For many summers, we have had the privilege of going with some friends of ours (the Otts) to a local blueberry patch (owned by the Ott’s neighbor) to pick blueberries and stock our freezers. 🙂 We are thankful for the generosity of the owners, who let us come and pick all we want for free!Herman & Josh Ott - happy helpers! :) Well, this week the call came that they were ready, so Mommy and all of us kids went over there to pick them. Before we went, Mommy told us that the Ott’s had invited us to go swimming when we were done! There was one catch, however: because of our schedule that day, we had to be done picking blueberries by 11:00 in order Keep on picking!!to have time to swim. And anyone who didn’t work didn’t get to swim, even if we were done by the deadline. So, when we got there, the Team jumped out of the van and set about to diligently accomplish the task at hand! Enthusiasm was prevalent,  laughter was frequently heard, and Mrs. Tammy Ott even developed our own little motto for us. It went like this: “If there isn’t a blueberry under your nose, then move your nose!!” 🙂 Though it was a smaller crop than normal, we got Victoria busy pickingaround two gallons… well, after you count the ones that we ate in the field! 🙂

Next came the reward of our labors – the pool! We quickly went to the Otts’ house (right across the road), got changed, and plunged ourselves into the blue depths… aahhhh! It felt so good! Ever  since Titus was born, we have wanted to put him in, because we have heard that if you put a baby in the pool early on, Mrs. Tammy and Titusthey will remember the swimming motions they used in the womb and it will actually be a lot easier to teach them. We got to put him in this  time, and were a little surprised by his response: he liked it! 🙂 We also got to work with Bethany and Hannah  with some of their swimming fears – things like getting water in their face, having the “big girls” let go of them, and using only one floatation device instead of Learning to like the water :)two! 🙂 Susanna and Lauren worked on things like back floating, etc. The cool water was simply refreshing, and since “the desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,” we all enjoyed the reward of our labors immensely!

One thing I really appreciated about that day was how Daddy and Mommy provided a reward at the end of the project. At the FEW conference last weekend, during a session on family harmony while working together, we were challenged to find rewards for the diligent ones at the completion of a long task. Even though it would have been Little Miss Bethany on her favorite boat :)easier to just go home after picking, and not go through having to do all of the laundry from 10 soaked people, 🙂 when the offer came up, Mom worked it out so we could do it. Thank you, Mommy!

Special thanks to the Ott family for bringing their joy and enthusiasm to the blueberry field, letting us use their pool, and for taking the pictures for this blog post when we were so smart as to forget our camera at such a memorable time!! :)