home of the brave

I had this great idea. We needed sparklers and an American flag. I went to six stores yesterday morning with the three children searching for sparklers and an American flag. Nothing. Actually, I'm wrong. We did find something when we stopped into a local bread shop and the nice young man--I think I'm old enough to call a guy in his early 20's a "nice young man"--behind the counter gave my children a giant Rice Krispie treat in the form of an American flag. However, that wasn't the American flag I was looking for for the photo shoot I was masterminding in my mind.

To make a long (and boring) story short (too late?), it only took Alex one trip to Dollar Deals to come home with not one but two American flags and a pack of sparklers. So this is what we got when the Wheat family tackled a July 4th photo shoot:


room for five

This was my view from the bottom bunk of the room Alex and I shared with our three children at the beach last weekend. The bunk beds were twin-over-full, so there was room for two on the bottom. I opted to sneak into bed with Tillie instead of sleeping next to the big guy, however, for fear of rolling out onto the floor in the middle of the night.

Believe it or not, bed times were quiet (thank you sun and beach for wearing out the kids) and mornings were chill as the little ones woke up and tended to their summer reading. Group meals with the nine other families (for a grand total of 19 children) were a different story. Chaos ensued, but I have to admit I didn't mind it. Sixteen children other than your own running around screaming for juice or bouncing in baby chairs crying for milk took your mind off your own craziness. And then there was the beach to wear them out during the day so you could do it all again tomorrow.


it's a dad bod world

The only "on the beach" photos I managed to take on our beach trip to Port Aransas this weekend...


60 percent chance

For Father's Day this year, the children and I made big plans of the good old-fashioned family fun variety. The Austin Symphony performs free outdoor concerts every Sunday night during the summer, so it was pretty much a no-brainer. I'm a sucker for a picnic dinner--picnic means wine and cheese--and free entertainment. When you can do these things wrapped up in a package of "look what big plans I made to celebrate Father's Day," it's a win-win(-win)!

Spoiler alert: mother nature wasn't down with the fathers this year. When we arrived at the Long Center around 7:15 yesterday evening, the skies were light (grey-ish, but light) and there was a feeling of lighthearted happiness in the air (or else that was the Pino Grigio talking from my Solo cup). Just minutes later, however, the skies turned dark and the spirited dancers on the plaza took cover. It wasn't until the birds went whacko that we decided it was time to pack it up (the birds always know). And also the members of the symphony called it an evening, so we would have been the crazy family stranded in a downpour if we hadn't huffed it to the car. At least there's always next week...if Austin returns to it's normal state of summer drought.


hard knot life

Yesterday we witnessed the culmination of five hardworking days for children ages 4 - 7 as Scout and her camp-mates presented their version of the musical Annie's "Hard Knock Life" (or "Hard Knot Life," as Scout sang). Prior to the grand finale there was some improv dog stuff going on--hence the animal ears sliding down over Scout's eyes--that I couldn't quite follow, but the song itself was a hit.

Scout was on the front line during the "demonstration," and I could feel the stage mom inside of me bubbling up; dying to gesture along as the performers tossed their rags and swung their legs out in a mock kick. Probably the only thing stopping me was that I didn't actually know the moves. I'm kidding, of course, but maybe not actually or just a little.

Up next on the Wheat family's slow summer agenda? A long weekend trip to Port Aransas with 10 other families from our Sunday school class. That's a total of 20 adults and 19 kids (not including the babies...and there are quite a few babies). Holy moly.


don't tell scout

This little rascal got her big brother (and me!) in trouble this afternoon when we picked Scout up from camp. This is how it all went down...

Scout is attending Broadway Kids "Annie" camp this week at the Zach Theatre. (Yes--the camp is exactly what you're imagining.) Catcher was excited to learn he would be "Scout free"'during the hours of 9am-4pm this week, but what he didn't realize was that I had chosen today as the day we would clean and de-clutter his room.

After spending a few good hours going through Catcher's things and re-arranging his massive book shelf, it was almost time to pick up Scout from camp. But first we had to swing by the Goodwill to dump all our junk. It just so happened there was an Amy's Ice Creams perched precariously across the street from Goodwill, and Catcher (old eagle eyes) spotted it immediately. He convinced me to go, and that's where the trouble started.

Catcher and Tillie scarfed down their strawberry cones in record time, and we left to fetch Scout. I told those two in the car to discreetly "not mention" the whole ice cream thing to Scout because there was no reason to upset her for no reason. I thought we were all on the same page until three seconds after we all climbed into the car post-pick-up Tillie looked at Scout and said "Scout, we went to Amy's Ice Creams." WHAT? I thought we talked about this; Catcher rolled his eyes moaning "Tillie. Why did you say that?"

The tears came out and we listened to Scout cry the whole way home.