"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer "Emergencies"

I thought I was really on top of things, despite "things" including finishing  my dissertation, planning a bathroom addition/kitchen remodel for when we're gone, taking care of the kids and house. But then the deadlines started approaching too rapidly, and it's been a little sprint to the finish here (with the sprinting still going on!).

In the midst of these emergencies, I started to realize another emergency, namely, that we hadn't done any of the fun summer activities we like to do with our kids here in Jersey. With only a few weeks before we leave for the marathon midwestern trip, it seemed like a now or never situation. The kids had been SOOOO looking forward to these things; we just couldn't put them off anymore, even with a pressing dissertation deadline and the need to order cabinets or whatever.

First, the zoo. We go to Turtleback Zoo all the time since we're members there, but we hadn't been there since the kids got their $5 each in the mail from Grandpa and Nana. And the girls were DYING to get their faces painted. (Jeff and I don't normally pay for face-painting...seems like a waste of money to us!) As you can see below, the boys opted out of the face-painting.

 On the 4th, my grandkids Bernice and Benjamin (below) and Sally and Sebastian (not pictured) got dressed up in special patriotic clothes.
 We decided to go fossil hunting - yeah!!! We haven't been since last summer, and we've been longing to go.
 Here's the crew walking down to the Big Brook Creek.
 The water was a little deeper than usual because of all the recent rain.
 Robert did NOT like the experience because he was relegated to Dad's back (and then Mom's front), unable to play in the water (the creek bed has some broken glass - not a good place for a baby).
The girls got stuck in the mud once or twice.
 Patrick, who had fallen asleep on the way (despite it only being 9:30 a.m.!!!), threw a huge tantrum and insisted on Dad holding him.
Maia found a squid fossil almost immediately. But alas, it was not a great fossil hunting day. The boys made it most impracticable to be digging in the dirt. And there was a lot of silt from all the recent rain. So our stay lasted less than an hour - a record low. And only a few fossils, alas!

Jeff had been promising the kids a meal at the Rainforest Cafe, so after getting cleaned up from all the mud, and having a little downtime at the house, we headed out to eat. And the kids had a great time.

 The next day (Friday the 5th), we went to the shore. It was our first time of the year for beach season.
 It was Robert's first time there. He seemed to enjoy the sand.
 Jeff and I managed to find some awesome shark teeth fossils in the sand right at the water line. Jeff found the one on the right; it's the largest specimen that we've found here in New Jersey. I found the one at bottom left in the first scoop of the sieve. It was right on top! Our better fossil hunting success at the beach begs the question as to whether we should bother going to the creek... the beach is a better spot for the boys, it's not so muddy, fossils are aplenty (perhaps because of Hurricane Sandy and the sand turn-over), and - since it's not an official fossil-hunting site - there's no limit to how many you can keep!
 There is, however, a rule that sandcrabs have to stay at the beach. So I was a little surprised that the two in the shell above hitched a ride home with us. I knew they were in the cupholder of the beach chair, but I thought I had dumped all that sand out. I guess I hadn't. Unfortunately, despite the kids enthusiasm for having "pet sandcrabs," they died within a few hours of being removed from their natural habitat.

 Sunday brought an expedition to Princeton University, and an attempt at tiger-riding.

 The large cement cone was a great place for the kids to act out Narnia. In the above photo Patrick is Azlan, lying dead on the stone table, with Maia playing the wicked witch having just killed him.
 Last stop before getting ice cream at Halo Pub was the Wilson Center fountain.

And now, at least those fun summer emergencies have been resolved.

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