Sunday, July 08, 2007

What a Weekend!

Jon's Hebrew teacher invited his whole class (all 6 of 'em) to come to their house this Saturday to celebrate the 4th. They live on Lake Latonka in Mercer, PA. We decided to go for it even though it would be another late night for the boys but sometimes making memories overrules sticking to bedtimes. It was free fun!

Their house is about an hour from our house so we drove out there after the boys got up from their naps. We decided to let them sleep longer than normal since we knew they would be up super late. Being at the lake was much like being

at the cottage except the water was much warmer. The boys haven't been swimming as much as we would like in their lifetime so it still takes them a little bit to warm up to the idea of swimming--especially for Isaac. After about 20 minutes they were having a grand time. Jon took both the boys out in a kayak (see pics) which they loved. It made me as nervous as standing in front of a rattlesnake--I kept having flashes of it tipping over. The boys did very well following all the directions and sitting still in the kayak. Whew! I loved being in the water and feeling lighter. I gotta find a way to go swimming more during the week.

We went for a boat ride in the Richards' boat and that was very relaxing. Mr. Richards (or Captain Jack as we liked calling him) told us about the lake and gave us a tour. It seems like an awesome place to live. It is a private lake and it even has a community center with a "beach" and a park--a great place for families. Rosalee, Jon's Hebrew teacher, cooked some wonderful food and after dinner and dessert we went back out on the boat to go see the fireworks show from the lake. It was beautiful! That was the first time I have ever seen fireworks from a boat.

The boys really liked Captain Jack and he took to them too. The Richards have grandchildren but none of them live nearby. Captain Jack said multiple times, "they are so cute" or "thank you so much for bringing them, I need my grandkid fix". That is a picture of them below sitting with Captain Jack. He also let them drive the boat which scored him some extra points with the boys.

The two Africans from Jon's class came as well as Elias' roommate, Ferdinand, who joined us for dinner earlier this week.

Elias and Ferdinand told us they thought that the 4th of July celebration was very festive and they were surprised at how much people do for the holiday. They shared that in Kenya and Tanzania only Christmas is celebrated as long.

I am looking forward to more cultural conversations with them. When the topic of birth came up (I wish we could have talked longer about that!) Ferdinand told me that in Kenya women will put a towel with warm water on their stomachs after the baby is born to help remove the extra blood (lochia) and to help the stomach go back to its original size. I thought that was an interesting practice--especially when he said they keep applying the towel for a whole month!

We left the Richards' at 11pm and got home around midnight. Amazingly, the boys were pleasant the whole time we were there. No whining or fussing at all. I think they made up for it this morning when they were both crabby from a short night of sleep.

We decided to skip church this morning and had a relaxing day. One of our neighbors called this afternoon to see if we wanted to go swimming at his mom's house. Sure! We took the boys swimming and had a great time. Isaac was soooo much more comfortable in his swim vest that he wanted to just float in the water whereas before he would cling to me like a baby koala bear holding on to his mamma. When Isaac wanted to float by himself he would say, "Can I swim like a turtle?". Where he got this idea, I don't know but it sure was cute and I was proud of him for being brave and trying swimming a little on his own. Ewan was so comfortable in his swim vest the he was swimming all around the pool by himself. We were always nearby to get him but I was amazed at how well he was doing. His Mimi would be so proud. I realized that swimming around in a swim vest is very different than learning how to swim without any kind of flotation device but we will get there. For now this works and he is still learning the basics of kicking and holding his breath. We swam for almost 2 hours and Ewan was very sad to leave the pool. Thankfully it wore him out enough that I think bedtime will be a breeze tonight. Woo-hoo!

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