Summer, in a nutshell....
I took a three week road trip with my kids. It was a memory maker.
We went up to Nana and Papa's farm to gush over this spectacle...
Can you imagine having this view out your window week after week? Nana and Papa are lucky eggs. This was God's special gift to a Kansas Nana. :-)
We celebrated Hayden's 14th birthday. Fourteen!!!
This has been a tremendously fun year of growth for Hayden. Not only does he tower in height, but his strong character, keen initiative, and outrageous sense of FUN continue to grow by leaps and bounds. What a lucky Mom I am. Truly.
We ate cake, laughed about his new Duck Dynasty bobble head, and bought him a BIRD.
Max has had an equally fabulous year, and this dog of his is beyond words.
LOVE that doodle dog. LOVE her!!!
Max spent lots of time at a horse therapy barn this summer where he has been volunteering with special needs kids. It is a super fit for him, and while I wish the barn was a little closer to our house, he has certainly found a niche that suits him.
So enjoyed my time with Hannah home this summer. These college years are precious....so much personal growth, and an exciting time for setting goals and blazing trails.
Hannah spent the first month of summer exploring Europe on a humanities tour with her school. It was everything she dreamed it would be; and for my art loving, history reading, culture minded girl, it was an intensely personal and rewarding experience. She came home different somehow........growing up, coming into her own, so confident in who she is and what she loves about life. You know what?
I really, really like her!!!! :-)
Here's the other thing about her increasingly adult life that I just love.....she has the most fabulously fun friends, and they are nice enough to let me bud in on their sweet lives. I love her friends like my own...they are an extension of our family.
One day, we went to a big cat sanctuary where Melanie worked HARD all summer. It was so fulfilling to see Melanie in her element....she loves animals passionately and is pursuing a career in some form of wildlife biology. She acquired such interesting knowledge about these big cats and we were enthralled listening to her share. I'm so proud of her!!!
The cat sanctuary where she worked was ravished by a deadly (to cats) disease this summer, and while I don't want to go on about that here, there were parts of the tour that were HIGHLY emotional for me. People who dedicate themselves selflessly to help animals (and other people, for that matter) inspire me greatly. I am constantly amazed at the strength and beauty of the human spirit, and the capacity for compassion and ministry.
There is so much GOOD in this world. So important to be reminded.
I'm crazy for this girl too. Hannah went to pick Morgan up at the church camp where she served for the third year running. Morgan started at a brand new school this fall, and I could not be any more excited for her. What a beauty this one is....she will take it by storm!!!
The Tuesday after Labor Day we started KINDERGARTEN. My very last first day of kindergarten. The night before we had to get our little "all about me" poster ready to go. True to form, I knew about that project all summer and waited until the night before school to even start on it. Some things never change. Why oh why do I give my kids so many lectures about procrastination???
We got up early and packed our lunch box, including a special first day note from Sissy. (She made a whole stack of them for me before she left for school, so I have enough to put in her lunch box everyday from now until Christmas. It is a fun little tradition we have.)
Drop off was dreadful. :-(
We had some MAJOR sadness on the first day, and it wasn't just me.
Tears, tears, OCEANS of tears. I didn't even take pictures that first morning because there was no break in the crying that started right out of bed. :-(
Luckily, by the time pick up rolled around, she was doing better.
I wish I could gush about how much we're loving kindergarten, but honestly, we may not be quite there yet. We only had tears that very first morning, but she was a little quiet and apprehensive the first several days. It is just SO VERY out of character for her. We seem to be more into a groove by now. We're on week three now, and she gets pretty excited about going in the mornings. I think overall she likes it, but we're still getting fully adjusted to a new school and new setting. She was at the same preschool for three years. We loved it so much. She is now at a little church for kindergarten, and while we may be a tad bit sluggish getting off the starting line, I really do think it will be a great year.
Probably the biggest news of the summer is that my Mom bought a new house!!!
WOO HA for Oma!!!
We are sooooooo excited about this new development. She moved out of her old house last week and is here with us until she closes on her new house. The new place is super cute and is within bike riding distance from our house. My boys are over the moon for that part. It has been super sweet having her here....Emma can hardly believe the good fortune of being spoiled all the time. I rather know how she feels.....daily help with laundry, carpools, and cooking isn't an all bad proposition! :-) I'll be more than a little sad to see her go! However, we are thrilled about the excitement that lies ahead and are gearing up for a very busy and happy time as we get her moved, unpacked, and settled.
So, I flunked summer blogging, but here I am, back in the saddle and full steam ahead.
Lots going on, and still grateful for this little space to report our happenings.