Oh Boy(s)!

"What is it like to have a house full of boys?"  It's a common question that we hear since we have five boys.  "There is never a dull moment", is usually the safest reply.  So, what do you think it is like to have a house full of TEN boys??  Yesterday we found out the answer:  it's pretty darn fun!  Our nephews, four from one family and one from another all came over yesterday.  (Jace--11, spent Friday night and the other four, Trevor (11), Jarred and Joel (7), and Trey (5) came out in the morning)  I don't think they had any idea what they were in for.  Just about as soon as they were all here and everyone else awake, we girls (myself, Mathilda and Amelia) left to take Mattie to meet my grandparents so she could go back to Scottsbluff for the week.  What were the boys going to do?  WORK.

We have a pasture that no longer serves as a grazing area for a horse, so now we have to mow it.  After it was mowed, it looked more like a hay field being harvested with windrows of cut grass piled high.  We let it dry out and have been taking it to the barn to bed the chickens.  There is a LOT of grass, so this has been no quick task, but when you get ten boys out there to pick it up, it goes a lot faster!  I wish I would have been here to take pictures.  They worked hard out there for more than two hours.  In addition to hauling hay, they helped mow and trim and pick up trash.  Amelia and I returned in time to fix everyone lunch, which was a welcome reason to stop working.  When it was all done, we decided we should make this a semi-annual event--clean up day at the Andreasen's.  They had a blast, and our yard looks better than it has all summer!

We told them before we started, "If we work hard, we'll get to play harder."  After lunch, we rounded up all the swim trunks and beach towels we could find and loaded everyone up to head to the pool.  When you live in a small town you get to sometimes do the fun small-town things like ride in the bed of the truck for the 2-mile drive on country roads.

Can you imagine what it is like when these 10 boys showed up at the pool?  I think a few heads turned and someone wondered if we were having a birthday party.  I remember one time having the four brothers with us one weekend and we were meeting their mom and dad at church.  They were a little late, so we walked in with our six at the time and the four nephews to a church that was not our own, nor theirs, so no one really knew us.  I could see the wondering eyes trying to do the math and figure out if they could all be ours.  (It is possible we decided with two sets of twins and a set of triplets.)  It amused me.  The best part of taking all of them yesterday is that they were all well-behaved. 

We girls got to have a little fun too.  :)

They're definitely "All-boy" boys. 

Snacks were necessary of course...throughout the day!

Now, I must admit that we didn't just plan this whole day.  It transpired from Tim's siblings having places to go and needing someone to care for their kids, so it made sense on a weekend to let the cousins all play together.  They (Tim's brother and sister) brought dinner out in the evening and we let the day turn into night while we enjoyed family.  One of our neices came too...home from college and off work.  It's amazing how fast time goes and now she's an adult and we don't get to see her as much!  We were so glad for her company.

Tim's family is all about food.  We enjoy eating and it draws us together.  It is almost comical how excited we all get about providing, preparing and then consuming.  Last night they brought out pizza and bread...and chips and homemade guacamole and pico and cucumber salad and cookies and drinks and popcorn.  Tim and I thought that we would be willing to keep their kids on a regular basis if this is what happened each time.  (Even without all the food we would do it if it meant that our families would get together).  We provided the space--and the s'mores. 

We were hoping to use the firepit, but with all the rain, it has been full of water and we didn't get it ready, so we toasted our marshmallows in the oven instead.  These weren't just your regular s'mores...we had Caramel Apple (Rolos and apple slices), Peppermint (York patties and chocolate chips), and Butterscotch (Butterscotch chips and White Chocolate chips).  The butterscotch ones were the favorite, but the caramel apple was a close second.

The kids played baseball outside and watched a movie.  We sat, all night in the kitchen and talked about...the Catechism of the Catholic Church!  (So glad we opened up those walls when we remodeled)  Jim and Tamera had gone to a retreat and took a little quiz, and wondered if we were up to the challenge of taking it. There was great conversation, because about every third or fourth question, we would begin a little tangent.  What a wonderful night!  We're looking forward to the next one!  Family...that's what it's all about.