Five Boys for the Week and Berry Picking

This week my two nephews Garrison (age 9.5) and Brogan (age 8) tagged along with us while their parents went on a special vacation to Hawaii.

Five boys is LOUD and BUSY!  They eat a lot too.  Everyone was on their best behavior for the first three days and then morale started deteriorating.  Why do boys love to antagonize and torture each other so much?  It was a constant battle for pecking order around here.  I openly admit that I wound up "checking out" more than I probably should have, reading my magazines and trawling the internet, just so I wouldn't have to deal with it.  Oh well.  I was still here physically in case anyone got a bloody nose, which thankfully never happened.    

The normal fighting aside, I honestly don't think the week could've gone any smoother. Coming from a family of twelve, Garrison and Brogan know what it means to pitch in and help out.  It was a fun change for me to have someone else unbuckle Conrad and grab the diaper bag every time we got out of the car!  The four big boys picked up toys, took out the trash, and emptied the dishwasher daily.  Their help around the house allowed us to do a lot of playing!  I tried to do something fun with them every day.  (And I definitely spoiled them all rotten with ice cream cones and processed treats.)

Our activities included seeing the kids' dollar movie in the theater, visiting the park, playing at Bass Lake, going for a horse and buggy ride (compliments of Brother Higley), jumping on an elevator after Conrad's well appointment at the hospital, hiking to Ross Falls, exploring old Stricker Station, and berry picking at Tubbs Berry Farm.  Those kids are little work horses.  We came home with nearly fourteen pounds of delicious red and black raspberries which we turned into homemade ice cream, freezer jam, and crepes for breakfast!  

It's been good getting to know these little guys better.  I hope they had a memorable week and that the fun times with their cousins ultimately outweigh everything else.

And now for pictures from our mid-morning berry picking adventure.... 

^^Such a handsome little stud.^^

I tied a mini "bucket" around Conrad's waist because he wanted to help too.  It was the cutest thing!  He ate everything he could get his chubby little hands on, but he felt just like one of the big boys.

^^Brothers working together.^^

The owner of Tubbs Berry Farm actually introduced us to the section of black raspberries.  He described them as "fruit snacks".  Indeed, the boys were immediately enamored with the little black berries and picked a whole bucket full in just a few minutes!  I personally love the slightly different texture to them.  They're delightful.

^^Conrad doing his usual thing, stuffing his mouth.^^
^^Levi and Garrison being silly.^^

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