The enforcer.  The teddy bear.  The provider.  The muscle. The protector.  My husband.  My knight in shining armor.  Their dad.  These are a few of the many hats my husband wears day in and day out.  I’ve taken him for granted at times.  Not on purpose.  But…I’ve gotten used to him being there for me in all these roles.  It was a bit of a shock to all of us to have him gone so often and for so long this past year and the realization of just how much we under appreciated him came crashing down on us.  “The Long Year” has come to an end and we all celebrated with an extra special Father’s Day for Les.

Father’s Day was planned and executed entirely by our children.  Decorations and presents were made by Niki, Zach, Chris, and Justin.

Niki made the banner and one of Les’ favorite meals – taco soup

I thought we were being creative by getting “Dad’s Root Beer” for Father’s Day.  Um, no.  One case of diet was all that was available at the third store we went to looking for it.

The boys made dad a Lego Father’s Day gift.  “We love you” with everyone in our family.  There’s an extra person represented you say?  Well, Les and I asked about that.  The boys included Zach N.  They are kinda attached to him – as are we.

The kids made this for dad’s office

Then…the kids asked to play hide n’ seek with Les.  The game is on.  I can’t even begin to explain to you how much fun it was to run around with our kids in the backyard.  For the majority of the game, I played spectator while photographing everyone playing but for the latter part of the game, I played too while Les took some pictures.

We gave the kids a head start while Les got ready to go outside and I retrieved my camera.  We didn’t realize until Les found Justin in the back “jungle” of our yard that Justin ran out without shoes on.  I started laughing when I took the final picture above of Justin being carried out of the jungle by dad after he found him.

Our hide n’ seek rules:

  1. You cannot hide inside the house
  2. You cannot hide in the big creek
  3. After Les’ foot went through the bridge over the creek, then the back “jungle” was off limits
  4. You can’t just find the person, you have to tag them to get them out
  5. The first one tagged is “it” on the next round (but you have to tag everyone – this was to prevent everyone from just going after Justin)
  6. Once you’re tagged, you can swing on the tree swing until everyone is tagged

Les was eventually tagged up there – even if Zach’s first attempt failed.

Then one of my favorite moments of the evening occurred.  Justin realized he was not going to outrun his sister and tag her.  He yelled a bribe to her as he was chasing her, “Niki!  If you slow down, I’ll give you a piece of bacon!”  She instintively slowed down thinking about the bacon, got tagged, sat on the ground and the realization of what just happened came crashing down on her.  It was priceless.

 

As young as our dog is at heart, her age catches up with her and she decided it was time to head back up to the house for a nap

Niki is the queen of sneak attacks

After Niki tagged Justin and she was off hunting down Zach and Chris, I heard a tap on my van window.  No one was there…or so I thought.  Then I saw movement behind the sun shade in the middle seat.  Les had unintentionally childlocked himself in the back of the van.  I couldn’t help it.  I laughed outloud.  And of course, this alerted Niki to where her dad was hiding.

He has the doors of the van locked so she can’t get in if he can’t get out.  Niki decides to save him for later because she just heard a rustle in the nearby bushes.  A brother.

But then…she notices her dad is trying to climb to the front seat of the van to make a break for it.  She decided to double back and sneak up on her dad.

Chris gingerly steps out into view.  Stops.  He sees Niki crouched down behind the van.  Deer in the headlight.  He’s deciding what to do.  But…then he realizes, she’s hunting down dad.  And he runs.  Fast.  It was hilarious!

I walked away from the van because I knew if I stood there with the camera on the van then Les would definitely know Niki was outside waiting for him.  Within a few seconds of walking away, the hunter pounced after the hunted.  Les tried to trick Niki.  He opened the side, back door of the van with the automatic door opener in the driver seat.  He hoped she would hop in the car giving him a clean get away as he hopped out of the driver seat.  He missed one step of his plan.  He forgot to unlock the driver door.  It gave Niki just enough time to tag her dad and get him out of the game.

Zach hid so well that round that Niki called for him to come out because she gave up.  He was pretty proud of himself.

Chris had just tagged me when he caught a glimpse of Justin hiding under the deck.

 

We had a blast!  (And EVERYONE slept well that night.)