Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday nights

Many, many years ago, when my older boys were small, we started a tradition.  Every Friday night, Bill brought dinner home.  Now, more than twenty years later, that tradition is still going strong.

It started out as "tent night" when we still had a TV in our house.  Bill would bring home movies and fast food, and he and the boys would make a tent out of blankets in our playroom, watch movies and pig out until the boys (or Bill) fell asleep.  I wasn't fond of tent night, because it made a HUGE mess in the playroom, and being the lazy mother that I was, sometimes it would stay there a day or two until I got motivated to clean it all up.  I was lazy on two accounts - I had not learned the art of making kids clean up after themselves, something I have learned after ten kids for the sake of self defense.  And lazy because, since the playroom was a renovated garage, and I didn't have to see it much, I didn't get to cleaning it very fast.

Tent night has evolved through several phases through the years - from movies and tents in the playroom, to cooking on the grill, to going out to eat sometimes, to Bill bringing home fast food every Friday night.

Last night, though, the kids decided they wanted to have a fire outside and cook hot dogs and s'mores.

So we made a fire in our fire pit, which is not the pretty thing you would imagine, but a galvanized tub whose bottom has rusted out.  It works pretty well.

Son Max had been over earlier in the day, and he had cut down some branches from a very large tree in our back yard that lightening had struck and broken off.  I could hear cracking coming from the branches that were stuck in the tree, and I worried a LOT that they would eventually fall on a child (or me!).  So the branches gave us firewood, and also made an obstacle course we had to get around before we could get to our fire pit!

But we managed it, and soon had a table full of stuff to make hot dogs from:

As a disclaimer here, yes, Angel-Leah is in her pajamas, because the kids swam in the little pool all afternoon, and she changed from a wet bathing suit into her nightgown, one of the perks of living in the country - you can go outside in your nightgown!!  The little boys still have their swim suits on.

We stuck weenies on wire coat hangers and we were set:

If I am having a bad day, all I have to do is see this smile, and everything is better!!

And yes, I'm sure Angel-Leah is giving instruction or discipline to her brothers here:

She was also quite pleased that she had both a 7-up that brother Max had brought her earlier in the day, AND a Dr. Pepper.  Oh, well, it's a special night!

One of her many cats lurked around the table, and was not disappointed to get all the weenies that were dropped into the ashes.  This cat will probably not have to eat again for a week!

A chicken also tried to get into the act, but didn't fair as well against Angel-Leah's five cats!

However, dropping weenies in the ashes is VERY disappointing the first time you do it when you are four years old...

It didn't take long before he was used too it, though.  Especially when he got to feed the dirty ones to the cats!!

And many weenies made it into human tummies, too!

They loved the marshmallow part

Overall, "tent night" is still a big tradition in our family, even if it doesn't involve a tent anymore!!!  And outside dinners are a lot easier to clean up!

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