As I was standing at my stove making meatballs for dinner tonight, I glanced over at my calendar on the whiteboard off to my left. One of the dates caught my eye, which read "Home from VA". For a second I could not believe it was still the same month that we had gone to Virginia, though we had spent the majority of the days there in July. It had been a wonderful vacation, time well spent with my sister and her family, and one we will talk about for years to come. In fact, the entire summer was a great one, filled with travel and lots of great memories that will continue to make my heart smile. Yet, as the summer comes to a close, I must say I am ready to see a new school year begin. We crammed in so much these last three months. On this last day of summer, I want to give a little recap of what we did and show you some pictures of our times together.
It began at the end of May with our teen banquet, with a masquerade theme and everyone got to dress up - ball gowns for the young ladies and men were in nice suits. Mostly the adults wore the masks though. I guess the teens did not want to mess up their hair and makeup. A few days later was graduation. Even though I did not have one that graduated this year, all the guys that graduated are very close to our family. We had a bonfire the next night and all the teens had a blast!
After a few days of rest, Susanna and I packed up to take a quick trip to Indiana to visit a friend who was having an engagement party. We drove half of the way and stopped over in Ohio that first night, then continued on to our hotel in Indy. It was a whirlwind day that Saturday, but we had a good time catching up and meeting her other friends that had passed through her life. We got back in the car Sunday morning and drove thirteen hours home, arriving about 11:30, just in time for Susy to do laundry and get some rest before heading to camp the next morning.
While three of my children were away at camp for a week, JJ worked with Joe, so Ben and I had some special time together. We decided to go to Quassy Amusement park and we rode the rides, swam, and took a paddle boat out on the water. It brought back memories of a time when I went out on Lake Champlain with my dad in a paddle boat during one of my "days". We also spent an afternoon at Uncle Shawn's with some friends and had a great time at the beach.
By the time the children came home, it was almost July. One entire month had flown by already. We had filled the days with lots of little day trips to the beach with friends, as well as buy a pool so we could cool off in our back yard during the hot months. It took quite a while to get our pool set up and ready to go. It almost seemed like it would never happen because of the amount of leveling Joe had to do to get it water worthy. Finally, we got it filled and enjoyed many hours of fun in the refreshing water.
July 4th came and we visited Uncle Shawn again. He set off some amazing fireworks that rained debris all over the yard with each blast. Caleb had fun getting buried while at the beach until the waves washed up to his head and threatened to overtake him.
On the 9th of July I drove up to New Hampshire to visit a friend I had not seen in a long, long time. She was in New England for a wedding and stayed an extra day so I could go up and spend some quality time with her. What a blessed time we had taking a walk in the woods, dipping our feet in the water, and eating ice cream together. It was a wonderful time of catching up and renewing our friendship. I am so thankful for good, Christian friends who still love the Lord and we can start right back where we left off.
A week later Ben and I traveled up to Vermont for a work day with my family. My mom's house needed some work done so we all got together and had a great time catching up. We got a lot done for her and the house looked awesome when we were finished! The highlight of Ben's visit was his ride on Uncle Nate's motorcycle. When it was time to go home, we brought our little nephew and his sister back with us for a week long visit. We had a great another great week with lots of fun in the sun.
After the busy week was over, I had some time to unwind before our trip to Virginia arrived. Joe and JJ needed to stay home and keep working the business (make hay while the sun shines, right?) and take care of all our animals, but my sister came with her family and together we made the trek down to Williamsburg, VA. It was eight days of more fun in the sun, with lots of rain in between keeping all the grass green down there. We came back late that Friday night of Aug 3rd so we could beat the crazy traffic that we had hit on the way down. While in Virginia, we went to Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, Busch Gardens, Water Country Park, Virginia Beach, and golfed in the rain at Pirate's Cove.
We came back home and had a few days of rest before Power House began at church. Teens from all around New England came to Heritage Baptist for two and a half days of preaching and fun game times. I do not have any pictures from those few days. The next big event was our boat outing we did on the 16th though. We had a crew of 21 people and we took three pontoon boats out on Candlewood Lake and had fun water tubing, jumping off the Chicken Rock again, and this time our friends brought some jet skis so we rode those a little too. Ben and I were dumped off two times, so it was really good we had our life jackets on during those rides.
One last big day trip was to Southwick Zoo in Massachusetts. We went with Patrick and Katie and we all had fun looking and petting a few of the animals. The baby monkey was small enough to fit outside of the cage so he was sitting on the fence scaring some of the visitors who did not read the sign.
That is about it except for the fact that JJ bought his first car this month. I will post a pic of that plus a few other good ones taken throughout the summer. May the Lord bless the rest of your summer (according to the calendar!) and remember that God is always good!