Summer is a third of the way over. Sheesh. I blink and it's gone! I was going to caption all of my photos, but Blogger is being a stinker, so I'll just let you figure out which picture goes with which event, on the ones that I don't caption. My series of very fortunate events happened something like this:
#1. My sweet, sweet Micah John had a birthday, and turned 10 years old. He is such a sweet, good-hearted boy. He makes me so happy and proud. Now I have 3 boys who are in the double-digits. Sigh.
#2. End of school happened, with lots of stress and cramming....but we got through it!
#3. Seth and I volunteered at our church's middle school end-of-school-year-party. Jarod attended and had a blast. Seth got to be with buddies who were also helping, so he had fun too. I...made it out alive.....and with a renewed respect and appreciation for the youth leaders in our church.
#4. Somewhere around the end of May we went on a fishing/swimming day-trip into the mountains.
#5. A yard sale happened at some point. Helped us pay a few bills.
#6. Early June was mine and Justin's 18th wedding anniversary. Yes, that is a long time. Yes, we still like each other. To celebrate how much we like each other, we went to a movie, and stayed in a hotel (compliments of my church....I won the mother-load raffle prize of hotel, restaurant, and movie gift certificates, at our ladies' night in May). My awesome sister-in-laws stayed the night with the boys. Quite literally, the last time Justin and I got out together, alone, overnight, without the kids, was when I was in the hospital, giving birth to another kid. Doesn't quite count as a date. We badly needed this little rendezvous. Now we like each other even more. *Giggle*
#7. My dear cousin, Regina, and her kids, came for a visit. There were walks to the park, a trip to the river, late night talking, and watching folks fry green tomatoes, and charm bees. I wish she was still here.
#8. Went on the church's family camp out, for Father's Day weekend. Had lots of fun with friends.
#9. Came home for a day, so Justin could go to work, and I could cook and do laundry.
#10. Left for another camping trip the next day.
#11. Went to Justin's annual work picnic. First year we've gone without Seth. He was with a buddy. That is happening a lot these days.
#12. The boys and I started volunteering for Catch Life(https://sites.google.com/a/catchlife.net/catchlife/), a Summer reading program for refugee kids. We just go to a specific neighborhood once a week, sit on a blanket with the refugee kids, bribe them with candy, and read stories to them for half an hour. It helps them with their English fluency skills, which become somewhat diminished in the Summer. I haven't taken any pictures because I don't want to make their parents uncomfortable. But these are the sweetest kids and are already working their way into our hearts after only 3 weeks of these short visits. The boys have fun playing with the kids at the park afterwards as well. There are also teenage boys there who like to kick a soccer ball around with Seth. It's a little uncomfortable still, because I'm not sure what the parents think of me. They tend to hide in their houses away from me, but they do let their kids come out. I'm hoping to somehow get to know them a little bit better soon.
#13. Seth, Jarod, and I volunteered at our church's VBS week. Micah, Gideon, Titus, Isaac, Abigail and Olivia attended it. I had an awesome crew of 11 boys and 2 girls. They were all sweeties, although most of the boys, of course, were a bit rowdy. I get the feeling that my being a boy-mom to 6 had something to do with the number of VBS boys which were assigned to me. It's just as well. We had a good ole time together. Whenever things got too crazy, I just had the boys give me push ups and run laps, and they were fine. Also, I bribed them with candy. (Are you seeing a theme here? And you thought I was super-mom. Little did you know, it's all because of candy.) And money. Can't go wrong with candy and money. The little sweet hearts just used that money for the VBS mission, Water of Life (http://water.compassion.com/about-water-of-life/), so families in Ecuador can have clean water for life, and stop getting sick from drinking dirty water. Something we Americans take so for granted. There were 460-plus kids at VBS, and those kids (and their families) raised enough money for 89 families in Ecuador to have clean water for life!!! I am always so touched at their loving little hearts, and the compassion they feel for those who suffer. I think I end up learning more from them than they do from me.
#14. Mommy got sick with a cold. After a week of little sleep, and exposure to 460-plus sweet, lovable, cute, walking little petri dishes, it was bound to happen. And most of the family caught it from me, but it wasn't a terrible cold, and we're all mostly better now.
#15. Uncle Joshua, Auntie Heather, Auntie Jubilee, and baby cousin Aiden (from Justin's side of the family) came for a lovely visit. My little nephew Aiden is only 17 months old, and tiny, but boy is he a whipper-snapper. He can talk like no one's business, he is agile and athletic, and runs as fast as his 3 year old cousin. He goes down the biggest slides fearlessly. He. does. not. ever. hold. still. He did let me hold him and kiss him, however, while he was eating a cookie. (ATTN: Heather and Joshua, I really did have a cute picture of you up, but I accidentally deleted it on Blogger.......and I just can't add it back in without risking more Blogger problems. That will directly impact my sanity, as I have been fighting with Blogger ALL DAY. But I love you guys.)
#16. Uncle Ted (my baby brother) and Auntie Rachel came for a visit. It was short and sweet, but I was very happy to spend some time with them.
#17. Had an awesome 4th of July party at our house, with lots of awesome friends and family.
Checking out a frog:
Justin's work picnic was apparently a test of manhood.
Gideon needed a hug from Mommy when it was all over.
My VBS crew: the Yellow Parrots. It was kinda sad saying goodbye to them the last day.
My OTHER crew
...........got to take these ones home with me.
"Um, excuse me, Auntie Heather. You might want to stop taking pictures of me and go see who is yelling, 'help!' in the water." Yup. That's how articulate and smart my nephew is.