Family farm day

We made the trek to the farm Sunday morning to celebrate Father’s Day with my pops. Sarah and Jack also made it out – the first dad’s day we’ve all been together in a long while.

Mario watched Goosebumps the entire way out; these are his new favorite movies. He holds his pillow tight across his chest and reports out to us what is happening in the scary scenes. Ri is not a fan of the movies. She played Minecraft on the iPad and wrote poems about Stella and Mona.

When we arrived at 10:30 am, everyone was still bleary-eyed and making coffee. Emily was in town from DC. Ri loved listening to her stories as we stood in the chicken coop listening to Mario rustle around trying to catch a chicken. Ri eventually left our conversation and caught “Peepaw’s girlfriend” for Mario. Mario gave no appreciation to Ri; instead he got mad that he wasn’t the first one to catch a chicken and proceeded to work twice as hard to pin one down (but in the most gentle fashion possible). He eventually got one and we were impressed with how delicate he held her. Ri boosted his ego as she always does and shouted “Good Job Buddy!”

Ri soon found delight in throwing the frisbee with Sarah, Jorge and Jack. The trick was to keep it away from Stella. Not an easy task. Ri was not scared to catch that disc with 80 pound Stella running at her. Mario not so much. He darted to the side and let Stella bite that frisbee and carry it off. We took a walk in the woods and found the swing vine. Sarah tried it out for us first. She looked like a ten year old swinging back and forth. She used to get so mad when she’d go to restaurants at age 17 and they’d ask if she need a kids menu. Now she can eat it up being age 30 and looking 18.

Uncle Jack and I gave the vine a try, too. Nothing like the kid coming out in you for the few seconds you’re hanging on for dear life. We all screamed wildly. The kids love love love being around me and my siblings. They can’t get enough of them. Everything is “look Uncle Jack” or “watch Aunt Sarah” or “come on Jorge!” Precious.

We returned to yummy barbecue chicken and cole slaw and beans. Mario threw a fit because he wanted to sit next to Jon at the “big person” table. He pushed his chair back and angrily crossed his arms and pouted. Jon gave in and pushed his chair over and let Mario sit by him. Mario beamed. It’s the little things. Maria sat next to me because we were right next to the food.

After we ate, Jon and I threw to Ri. She could not hit a ball to save her life. She progressed from sighing to heaving to throwing her bat and yelling “I hate softball!” I felt so bad for her. She wants to be perfect at whatever she does but she doesn’t like to practice. I tried to talk to her. Then Jon. Nothing worked. Meg came out and told us she was heading to the stable. Ri followed. I went inside to get a cookie and then made my way down to see them.

Maria stood by Taz brushing out her hair. She looked completely at peace. Meg stood on the other side adjusting the saddle. I could hear Ri talking with her about her horse camp. Meg listened and quietly commented back to her. I could have watched the two of them all day. Ri was so in her element next to that horse and talking with her grandma. Meg let her ride Taz on her own and gave her tips as she circled the grounds. Dang, I wish they lived closer so Ri could get lessons from the Meg-pie.

We played some Quirkle (the new favorite Menkedick game) while Mario and Jorge played some mean badminton. Sarah won, again. After Quirkle, we broke out Mario’s beebee gun. Jorge drew a bear and some type of elk/goat mix (ha! poor Jorge agrees to draw and then we make fun of him!) as the targets to shoot. At first the boys shot alone but then they asked us to bring down cans and paper and we became intrigued and joined them. I think we have a new Menkedick past time – target shooting at fake bears and pop cans. We all got into it.





With each hit, the kids and Jon and Peepaw would check out the paper to see where the beebee hit.



The pressure was on to be the first person to hit the pop can. We all tried but Peepaw hit it. He’s still got it.


And what did we do after target shooting? What else but recited poetry on the back porch.

Is there any talent this family doesn’t have?!

Top Ten reasons I love my man on Father’s Day

10. He s our protector!  There is no one or no thing that will mess wth us when he is near us.  Example: he took me to a Prince concert years ago, got me near the stage to dance, and played bodyguard the entire time to make sure no one messed with me. 

9. He loves family.  He would do anything for family, and always gives his two cents on matters to try to help family members through binds.  He gets so excited on days that we are heading to family gatherings.  Example: when we hosted my cousin’s graduation party, he woke up bright and early and began preparing food and drink with a big ol’ smile on his face.

8. He cracks us up.  I laugh harder with him than I do with any other human being.  And the kids find him hilarious, too.  Example: I have never heard Maria laugh as hard as when she is with Jon.  Her face gets super red, her smile is huge, and her entire body shakes in pleasure. 

7. He is so patient (and I am so not).  He helps me slow down and take a breath and savor a moment here and there.  Example: he makes me calm down and savor the “down time” while we are standing in Kroger’s check-out line and I start to get irritated that other lines are moving faster.

6. He is good-hearted.  If someone is in need – be it family, a friend, or a homeless guy on the street – he will lend an ear to talk with them and help them out.  Example: he saw a homeless man when he was on his way to Target and the homeless man kept talking to him about his life story.  Jon just listened and when the homeless man stopped talking and asked for a little help, Jon handed him $20. 

5. He is generous.  He takes time out of busy days to visit family and friends.  He doesn’t think twice about helping out family members in need, friends down on their luck, or the homeless person on the corner.  Example: when a family member ran into some hard times, Jon approached me and recommended that we give her some money to help her through the rough time.

4. He is STRONG. As many times as we play fight, I ahve never won a match.  He can pick up heavy machinery, mounds of trach, and even a car, I believe.  He hasn’t worked out at a gym since we dated years ago, but his calves and thigs and biceps are still bulging with muscle.  Example: when we go out, people ask him if he’s a football player!  Hot!

3. He is my number one supporter.  When we go out with friends, he always has a story about how I won a race or ran 10 miles or biked up major hills.  I always know he backs me up in all that I do.  Example: when I completed the marathon, he bragged to people that I had barely trained but I finished the marathon.  He believes in me. 

2. He is a superstar husband.  He surprises me with lottery tickets.  He fixes my bike when it breaks.  He massages my legs when I am sore.  He always listens to me when I am dealing with a problem.  He stands by me no matter if he agrees with my decision or not.  He tells me he loves me every day.  He watches the kids while I take a much-needed run.  Example: when I accidentally scheduled an excursion to a pipeline field in Alaska and we stayed in a work trailer for two days of our honeymoon, he didn’t divorce me, and he even laughed about it with me (six months later!).

1.  He is an incredible father.  The kids think he is the most awesome person on this Earth, and when he goes on business trips, they whine every morning that they wish he was home.  He is not shy about telling them that he loves them at least three times a day. He wrestles with Mario and plays Memory with Maria.  He makes sure that they have everything they need.  He spoils them with books and toys.  Example: every night before bed, he makes sure he gives them both uge hugs and kisses and tells them that he loves them.  A true gift from a dad to a child.