Let's rewind to Thursday.
Thursday evening we had Mike and Sarah Queen over for dinner. Mike is an old friend of mine from middle school in Niamey, Niger. His father was with the embassy there. Currently, they are in Ghana (so close!) but will be transferring to Paris soon. How I wish they were staying in Accra another year. Mike and Sarah just moved back to Virginia from Texas where Mike finally earned his degree. We had a pleasant evening after dinner groaning about people going through Extreme Personal Makeovers on TV.
Friday was busy all day. The dentist was first on our list. While Jonathon gardened with grandma, Nicholas had his cleaning (all good!), Katherine had her clenaing (2 cavities to be filled in later, *sigh*), and Rebecca had her impression made and tooth pulled right in the office. I never realized how long baby tooth anchors are before the teeth are ready to fall out. Since this tooth should have stayed for another 3-5 years, she had quite a tooth holding on, well, aside from the gaping hole in it. On the 26th she'll get her spacer in and Katherine will have her cavities filled.
The appointment didn't take long so we picked up Jonathon (who had a quick bath after getting filthy and completely sweaty) and went home. My dad was coming home from India and mom was going to pick him up so it was best we were on our way. Ian had the afternoon off, we splurged and took the kids to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Six thumbs up. It's a fun movie that has the same magic as the first with a more oblivious less maniacal Willy Wonka. The only thing I would change would be the OompaLoompas. No spoilers here if you haven't seen it, but I really wish they'd spoken clearly and been, well, different. We had a quick dinner at Taco Bell, tried to play the Harry Potter Scene It game (the DVD was bad), put the boys to bed, then the girls and I went to Barnes and Noble for the Harry Potter book launch party.
What a hoot! (no pun intended) Sure, there were kids there, but more of the participants were parents and groups of teens. Balloon twisters made "broomsticks", the kids created "wands", there were photos with "Snape", "Hagrid", "Hermione", and "Harry", quizzes, guesses on a har of Bertie Botts any flavor beans, stickers and loads of people in their wizarding garb. We left after a few hours when the line started to form for book dispersal at midnight. Since we ordered ours months ago it as scheduled for delivery on Saturday. I did have the opportunity to exchange the faulty HP game for a new one while we were there.
Saturday we picked up my mom to go to her company picnic. The offices are in Springfield and Falls Church, the picnic was held way out in Leesburg. Her office is rather unusual with how open they are with their activities. Several weeks ago we went on their company trip to Hershey Park and this time to the picnic. Food service was set up and we could pick from hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled prok, corn, macaroni salad, etc. all provided by her company. The rest of the park was open to us as well so we paddleboated, fished, played some volleyball and generally sweated ourselves sticky.
Guess who we saw? As we walked up to the food tent, someone called my name and when I looked around I saw a large black man staring at me. I stared back. After literally 30 seconds of staring at each other, he stood up and said "It's Ceasar." I haven't seen Ceasar Morrison since junior year of college, and here he was, a new hire at the same company as my mom, with his wife and step-daughter. I dropped my bags and gave him a huge hug. I'm sure the kids thought I was insane, but it wasn't long after eating that they were off playing with 6yo Hailey and we caught up on what's been going on the past 10 years. Ceasar and Jen just bought a house out in Leesburg, he plays football for the Virginia Kings football league (and has been for the past 5 years) and he's accepted that being an accountant isn't the worst thing in the world. If you knew Ceasar, you'd know that no one would have envisioned him as an accountant. It's amazing to catch up with people like that, out of the blue. We had all the kids fishing together and even caught a couple with a juicy worm Katherine found (it was big enough to split apart). The park provides bait, but the fish had it down to a science. Since the provided nightcrawlers were quite quite dead, they simply picked them apart off the hook. The live worm caught them off guard so both Rebecca and Hailey had great luck and both had appropriate grossed out faces with matching shrieks whenever the fish wriggled on the hook. Loads of fun for everyone.
Today, we attended Mass at the Franciscan Monastery in DC then took the tour afterwards. The church was built to be a replica of the Holy Land, for those who can't pilgrimage all the way to Jerusalem. It was rather fascinating, especially the story about Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music whose instrument was her voice. The church gave me a chance to try out the camera again. I'm having a heck of a time figuring it out. Last night there was a huge lightening storm and Ian and I both tried to capture a strike but the camera wouldn't even click. Back to the instruction manual. It would have been nice to walk the grounds and see the grotto, but with the clock ticking towards 2 p.m. and everyone hungry, we met at the Boulevard Woodgrill for lunch. I found the food quite good but the key lime pie had more than a tartness to it, but I couldn't put my finger on what was off. Oh, and a mint leaf on Ian's pie had a caterpillar on it. That's always good to occupy the kids.
Back at home, I crashed. After having been up until 3 a.m. reading the first 400 pages of _Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince_ then being awoken before 7 a.m. by Jonathon (who was up way too early), I'm amazed I made it through the day. But this evening I finished the book and cried. Ian is reading it now, and I'm wondering if Katherine is really ready for it. It's not a happy book and she takes things very much to heart. If I'm sad, she'll be broken I fear.
But she won't be reading it for a while yet, we'll keep it for our trip. In the meantime, tomorrow the kids start their week of summer camp. Each day I'll have a few hours to clean out and pack. It'll be nice to have a little break too. This coming weekend my parents are taking the girls so we'll plan something fun for the boys. I already have something for Saturday morning I think they'll enjoy quite a bit.