Father's day came and went, and apparently, I'm still being recognized by my family as the father, as they gave me gifts. Ashlyn, as usual, created something special in the form of a "Candy Bar Poster", and without any coaching from others, she correctly identified me as her "Sugar Daddy" when it came to "Payday". She also worked in a "Mr. Goodbar", "Big Hunk", and "Three Musketeers". It was really quite creative, and she insists that the "Dum Dums" were not intended to be read as commentary, but only as to their shape as exclamation points.
The next event of note would be Girl's Camp, which in spite of no longer being the Young Women's President, Cari found a way to be a part of. Never one to pass up a social event, she went for the whole enchilada, and got to experience Abby's first year with her. Fun was had by all, and according to Cari and Abby, the 100's of hours of preparation and planning were worth it in the end.
As June wound down, and July spun up, Cari and Mary Zollinger (Jeff's Wife) decided it was the perfect opportunity for a family gathering. All of Jeff's kids were in town with their respective families, Mary's kid's were all here as well. Jack and Debbie, Blake and Nicole, Josh and his new wife Meagan, David and Anna were here with their kids, Glenn and Mary Ann, Paul, Cassie, and Thatcher, Mandi, Kempton and Jake put in appearances, Sue Lewis and her son Walter, various guest appearances by friends and extended family members of family, and Grandma Z supervised the whole thing. All told, there were about 60 people milling about in our back yard. Basketball and badminton were main stays, and water balloon volleyball got some attention as well, but the main attraction was the 25 feet high by 50 feet long inflatable water slide. If you haven't ever seen one, it is not something to be taken lightly. Just because it is filled with air doesn't mean it can't be dangerous. There are ways to use it that make the bouncy parts hurt. For instance, if you jump face first down the ramp, and miss the ramp completely, you could, in theory, tear something in your shoulder. Not to mention the humiliation that comes from having small children pointing and laughing when you don't slide, but rather splat. (I'm giving my shoulder a few more weeks before I agree to have it surgically repaired.) Lot's of good food was consumed, and with only one known exception, the water slide was very popular.
The next event was Addison turning 19. Technically, that occurred before the July 4th festivities, but since Cari refuses to merge parties and risk not having as many as possible, somehow Addison was relegated to the day after the big blowout in the back yard. He received items that can be used on his mission, or used immediately without risk of bodily injury. His disappointment was not noticeable, but it might be the first time he got more useful items than frivolous ones. I believe that marks the beginning of adulthood.
For Cari, Mandi, Abby, Ashlyn and Kempton, the summer has consisted of several short excursions to parks, arcades and various entertainment destinations, while Jake has been working as a medical intern and I've been pursuing "Justice for All". Jake and I have found a few opportunities to play golf, several trips to Driggs and Victor to try the golf courses of the rich and famous, but otherwise, just the home course as often as possible.
My most recent golf took place in Pittsburgh, PA last week. I went with a couple of Rexburg Police officers for some training, and convinced them to take golf clubs along. Someone might have warned me that if the temperature is 95+ and the humidity is too, the golf is officially a water sport. I am going to be far less critical of those PGA guys who are sweating so profusely on TV. It's not always about being fat and overweight, sometimes it really is just hot and humid. Otherwise, Pittsburgh is a very interesting city. They have the worst roadway system of any large city I've ever seen, and yet they manage to move people in and out with efficiency. Very courteous compared to Idaho and Utah drivers. The other activity we took in while there, involved a baseball game followed by a Steve Miller Band concert. The concert was good, and was clearly the draw that filled the stadium, as the Pirates are truly no good.
Plans for the upcoming weeks include getting Addison ready to leave on his mission to Riverside, CA as a Spanish speaker (Mandi thinks he should memorize Preach My Gospel, the standard works, and learn Spanish this month, but Addison wants to work on making arrangements for his prize possessions to be protected while he is away.) We will also be getting Jake sent back to school, with Mandi and Kempton staying on for a few extra weeks to attend Jake's brother's wedding at the end of August.
Alex has started to wonder what life after mission holds in store for him. He is asking me to do things like register him for school, find him a job, and figure out how he can pay for college. The bad news is he doesn't need to register until after he gets home, so he can do it himself. I don't have any idea what type of work he can do while in school, so he will have to work that out after he gets home, and I fear the bad news on how he pays for college is mine, I'll be paying. We're just anxious to have him home. The two months without either Alex or Addison is seeming a little forlorn, but I'm sure we'll get through it. At least their respective going and coming will provide for blog fodder.