Has it only been 5 1/2 weeks since the Fourth of July?! It seems so much longer than that! Probably because "summer" is over and school started two weeks ago already.
We had a wonderful Fourth of July beginning with the parade with friends and then our now traditional party here at home with more friends. The weather was crazy and we did a "move it in, move it out, move it in," dance!
But it was great fun in the end and the house was filled with lots of conversation and good food! We did have a laugh that among the 20+ adults in attendance there were only 2 or 3 confirmed extraverts!
Andrew got to go away with a friend to Kentucky Kingdom for the day!
We had some unexpected and amazingly wonderful news about Laura in July!!! She was born with a cyst behind her nose bridge which has been monitored via MRI's every year. This year's MRI miraculously showed no cyst! We give great thanks to God for answering many prayers (the surgeon has not had a cyst like this disappear in any of her patients). I am especially thankful that we can avoid a very invasive surgery to remove it.
The older boys spent a week attending a lovely Vacation Bible School for teens. One day I took the younger two to Conner Prairie.
One summer morning I met my mom in Zionsville for a morning of sketching. We bought coffee at two places and enjoyed trying to paint our food and the views.
4h entry time came around. Rachel showed great initiative and finished her chosen knitting project ahead of schedule!
Michael and I celebrated 17 years of marriage on July 17th!
We celebrated my mom's birthday on the 20th with a traditional birthday breakfast.
And then we took to the kayaks for some time on Eagle Creek.
My mom grew up on the east coast and misses her sailing days. Things like this help to make up for living in the midwest. :)
We kayaked over to Rick's Boatyard restaurant where Emily had secretly arranged to have friends waiting!
Here is the kayak crew!
We took a family outing to the County Fair to visit the children's entries and walk around. James was excited to win a Champion on his wolf carving.
Rachel was ecstatic to be rewarded with a State Fair entrance on her knitting!
James entered a dragon drawing:
And David entered a model airplane.
The garden brings me great joy each and every day (despite the fact that it is filled to overflowing with weeds -- oh well).
Weed consolation comes in the form of zinnias that are doing so well!
I think this summer could be summarized as lots of visitors and lots of painting. I finished Andrew's room after July 4th. The new colors look great and his room feels like a teenage boy's when you walk in (normally flowered bedspread and flowers are not there).
We had a visit from old friends, Carla and Stephen, who flew over from Scotland on their way to our denomination's family conference.
We all headed up to Marion, Indiana to spend a week at the family conference. It was wonderful to see so many friends we rarely get to see and to spend a week of good fellowship, worship, and rest. Boy was it a treat not to have to cook, do laundry, or clean! I came back feeling invigorated! It's amazing what low stress can do!
One evening the conference rented out the local Splash Park. Lots of fun for the kids and plenty of adults to visit with!
Rachel had the time of her life connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. She and Anna have known each other since they were born!
Very excited that there was a quilt show at the conference!
Andrew had fun rooming with his buddies and spending the week in the high school classes. Michael and I tended to only see Laura for much of the day.
I had tons of fun watching Michael "perform" in "Stump the Pastor". I'm sure it's no fun for the pastors but it was great entertainment for the audience to watch them answer questions (and, fortunately, it also is informative and helpful to hear the answers).
Some dear friends from seminary, Daniel and Esther and their four kids, came home with us from the conference to spend the weekend. This is as close as I get to "college buddies" since I never attended a proper college. We had a terrific weekend!
We braved the heat (and the ticks) and took a picnic to Eagle Creek.
The kids got to go in the water.
James has been hard at work inventing new armor.
Our neighbor friends invited us down for Brazilian food on the night of the Olympic Openings. It was so festive and fun to share an evening like this.
Rachel and Andrew's high school started back at the end of July. Andrew is excited to be a freshman! Rachel is relieved to finally be an upper classman! She's back to golf and Andrew has started soccer.
I started back to homeschool with the youngest three this week. Laura is in 1st grade, David in 5th, and James in 7th.
The State Fair is on and we went to visit Rachel's knitting.
We all had great fun watching the Rodeo:
None of us had seen bucking bronco's or proper bull riding before!!!
So this will have to suffice for a "First Day of School" photo! :)
And so summer proper is over but there is still plenty of summer weather ahead. :)