Improv Night and Birthday Oscars

My family got together last weekend for our yearly extended family camping trip.

One of our traditions is an Improv Night – when we entertain each other with skits we pull together at the last minute.

Each family brings an unmarked bag of 10 random items that we distribute one evening. Each family is then given about 15 minutes to pull together a skit using those items.

The results are hilarious!

This year – however – was different. But I didn’t learn that fact right away.

You see – my siblings used our annual Improv Night to surprise me for my 50th birthday. (I should have expected this – since I have a history of surprising my siblings on their 50th birthdays!)

I was very active in speech and drama in high school and have always been a bit disappointed that I was never given a lead role in any of the high school plays.

So this year – my family gave me the lead role in each of their skits.

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They just didn’t tell me.

After the kids and I did our skit – which was a true improv – using the special bag full of random geriatric items they gathered for us – I was called on to act in every other skit.

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Skits that were written in advance, with appropriate props and – not surprisingly – were full of family memories and embarrassing moments for yours truly.

There were certain “This is Your Life” kind of moments.

 

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And some wild “I can’t believe they are making me do this” kind of moments.

Each skit was different – I was handed a prop or a costume or both and given a few instructions.

16 06 18-M500- 32-6 (1)And I winged it.

Acting my heart out to tremendous applause and wild laughter!

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And when the final skit was over – they had me walk the red carpet and handed me a plastic imitation Oscar for my performances – before spraying me with silly string.

Because they love me.

I guess.

Hollywood here I come!

Or not.

After a career like mine, it might be time for retirement.

Camping Out

We had our annual family camp-out last week-end.

Some things were just as they always have been.

Same place. Same cabins.

Same crazy cousins.

11062036_641766872624360_7683822361446482283_nLots of food. Lots of laughter. Lots of bugs.

Silly skits. Long hikes. Creek wading.

 

11707864_641766742624373_6856625634784276110_nAnd of course – building the traditional dam.

But this year we added some things.

11707639_394625494063330_1521336144992824817_nLike a jumbo-sized Bananagrams on the lawn.

Works both your body and your brain. Super fun!

11705155_10204472132420898_1068057685658755025_nAnd we celebrated a niece’s upcoming wedding with a British high tea, complete with hats and gifts.

But the most exciting new addition –

11167975_10204472128100790_536776461216792350_nWe had not one, not two – but three new babies to play with!

Yes, three!

The third generation to join the fun.

Savoring the moments and making sweet memories.

Family.

VBS

This year’s VBS is now history.

What took weeks to plan and prepare for – was over in the blink of an eye.

We had drama.

11061979_10152874338071423_7271705925682164061_nAnd laughter.

And suspense.

And lots and lots of trench coats.

11665577_10152874339901423_3384670670926188579_nAnd we had music.

And silly games – both inside and out – because of course we had rain.

11693955_10152876094836423_6241233042329684299_nWe did crafts.

And got snacks from a crazy snack lady person.

And had an absolutely incredible group of volunteers – including some amazing teenage helpers and actors.

But most importantly –

11403497_10152876096531423_6818735480113891379_nWe had lots of precious children who heard about the One True God.

And that made every detail worth it.

Summer Memories

The weather is changing.

We’re digging out jeans and hoodies.

Math books replace video games.

IMG_20140909_123306_896Suddenly fall is here – the apples and pumpkins and pears are ripe.

But wait a minute! Where did summer go?

What happened to all those amazing blog posts that were floating in my head but never quite got written?

Like the one when Pedro and his sweetie went to the amusement park and he was so twitterpated that he forgot to secure his almost new iphone.

10155233_10204207406334835_52607616920929299_nThey found it in several pieces under the Tornado roller coaster.

That was a costly mistake.

Or the amazing posts about all my garden produce.

Green beans. Zucchini. Yellow squash. Cucumbers. Sweet corn. Melons. Tomatoes. Peppers. Kohlrabi. Lettuce. Radish. Broccoli.

And the one about my flower garden. Yes – I have a flower garden! With beautiful flowers that make my heart happy.

IMG_20140909_132032_352An actual garden – not just planters. And the sweetest rain gauge ever.

But those posts never got written.

And now summer is over.

Gone in a whirlwind of work and play.

Loads of laundry on the line.

Yummy meals on the grill.

Miles of lawn mowing.

997045_699086316851761_7600441534126401443_nAdventures with friends.

Hours in the garden, planting, weeding and harvesting.

Making memories with family.

County Fair then State Fair.

Hundreds of jalapeno poppers.

Good books on a hot summer afternoon.

But I blinked and it’s over.

Gone in a heart beat.

Packed to the brim and running over.

But it was all good, my friends. Really, really good.

Last Hurrah of Summer

We had one last hurrah of summer over Labor Day weekend.

One last weekend together with my family before the activities of the fall sucked us into it’s whirlpool.

10653704_699084826851910_2769751935112440105_nMy parents. Siblings. Spouses. Nieces. Nephews. Cousins.

Family.

Three generations under one roof.

Filling every minute. Squeezing out every bit of fun.

10665127_699086726851720_4637055652839721326_nTubing down the West Fork with cousins – twice.

Eating.

10698500_699086250185101_2754532246494617138_nHiking to the rock – twice.

Eating.

10414519_699084843518575_95587905122534132_nLaughing till our sides ached.

And eating some more.

10639453_284309921761555_8818700014860785146_nSitting on the porch watching the storm blow in – feeling the changes that were surely coming.

Remembering the past.

Relishing the present.

Anticipating the future.

Making hot sticky memories to enjoy all winter.

One last hurrah.