Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer 2013 Tidbits

Please don’t tell me that June is almost over.

I’m not ready for it to be July yet!!!

We’ve been out of school since Memorial Day and I’m still trying to wrap up the year from an administrative view. Just finishing posting Em and David’s grades this week and updating their high school notebooks and throwing away all we don’t need from the past year. Haven’t even begun to really put down on paper what we need to start the new year with – it’s all in my head still (and curriculum is sitting in my carts waiting for the final decision to order or not to order).

But we’ve been having fun! Take a look at what we’ve “seen” the past 5 weeks:

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Molly and I took an early morning bike ride by the beach one Friday morning. Six miles total!!

And we’ve been enjoying veggies from our garden. The lettuce is gone, but we’ve had snap beans and our sunflowers are now blooming! Check out the growth in one week’s time!

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Jonathan, Annie and Molly and I went to the park one morning after dropping David off at the library to volunteer for an hour. It was a beautiful morning and the ducks were so friendly! We brought lots of bread and it was quite the adventure. Fortunately the kids are big enough to outrun the Canadian Geese that can get quite aggressive!

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Jonathan spent some birthday money and bought a tire swing which he and Annie (and Molly and David!) have been enjoying in the late afternoons.

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In June, we were able to watch our children excel at yet another piano recital. They all really dred the recitals, but they do shine! This was Emily’s last year taking piano. Earl and I have given her the choice to continue or not and she has chosen to take a break for awhile since her school load is quite heavy and she is wanting to do some more volunteering. David is actually really motivated right now to grow in his piano skills and so he will be taking Emily’s place and taking lessons every week now.

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We invited some very fun friends to go letterboxing with us one day. If you have never heard of letterboxing, look up letterboxing.org and learn all about this very fun and FREE adventure!

Here we are at the head of the “trail”. We had to follow clues which would lead us to a box concealed somewhere in this wilderness sanctuary in which we would fine a stamp that we could stamp our journals with and a guest book which we could use our own personal stamps to let them know we found their letter box.

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If you look REALLY close, you can see it hidden below.

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We’ve had one day of swimming so far at Grandma’s pool. The weather has been somewhat chilly here lately and it won’t warm up until mid-July and into August. We’ve also been to the beach once.

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Years ago, Grandma bought the kids swim suits from Lands End and they lasted a long time and were so comfortable and modest! But last year, they had seen their last days and needed to be replaced. We found Jonathan’s new suit at Walmart (so nice to see him in something other than green!) and we found board shorts for the girls at Old Navy on sale in the BOY’S department. Nice! We found shirts to match at Walmart and they LOVE having new suits this year! They feel very comfortable in them!

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We are not doing swim lessons for Jonathan this year as it just takes up so much time and last year seemed a little stressful for him. With Emily’s driving class this summer, we decided to spend what time we had just having fun in the water at Grandma’s or the beach. Boy, does this kid know how to enjoy himself. He’s just an all around happy little guy!

Emily just finished up the class portion of her driver’s ed last night (Whoo Hooo!!!) and so now we just need to finish her behind-the-wheel time and her practice hours. Earl is doing a super job taking care of her practice hours now that she has been ok’d for surface streets. And Emily is doing GREAT! She is learning quickly, feeling more comfortable and confident all the time and taking all the teasing with a great sense of humor.

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(What I love about the above photo, is that this might be true for most dads, but not for Earl. He truly is so relaxed with Emily and is so encouraging and patient with her. Boy, am I ever grateful to have him as a partner in this parenting adventure!)

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Molly and Annie and Jonathan are attending a VBS in Orange at some friends’ church. It is very impressive and the kids are having a blast. I can tell that a lot of time has gone into preparing for this week and a lot of energy is being put into pulling it off. And even the staff is having fun! It definitely takes the youth of a church to pull something like this off and I can tell that the parents are also so involved. It has really been fun seeing this church pull off such a ministry and our kids are being so blessed by it!

Molly is volunteering in the recreation department with a friend and Jonathan and Annie are attending as students.

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I’ve been spending my mornings at the library working on school stuff this week while they are at VBS.

Alright. It’s back to the school work. Until next time . . .

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sweet 16!

Our Emily turned 16 last month and it certainly was a sweet time. Lots has been happening for her and I’ve wanted to take some time since then to blog about some of it and share this mother’s heart.

To start with, she began attending driving school!

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She goes to class 3 times a week and then has an in-car lesson about every other week. She should be finished with her classroom time by the end of June (whew!) and then it’s just getting her behind-the-wheel training and hours in. She should have her license in time to take herself Christmas shopping this year! We’ve done a lot of laughing and she has a good sense of humor about all the ribbing people have given her.

At the DMV getting her permit:

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We celebrated her birthday with a family dinner first. Jan’s mom and sister came and a friend of the family joined us. John owns a really sweet car and boy did we have some fun taking some photos in it.

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Emily wanted fajitas for dinner and jello parfaits for dessert. It was a delicious feast and Aunt Gail made the whole cooking process so . . . um . . . memorable. (LOL)

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While we were digesting dinner, Aunt Gail challenged Emily to eat a pepper. She promised her $20 if she could eat all of it. (Of course, it was John’s $20!)  Emily accepted:

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Wow! I was so proud of her! Ha ha . . . she said it wasn’t “that hot” (notice the watery eyes!), but that she couldn’t feel her tongue. Wow!

We then rewarded all of us with some yummy summer parfaits!

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Then it was present time! The kids bless me as I have watched them give to each other over the years, and they truly have a grateful attitude. It makes “present time” enjoyable for all of us!

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Then the next weekend, Emily had a bunch of friends over for a party. Annie and Jonathan were so excited for the festivities to begin!

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I have always been so proud of the friends that our children have chosen to hang around and I truly enjoy watching them all have fun and enjoy each other.

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They went all over the neighborhood on a photo scavenger hunt . . . taking pictures of certain things on a list they were given.

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We served pasta and bread and salad for dinner.

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Emily, we are very proud of the young lady that you are becoming. God has gifted you with a lot of wonderful friends and some really great opportunities over the years. You have been given some talents and strengths that we are glad to see you using and seeking to develop and we pray that you will continue to search for ways to use them to serve the LORD and those around you. May you continue to grow in the knowledge of Him and may that knowledge be a sweet aroma to all you come in contact with.

We love you, Emily!

Happy 16th birthday!

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