Monday, June 23, 2008

Carbon Hill Homecoming 2008

Photo courtesy of Shortcake

Today is a sad day for Shortcake. Since last year she has asked repeatedly when her carnival would be returning. She was over the moon excited, so excited in fact that I thought her head was going to explode, when she first saw the carnival rides were finally up and running during the middle of last week. Given the transient nature of the carnival experience, however, she’s once again entered into a dark place when we found all but a few of the attractions off the premises during our walk today. She’s not quite got a full grasp on her temporal concepts so she’s been walking around the house saying, “That’s okay. The carnival will be back tomorrow”. I tried explaining to her the difference between tomorrow and next year, but frankly I think she’s in some kind of state of denial because she’s just not buying it.

This year was a much different experience for me in that Punkin was old enough to do more than just sit in the stroller as her older sister took part in all the fun. Knowing that this year would be slightly more challenging than last I purposely waited until Friday night to take the girls to the park. My mom and dad joined us, and the extra set of hands definitely made waiting two worth it. It didn’t take Punkin long to start protesting from her seat, wanting out to take an active part in the festivities, so I was thankful that there was at least one other adult there to divide and conquer.

Shortcake’s favorite ride last year was the train, and it was the first she wanted to ride again this year. She wasn’t quite as obsessed with riding it over and over again like last year and frankly I thought she’d be incredibly bored with it, but she didn’t seem to mind. Always the wild card, I wasn’t sure what Punkin’s reaction would be. She’s one that seems gung-ho for adventure but when it comes to go-time she often folds in fear. I was most concerned that she wouldn’t sit for the ride, but she handled it well. Not like falling from a train moving .5 miles per hour would have done major damage but still.

After the train we took the girls down the big slide. Holy cow, was that thing fun. My mom took Shortcake and I rode with Punkin, and Dad claimed that no matter how exciting the ride was it was way more fun watching the girls’ faces as they come down the slick slide. He reported that Shortcake looked scared to death until almost the end and Punkin loved the whole thing. We hadn’t even come to a full stop before Punkin started waving her arms, shouting, “More! More!”. Interestingly enough, The General took both girls down the slide on Sunday afternoon and their reactions were just the opposite:

Does it make me a terribly mean mother to laugh hysterically at my youngest child’s apparent fear every time I look at this picture? Because honestly, this photo cracks me up.

Shortcake also rode the merry-go-round and bumper boats, both of which Punkin was forced to watch from the sidelines. By the time we got to the bumper boats on Friday night she had a full tummy (as evidenced by the melted nacho cheese covering her face here), so she was content to sit as a bystander and wave at her sissy.

Our last ride on Friday night was the elephants, and I wasn’t sure if either girl would ride without me. They both handled it so well that by Sunday I set them loose together.
Like we’ve done every year since moving here, we also had a cookout/fireworks viewing get together with friends on Sunday night. When we first moved to the The Hill we had been married one year, as had most of our friends, and none of us had children. Now, there are usually anywhere from six to ten little ones that join us. It makes for a very different kind of celebrating, if you know what I mean. Being that almost half of the crowd was nursing some serious hangovers didn’t help matters either.

Most of Sunday night was spent chasing after kids, breaking up minor skirmish, and taking pictures of their random cuteness.

There were wagon rides…



…lightning bug hunting and investigating…

...cookie eating...

…and games like Ring Around the Roses and London Bridge.

Watching the six of these kids interact just cracks me up. Some of us (the parents of these munchkins) have been friends since about the age that our kids are now, while others met just after high school. It was been so much fun raising our kids and watching them grow up together, and it’s crazy to think what life will be like as we continue to watch them grow over the years. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe how much we’ve all grown up until I look at pictures like this and think, “Holy crap, I guess we really aren’t eighteen anymore”.

Punkin, Bean, Pete, Texas Ranger, Shortcake, Walker – see how much they’ve grown!

One of the many hopes I have for our girls is that they’ll continue to maintain these friendships that they are forming now - lifelong friends are something that should always be cherished. They’re the people who will not only understand who you are as a person but also remind you of where you come from, and friendships like that are priceless.


jen said...

iiiifykkkklmmnaaaaaaaadghjkkkkkkkk (Peanut says it looks like you had fun at the carnival) EMILY (that was she said, supposed to be I love you but, we can all see she's found the letters in her name--and caps lock). What FUN you guys had!!

chief's wife said...

That Pete - what a heartbreaker he will be someday!!!

Chief says that he needs a new blog name, like Viper, or maybe even Maverick. Pete is too ordinary.

The General said...

There is an inside joke to the name "Pete".

The Mrs. said...

Yes, Pete is a nickname that was chosen long before this blog. Before Pete's mom & dad were married even.

On a trip home from Table Rock Lake, the subject of baby names came up. Pete was one of his dad's top picks for a boy's name, much to the dismay of his mom. We all picked up on that (plus the way Pete's dad said it was hilarious) and that was that.

When we found out Pete's mom was pregnant we decorated a onesie for a then three week old Shortcake that said "Can't wait to meet Pete - 2005".

He is a cutie, isn't he?


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