I did not sleep at all Monday night, that is getting worse over time.
We ran a couple errands and headed back to the house to eat. I had breakfast and lunch at the same time-a bowl of grits and a plate of tuna, rice crackers and blueberries. I was SO hungry for some reason. That ended up being all I ate all day until the campfire when I had a S'more. Back at the house, I made a cheese sandwich and had some fruit, so I guess that was enough. Not sure why I am recording all that for posterity, but it's been an odd day all around inside myself.

I finally headed out for a walk around 3 and on my way to the house, Amanda drove over my head! I was in the creek walking under the road just as she went by. We waved and I headed to the house to meet her.

As soon as Amanda started getting settled in her room, Gina and I headed out to get a couple things we'd forgotten this morning, not least of which was the money for the week's rent!
I paid Carl the minute I saw him-he is so nice and my brain is so scattered, I might have made it home with his money. He dropped by to set us up with a garden hose to spray down the kids. Then he went home and picked up a load of firewood he had kept under a tarp in case it rained and drove that to the campsite fire circle and, since we did not have enough chairs, he used the backhoe to move in some big rocks. This was AFTER being up since 3 and working the whole day. He even started the fire for us.

 

The kids wasted no time breaking into ever-changing groups to PLAY and PLAY and PLAY:


Jake helps Alex, Owen and Elan set up D&D characters.


There was a silly string war.


Jake and Elan and Owen play some kickball


Gina and Inde played with bubbles.


Jake and Inde and Eyrin and sometimes Owen had several foot races.

Park arrived and we loaded up chairs and food and headed to the campsite. I think he was a little overwhelmed with the reality of 17 new people to learn. But he was so sweet and enthusiastic, I think our week is going to be a blast.
On the way to the campsite, Carl was laying in wait to show me something. More on that later on, you just have to wait like everyone else.


Park wasted no time in jumping into the fray.

After the hot dog and s'mores fest, everyone headed back to the house. I stayed behind to make sure the fire was burned out.
After I moved that huge log over to one cleaned-off side of the pit, the rest burned through pretty quickly and when I headed back, there were just some coals going.
Still, I ran down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see any sign of a blaze left. It was all dark over yonder.


Several kids watched a movie together


In the shop downstairs, the big kids have set up 5 hammocks and a big inflatable mattress.
It's after midnight, so it's Britney's 15th birthday! We heard them all SCREAM when it turned 12, I hope they settle soon!
Jake came up and went to bed already, he's on the couch upstairs with us.
I am kind of glad, he can take over a room and I don't know that Ben gets all the interaction he would like if Jake is there.

Everything is going SO well, I am glad it was this group who worked out to fill the 18 slots Park had. The moms are all laid-back, the kids all get along very well, Inde and Eyrin play together great and the mix has been perfect. All the little things that are going to pop up sharing a house have been worked through with basic good humor, we have laughed so much, it seems like as I pass through the house, in every corner someone is laughing and everyone is talking.

This evening, Amanda was holding her baby and telling a story about something that had happened recently. She was gesticulating and every time she would do a big hand motion, he would crack a gummy smile and just wave and wave in that adorable baby whole-arm way.

WEDNESDAY