Thursday, August 5, 2021

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We've watched shows I've never shown other grandchildren before.  Big hit.

Steve cooked Jeff breakfast again.

I offered Jeff a drink left by a previous visitor.  He said, "Yes, but could you put it on ice?"  Being raised in the home of my father, this is what I thought he meant.  I'm not sure if everyone was laughing at the bottle or at me, but something was definitely very funny.

With no time to waste, we were down the stairs to play Extreme Calvin Ball as soon as possible.

We played several very competitive games.  This has been so much fun for me.

Then we were off to the pool.  Steve did his "throw kids in the air" trick for quite some time.

Kyle worked on making the biggest splash possible.

He got me wet, if that counts.

Adele was fine at the pool, but came home and was not fine.  She slept for awhile and woke up feeling great.  Tonight when I showed her this picture, she thought it was from yesterday.  

Steve could throw Lewis in the air for an hour and it wouldn't be enough turns.

Steve's family brought an escape puzzle.  Today was the day to escape with it.  I helped a little.

So did Lewis.

Janet, Kyle and Camille made crepes for lunch.

Some of us had cookies for dessert.

Steve joined us in a game of ECB.  We modified the rules again.  Hitting in the cue ball is now just a table scratch -- no forfeit of the ball in the pocket.  Steve liked playing with two cue balls.

It was fun playing against Steve -- Kyle and I had a good time.

Just Steve and I played the third game.  Steve had both the dark swirls and the stripes while I was light squirrels, and I was still losing pretty badly.  Fortunately Jeff returned in time to step in and play for me.  "I" still lost, but at least it wasn't brutal.

Camille returned from an outing.  She and Lewis showed me a few acrobatic tricks.  This was exciting.

Camille fed the fish.  They like her.  She likes them.  Then she and Lewis raced to the pond and fed the koi for Papa.

I was impressed when I saw the beautiful soap Camille made while she was out.  She made some for Adele, too.

Thai food was a fun meal tonight.  Perhaps I should have suggested this earlier in the trip.  Next time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Inari Zushi

I loved seeing Jeff at my breakfast table this morning.

Matt joined us for breakfast, although he did not have a freshly-made bagel.

Melanie is making the most of visiting relatives.

Lewis and I got an early start on puzzles.  The conversation around us turned to puzzle boxes. I thought I had some.

While my puzzles weren't technically puzzle boxes, they did occupy people for a long time, and I lost my puzzle partner.

Before taking Melanie to campus, I invited everyone to visit the Paleontology Museum.  Two accepted.  We had a great time!  Lewis and Camille tried to lift a bone with no success.

I thought we had the museum to ourselves until Camille was captured!

Lewis fought back.

We talked about my favorite dinosaur, the Pteranodon.  

Camille taught me that herbivore dinosaurs had flat teeth.

Carnivore dinosaurs could tear their food with their teeth.

We stopped at my favorite grocery store to get milk and a few other items.  These two did all the work.

Matt met me at the door.  He and Kyle had enjoyed cataloging Magic cards his mother's brother had given him.  The cards in his hands were worth five digits.  I was nonplussed and asked if anyone would really pay that much money for Magic cards.  Off to the side, Steve admitted that there were many.  The uncle has asked for a percentage.

I enabled painting today.

Camille has enjoyed working with my watercolor pencils.  I love this tiny teapot, and I love her painting of it.

Adele tried her hand with the watercolor pencils.

The beauty of her artwork truly impressed me.

Emergency meatballs came together pretty quickly, which is the whole idea behind this meal.  Kyle passed through the kitchen and saw me making inari zushi,  He stopped and told me that he remembered that he liked them a lot!

Steve's family was gone all afternoon.  They returned with Cafe Rio.

Then it was time for the pool!

Notice Adele can jump without holding her nose.  I'm very proud of her.  This was a hard thing to learn.

Kyle is strong enough to jump high from his dad's shoulders, but I'm not sure Steve is strong enough to do this more than a few times.  It was pretty funny.

Camille is very graceful when she flies through the air.

Before leaving the pool, Steve fed the koi for Ben.  It was a beautiful night.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia

A change in our early routine this morning involved Dora the Explorer.  Adele and Lewis think DS9 might be a little too scary.  I sang the map song with them.

Camille and I worked side by side.  She made her famous granola bars.

This turned out extremely well.

Her siblings knew what to expect and asked for more.

After learning that Lewis does not like cookies with nuts, I chose to make cookies without walnuts.  Lewis was delighted.

Kyle arrived in the kitchen with a t-shirt from the Kyle Fire Department.  This was hilarious to me.  We visited the Kyle Fire Department during a family reunion in Texas eleven years ago. My memory is that the firemen were very pleased to meet Kyle.  They gave him a variety of items with the name of the fire department.  The t-shirt now fits Kyle and we've laughed about this all day.

I found a photograph.

I also found this. I offered it to Adele for coloring, but Papa declared the coloring book an heirloom.

In no time, Kyle, Camille and I were playing Extreme Calvin Ball.  Camille soon became known as "Camille, the sniper."

Camille and Kyle came up with a better way to rack balls.

On our last game, Camille felt as though her balls were jinxed because they wouldn't go in the pockets.  I, on the other hand, seemed to have no trouble hitting her balls in.  This game was close, but Kyle ultimately hit in that 8-ball.

Many events can be crammed into a morning when the starting hour is 5.  Kyle demonstrated perfect form as he performed a cannonball.

Camille and Lewis jumped together.

This perfect handstand is by Camille.

Adele told her dad that she couldn't swim well underwater because she needed one hand to hold her nose.  He gave her several challenges.  She successfully worked on each one while Steve coached.

Within about 15 minutes, Adele was swimming across the width of the pool with her face in the water.  I was impressed!

We met at K's Kitchen at noon.

I was invited to sit at the fun table, also known as the quiet section.

Matt and Steve accepted the curry challenge.

There had been some concern at my table about the menu.  While I think these children are adventurous eaters, they were not happy at the prospect of potential slimy eggs.  Or possible scallions.  The proprietor and I helped them order food they enjoyed, such as these potato appetizers, which were a big hit.

William, from the other table, shared some gyoza with Lewis.  One was enough, as it turned out.  When Lewis's meal came, he ate every bite.

So did Camille.

Notice:  Not a bite of food is left in Adele's bowl.

Meanwhile, Matt was ready to tackle his challenge.

There are many secrets to successfully meeting the challenge.  One is not eating the food while it's burning your mouth.  The proprietor warned them not to drink too much water, as well.

Sadly, they did not finish in the required 15 minutes.  They were both disappointed.  But it was great fun, and the entire restaurant applauded for them.

After lunch, four of us walked to the Asian store just a few blocks away.  Melanie and I both have a weakness for Japanese dishes, and now Adele and Camille do, too.

Back at the ranch, we found Kyle, Steve and Matt playing Magic.

Melanie went straight to the piano.

Lewis and I worked on a puzzle.  He's great.  I need to do more of this tomorrow.

Our family knows about the warning to never get involved in a land war in Asia.  Or to never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

But did Steve heed my warning to never play Blink with Melanie?


Maybe this wasn't the best day for Steve.

He did win the next game, and they were happy to call it even.

Even with so much going in the house, Camille found time to finish her art project from yesterday.

I am impressed!

Meanwhile, Kyle and Melanie worked on applied math.  Matt joined them long enough to realize he didn't want to be in the room.

That worked for Camille and me.  We taught him how to play Extreme Calvin Ball.

Adele and her menagerie cheered us on.

It turns out that Matt does not like nuts in cookies.  How did I not know this?  Matt and Lewis bonded over decadent dark chocolate chip cookies and milk.

To top off our day, Jeff showed up.  Melanie was thrilled to be able to spend time this summer with her dad and all his siblings. We are having a great evening.

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...