Summer was July.
Our weather has been mild this year. The grass is still green and naturally watered.
The warm weather will continue at least another two and a half months, but when the school bell tolls real summer comes to an end.
We had a quiet July 4th this year, having just returned from our travels. We met friends and neighbors at our local parade. It's tradition now.
I love the miniature ponies!
We went downtown to see fireworks that evening. Some of them were up close and personal like this lighted lantern.
I do make a point of trying to get the kids to our neighborhood pool regularly. It seems like "just another thing to do." I forget that I feel so relaxed once I go and it's also a chance to sneak in a bit of reading time.
My gardens are suffering terribly from the vole problems. But the back patio is putting up a pretty good fight and looks so inviting. Just three weeks after this picture was taken and the garden seems nearly double this size with the black-eyed susans in bloom and morning glories taking over the sunflower.
Our electricity went out one stormy day and we had four extra mouths to feed. I just happened to check instagram and discovered it was Dress Like a Cow Day at Chikfila (a.k.a. free dinner). We snapped those costumes together and carpooled everyone down the road. Dinner solved!
Rachel had the time of her life this July returning to the land of her birth (Pittsburgh) for a three week intensive theological training program. She went with her school buddy, Miriam. The poor girls were not happy to leave their mountaintop experience and return to normal life.
We celebrated my mom's birthday with an all cousin swim party at a friend's house.
It's always fun to see baby Olivia!
Not to mention enjoy the food that all the sisters cobbled together! YUM!
Yay for cousins and cupcakes and funny faces!!
Laura makes sure I take lots of tea breaks. She sends me little cards and notes all the time with suggestions that we "have a tea party." I'm glad she enjoys them!
My mom had a show with other Indiana children's book illustrators so we went up to have a look and celebrate.
Andrew enjoyed hanging out with his Bible study friends for a day at Kentucky Kingdom.
While Andrew was messing about on rollercoasters we were attending an Indians baseball game. The weather was perfect and it was such an enjoyable evening.
The cotton candy was delicious too.
I went painting with my mom on her birthday. We found a spot on the canal below the art museum until a thunder shower came up and we had to abandon it.
But the sun came out again and we found another spot to paint flowers.
Another day and another tea party with Laura.
David turned 11 last week!
We decided on a kayak adventure to celebrate his birthday.
It was our first time out on the water this summer. It's always fun, beautiful, and relaxing, even if we are worn out afterwards.
Finally the movie we had been waiting for for years was made available on Amazon: the newly made Swallows and Amazons movie!!!!!!! I couldn't believe we were finally, truly, actually watching it! The scenery was lovely and it's a real "gentle" movie. It's not overly exciting but neither is the book, really. I highly recommend it!
We often had a few extra friends around to play with -- neighborhood kids for computer time and friends for the afternoon.
And then on the very last day of July was were BACK TO SCHOOL! Crazy, I know. The high schoolers started several days before us. This is what comes of the "balanced calendar." But I do love the two week fall, winter, and spring breaks. This is James' last year at home before he heads to high school next year. David is entering middle school in 6th grade now and Laura is in second grade.
So we've left July but are bringing with us some lovely summer memories and looking forward a year of growth and development ahead.
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