Anti-Photography Warfare, A Giant Mushroom, and Knights Defending the Queen

Nephew13, is visiting for the weekend again.  This means that it’s 10:36 and I think we’ve finally worn him out enough that I can type out a quick chatty blog.   The problem is that when he’s here, it’s kind of fun to spoil him, so this time, I let him have as many caffeinated drinks as he wanted.

That was dumb.

I’m realizing that his mother has a very good reason for not giving him too many caffeinated drinks.

Right now he’s on the other side of the room happily playing some game on the computer with little stick figure characters.  I can see a little stick Santa Claus on a sleigh and it’s flying out of control and people are falling off of it.  From all the blood spraying across the screen, I’m sure it’s an awesome game.  (Dripping with sarcasm there, folks.)

Nephew13 is obsessed (obsessed!) with guns and military stuff.  When he read in my blog that I wanted a glock, he took it completely seriously and immediately sent me a facebook message letting me know that he could educate me on everything guns and offering to help me pick one out.

Coupled with the news that I’m learning about guns, Nephew13 was sitting at home an hour’s drive away in Maryland when he read in The Blog that we were here in Pennsylvania living it up at the laser tag arena.  More facebook messages. “Hey, Aunt Jackie (he starts every sentence and fb message with “Hey Aunt Jackie), when I come visit, can we play laser tag??”

Poor kid.  He’s stuck at home doing homework while his Aunt is in PA playing laser tag and learning how to shoot glocks.  Being a kid is no fun at all.

So, I promised to take him laser tagging today.  Laser tag involves stealth and weapons so it’s right up Nephew13’s alley.

There was better laser tag competition this time around, so I didn’t win.  A new sign was on the wall reading, “No nose picking allowed in the arena.”  Once you get rid of the nose pickers, you get a better quality of players.

After we got out of the arena, we bumped into friends whose kids were playing in the kid play area.  Perfect!  These kids have a father who was in the marines and takes his kids hunting.  The oldest boy, Friend12, just bagged his first deer this past winter.  And Friend12 loooves playing Call of Duty almost as much as Nephew13.  There was an instant friendship formed and everyone had a great time.

Including me, because I took lots of pictures with Alex.  Here’s Friend12’s little brother with his mother in the background.  This kid always looks great in pictures:

And here’s a pretty flower outside the laser tag place:

Then we headed over to Li’s Buffet, and met up with Claude and Kendra and their 22 kids.  Darling Husband and Kendra gave me nice smiles for the picture, but Boy9 and Claude were another story.  Boy9 has developed super-fast anti-picture taking reflexes over the past year and half.  As soon as Alex comes out of his lunchbag, Boy9 immediately strikes a pose intended to deter one from taking his picture.   Claude isn’t as fast, so his usual “d-uuh” look wasn’t fully formed when I snapped the picture.  Nephew13 was an unfortunate casualty to the camera.  He wasn’t paying attention at all to the photographic frivolity going on around him.  But he sure did enjoy that cheesecake.

Then, we popped over to Claude and Kendra’s house and Claude showed us the birthday cake he was in the middle of decorating for Girl0, who will be Girl1 tomorrow.  The cake was in the freezer and we said, “A mushroom?”

Claude hung his head in shame and said, “It’s supposed to be a giant cupcake.”  Kendra said, “I told you it looks like a mushroom.”

It’s ok, Claude.  Put some red dots all over it and a smurf figurine underneath and it’d be a great mushroom.

Claude has a beautiful chess set in the corner of their living room, and I would be a sorry excuse for an aspiring photographer if I didn’t take a picture of it:

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it took 45 attempts to get the shot I wanted.  But, on the other hand, I’m proud that I eventually did get the shot.

Ok—busy day ahead of us tomorrow with Nephew13.  I’m gonna send that boy home with some new skills.  Pop in tomorrow to see the pictures of all the skills we’ve been teaching him.

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