Friday, August 12

Summer Days...Drifting Away...

Wow! Were we busy this summer. Starting in May we have been going, going, going! I finished up school Mid-June, which wasn't initially my plan, but just how it worked out. We traveled a lot, and spent a lot of time in hotels. Were almost caught in that terrible Joplin tornado, and spent way too much money. Scott and I decided that in future years we just need to budget summers like this better. It's been crazy, to say the least.

The end of May we traveled near Oklahoma City for my nephew Alex's graduation. We knew our old van would probably not make the trip. So first on our list of duties was to trade in our old van for a new one. We had really needed a new van for a long time, but the joy of not having a car payment kept us calmly in our old van for probably too long.

There are photos below of the cool hotel we stayed in on the way, in Springfield, Mo. Once we got to OKC we stayed in another hotel, and were able to visit with my sister and her family all weekend. We had such a fun time visiting and playing Apples to Apples with them. On our way back to Springfield, to stay in that cool hotel again on the way back, we were rerouted due to the tornado that had just hit Joplin about 30 minutes before. We were scheduled to go right through Joplin to get to Springfield, but never made it there. We ended up driving another 10 tortuous hours into Kansas, and then over and across Missouri to make it to mom and dad's house. I say tortuous because it was a long drive, but in retrospect we could have been on the highway when the tornado hit, or in Joplin itself. We experienced nothing like those precious people suffered that horrible night in Joplin, for which I was very thankful.

Soon after returning, I went with one of my dearest friends to the Anita Renfrow concert. We laughed so hard we cried. We also met up with some of Michelle's friends from church, went to dinner at Avanti's and just had the most fun time together.

Things went back to normal as we continued finishing up the year with our studies. Scott's cousin Mary came for a visit, and we a had a few family reunions on Scott's side of the family. Soon after my Grandma came by train to visit us. It was a nice visit, although I ran her around so much, I think she was pretty warn out by the time she returned home. I even took her to Bunco night with me and my mama friends.

The next weekend my niece Madison flew in from Washington State. Mom and dad picked her up in St. Louis and we all traveled up to Wisconsin for my niece Courtney's graduation. We all had such a fun time visiting. It was so nice to get to spend time with my sisters, and see friends and family we hadn't seen in such a very long time. Hunter and Matt ended up going back with mom and dad for the week.

After returning home from that the last week of June, Ethan and I headed straight back down to Missouri for the 4th of July. My sister Jennie's family came up from OKC and my brother Ken and his family came down from Milwaukee. We had such a great time out on the lake, watching fireworks, jetskiing, and just having a great time together as a family.

After returning home my niece Madison came to us for a visit. The kids had such fun seeing their cousin again, and she was able to visit with her pen pal Molly she had met last year while visiting here. My brother came up from Milwaukee and visited for a day as well.

The past few weeks have been filled with working on 4-H projects for the Fair, Matt going to Alabama, registering Matt for his senior year in high school, attending the Fair, and this past week was Hunter's 10th birthday. So a birthday party to boot.

It was a lot of fun, and it went by so fast. Today I am back in school mode, ordering Matt's school clothes and shoes, and downloading things for me to start homeschooling again in a week and a half.

I am excited for the Fall and for things to slow way down. I love our playgroup, and my mama group, and my gardening, and all those fun outdoor experiences summer brings, but Fall is a slow time of year, and the one time of year I think I cherish the most.

I apologize for this being a somewhat boring post, I promise my next one will be much more interesting. I added a few new websites and blogs to my blog roll, if you are interested in taking a look, and also want to remind you that Big Picture Classes is holding their Big Idea Festival, Aug. 15-23. You can click on the link to get registered. It's completely free, and a lot of fun! I've been on-line scrapbooking for a few years now, and I love that I get to meet and chat with other scrapbookers around the world, even the famous ones! Famous in the scrapbooking industry anyway. It's full of fun prizes and challenges. I've won a few myself. If you scrapbook, I recommend you should really check it out. Ciao!

My sister Ann, and her daughter Courtney (the graduate), Megan, and her husband Scott.
Ann, Scott, and Courtney at the graduation party.
Mom and dad with some good friend. Pete and Bev, and Pete and Rosie.
My dear Uncle Pete and his wife Rosie.
Our group at the Anita Renfrow Concert. Super fun time!
Play date at the splash park with friends.
Dinner with my handsome husband.
A great time with good friends!
Hunter and Ethan with some really good friends!
Hanging on the zip-line at Sugar Grove :)
Splashing at the hotel pool.
Sitting by the fountain "at the cool hotel" which is what the kids called it. It was cool!
The boys favorite place to eat in the whole wide world.....Ryan's Steakhouse.
Playing Risk with all the cousins, and cousins of cousins :)
Cool hotel! Awesome food too :)
Swimming at the "cool hotel".
Our new van. New to us anyway. 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan with stow and go seats.
Beach volleyball with all the cousins :)
Fun with homeschool friends at our favorite park in town.
My little Ethan boy just a swingin'.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and please post a link to your blog. I'd love to see what you all have been up to this summer too.

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