Thursday, July 31, 2014

Taking teamwork to the next level

Miles wasn't able to get up on the monkey bars, so his kind big birthday found a way to be both a ladder and a booster for him:

And then there's this one:  The "Magic Stool":

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Unexpected blessings

Yesterday as I was cleaning up the few dishes after dinner I realized that even though I had started the day with plans for a simple lunch and simple dinner (sure to draw complaints from the kiddos), we ended up eating quite well!  First, Mor-Mor surprised us by treating us to lunch at her place -- for all of us!  The kids cheered when they heard this news, because they think that lunch room is about the best thing going.  (They get to circle their choices on a menu, and they always get dessert, so it's a blast!)  We had a wonderful time visiting with her.

Then, Pete brought home leftover sandwiches from work -- which makes me think that his new job definitely has some pretty great perks.  We had them for dinner -- no cooking for me!

Plus, we had fun time with cousins during the day.

So, it was a day of unexpected blessings, and as I started thinking about it, I realized this whole summer has been like that.  I think this has been the best summer I've had in a very long time... maybe ever?

We've had plenty of TIME.  The last few years have started to feel like things are spinning way too fast, and even the summers were full of trips (or moving home from overseas in 2012) so that I could barely catch my breath before the next school year started.

This summer, since our original plans to be out West for 4 weeks were canceled, we've found ourselves with extra days at home, which has been nice, too.

We've had time to do some cooking together.... This meal was mainly made by these kids:
We've had time to play some new games, read some new books (I recommend this one for kids, written by a college friend), institute a new "ticket" system around here, and just generally get organized.

And we've had a lot more time to play with friends and cousins:
 ...Speaking of surprises -- here's Strider trying to photo-bomb:

I've also had some head-space to just THINK a little, too.  (Of course it's all in 5-minute increments still... I've been interrupted about 36 times since I started this blog post.) Now we're all working on finding the connection between what we say and what we think... Here's our new banner in the sun room:

So, thank you, Lord, for a good summer, full of unexpected blessings!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Final Beach Highlights

On the roof of our condo
We are back home, and within an hour, Colsen was already moaning about how much he misses the ocean.  Everyone wants to know if we can go back SOON.  (I hope so!)

Here are some of the other highlights from our trip:

1.)  Riding bikes everywhere.  I love that we are at the stage of life (finally) in which the kids are all pretty independent.  We all could just hop on our bikes and head to the beach with very little effort or fuss.  Yay!

 2.) Alligator sightings.  We saw several -- never caught them with a camera, though.  One time we were quite close to one, which the boys thought was pretty cool.  This is the pond outside our condo where they swam around.

3.)  Racquetball games.  We introduced Strider to the game, then Ellie, then the younger folks... Everyone is hooked, I think.  Dad and Uncle Dan proved to be the overall champions, but Pete and I held our own pretty well, too.  Now to find some courts around here...

4.) Playing with cousins.

5.) Enjoying the sunsets.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


After much pleading, planning, and packing, we have finally made it to the beach -- Litchfield-By-The-Sea!

As we pulled into the resort it was pouring rain, but almost immediately it stopped.  Before we were able to check into our condo, we made a quick jaunt to the ocean, which everyone was dying to see.  Of course we had to climb a few trees on the way...

Once we dug the swimsuits out of the car, everyone was carousing in the water.

But then some more clouds rolled in...

... so we rolled into our condo.

Day 1 ended with some free appetizers at the health club, some dinner, and some exploring around the resort.  Awesome start to the trip!

p.s. Our condo has a rooftop balcony, and as the boys were climbing around, I heard my favorite quote of the day (from Miles):

"Colsen, don't be a monkey!  It's dangerous to be a monkey climbing around when you're on the ROOF!"