In June we were able to travel to Illinois to see our families. My mom and sisters in Elgin decided to do an early Father's Day surprise for my dad and invited my Minnesota sister (and family) as well as us to Elgin for the party. We all DID surprise him! It was a two-day adventure with 12 grandkids decorating the lawn and even doing a parade for the neighborhood. (When the Rugh Family gets together, costumes are almost always involved...) There was a talent show the second night, and just about all of the grandkids were involved in one form or another. We had a blast laughing at each other and ourselves and celebrating our dad! Matt, Sam and I stayed with my mom, where some of the festivities were, while the other activities were at my sister Jessica's house.
My dad and I (with Matt and Sam) had a very special opportunity to attend a friend and supporter's funeral the Monday we were in Elgin. She had battled cancer like a mighty warrior, been healed of it by the Lord, and then He saw it fit to take her Home quickly last month. When I found out she was heading Home, I yearned to visit her, but God let me, instead, celebrate her life with my dad, who was her friend. I'm grateful for the timing of our trip.
Halfway through the week we got to visit the Ackerman family in Joliet! Grandma Christy was even able to come from Iowa to meet and play with Sammy! Sammy's Aunt Anji had the flowers ready to make wedding bouquets for her autumn wedding, and so we had a lot of fun doing that and other "wedding-ish" activities. With less children dangling from light fixtures and popping out of cupboards, the visits to Joliet usually have a different flavor than the Elgin visits, filled with quiet mornings and loose schedules. Dan, Matt's dad, did somethings totally bizarre. For Father's Day, he took all of US out. I couldn't quite figure that one out... aren't the kids supposed to treat the dad for Father's Day? I thought that was ONE opportunity specifically for that purpose! :) [As you can see from these photos, the family is very excited to have the first grand-baby around! Grandma Christy is now, for the first time, a great-grandma!!]
Also, when we pulled onto the road leading to the Ackermans' neighborhood, the "Check Engine" light came on. We were sensing something going awry under the hood, but we were hoping it would solve itself, or something. Anyway, Dan and Matt found out it was the spark plug and took care of it! Hooray! Dan and Matt also washed and waxed the car... We were riding in style!
Basically our trip to Illinois was casualty-free, and Sam was a trooper traveling all that way! We sure enjoyed staying with family and celebrating our dads and wished we had more time with them each. They are so special to us!
This afternoon we got the internet hooked up at home (after a year and a half without it at the house! YAY!), and I thought to myself, "Boy, if I were a Sam-Fan, I would definitely like to get to know him better." I am a Sam-Fan, to be sure, and I decided to do an interview with him and share it here on our blog. The following is a result of pointed questions and close observations.*
Mom: Sammy, I have some questions for you. Let's start with: what is your favorite time of day?
Sam: That's an easy one. I can definitely say that I really like the morning. I feel strongest and I do a lot of my fancy moves and tricks then.
M: That's true! You do, don't you! What's one of your favorite tricks?
S: Hmmm... I suppose there are several I like, but lately I've really been doing this awesome tap dancing preparation.
M: You tap dance?
S: NO! I can't even walk! I just get READY for tap dancing by moving my legs as quickly as possible up and down, and up and down. Like this. See? I'm so fast. And my legs have really strong muscles. Well, you know that... I always like kicking you when I'm on the floor. Right?
M: For sure, kiddo. Now tell me what other tricks you like doing.
S: Well, I'm honestly kinda sick of you always making me roll over. At first it was cool to get all the fanfare and applause, but now it's a little old. I'm liking the dancing, and then there's the Veggie Tale Scoot.
M: ??? S: You know, when I'm all swaddled with no arms or legs to move around and I wiggle my way to the end of the bed? I love that. I just don't know what to do when I get there.
M: Hahaha! That's hilarious. I didn't know you liked that so much. Cool! So you like mornings and tricks. Talk to me about your dad.
S: He is so fun. He always says goodbye to me in the morning... and usually he leaves after my first breakfast and before my second breakfast. And he ALWAYS kisses me goodbye. His beard tickles. He sings me a song about one-little-two-little-three little naked babies when he changes my diaper. It makes me giggle. He's so great. He cuddles me a lot after work, too. When I cry, sometimes he takes me outside. Sometimes I cry hoping that he'll do just that!
M: He is pretty neat, huh?
M: What is the best thing about Daddy?
S: Well, maybe that he's really patient with me.
M: Yeah. He is patient with ME, too... S: You know my favorite thing about you, Mommy?
M: No, what? S: That you don't get mad when I scream at night. You just tell me you love me.
M: I've been meaning to talk to you about that screaming...
S: I know. I'll work on it.
M: Okay. And about screaming, tell me what the worst part of your day is.
S: I think the worst part of the day is when I wake up hungry and you put a pacifier in my mouth, hoping I'll fall asleep, and I'm too hungry to fall asleep.
M: Oh, yeah. At 4 AM?
S: Exactly. I mean, really... Mom, I'm starving.
M: Ok, I'll try to... wait a minute. We'll talk off the record about that one. Last question: Throughout the day, I see you gazing out the window. What are you thinking about? S: I love the sunlight. I think it's really special and huge. I think the sunlight is exciting and it makes all the ivy and trees around our house bright green. It's pretty awesome. I think Heaven is like that. That's what I think about.
M: You think about Heaven?
S: Don't you?
M: Sure... but you're a baby.
S: Well, you asked what I think about, didn't you? What were you expecting?
M: I guess that's a fair response. Alright, thanks for the interview. Time for your nap. Let's go swaddle you up.
S: Okay, then I'll practice the Veggie Tale Scoot. Thanks for asking all those questions!
*Artistic liberties taken and interpretations varied.