Summer’s End

Besides being Mitchell’s birthday on August 8, it was also the last day of the library’s summer reading program! The older ones loved volunteering and the little ones had a great summer of reading. The theme was “Fizz, Boom, Read!”  so science was the focus of the activities. The kids each got an animal shape to put their name on when they signed up. Each time they read five books, they got a sticker to put on their shape and a small prize.

Leslie

 

Leslie read the most books of anyone in our family, with a grand total of  135!

Laci

Laci wasn’t too far behind with a total of 110.

matt

Matthew came in third place with 60 books, which were read to him.


dinosaurLauren and Mitch had a great time volunteering. This was Lauren’s second time to do it, but Mitchell was a newbie. As you can imagine, they cannot wait until next year!

Some of my family members far away wanted to see photos of Mitchell’s cake and party, so here they are:

piano-cake

This is *not* musically accurate. I apologize to all of the piano aficionados out there.

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Leslie Anne was my right-hand girl when I was decorating this. She makes a great assistant.

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Mitchell’s reaction…and Matt’s… to seeing the cake the first time. 🙂

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He’s TWELVE!

laci-gift

Laci drew him a picture. She had to explain what it meant. It was cute, just like her.

Leslie-gift

Leslie made Mitch a card, too, and also added $5 of her own money, without being told. This touched my heart so much that she and I both teared up. I know that she and Mitchell have struggled in their relationship. This is evidence that the Lord is working in the hearts of my children.

What a wonderful way to end the summer.

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Summer Plans

Summer is upon us! We have been busy closing on our home, unpacking and organizing. The kids are involved in our library’s summer reading program and Lauren is a teen volunteer there. She is loving it! I’m trying to get adjusted to our new town. So far, I’ve gotten lost twice. I’ve learned that even a GPS can get it wrong once in a while!

We are currently packing (again) for a trip out to wild, wonderful West Virginia so my husband can preach at a Jr. High camp there. We’re going to the very church we worked in 14 years ago, when my Lauren was born. She is excited about seeing where she entered the world. It will be a long drive for us – about 1,200 miles one way – so if you think of it, please pray for us. I think going back will be very healing for me. I made so many mistakes as a 21 year old, first time mother, who was also unknowingly suffering from PPD. I fought homesickness and depression. Those emotions clouded what should have been the happiest time of my life! The blessing is, I’m not that person anymore. When depression said, “Give up”, I kept going. I didn’t go fast or far, but I did go forward. I made some bad choices and reacted to my problems in the wrong ways, but the God of second (and third and fiftieth) chances has allowed me to survive and even thrive from my mistakes. I admit that I often wonder what might have been different in our lives if I had handled my problems better. I often think, “You should have talked to your doctor.” and “You should have tried to open up to someone in the church.” But, I can’t go back. I can only forgive myself and move forward. Maybe I can lay some of the “demons” from my past to rest on this trip. Maybe it will be “therapedic”. (as Barney Fife would say!) Maybe this is one more step forward for me.

Here are a few random photos of our summer so far:

Lauren, in her role as a library volunteer.

Matthew, enjoying a trip to our library.

We awoke one Sunday morning to a fallen tree in our neighbor’s yard. We are so grateful that it didn’t do any damage to our vehicles.

Another view of the tree.
Only part of the kids’ school work from last year. Only two of the notebooks are not completely filled!

And, here’s NEXT year’s work! I’m tired just looking at it! 🙂

After we return from our trip East, I’m eager to get started on decorating the house more. I want to paint above my cabinets in the kitchen and get curtains for some of the rooms. We also have a list of repairs to work on. Gotta love home ownership! 😉 Now that I have an iPhone, I hope to be blogging from the road, so stay tuned for more of our adventures. Oh! And please let me know what your summer plans are, too!

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Park Day

Last Saturday, June 8, our family got crazy – we went on a spontaneous picnic! The weather here was gorgeous – low 80’s, clear skies, low humidity and a slight breeze. When we moved from Hope, my Aunt Kathleen gave us two picnic baskets. I saw the lovely day and then thought of the picnic baskets and decided to go wild! I packed up a lunch and we went to the park! I’m pretty sure that the weather here gets just as hot as it did in Hope. At least I’m well prepared! 
Terry and I also got iPhones for the first time, so I snapped some photos with mine. Here they are:
The baskets worked great!

We had sandwiches, Pringles, pickles, brownies and juice boxes.

Me and Terry watching the kids play.

Matthew got nice and hot running all around. Good exercise!


Here’s a short clip of Matt jumping on the big, buried tires. Taken with my iPhone.

We also drove over to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge after playtime at the park. We saw two buffalo at the refuge as well as LOTS of prairie dogs!

Long-distance bison, Wichita Mountains in the background.

We walked through a place in the mountains called the Holy City. They put on a passion play here every year, and you can tour it year-round. Laci smelled some of the real animals they use and is holding her nose! 🙂

This is a church. All the buildings look like this.

Next we saw some prairie dogs. Can you see them? They were very bold! If I pretended to be tossing something out of the van, they scurried closer to me. {click to enlarge}
We got up close and personal with one buffalo! 

This is how close we were. 

There were several hills covered in wildflowers! It was lovely.

Here’s Matt inspecting a prairie dog hole. 

And this is how I was during most of the drive – hanging out of the van with my Nikon in my face. 
Thanks for reading!

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Sun, Smiles and Sprinkler!

One feature of our home that our kids love, is our built-in sprinkler system. This was not something we particularly wanted, but it’s a blessing. Apparently, rain isn’t too predictable around here, so these may come in handy later.

Believe it or not, on May 31, the day of the last horrible OKC tornado, our kids were outside enjoying those sprinklers. They had been waiting for a really hot day, and with the temperature over 90 degrees, they finally got their wish! We did have to turn them off when a sudden rain shower started, but it only lasted a few minutes. It didn’t at all seem possible that a two-mile wide, record-breaking tornado was only 80 miles away! We are thankful for the Lord’s protection.

Here are some photos of the fun! Lauren didn’t want to get out and play and Matt was too scared, but the middle three had a blast! 🙂

I love my cute, crazy kids! 🙂 

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Summer Memories

Phew…I’m still working on catching up here at the blog. I thought I’d share a few miscellaneous photos from the summer. Thanks so much for indulging me, friends! 🙂

Leslie lost her two front teeth in May! 

They built this block tower using every block we had! 🙂

Sibling love: Leslie and Matt coloring together. 

Lauren and Matt after playing in the sprinkler. I was glad Matt used eye protection. 😉 

Matthew, trying to be like big brother. 

Laci and Matt, folding laundry. 

Matthew’s borrowing Dad’s shoes. 

“I’ll be with you in a minute, I’m on an important call.” 

Ah…these kids! They always make me smile! 🙂

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Laci Was in the Paper!

Our library has been hosting some very exciting summer reading story hours. The theme is “Dream big: READ!”. This last week, June 19, they had a magician. He was very funny and all five kids enjoyed it.When David Scott, the magician, asked for volunteers, Leslie raised her hand, but when he picked her, she pulled her hand down and shook her head “no”, smiling. Next, he picked Laci! She, on the other hand, was happy to take the chance! Leslie was eager for her to go.

The photographer from our newspaper was there while Laci was helping, and she got her photo in the paper!

Hard to see, but she’s on the left.
Click HERE for the online version.

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It’s That Time Already?

A couple of men in the church came by to “sweep” our church yard. They were able to use an attachment on the back of the lawn mower that swept up fallen leaves and pine needles and left them for the city to come bye and vacuum up. Yes, our city has a big vacuum cleaner that goes around sucking up dead leaves and pine needles!

We usually don’t have to do this until fall is well under way, say around October-November. But, this year it’s been so dry, the poor pine trees starting shedding their dead needles early. They need moisture and less heat – neither of which are in the forecast.

Here’s a photo of the vacuum truck!

It sure was a hot day to do being “fall” work!
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