Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our week ~ July 8

The cats were very happy to have us home for another whole week instead of watching us repack suitcases and take off again. :)
I am thankful for creative kids, especially during times like these last couple of weeks, when we have continued to have lots of rain.  They've been crawling the walls a bit without their usual outdoor play every day, but it could be a lot worse!  This week David made a space shuttle.
 This is what he named it...
 ...and this is why!  The "compartment" down by his feet is for space-going cats to ride in, and Mindy is always very accommodating of his ideas.  I think she would be perfectly happy to go to the real moon in a real space shuttle as long as she got to be with her boy on the trip!
 The next day, Molly was grumpy because she wanted a box, but didn't want to be in a box with anyone David made her a house.  She has taken naps in it all week.
 When Abigail needed something to entertain herself with, I went to the basement and dug out my favorite Barbie toy from my childhood -- an island hut.  We used fabric to make 'sand' and 'ocean' and she played very happily!
 Tuesday night, we had a long-awaited break from the rain, complete with a lovely rainbow.
 Wednesday we had hearing checks (both kids were essentially stable).  Since the weather was still nice, we rewarded ourselves with a visit to the splash park afterwards.
This week we also had a milestone moment...David was promoted out of the children's ministries at our church and into the youth group!  It was a weeping, wailing, sobbing, but-he's-still-my-baby and not big enough for youth group yet wonderful -- but always bittersweet -- moment! ;) (I really did behave myself, I promise...and we are thrilled to have him under the ministry of our dear friends, the Kichers!)
On Thursday, Bruce and I got to go on a date (we celebrated our 15th anniversary while we were at the Wilds last month!).  We went to the High Museum in downtown Atlanta to see an exhibit of 17th century Dutch "Golden Age" paintings (Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc) that are on loan to Atlanta from the Hague -- and especially to see a painting I love, Vermeer's "Girl With a Pearl Earring."  It was even more stunning and captivating in person, of course.  There was no photography allowed in the exhibit (and I forgot to take of picture of us together somewhere else in the museum...whoops), so this image is borrowed from the High's website.
Last for this post, but certainly not least, we enjoyed Skyping with Aria last night.  She and Abigail love to play this "cousin-speak" game -- Abigail pats the back of her hand against her mouth to make the "bwah bwah bwah" noise...
 ...and then Aria does it back to her!
Sometimes I rue the busyness of modern life...but on the other hand, I am very thankful for the technology that lets us "visit" with faraway family!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Our week ~ July 1

I feel rather like this was our first week of summer vacation!  Our traveling is over for the time being, so I spent most of the week doing the things that I usually do the first week of summer vacation -- cleaning up and cleaning OUT!  Corners that have collected clutter, piles of stuff that have magically appeared and grown...all of the places neglected during the frantically-busy school year have gotten cleaned out and scrubbed off!  The kids don't understand my glee over these projects; they usually hide upstairs and play so that they don't get roped into helping :), but Mindy is my ever-faithful and very enthusiastic assistant.
Sunday afternoon, we got a surprise visit from our pastor and pastor's wife from our church in New York (the pastor who officiated at our wedding ceremony).  We had a wonderful afternoon of fellowship and catching up on each other's lives.

On Monday, Abigail got her new leg brace (aka AFO -- ankle/foot orthotic).  She got to choose the design (lavender with butterflies), so she was very excited to get the finished product!  This brace is more 'invasive' than the last one in the sense that it covers much more of her foot in an attempt to help correct the deformities developing due to her CP.  She is doing a great job wearing it faithfully, though (the pretty design and snazzy new sneakers help with that), and we haven't had any issues with rubbing or bruising, and it has already started to make a difference in the appearance of her foot.
While we were waiting at the orthotics office, we snapped a picture of her beautiful pumpkin smile!  She lost her two front teeth a couple of weeks ago.
Then we got silly and succumbed to the giggles!
We managed to sneak in a 'just us girls' visit to the fabric store while we were out. :)
Our blueberry bushes are producing...happiness is fresh blueberries from the backyard to put on my cereal in the morning!
Our weather has been rainy, rainy, and even rainier, but we didn't let that dampen our celebration of Independence Day.  We just brought the bikes inside to the living room, turned up a John Philip Sousa album, and decorated away to our heart's content.
The Lord cleared the skies just long enough for us to have our own little bike parade...
...complete with puddle-splashing, a fun side benefit of all of this rain! :)...
...and enjoy some sparklers (and grill our Hofmann hot dogs for supper, too!).
We ended the week by getting a load of mulch.  With a lot of elbow grease from my two guys and the usual faithful service by our beloved old van, 100 bags of mulch are ready to beautify our yard.  Now if only the rain will stop long enough for us to work outside...! :)

Our week ~ June 24 (summer camp at the Wilds!)

As has become our tradition, we took our church's junior campers to The Wilds summer camp this year.  Something new for us this year, though, was that BOTH of our kids went as campers! (YIKES...serious growing pains for this mom!)  This was the first year that Abigail was old enough to go and she was so very excited...she has heard David gush about camp for two years now and she was thrilled to experience it for herself.  Her post-camp report was that she loved it and can't wait to go back next year!
Our JBCers (Junior Boot Campers -- ages 9-12 -- everything has a military theme)
JBCers with their counselors
 Abigail participated in lots of activities that really pulled her out of her comfort zone -- and it was great for her.  Here she had to walk a balance beam across the water (a major effort for her) while the other team was throwing wet sponges at her to knock her off!  I was so proud of her.
She had a counselor who really went the extra mile to take care of her when she was exhausted from all of the strenuous physical activities.  We caught many glimpses throughout the week of Abigail and her counselor in poses like this one. At the end of the week, we thanked her counselor for all of the extra work she did to make camp a great experience for Abigail (she had 5 other girls to care for that week also) and she just kept saying what a joy it was to be Abigail's counselor and what a sweet girl she was.  The servant-heart of all of the counselors there is a real blessing not only to the campers but also to the campers' parents!
 Here is David scoring five points for his team by jumping from the rope swing and through the tube (it was much harder to get pictures of David this year because he was constantly on the move...and at top speed!).
 JBC Carnival is a fun night of games and treats.
The girls got facepainting done
 David throwing a ball, clocked at 41 mph
Our JBC church family picnic partway through the week
 We sponsors (us for JBC and our friends the Kichers with the teens) enjoyed a wonderful week of staying up RIDICULOUSLY late every night fellowship and sitting under the excellent teaching and preaching at camp.
Bruce and Michael golfed in the sponsors' golf tournament and Michael won an award for "closest to the pin" on one of the holes!
 Friends of ours who have moved away to Florida were at camp the same week we were, so we enjoyed getting to spend time with them again, too.  I also got some baby-love in while her mama was at a teaching was tough, but I survived somehow! ;)  Isn't she just edible?!
 It was a wonderful week, full of blessings for our whole family.  We are counting down the days until camp next year!

Our week ~ June...well...more like whole the month of June!

The month of June was a whirlwind...a wonderful one, but hard to keep up with!
We managed to sneak in a day with Karen and her kids.  We enjoyed watching a professional juggler at our local library.
Karen was concerned that the baby might not sit still happily, but she was just as enthralled as the big kids were!
 David's favorite part of the act...standing on a ball and juggling machetes.  (The juggler did make the kids promise not to try it!)
We also went to a park for a picnic lunch and playtime.  The boys never held still, and Adel was pretty sure she could keep up!
My little mama soothing the baby for her nap. :)
Be still my heart...Hofmann hot dogs and coneys have come to our local grocery store!  It is wonderful to eat these hometown-favorite hot dogs again!
Look who's finally heavy enough to activate the safety switch on the mower!  It is now David's job to mow all of the flat areas of our yard.
We went on a camping trip with the Kichers and had a wonderful time.  We have declared it to be a new annual tradition.
Bruce has been teaching David how to play chess; they like to play while I finish getting supper ready.
We also had several appointments to go to during June...this is at the office of Abigail's orthopaedic doctor.  They have a lovely, giant aquarium with turtles and fish.  We're always a little disappointed when we get called back for our appointment. :)
Here is Abigail and her beloved physical therapist, Carol.  To the best of our recollection, Carol has been 'our' PT for 6 or 7 years now.  PT isn't an obligation for's happy time to spend with her friend!  We are so thankful for Carol and all she has invested in Abigail.
In between appointments, trips, and rain storms, we have squeezed in a few visits to the pool.  If you look closely, you can see that this visit was about to be cut short by the start of another rainstorm!
We next traveled to Florida to have an incredible visit with my parents, brothers and sisters-in-laws, and -- for the first time -- we had all five cousins together!
I did a terrible job taking of my sisters-in-law was snapping them maniacally with her fancy camera, so I got lazy and let her take them all! :-/
Here is one of my brothers and the five cousins in "the tree" at Fort Matanzas.
Bruce took these from his happy place under the shady cabana.  The water was gorgeous, and even Abigail got brave and tried body-boarding!
I will have to revisit this trip once I get my copy of Krystle's few just don't do it justice!
It was so wonderful to have all of us together, even for a few precious days...
then we headed home to get ready for our next trip.
This summer has NOT been boring!