The Lafayette Lawsons and the Lebanon Lawsons teamed up for a Houseboat adventure on Lake Cumberland! We really wanted to try something new and different, and the houseboat really hit the mark. The Mommies did an amazing job planning, arranging, and provisioning for the 4 nights we would be away from home. Food! Oh, man, we had a ton of food. Everyone ate very well. We cooked out on the grill every day and had burgers, dogs, steak, and chicken. There were also plenty of snacks like chips, cookies, granola bars, fruit snacks, and cheese sticks. A vegetable or two accidentally sneaked on to our plates a couple of times. We also had plenty of floaties and noodles for water fun. Squirt guns and water balls, too. Good thing, because this boat had a curly slide off the back, a hot tub, and we even convinced the adults that it was a good idea to jump off the top in to the water! Ha!

Speaking of the boat, it was a 77 foot monster with 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen and dining room attached to the living room area and captain’s chair. The deck on the front had a patio table and chairs next to the grill and it is where we ate all of our lunches and hung out. I’m not exactly sure how Captain Manata and Daddy drove that thing around. It seemed like docking and un-docking was a little tense, but out on the open water was a breeze. In fact, the kids all got a turn at the wheel. The lake was so big and open, and the boat moved so slowly that there wasn’t really much of a chance to mess it up.

Speaking of Manata, our Dungeon Master was not only the Captain, but also the cruise Entertainment Director. He brought a small sample of his massive game collection to share with everyone. We played all sorts of games and even roped the Mommies in to participating for a few. The icing on the cake, though, was our interest in Dungeons and Dragons! Like arriving in Nerd Nirvana, Uncle Manata helped us design custom characters and lead our Raiding Party through multiple adventures. We successfully combined our powers, fought off enemies, and recovered precious treasures across the land.

Speaking of fun, in between eating and games, there was tons of swimming! We parked in little coves off of the main lake where we had our own little private area. We were able to jump, yell, and splash without bothering anyone (except for the adults we brought with us). On a few occasions, we were adventurous and energetic enough to swim across the cove to the other shore. Other times, we just sort of floated and played over by the boat. In any case, all of that swimming and sunshine always made us hungry for MORE FOOD!

Usually on vacations, regardless of how much fun you’ve had, there is that little feeling that you’re ready to get home and sleep in your own bed (especially after sleeping on the granite slabs in this houseboat!). But, the trip went so smooth and everyone had so much fun that we could have stayed on that boat for another week together. It is great to be able to have a small vacation like this with our cousins and make big memories for a lifetime.

On Saturday, we hooked up with the Lafayette Lawsons, Taylor’s friend Emily, and Aunt Jill (who had the hookups on discount tickets) in Monticello to scope out the fun at Indiana Beach. We hit the Skyride over to the North side where we stowed our stuff in lockers and hit some of the roller coasters back in that area. The super duper tickets included lunch, so we grabbed food before shifting gears to the water park. Daddy and Parks squirreled around in the Lazy River while some of us went and checked out the water slides. Then, Riley and I went off to hit more coasters up and down the boardwalk and left the other folks in the water. We met back up for some snacks and hit a few more things on our walk back out the car while the Lafayette crew was still going strong. Thanks for the fun day!

May

24

Ripley

We’ve been missing a furry presence in our house for a little while and knew that we were going to get another cat when school was out for the summer. As of last weekend, we had one more week to go, but started gearing up for the new addition and wanted to look at some of the kitties available. We started at the website for the Humane Society in Lafayette and headed up to meet some of the furballs in person. We like Sabre and he was pretty fun, but wasn’t terribly interested in snuggling. Mira didn’t like hanging out with us and we weren’t attached to most of the other kitties. Even though we knew we had a week to go, I was disappointed to leave with an empty carrier. We went over to Petsmart to buy some supplies we knew we would need anyway and, whadda ya know, the Humane Society had a whole section set up with cats they brought over from the shelter. We met a few, but Ripley was the guy that stuck. He was fun, cute, playful, nice…and did I mention cute? Even though he was a stray and others had already lived with people in a house, we decided to take a chance and pull the trigger!

With a carrier full of meows, we started South and to introduce Ripley to his new home. He spent the first day in the locker room, but that was still way bigger than his old spot! After a day, though, it was pretty easy to see that he was a very good boy. No scratching or tearing anything up. Just a bouncy kitty that likes to check out what you’re up to. He likes to curl up on the chair downstairs and the couch in the loft. And, he loves to look out the window and tell the birds that there is a new boss in town!

We’re really liking having Ripley around and learning about him, and are very happy with how well he is fitting in!

Last night was our last choir concert of the year, and therefore my last Middle School choir concert. I had a big part to play in this show! I helped kick off the event by playing ukulele accompanying the Primo choir’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Later in the show, I played a solo of an original song called “Poor Soul.” Just me and my instrument up on stage alone…all eyes on me! Finally, I joined up with the Vivo choir for the last few songs of the night.

Thanks to everyone for coming down and enjoying the day with us!

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