Aug 14, 2011

Bucket baths, pork for dinner, horse riding in the rain, camping on a farm

Sure.  I pretty much told you everything in the title, but aren't you a little curious now? At least about the bucket baths, right? (Hold that thought . . .)

Once again this summer, part of the Sawyers had the pleasure and adventure of joining an incoming mission team, the Mt. Horeb Youth Group from Wilmore, Kentucky,  on a little camping adventure to a farm near Monti Plata.  Unfortunately (and probably fortunately!) for me, I did not go on this "adventure," but I did manage to encourage my husband to take some photos.  And never you mind tropical storm Emily who was lurking around the island at the time of the trip (though it had pretty much busted up the morning of their departure) . . . T.S. Emily still managed to make for a soggy experience for all involved.  Good times, right?  (I can say this with confidence sense I was not there and did not have the opportunity to test the fortitude of my optimism camping in the rain. . . )

So let me sum up the trip from the perspective of the Sawyer kids who went on this trip:  horses, horses, horses in the rain, dead pig = dinner, bucket baths.

And here's the dinner preparation . . .

It was a very fresh meal :)

Oh yes, there was some planting of trees and work around the farm . . .

I'm pretty sure she probably just followed people around and did one of her Little Pickle monologues, which are generally lengthy, dramatic, and VERY entertaining!

And without further ado . . . .  a drum roll might be nice . . . .

Bucket Baths!

I can say with great certainty that Jon took the right group of little Sawyers for a sloshy, soggy, camping adventure!

Aug 12, 2011

The boys and Pico Duate

So there's this big mountain near us. Pico Duarte.

Highest peak in the caribbean.  Some of the adventurous people in my family hiked it.
So, back at the beginning of the year after we learned that Super Colin was coming for a visit during the Pico trip, Jon started planting seeds about taking Tater Salad. Hello?  6 year old + high peak + overprotective mama = No thank you, delusional husband of mine.
The path is steep.

The path is on the edge.
The path is rocky.

However, as you may have already gathered, I caved.

I released my emotional death grip of over protection from my child, and agreed, yes that's right, in my right mind agreed, that this would be a really great thing (because as you know from a previous post, there's A LOT of girlie girl up in this household.)
Gracie (in her Belle princess dress + ugg style boots) walking Tate and the dudes down to load up to leave for Pico.

Not going to be offended that he took off running . . . .

His buddy, Isaiah, was on the trip too, which was very fun for him!

Tater Salad pre-hike psych up of strength

I'm told that he is standing near the edge of a pretty steep drop off . . .

Tate and fearless Pico guide Tigua.

Fully bonded with his walking stick, "Walky," which he brought home with him.

One happy camper with a happy, plastic smile :)

The stinky factor + sleep deprivation

I hear these trees were amazingly tall and  gloriously bright.  Tate knew that I would want a picture of these.

Two, little stud muffins at the very top of Pico Duarte.

The view from the top.

Pre- freezing river bath psych up after a week of stinkiness
A good time was had by all . . . . and I survived my 6 year old climbing a mountain.  WHew . . .

Aug 10, 2011

Dominican Birthday Parties

There are few things more entertaining and authentically fun as a Dominican birthday party.  For real.  Whether the affair is extravagant or simple, the celebration is always grand!  I've been to a few kid's birthday parties with my children, and I have to say that at each one I walked with a big, FAT, smile on my face.  I think that the adults have as much fun (if not more) than the kids.

There are a few social rules that I have picked up along the way that I would like to pass on to you for your pleasure:

1.  The birthday party will not start at the designated time on the invitation.   It will likely start an hour and a half to two hours past the time on the invitation.

However, getting to sit and spend time with a beautiful friend and her little dumple doodle while you watch the popcorn machine, speakers and dancers arrive an hour after the time listed on the invite is not the worst thing, right?  RIGHT!  I love this lady and her family (and I am not alone in that!)

2.  The birthday party will not be an in- and- out type of party.  Accepting an invitation is a minimum time commitment of four hours (not including the two hours you spend awkwardly awaiting the start of the party because you foolishly arrived a mere half hour late) and you will likely still leave before the cake has been served or the presents opened.

These teenagers did a great job entertaining!  They were like pros! The back up dancer girls were beautiful, colorful and fabulous dancers (however, all Dominicans can dance!  For real!)

3.  No amount of apologizing and giving valid reasons for needing to leave before the party is over will prevent the Dominican host from giving you emotional grief for such a rude and "hurried" departure (even though you were there at the stated time!)

This captures both the look of the child and the host when you have to say that we have to go before the party has come to an end.  Doesn't a five hour investment count for anything?  (NO! Insert look of disgust *here*.)

4.  The music will be loud.  The decorations spectacular.  The hospitality tremendous.  There will be laughter, shouting and dancing.  It will be better than amusing.


Aug 5, 2011

Jon's new baby/leveling the playing field

Some important background.  This is our van.  A.k.a. "The Barbie Van".
Prior to this, we had a manly, red, four wheel drive truck.  But alas, the fourth child required an "upgrade" to a larger capacity vehicle.  The ginormous "fruit basket" on top was added so that we could travel with 12 people and all of their luggage.  Good times.  

The hot pink hibiscus flower decals (pronounced deckUL by our fabulous and funny Canadian friends, the Friesens, who gifted us this vehicular accessory . . . as a joke.) were a personal touch added after the purchase.  (OF course, every one in their right mind knows that these are DEcals, but I digress.)

These are our dogs:

Snickers (who recently gave birth to 6 little Snickeos (Snickers + Oreo = Snickeo.)

And Sugar.
 All "poodles" according to the Dominican pet store.  HA.  (In essence, all of these yippy, little, fluff balls are girlie.  Jon never would have picked these. Any. Of. Them.)

Our children = 3 VERY VERBAL girls

And one very quiet boy (equally as quirky and spirited as his sisters!)

So, as you can see, the feminine part of our lives - we are VERY in touch with.  And, Jon is clearly very secure in his manhood to be able to enjoy withstand so much feminity.  Behold, exhibit A for "Secure in Manhood."

Exhibit A: Mr. Betty Crocker making dough for one of his fried food fiestas ( a monthly occurence).  (In his defense, I did suggest that it might be a good idea for him to not cook shirtless and handed him my girliest apron.)

So, you can understand that when our friends, The Speciales, offered us this
This was what happened when Jon walked into the house with him for the first time.  LOVE Little Pickle's expression as she emphatically repeated "BUT HE SAID "NO MORE DOGS!"  (What he meant was, no more little "poodles!")

why Jon would willingly accept this gift (which by the way is something that he has always wanted.)
Happy + Happy = HAPPY!
He was only a lap dog for about half a day as he is already much larger than this and no longer fits comfortably on one's lap.  His name is Peso.  And we love him - all of us, but HE IS JON'S.

  And even if only by sheer presence and size, he has evened out the playing field a little bit. ( But really can 2 dudes and 1 ginormous dog really even out 4 very verbal females and 3 "poodles?"  Me thinks, not.  But good try.)