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Things I Learned This Weekend

* Maple syrup tapping might make one inexplicably wish that it weren’t quite so warm out.

* The average Twin Cities high temperature for this time of March is 39 degrees.

* One effective way to clean a real live lamb is to use Woolite (this data from the person who brought the lamb into Sunday School for an object lesson today)

* Our son Foster doesn’t really like to be in a swing of any kind.

* Stromboli made by my wife (new recipe) is really good.

* Putting pictures into a blog post is actually quite easy.

* The drill bit for making the hole in the tree to put the sap tap in was actually in my toolbox the whole time.

* My son Barrett won’t mind falling through the ice on Lake Vadnais if the water is only a foot and a half deep. In fact, he will treat it like an adventure.


Yes, mark it down.

March 7th, 2010, the JamFam actually supped outside. Debbie’s homemade beef stew. Want proof?

We had to walk through snow drifts to get here.

Do we look cold? I can assure you, we weren’t. When we got home, we found out that it was fifty.

But then we did something we’ve never done on a picnic, or on a 50 degree day – we went sledding.

From The Top Of Vadnais Heights

Perhaps the last winter adventure. But we’ll see.

Ready For The Train

As many Responsible readers know, the Jamisons like going on picnics and we go on a lot of them.  For the past several years we have been increasing the number of picnics that we have experienced together as a family and in 2009 we went on 92 picnics.

This year, 2010, will be the 10th year we’ve done this, and I am hoping to make it to 100. I have no idea if we’re going to be successful*. We’ll see.

We have in the past, had some difficulty deciding what we would call a picnic. For example, for a meal to be a picnic, doesn’t it have to be outdoors? It turns out, no. No, it doesn’t.

We have decided that if a meal (A) takes place in a winter month, (B) is eaten on the floor on a picnic blanket or at a picnic table, (C) has picnic-like foodstuffs, and (D) is in a park of some sort. . . well, then we’re calling it a picnic!

So today we sat on our big blanket eating subway sandwiches and drinking out of our picnic bottles, in front of a the big windows of the great hall at the new Silverwood Park Center overlooking the frozen lake.

Imagine this with snow

. . . and when a lady walked by and said, “That looks like a nice place for a picnic!” I was gratified.

So off we go. Only 99 left.

If you and your family would like to meet us on a picnic sometime this year, let us know!

* I was tempted, momentarily, to ask you to pray for us in this endeavor, but that seems a rather silly prayer for us, doesn’t it? By all means, if you have an inkling to pray for us, please do so, but I request that you pray for something more substantial than a lot of picnics. Salvation for all of our kids, for example.

So I was doing some work in my garage and a car drove into the driveway across the street and three young people (Two guys and a girl)(All in their 20s?) got out and walked to the door of their home.

As she got out of the car, the girl was singing (fairly nicely) the lyrics from the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends”, which I don’t know, but apparently the chorus is just the title of the song sung over and over.

So this is the totality of the (surprisingly happily conversed) conversation that I heard:

Girl (singing): Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t –

Guy 1:  Because we’re brothers! 

Girl (singing): – we be friends? Why can’t we be friends? Why –

Guy 2: Because we’re related!

Girl (singing):  – can’t we be friends? Why can’t we be friends? . . .

I chuckled. True enough.

I know you’ve all seen this before and its old news to you, but Today someone came to this blog using the google translation tool. It’s quite interesting. I wish I were bilingual and could determine how good it is.

Also, we made it an even 90 picnics for JamFam this weekend. Now I’m getting to the point where I’m nervous that we’re making it so we can’t break the record next year.

I’ve mentioned that on Saturdays I sometimes jog 2 miles and when I do this, I usually have 4 of 5 of my kids biking and rollerblading along with me.

This saturday, I was standing at the end of the driveway with some of the exercisers, (waiting for the rest of them) and daughter Adelyn (just turned 7 1/2) was explaining to me that when a car goes by they either go towards the garage, or stand very still so as not to make the car drivers nervous that they’re about to go into the road.

And she said “But on a cold day like this we freeze, literally*, because we’re frozen from the cold. Get it?”

Yes, she’s only seven and she’s using the word ‘literally’ correctly! In a joke, even!

And for those of you keeping score –

Jamfam Picnic Count: 86  — Last years record: 81

*Okay, she actually said “Lirally”. But she knows what she’s trying to say.

A nice big round number.

I have mentioned before that we geocache. I have also called your attention to the nifty State Park geocaching program – this year entitled Wildlife Safari

Today we took our yearly Fall Day Trip and brought our 2009 State Park Geocaching Count up to 20. Want to see where we’ve been? Look for the Js.


Oh, and we had fun picking apples at an orchard, too.


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