t find at your big box store. It’s the kind of place you can’t visit without smiling.

toy store

Makes you feel like a kid again.

What are you up to in the dog days of summer?

###

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.


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