The drive up was smooth. Elijah engaged in his Rick Riordon book, Shiloh and I in our weird sunglasses, Jordis with her head wound from the week before (another costly ER trip), Lydia with her goose egg and bruised forehead from a headfirst fall out of a tree in our backyard.
The girls meet their new best friends and cling to them every chance they get. And we feed the ducks at the lake.
At "Day Camp" a toad hops into the s'mores fire and a counselor puts it in her s'more and eats it as sort of a dare from another counselor. Said counselor assumes that no kids are watching this activity. Of course, counselor has no children and does not yet realize that kids miss nothing. Whisper quietly and turn up the music, blindfold them and turn them the other way . . . but they'll hear it and see it. Elijah witnesses cooked toad s'more partaking and wants to join in. Grabs a small toad and says "Can I eat this?" Counselor says "Sure, go for it." Once again, said counselor does not have children and does not realize a nine-year-old boy will, in fact, do it. Elijah pops in the toad and swallows it like a pill. Counselor is mortified. Kids are cheering. Elijah is a hero. Until mom picks him up and finds out that her son ate a toad. Is it poisonous? Will it make him sick? Is he going to get Salmonella? Parasites? An increase in IQ? So we take Elijah to the infirmary where nurse cannot contain her giggles and says "They didn't train me for this one." We search the internet and figure he could be totally fine or he could be totally sick forever. Wait and see. The next morning Elijah blows his nose and thinks there is a frog leg in it. It's just dirt, but perhaps there is a portion of digested frog in it. One never knows.
Six days later and Elijah is fine. He keeps checking his poop to see if Mr. Toad shows up after a wild ride through Elijah's digestive tract, but so far nothing. Just your average poop sessions.
*Note: The frogs pictured here are not of the chosen toad family Elijah partook of. Because that toad is dead, my friends. Inside this little sweet boy. R.I.P. And I've been told the toad he swallowed is about the size of a thumb nail.
Lydia and Shiloh hit the lake.
Our friend Chris Brown practices his talk for the The Global Leadership Summit where he will be speaking alongside Colin Powell and Mark Burnett. You know Colin P., practically the former leader of the free world? And the Markster, maker of every hit reality show and the recent sensation The Bible series? No big deal.
Elijah gets blobbed and loves it.
We celebrate Jordis's fifth birthday with a milkshake party.
Jordis goes to the gift shop with birthday money and picks out whatever she wants. I had to draw the line at a tiny, glass animal figurine but we did score with another stuffed animal, a ring bigger than her hand, and a bag of "special" rocks.
After an unsuccessful, late night of toad hunting with Chris and Shiloh, Elijah and Barak (and new friend Josiah) discover a frog colony just outside of where we are staying. And spend four hours collecting frogs, naming them, training them and playing "Frog Wars" on the sewage cap. They employ special moves and change the rules and cheat with each battle.
Lydia goes from not wanting to touch the frogs to naming them, playing with them, loving them, and training them. "Mom, I don't want to go to Wagon Train next year. I just want to come here and play with frogs all day long. Every day."
The older Brown kids get back from camp and the Hagen and Brown kids happily unite and all delve into the frog colony and resume collecting, naming, and frog warring.
Other Hume highlights:
Elijah's wire pops out of his retainer, we get paged to pick up Jordis from Huckleberry house due to a tummy ache (which resolved itself after pick up with deathly smelling gas), and many golf carts. Incidentally, my kids can no longer walk two steps. They. Need. A. Golf. Cart.
Loved hanging with Amy and running around the lake with her. I ran the lake a lot to keep up with my Hume Lake milkshake affair. Also, I wore a pager just to be 1980s cool.
Friends for over 25 years, I ask Shiloh and Chris to stop for a sweet, nostalgic, picture and this is what I get. Peace out, my friends. And go to Hume Lake. It rules.