Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ancient Peoples would Worship our Car

I’ve got a car that you could build a religion on. Its name is Dently. He is a wonder car, most of the time.

There isn’t anything he can’t carry. Seriously. He not only moves half a dozen children in all types of weather, he’s transported bikes, bunk beds, a disassembled swing set, a thousand pounds worth of Ikea furniture, and a piano. With a little imagination, some hard work and enough tie downs, Dently could relocate Grant’s tomb.

Dently has taken us everywhere. One crazy summer he took us from our old home next to the Pacific Ocean to the our new home of 10,000 Lakes, then in a spur of the moment decision back west to the Great Salt Lake and home again. Since then, we’ve gone to the headwaters of the Mississippi, Utah and back, again, and to and from South Dakota a dozen times. Because of him we've seen Mille de Lac and it's giant fiberglass fish and Lake Latoka in Alexandria with Big Ole (Ollie) the giant fiberglass Viking.

He’s a survivor too, from a snowy freeway spinout to outright crashes (neither of them our fault) Dently has overcome. When he had his window smashed on a cold winter day he still got Debbie and Max to the airport on time. He’s a fighter, ready to repel any vicious poles by pushing them away with his fenders and doors if they attack (which they have) in various parking structures.

Really, our Dently can do anything!, except, of course, start.

Sadly, for the last year Dently has had a major glitch. From time to time, when we load up and try to go Dently’s engine turns over and then off. The first couple of times this happened I freaked out and called the mechanic. He towed Dently and started him up at the garage. He could find absolutely nothing wrong with our super car.

Several false alarms and dollars later, we’ve learned that if this happens, just let Dently sit for an hour, then try it again. He’ll be right as rain.

No one knows why. Not my wonderful, reasonable, local mechanic or the crazy expensive, national chain guys.

So here’s where we get superstitious: whatever happened right before the breakdown must be the cause! The boys were pretending to drive him a minute ago and now we can’t pick up Emma from summer camp, NO TOUCHING THE STEERING WHEEL UNTIL THE ENGINE’S STARTED! The gas tank is almost empty and now I’m sitting in the grocery store parking lot watching the ice cream melt, NEVER LET THE TANK GO PAST HALF FULL!

We’ve been obeying all the rules. Keeping the doctrine of Dently, but this past week he reminded us that false gods can be fickle and cruel.

After loading up all my kids plus friends for a picnic at the park Friday morning, Dently refused to start.
Fine. We waited the hour. No go.
A night and a call to the booked-over-the-weekend-mechanic. No go.
Another night and frantically teaching Taran to ride a bike. No go.
Another night and a bus ride with five kids to church. No go.
Monday morning while dialing the tow truck on the phone. It GOES!

Ancient peoples would give offerings of oil and supplications: Oh great Dently, conveyor of all that is… Please start!

Hey, he's even got cows.
Why are they there? Now that's a whole 'nother post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Annual Collins Family Cyclefest 2009!

The title of this post should be read with the same voice and volume that those Monster Truck Rally commercials use because the COLLINS FAMILY CYCLEFEST! ...FEST ...Fest ...fest 2009! was exciting stuff for the Martin family.

Exciting mostly for Emma and David who did the actual cycling, but the boys, Willa, and I had a great time too.

Reuben (co-founder and fellow cycler of the COLLINS FAMILY CYCLEFEST 2009) explained it best in his email:

"This Saturday @ 9:00 AM. Bring yourself, a water bottle, and a bicycle to the Collins household this Saturday (July 11th) for our annual Cyclefest. This year, we will be cycling to Stillwater and back using a combination of urban streets and off-street bike trails, including the Gateway State Trail (always a treat!).
When we get to Stillwater, we will eat lunch at Leo's Grill & Malt Shop (careful not to overstuff or you'll have a miserable ride home...). Then we'll do whatever we want for however long we want (how's THAT for planning, eh?). We can let our overstuffed bellies rest while we stroll main street, take a break, photograph the historic lift bridge, take a swim in the St. Croix, nap, or buy overpriced goods at niche luxury stores!
Total round trip will be about 60 miles. If we maintain a leisurely 12 mph pace, we'll be in Stillwater by 11:30. Lunch & stuff will take until about 1:00 (or until we're bored) and we should be back at my house by 3:30. The route & pace will be geared towards novice cyclists - so don't let inexperience keep you away. Weather forecast for Saturday is 82 degrees and sunny."

I said good bye to Emma and David with many misgivings over my little girl who'd never ridden longer than 5 miles in one go, but they made it downtown without a hitch...
Curtis, Emma, and David

The boys, Willa, and I planned to join them in Stillwater with the car at 11:30 for lunch.
Of course things don't always go as planned (especially with the Martins are involved), so we waited for the bikers by "photograph[ing] the historic lift bridge."
Taran, Calvin, and Enoch watch the boats sail the St. Criox.

While David changed the blow out on his bike...

We got hungry. So we bought some "overpriced goods at niche luxury stores."
Willa eats an organic apple in front of the River Market Community Co-Op.

While David changed a flat on Emma's bike...

We "stroll[ed] main street" and beyond, and found ourselves a set of stairs that led to another set of stairs. And then another.

Finally! They made it!
We overstuffed ourselves at Leo's and then all the Martins and Martin bikes loaded into our van while the other Cyclefestees rode back.
Great job Emma!

Thank you Collins Family, see you next year (or next Sunday).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jammie Dancing!

We be jammin'





And I hope you like jammin' too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Real Reason Why Girl's Camp Taught Lashing


Back Story: We were crazy, busy running around packing the car for our Utah trip and Enoch not only refused to help, he insisted on being a pill. He kept trying to run out of the gate, away from the house, out of sight and towards the busy street. After repeated requests to stay within the yard, "Go swing in the back! We've got a long car ride ahead of us." I laid down the law: "Pass the gate and I'm gonna... gonna... Tie you to that post!" He looked at me hard. Turned and walked just in front of the gate, turned again and hurled me another defiant look. "Don't do it!" He spun around, lifted his knee high and stepped one inch past the fence, folded his arms and stopped.

HA! Take that, didn't know I went to Girls Camp did ya?!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Martin Quote

Enoch [from the back of the car]: Can I unbuckle so I can take my pants off and find my ball?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Martin mis-Quote

Enoch [singing that song from Cars "Life is a Highway"]:
Life is a highway! I want to drive it ON MY LAWN!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!

Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Scream, You Scream

For our local park's Ice Cream Social, with...



...a bounce house...


...face paintings...






(a little nap)

...and a bike ride home!

Just one of those rare perfect summer evenings.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Potty Train Derailed

This was meant to be a celebratory post...
I was going to revel in the joy of my fourth child potty trained. I was going to astound all by calculating the approximate number of diapers I've changed (a low count is somewhere around 5,000)...
But it's all off now. The potty situation has bottomed (tee-hee, why is bathroom humor so easy?).
I suspect that the thrill of peeing in the toilet is just gone. Calvin tried to keep the excitement alive by finding new places and situations in which to pee. Like when one of his older brothers had an accident in bed: Calvin assessed the situation, laid down in bed next to him, then did his own little puddle. (Just because he could! Just because he had the control, and hey, just because it's fun. Or that's what the gleeful look on his face said.) Two brothers peeing in a bed. What could be better?
And then he found the hollow pole outside and used it as an "extension", shall we say, right into the basement window wells. David caught him in the act with Enoch standing by in awe and admiration.

But soon even peeing off the front porch steps into the flower bed below lost it's golden glow. It's become too big a hassle for Calvin. Why stop playing and living for a small bit of wet in your pants? After all, it gives Calvin the perfect excuse to strip and live as nature intended. FREE!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This Mama COOKS!

But only in her hand sewn, stylish apron.


And so does her girl!

Thanks most awesomest sister in law Jennifer!
see her at