Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life and Fun: Fishing and Rodeos

Two of my favorite activities growing up in the Mid-West was fishing and rodeos. Although I haven't had the opportunity to fish this time, and probably won't due to a couple of reasons, my husband was able to take Ge Ge and Mei Mei out with our nephew to my uncle's pond. If you are not a fisherman, you may have heard that to catch fish you need to be quiet....hmm, Mei Mei only got to go a few times because being quiet is not something she excels at. Now put her in a room with people and she will make them all feel welcomed by chatting away with them. She was just in the wrong setting. 
Anyway, the kids had a great time and they did catch some ~ or at least they came back with some "fisherman's tales". 

Rodeos are something I really have enjoyed for sometime. The open space around the arena. The sounds of laughter from the crowd as the clown does his thing, the quiet respect as the flag is ridden out, the sound of hooves hitting the ground in full 'lope, the lariats whirling in the air and released to catch a calf, and the setting sun.
I had fun, even if Jie Jie almost pulled my hair out. She was scared of the clown and the loud announcements, but she did enjoy the horses and the cowboys(girls), especially one cowboy, her Uncle Runt ~ the pick-up man. He was working that rodeo, so the kids watched in awe as he roped a bull and pulled him out of the arena. 

The flag carried in.

Steer Wresting or what the cowboys call "Bulldoggin'" 

Uncle Runt ~ our favorite pick-up man.

The sunset over the arena. Love those mid-west sunsets.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life and Fun: Tearing Down Houses

My family is considered somewhat large for the American family. I have three sisters and a brother. They are all married and have children and even some grandkids now. When we get together we are quite the clan. You can only imagine what it was like for the fish fry we had with all my aunts and uncles and their children and grandchildren.

Most of my family live fairly close to my mother, so you can find them gathered just about every Sunday for lunch around one of the tables at Mom's. 

When someone in the family needs help and if you are near and able, you help out. It has always been like that. Thanksgiving was known as the "wood gathering" time. We'd all help Dad cut and bring in a load or two before the meal. This would be considered a chore if you were still living under his roof, but none of were at the time. When my parents re-sided their house, the family all came together and helped out. It's what my family does.

So, when we come to visit it is no different for us. One summer my husband helped take shingles off a roof to help my brother. Another summer we helped my parents re-panel a closet. Another summer we helped build my brother-in-law's large indoor arena. We grab hammers, pitch forks, or the spatula(help prepare the meals) and work alongside my siblings.

This summer was no different. My husband and son helped another brother-in-law build fence AND we all helped tear down a house. Yes, a whole house. Below are some photos of that summer project. I think we got it down in a few days. Guess it doesn't take too long when you have quite a few hands helping out. 
The house after my brother knocked it down.

A crew at work.

After the house was gone, the girls
had their own "work".

I love my family and the fact that we help each other out like this. It helps save them some money and bonds us together ~ and it helped us get over jet lag pretty quick since this was during our first weekend. 

What do you do as a family together? Any fond memories of helping each other out? Please comment below.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life and Fun: Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend was a few weeks ago, but I'm going to blog about it because 1. I am back in the US and 2. I was battling jet-lag at the time and sinus infection since then. 

I haven't been "home" for Memorial Weekend for at least a decade now. I was sick that weekend, so I wasn't able to do all I wanted to with the kids. Like...take them to buy red poppies, take them to a memorial service, or take them out and put flowers on the graves. *deep sigh* being sick stinks!

I did go out with two of my sisters and my mother one afternoon to put flowers on the graves of various family members, including my own father's. I took a few pictures because many of these grave-sites are just plots in an open field or plots of a country church.

I really enjoyed this day because I was with part of my family, in the country, and remembering family stories. I will bring my kids out to see my dad's before we leave. We'll just make it our own little "Memorial Day" to remember Grandpa together.

What did you do over Memorial weekend? Any traditions?
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