Wednesday, June 11, 2008


What do you do when your first born son graduates from the 5th grade?

A. Cry.
B. Wonder where the time went.
C. Take the family boating and tubing?
D. all of the above.

The correct answer is D.
All of the above.

My husband pulled Big Bertha out of the closet last night.

Not a good idea before bed.

The kids were all excited about the possibilty of taking her out.

Chase was way more excited about Big Bertha than he was about graduating.

Way. more.

Claire was so excited she wore her swimsuit under her clothes to school.

No. I did not ask her to do that.

No. I did not know she did that.

When I discovered the swimsuit during the commencement exercises, I asked Claire why she had it on.

She said she wanted to be prepared and she did not know how much time we would have to change.


We had about 2 hours.

Apparently that was not long enough.

On the way to New Bern, I looked out the back window and noticed Bertha was not as firm as she was when we left the house.

She was losing air.


Chad assured me that Bertha would be fine for the afternoon.

I was not so confident.

Chad ignored me.

We arrived at the landing.

The sun was blistering.

The humidity was unbearable.

We loaded the boat with kids, snacks, drinks, sunscreen and Bertha.

The day was perfect.

The kids had a blast on and in the water.

Bertha lived.

She lost a little more air, but she survived.

At one point Cole, who is four, said, " Daddy , I want to ride Berfa by myself."

To which Chad replied, "Sure, it will be fun!"

To which I replied, "Over my dead body!"

Chad stepped over my lifeless body and placed Cole into the tube.

Doesn't he look terrified?


Thirty feet away from me.

In a slow leaking tube named Big Bertha.

I sat on the back of the boat.

My eyes fixed on Cole.

Ready to dive in if he came out of Bertha.

I was trying not to scream.

Cole was screaming with delight.

He could not stop smiling.

My heart could not stop racing.

The ride came to a stop.


I was most grateful to have Cole back on the boat with me.

He wanted to do it again.


Stephanie said...

That would have been me and my husband stepping over my "lifeless body" putting my youngest on Bertha. Glad you guys had a good time! I have not been out on a lake in quite some time...

Dancin Queen said...

Big Bertha, huh?

Wish you lived closer so we could take our boats out together!

pb&j in a bowl said...

That looks like so much fun! I would have been terrified the whole time, and I'm sure my little girl would have had a blast. Enjoy your summer!

duchess said...

I know the feeling. I always have to close my eyes & not watch how fast they're going or how high they're bouncing or how far out to the side they're being slung.
I'm such a wimp when it comes to tubing - they are after all my babies out there all alone, with other boats around & crazy drunken people driving them.

I'm glad he didn't really step over your lifeless body.

Karen said...

It looks like they had a blast. My 3 year old was terrified to go!

Kristen said...

What a perfect day you had Wendi!


Your descriptions are just plain fabulous! FABULOUS! "Over my lifeless body" seriously, that was hysterical!

Glad that Cole is back safe and sound where he belongs! :)

just jamie said...

I just love your family more and more every day.

Grammy Staffy said...

You are as cute a mom as your kids are cute kids.

What a fun day and what a fun post. Kristen is are hysterical! I'd like to ride in big Bertha but I'd sink her for sure.

Shannon said...

Awww, totally cute.
I would have been petrified!

Rachael said...

Wendi, you are hilarious - I absolutely love your writing.

I love that your daughter wore her bathing suit under her dress without your knowing.

I love that the name of the raft/boat is Bertha.

Congratulations on your son's graduation from 5th grade! You can not be old enough for that, right???

BTW, my husband would have had a dead body if he said yes to something like that!

Anonymous said...

Big Bertha was the name of my first car...and yes, she was really big.

I would've died had it been my son out there alone....on the water w/who knows what swimming underneath him. As we say in the south, "Bless Your Heart!"

Leah said...

Ya know,
I could Totally (with a capital t, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Pool!) see myself doing that little baithing suit trick as a little girl. As a matter of fact, I'm sure I did that on more than one occasion. I'm also pretty sure that my excuse would have been just as "believable" as hers. LOL!

Do I get special treatment, should I come to ride Bertha, considering it is my great grandmother's name? huh? huh?

The Reed's said...

Sounds like you guys had fun. When can I ride Bertha!!

Ivy I think you should post a picture of your "Big Bertha"!!!

Wendi said...

"Big Bertha" really is the name of the tube.
It is written in ginormous letters on the side.
I am sorry none of the photos I posted show that.
I may have to change some to prove it.

McMommy said...

Stepped over my lifeless body....HA!!!!! Wendi, I've said it before and I'll say it have the best writing style ever!!

It's always so much fun to read your posts!

Anonymous said...

What fun!! Cole looks so big on there!!!!

Lauren said...

I love how Cole said, "Berfa"...

And, I love how you mentioned that your husband stepped over your, "lifeless body". You are so funny!

I could feel my chest pound when I read how you kept your eyes on Cole. I would have been panicked, too!

Anonymous said...

I have mixed emotions about this one as I am still in shock over Cole riding a l o n e with Berfa!
That is one time momma would just have to override daddy. But, as we can see, all is well. I am just no fun and am the first to admit it. My children would be quick to agree, I'm sure!

Glad ya'll had such a fun day together. Memories are worth a lot!


OHmommy said...

Oh. Wendi. Look how awesome your pictures are. What a beautiful story!!!

Emy5 said...

That is way cool. I like the name Big Bertha. Looks like Cole had the ride of his life.

stephanie howard said...

My kids are ready for a ride. Anytime you can would be great! In fact I will even pack all the snacks for the day, and I will throw in the sunscreen too:-)

Kellan said...

It looks like the most perfect day to me! I love that your sweetie put her swimsuit on under her clothes - too cute.

Have a good day - Kellan

Christie said...

You are too funny.

I love how he stepped over your cold dead body to climb on Big Bertha. Good stuff, there.

Cinderelen said...

Aw, your kids are so cute in those photos =)

Amber said...


And LOL re: him stepping over your lifeless body. You are too funny!

MamaGeek said...

THAT looks like the perfect day. Big Bertha and all. :)

Jen said...

We're doing the lake tubing thing on 4th of July weekend. I'm still trying to decide whether or not my kids will be allowed to tube. It just seems scary to me. Looks like your little one loved it!

i'm kelly said...

looks fun!

Ashley said...

Awww....I love Claire wearing her bathing suit under her clothes...sounds like something I would do!!!

I definitely want to ride on Big Bertha....I'm glad Cole made it through ok!!~

Steph said...

Whoa! That looks like a fun time!

amanda said...

oh big much fun are you? really. can i have a turn?

glad you and your lifeless body lived :)

~Leave it to Lyla~ said...

Duh Wendi your married to a Howard they ain't scared of nuttin! ya know! GOOOO COLE!!! However I am pretty sure it would be Dan's lifeless body on the ground if he dared try to put my baby John John on Bertha by his lonesome!!

carrie & troy keiser said...

That looks like it was tons of fun!