California Summer 2017

September 29, 2017 on 10:47 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

After last Thanksgiving’s horrible drive home, we decided to do our California visit in the summertime this year.  We went the first week of August.

We even decided to do something brave.  We left very early in the morning – before the sun came up!  We tried this years ago and all that happened was that we had cranky tired kids because they didn’t go back to sleep after we put them in the car.  This time we got a tender mercy – they all fell asleep and slept for a couple of hours!  It was so nice.

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The boys are really quite good travelers.  They seem to get along and aren’t too bad about “are we there yet?”  Having a movie on definitely helps, too!

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Grandma Jeanne got a new piece of exercise equipment and the boys took a lot of turns on it.  We had to remind them “just one at a time” frequently!  They’d go fast and come off red faced and other times just mosey along while watching tv.

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Rusty declared himself Grandpa Brent’s seatbelt!

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Our only “plan” for this vacation was a day at the beach.  We like experimenting with different beaches, so this time we ended up at Seal Beach.  There is a long dock/pier there that we took a walk along and watched the fishermen.  One man didn’t seem really thrilled with his catch and was signalling that he needed some help.  We stopped to see what was happening and he pulled up a ray!  It took him a few minutes, be he finally got the hook out and released it back into the ocean.  The boys thought that was cool!

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Seal Beach was all about the waves.

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It was definitely not a swimming beach but a wave jumping beach.

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It wasn’t very crowded and the weather was perfect.

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Some of us sit and dig in the sand more than we play in the water.

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Rusty would be one of those.

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I like going to the beach with this guy …

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We had some boogie boards this time and they worked great with all those waves!

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Ricky was in the water pretty much the entire time.

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Bobby was fascinated with collecting shells.

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Sigh.  I love them.

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Never turn your back on the ocean!

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Billy was in boy heaven!

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To say they had a good time would be an understatement.

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I choose not to worry as much by making the younger three wear life jackets.

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Bobby couldn’t really boogie board, but he thought he was a big kid, too!

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We had a picnic lunch in between the fun.  I handed Rusty his sandwich and he looked at it very critically then said, “Why is there a plant in it?”  Apparently, I need to put lettuce on his sandwiches more often!

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Couldn’t wait to get back to that ocean …

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The big boys are so good at watching over their littlest brother.

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I love a good pier!

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I love these goofballs, too!

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Family beach picture!

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Another shot of the ray…

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The next day we dressed up, ate lunch with Aunt Sheri, left the youngers with her, and took Ricky to the Redlands Temple to do some baptisms for the dead with family names.  I took a turn being dunked as well.  It was fun doing it together!

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Love you, Aunt Sheri!

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The rest of our trip was pretty much devoted to Grandpa Brent’s pool.

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And some game playing.

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My boys are fans of the water!

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They get that from Kevin.

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I enjoy the beach and pools, but I am just as content people watching from the side rather than actually getting wet.  Maybe more so.

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But I make an effort to get wet – for the boys’ sake.

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Bobby pretty much ruled the hot tub area.  It was his private pool.

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Grandpa Brent came out to play and the boys loved that!

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We went to a buffet for dinner one night.

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Some good food and good conversation and good company.

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We always wish our visits could last longer!

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But duty calls and we have to head home.  We tried leaving before sunrise again …

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And the boys slept again!

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It was so nice to have a peaceful and easy drive home!  No snow or ice this year!  We got home and unpacked and ate dinner at our own kitchen table!  Not only was the vacation fabulous but it ended on a fabulous note, too!

Parent Get-away

September 26, 2017 on 9:19 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Sometimes the parents need to get away and rejuvenate.  Kevin and I were at that point.  This year we chose San Diego as our destination.

In our effort to not be away from the children for too long, yet still have three days to play, we left very early on a Thursday morning.
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Our first stop was Old Town San Diego.   
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While there, we went through the Mormon Battalion Museum.  It is more of an experience than a museum, but it is a really well done experience!  I had a great-something grandpa who was in the Mormon Battalion, so it was extra moving for me to experience.

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Old Town has lots of fun little shops to peruse through.  This picture earned us several dirty looks!  Apparently there were posted “our hats are for purchasing, not trying on and taking picture in” signs that I totally missed!

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Another shop had about 100 varieties of root beer for sale!  We got root beer floats and they WERE dang good!

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Kevin visited with a blacksmith in the blacksmith shop and we looked at tin projects and rocks and gems.  It was fun window shopping around, but it was really hot.  When we couldn’t quite handle the heat any more, we went for lunch at the Tequila Factory.

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The food was good, however at one point, Kevin pointed out a lovely cockroach creeping along the wall of our booth!  I blew it away, but it kind of put a damper on the experience!

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Next we headed to Belmont Park and Mission Beach.  I have wanted to ride the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster there for years!  The early days of roller coasters fascinate me (people were super crazy to ride them then!) and this one was built in 1925.  It was an excellent ride!

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We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon getting some vitamin “sea.”  We rented a couple of beach chairs and jumped the waves and people watched.

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We did dinner at Draft Bar and Grill right on the beach which was a fun way to eat.  Then we started driving up the coast a little on our way to the hotel.  We stopped at La Jolla and walked along the walkway.  We enjoyed time watching the water spout up.  It isn’t quite a blowhole, but it is close.  
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There is something so peaceful about the watching the ocean…
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And watching the sunset over the ocean is even more peaceful.

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It was such a good way to slow down and rejuvenate.  I’ve had a crazy couple of years and Kevin’s work never seems to stop, so we both needed a de-stresser and this evening at the beach was a perfect start!

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La Jolla has a big colony of sea lions who hang out there.  This rocky outcrop is covered with them!  I took the picture without all the people who were climbing out there to try and pet or at least get an upclose picture of them.

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As cute as they are, I know they are still wild animals and I did not want to see one attack.

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One many was within inches of petting a baby that was laying right next to its sleeping mother!  Crazy people!  We stayed a respectable distance away.

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I am so glad Kevin and I were able to go on this vacation … and it was just starting!

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We stayed in at the Lake House Hotel and Resort in San Marcos.  It is right on San Marcos Lake and had such a fun atmosphere.  We felt like we were in a sleepy village, not a busy Southern California town.

We took advantage of the man-made lake and went kayaking on Friday morning.

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The whole lake is just a mile or two long and we paddled to the dam and back.  It was quiet and beautiful.

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The whole purpose of the afternoon was to chill by the pool.  As parents of 5 boys, we never get to just nap or sit by a pool – we are constantly counting to 5 and making sure no one is drowning!  Kevin napped and I wrote in my journal.  We did some swimming and then some drying off and swimming again.  It has been SO long since we had a pool day like that!

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Since we got all rested up by the pool, Kevin decided to take a swing at the free bucket of balls we got as part of our room package…

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We got some dessert at the onsite bar and restaurant and sat talking as we watched the sun set on the lake.
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Then we sat by a bon fire by the pool until we were so sleepy, we just had to go to bed!

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Saturday we knew was our last morning and it was a little sad to leave our little resort!

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We drove back to San Diego and enjoyed the view of the temple while we ate a light breakfast.

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We get each other forever because of the temple.  Pretty cool.

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Our big plans for Saturday were back in La Jolla.  We were going on a kayaking and snorkeling adventure.

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We rented a Go-Pro camera for the adventure so we wouldn’t risk our phones.

 

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We also got wet suits.  I’ve never worn one before.  It was cozy!

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We were ready for the adventure!

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The Go-Pro took some getting used to how to take pictures, but I managed to get a few fun shots.

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We rowed out to these sea caves and then we got to swim inside one of the caves and do some snorkeling.

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Mostly we saw these orange fish.  They are the California State Salt Water Fish – Garibaldi.  Supposedly their orange color comes from excreting urine through their skin.  Yummy.

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Hello!

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More garibaldi…

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There were other fish.  Here is a school of something, but they weren’t as easy to photograph.

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Kevin was in charge of the camera while we snorkeled.  He always takes the best pictures of me!

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It was a couple’s get-away, so we snorkeled together …

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I love adventuring with him!

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So after we snorkeled and paddled back to the correct beach, we got to surf the waves back to shore.  Because the company we used has to keep people safe and are dealing with all sorts of experience levels, they have employees out there trying to help you.  Here was our “back to shore helper”…

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I think he actually just got in our way.

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Maybe it was an employee helping to launch a different kayak that got in our way.  Our paddling was impeded because we would have hit the man and that seemed like a bad idea.  I turned on the G0-Pro as we came in.  It got turned around, but you can still get the idea of what happened.  See it HERE.

I actually felt like that was the best part of the whole adventure!  Woo-hoo!!

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Golly, I love him!

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We asked for recommendations for lunch and ended up at The Cheese Shop.  It was a cute little sandwich place and I’m pretty sure it was the older guy owner who was helping me.  He was adamant that I try his flourless oatmeal cookies.  Good sandwiches.  Good cookies.


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We had a little bit of time to spare, so we drove along coast a bit more and ended up at some cliffs where there were a bunch of paragliders.  It was amazing to watch these people just trusting the wind!  They just stepped off the cliffs and soared into the air!  Kevin must have all those pictures on his phone because I know he took a bunch.

We did hike down the gazillion stairs to the beautiful beach at the bottom of the cliffs.  We only stayed a few minutes.

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Then it was over.  It was time to head to the airport and come back to the world of responsibility.

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It was hard to be away from the boys for 3 days (thanks Grandmama for watching them!), but it was totally worth it.  We need these adventures together to keep us close and give us happy memories for the hard days.  
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I strongly recommend all couples get away once in a while!

Summing up July

September 22, 2017 on 8:38 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Let’s wrap up July …

On the rare occasion, you can get a spot so comfy that all 3 cats need to join you.  Can you spot all 3?

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Billy, Ricky, and Bobby had their turns doing Ogden Nature Center camps.  While we waited to pick up Billy from his camp, we explored a bit.  The bigger boys put on a puppet show for Bobby…

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It was a super hot day and when we got there at 3:30 pm, we were the first visitors (other than the summer camp kids) to be there all day.  We melted!

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Doesn’t everyone need to wear an orange belt once in a while?

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We went to Pizza Pie Cafe to celebrate Ricky’s birthday.  Bobby felt a half-Nelson was a good way to pass the time as we waited for our table…

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One hot day, we killed an hour in the air conditioning at the arcade.  It was the first time there for several of the boys and they thought it was great!

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Frogger may have given me fits!  I just couldn’t get that last frog all the way across!

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Another picture of soldier Tommy …

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And a screen shot from the video of Billy so proudly ringing the gong!  Oh, I love it!

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This cat is cute and sweet and sometimes just wants to lovingly nibble on my fingers.  It doesn’t hurt and is very strange.

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The primary chorister sent me this picture of Billy.  They played some sort of musical game and he got to be a bandit.  This kid cracks me up!

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Another hot day at Lagoon!  This time is was just too hot.  We were done earlier than planned, but not before a plane ride …

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Tommy is coming to get them …

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The merry-go-round is only really fun if you get an animal that goes up and down.  If you don’t, you have to stand in line a second time so that you CAN get an animal that goes up and down.  Just letting you know.

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Waiting in the shade for the train…

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He won’t fit on these boats much longer …

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I was stopped more than once, by men and women, and complimented on my shirt that day at Lagoon.  I realized as I tried to not think it weird, that we live in a sad world.  We live in a place where everyone is always fighting and trying to be something they think they need to be.  Yes, we should always be aiming to be a better version of our self, but our self is enough.  I hope to let my boys know that they are special and what they do is enough!

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We were invited to a local pond to celebrate the littlest Buck’s birthday.  There was cake and friends and feeding the ducks!

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I guess we should go feed the ducks more often because the boys thought it was a grand idea!

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(shh – I think Kevin quite liked it, too)

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Sigh.  We sure live in a great place and are very, very blessed!

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There you go.

Grandmama turned 75

September 21, 2017 on 9:30 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

In the spring, I knew that I needed to throw my mom a birthday party this summer. She turned 75 in July and needed to be celebrated.

The boys help deliver invitations and Ricky helped me make some desserts.

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We invited many of Mom’s friends and family to come celebrate and we had a big dessert table set up.  Throw in some balloons and a family dinner and you have a party!

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My sister and I figure about 75 people came and showed Mom some love.  Goal accomplished!

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Some pictures were in order.  Mom with her granddaughters and with all the men in the family…


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Then a line up of Mom with her kids…

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My sister wanted the 75 in the background, so we had to pose again!

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Somehow we missed taking a picture of everyone all together.  I guess we will just have to do it for the 76th birthday next year!

Teenaged Ricky

September 20, 2017 on 12:30 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Ricky turned 13 in July.  We have entered the world of having teenagers.  People have tried to scare us about it, but so far it hasn’t been bad.

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Ricky really is a good kid.  He just wants to be kind and good and he experiences his most frustration when others are not being kind.  Well, he USUALLY wants to just be kind to his brothers.  There are 4 of them!

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Ricky loves animals and reading.  He likes to make up stories and games and constantly has some sort of imaginary thing going on in his head.  Occasionally, he will be muttering to himself and when we ask what he’s saying, Ricky responds, “oh, just telling myself a story.”

He loves animals so much that sometimes he is running late because he was too busy petting a cat or talking to a bird or looking at a rabbit.  He is particularly fond of small and fluffy animals!

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Ricky is a good student and does well at school.  He knows how to get his school work done and does a good job on it.  He likes the library best at school and can be found there most lunch periods.

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Ricky is a kid who understands.  When corrections need to be made, he and I can talk about why I’m frustrated with him and why I’m changing his course and, while he might grimace at me, but he listens.  He’s caught on to the fact that I really, really hate when the boys complain about dinner.  If we are eating something he doesn’t like, Ricky will often comment, “thanks for making dinner, Momma!” or “yum!  this looks delicious!”  I know what he’s doing, but it still feels nice.

And that is Ricky.  Nice.  There really isn’t a mean bone in his body.

Golly, I love him!

 

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