Saturday, May 09, 2009

Dinner at Wadi Degla

I’ve regressed. I had a few good days this week and then, I think it was Wednesday night, I just didn’t feel good enough to do the dishes after dinner. So I didn’t. And it’s been all down here from there; I haven’t done much of anything but sit/lie around since, which is why it was a perfect weekend to have a cookout at Wadi Degla.

What made it so perfect is that we went with the Houses and Lewises who arranged transportation and provided all the food. And mostly all I did was sit in a camping chair, occasionally glancing over my shoulder to make sure that the older kids weren’t carrying Rachel too high up the bluffs, that the younger kids had really discontinued throwing rocks on her head, and that she and Sam weren’t pushing each other too close to the fire.

I looked down at my shirt at the close of the evening and summed up the day to Sara as follows:

“I’m covered in dirt, ketchup, marshmallows, chocolate, and snot.”

“And blood!” she added, sarcastically enthusiastic. “It was a good day! Oh, wait. You’re not a boy. Never mind.”

So, this pregnancy is continuing to kick my trash. I successfully didn’t fall asleep the whole time we were out, but I did sneak some snacks with Rachel before dinner was technically ready. I swear this pregnancy has virtually turned me into a narcoleptic foodie.


Rachel had a great time playing with her little fan club, which is actually quite large. 10 children. That’s a large following. That’s the same number of cousins that she currently has.


We rode up with Brother/Doctor House in an armored vehicle. It was actually pretty neat. We didn’t know it was armored until he told us it was. He tapped on the windows, so we did, too. They look normal enough but, let me tell you, they are thicker than thick. I have no problem believing they were bullet proof. They didn’t make that dinky plinking sound regular glass makes when you tap it. Instead they made a deep, resounding thunking noise. I wish airplane windows were made of the same stuff instead of that flimsy plastic. I would feel a lot more safe flying that way.

Amiee drove the minivan full of the House kids and Kevan and Sara took their, ummmm, SUV (? I’m no good with car types. Sam calls it Lightening McQueen) full of their brood.

When we all pulled up to the site, all the kids piled out of their respective vehicles chanting, “Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!”

She was soon carried off into the distance. She’s wearing an orange-striped shirt and blue jean shorts (note to self: next time put her in full-length pants), in case you need help spotting her. Rebekah is in a black shirt and red shorts and is slightly easier to spot. Rachel is right at her feet.


The boys had fun making the fire. Because Kevan is Kevan we had both hot dogs and hamburgers; therefore we had both campfire and grill. I’m just happy I didn’t have to do any of the cooking.


Jacob was honored enough to use Andrew’s pocket knife, which everyone made fun of due to its small size. I don’t think Jacob really cared the knife was small. He was cutting stuff and making fire, ergo…good day. He’s a boy.


Andrew, besides helping to make the fire, found plenty of time to escape and play with the kids. He also made the time to hike up the bluffs. I continued to sit on my chair and not be sick, not that I’m complaining or anything.


Andrew got some good aerial-esque shots of our campsite. There is even a picture of me not sitting in the chair I claimed. I’m wearing a purple shirt and khaki pants if you need help spotting me.

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Rachel and Sam ate their dinner first. Rachel’s dinner consisted of a hot dog and some grapes and cheetos. Usually she will sit and eat for a long time, but Sam isn’t a big eater so after he was finished eating he was off and playing again, which meant she had to follow. They played nicely together for a long time and you’d never had guessed she was still hungry except that she’d skip back over to us every few minutes to mooch another bite of our burgers.

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Eleven kids is quite a large number to keep track of, especially when the big ones want to get up on top and the little ones want to follow, but can’t, but still try.


After the mean, uncaring grownups had sufficiently squished any hope the little ones had left of making it past those bottom ledges, the little ones took to throwing rocks, unbeknownst to the mean, uncaring grownups.

I was just finishing up my dinner when Amiee heard a child crying.

“I think that one’s yours,” she said, “Yup, it’s Rachel. I think she needs some help.”

Emma (the new 9 year old) was lugging her from the base of the bluff over to the fire. I met her half way and took over, slightly panicked.

Rachel’s face was covered in bright red…

Turns out her mouth was just covered in ketchup and cheeto residue. I thought her mouth was bleeding or something, but it wasn’t. Phew.

She cuddled her head into my chest and I went to kiss the top of her head. That’s what was bleeding.

A goose egg was already forming, so I got a plastic bag and filled it with ice from the cooler. Sara dumped water on Rachel’s head to wash out the dirt while I held her. She was remarkably brave about the whole thing, although she didn’t really like my holding a makeshift ice pack on her noggin.

She didn’t want to hold still so Sara offered her a marshmallow. That spurred on desert, which was s’mores, and Rachel felt much better after getting some chocolate and “mar-mars” in her tummy. She didn’t care much for the graham crackers.


While she was busy smearing melted marshmallow, chocolate, and blood all over my shirt, Emma (the 6.5 year old) came up and apologized for throwing rocks.

“It’s alright,” I said, “Rachel is feeling better now.”

“But I feel really, really bad,” she insisted.

“It’s really, really okay because everyone was throwing rocks and it was an accident and Rachel’s okay.”

“Okay…sorry, Rachel!”

And with that she ran off and Elisabeth appeared in her place.

“Emma feels bad because she’s the one who hit Rachel with the rock,” she tattled.

“Well, like I said, everyone was throwing rocks and it’s hard to say who actually hit her.”

“No, I was there,” Elisabeth insisted, “We were all throwing rocks, but Emma was picking up huge rocks that she could barely pick up and was dropping those. The one that hit Rachel was like…”

She searched around to find the suitable size.

“…This big!” she finished, pointing to a rather large rock, about the size of Rachel’s head.

“Well, I’m glad she’s sorry then!” I said.

I don’t think the rock was as big as Elisabeth was saying it was because if it was, I doubt Rachel would have walked away with a mere goose egg and a little blood. She’d probably be unconscious.

She was far more concerned about her sticky fingers than she was about the bump on her head, so I’m sure she’ll be alright. The pictures don’t really do it justice, but the bump/bruise is about the size of a looney. Whatever size of rock and whoever did the chucking, Rachel got hit square on.

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There are two very well-known playground rules that were broken this evening. The first is this:

Don’t get involved in rock-throwing.

The second, and only slightly less well-known is this:

Never cross the line of fire while children are actively engaged in breaking rule #1.

Both rules are hard (and painful) to learn, but we were all happy by the end of the evening. Even some of the little girls got to make their way up to the top of the bluff with Amiee supervising.

All too soon (or not soon enough, depending on how you look at it) the sun started to set and we realized it was time to pack up and head home. It is a school night, after all.

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After Sara, Jessie, and I had finished packing up the food that was sitting on the hood of the car, Jessie asked her Dad if she could climb onto the roof of the car.

“Are you fat?” Kevan asked her.

“Uh, no…” she responded, “Does that mean I can get on the roof?”

“I guess so,” he said.

Soon Rachel wanted to join Jessie on the roof and her usual sentence of “A sit 'dere,” morphed into, “A sit car.” She was one happy girl.


And it got her out of the way while Sara played with the fire. She looks a little too happy poking that fire…

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We all mourned the fact that the Lewises are leaving in 6 weeks.

“Everyone’s going to be gone this summer except for us!” Amiee exclaimed.

“Oh, we’ll be here, too,” I assured her, “And we plan on becoming very close friends over the summer.”

"Thanks for the head's up," she said, "So now if you're over every day during the summer I won't have to wonder why?"


Seriously, our two families are the only families in the branch that are staying the whole summer long so we don’t have much of a choice. She wondered how she was going to keep all her kids busy the whole summer and I told her they were welcome to come over and play with Rachel any time. Rebekah is a very diligent baby borrower. She makes my life happy.

(And sorry there are no pictures of Andrew. He was behind the camera most of the time it was out, and when I was behind it he was making goofy faces.)


  1. You've GOT to be kidding me... the doctor's name is HOUSE? That's hilarious!

  2. That's sounds way more exciting than packing! We made a bad choice. :(

  3. @ Heidi -- He has a PhD. We enjoy calling him Dr. House instead of the alternative (Brent).

    @ Melissa -- Of course it was way more exciting than packing! We totally missed you! Next time...oh, wait. You're leaving...