Good-bye Summer

Only 1 more day until school starts back!!!  Yay!!!!

Y’all, I might have overdone it this summer. Hmmm, Israel, Washington, D.C., trips back and forth to my parents’ as well as Alan’s parents’ house, camps, and the beach!!???

Who does that?

It was wonderful, and yet it was also like eating way too much at an all-you-can-eat donut buffet.

I definitely over-packed this summer with fun activities.

Lesson learned. Schedule more down time. Of course, next summer is a moving summer, so all bets are off for that one.

Daniel with his Vacation Bible School goo.

Good-bye, somewhat-dear summer.

You’ve actually over stayed your welcome. It’s time for fall to arrive. You were a well-behaved summer, the most exciting summer I can remember. There was so much rain that the temps stayed out of the 100s. Thank the Lord for that. We will remember you fondly.

But I need regular life to become more…well, regular…again. So please take a coat with you as you go because last year winter never showed up for work, so it sort of felt like you never truly left us. We’re hoping that won’t happen this year. I happen to like winter.

Goodbye dear summer, thank you for reminding me how much work referee-ing 4 youngsters all day long is when it’s raining outside every blessed day. I do love reminders, but really it is time for you to go.  You really must be leaving. Australia is waiting for you.

All right, hon, you go get cooled off now. Send us some of that rain this winter in the form of snow.

Shut the door, and lock it. I over planned this summer, and I need it to end now.

School supplies are purchased, Open House was last night, and the big day is so close I can taste it.

We received an email the other day saying that the first two days of school will only be half-days, so no school lunch will be provided. I still have to feed them lunch. But I’m not going to let that kind of negativity drag me down, y’all. I bet if I leave ’em up there until 3 with granola bars in their backpack they will just think I got confused……

Kidding. I’m kidding. I will behave.

In all seriousness, we DID have an incredibly fun summer with no mishaps that I can recall. That in and of itself is enough to make anyone thankful. Plus, we went on about  3 different vacations. Amazing.

Yes, this summer actually was quite Disney like.

Here are a few photos of the highlights:

Still one of my favorite places in the world: Destin

Jesus hugging a soldier statue, at a church in Destin.

Some of you will be proud to know that Joshua always makes sure we go to church while on vacation.

 

This is the first time we let them stay up late enough to watch the movie at the pool. It’s always 8:30 before the movie starts, so that it will be dark, and in the past we always had babies.

 

Us in Jerusalem. Wait. Jerusalem? What am I whining about? Best summer ever!!!!

 

Alan’s cousin married one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen, and their wedding was in this incredible building that used to be a Catholic Church.

We danced!

Nonna and DaddyO took the kids back to the hotel around 9, and Alan and I stayed out dancing until 10 or so!!! There should be more weddings. It was so fun to be dancing. More people need to get married and hire a deejay, and then invite us so we can dance.

They danced too.

Also, we taught the boys the YMCA song/dance on this trip.

my clingy sweetheart John David…This boy defines clingy.

By the way, those are the BEST high heels ever. I’ve had them since 2007. I wore them when I walked down the aisle at Amy’s wedding, 9 months pregnant. These are my official wedding shoes.

Just think, in 2001 this was a family of 4.

Washington, D.C. was a bittersweet trip because it made us miss D.C. all over again!!

Hanging with our friends at the Lincoln Memorial

Caleb has studied this giant Megalodon mouth for YEARS, and we finally got to see it in person. *Dreams coming true*

A beautiful day for touring the National Mall

The Capitol

Caleb’s birthday lunch at McDonald’s. Yeah. We’re fancy.

We gave Caleb his choice of places to go on his birthday in D.C. He chose our old neighborhood pool.

Birthday supper at Dairy Queen.

Caleb’s favorite birthday gift…..a Star Wars space ship to build. Anyone who knows Caleb knows he’s a hard core Lego fan.

Movie time with my boys that day my back didn’t work.

It looked this awesome for an hour….and then the strawberry juices ran, and strawberries started sliding off the cake. I just can’t make pretty food!!

The Ultimate Bubble Bath

Family Game Time

Nonna and Aunt Janet took the boys to see the Noah’s Ark replica.

…..and the Corvette Museum

Meanwhile, Sam’s started selling MY FAVORITE gluten-free bread. All other store-bought versions are disgusting. I love THIS stuff.

a house that Caleb built

Hard at work to earn money for a Nintendo Switch. It may take them a while, but they are off to a good start.

 

Yes, okay, this might have been the best summer ever. While I cherish the memories, I have now regressed to “Oh it’s raining, and it’s the last day of summer….Just watch t.v. all day…Yeah, sure, play 3DS too.”

So it’s definitely time to go back to school. Some of the boys were even wishing school was starting back today! Me too, y’all. Me too.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

 

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

 

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

 

a time to tear down and a time to build,

 

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

 

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 

     Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

 

 

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What it’s Like a Year After Moving

One year after moving…

A year ago, we were the new kids in town. It’s an exciting place to be, but it’s not a secure feeling at all. Perhaps that why it’s so exciting. You’re all out there without roots, marching out into the unknown, hoping the people will be kind and the environment friendly.

Phew! It’s exhausting to be new: always putting your best foot forward…Actually, sometimes it’s an accomplishment just to remember to smile at everyone and keep your foot out of your mouth. Forget about your best foot. Which one is best anyway???

That’s why the one-year mark is a much happier place to be. No, we don’t have “roots” here yet, but at least we’ve met people, we’ve been watered in, so to speak, and the garden is feeling less scary and more familiar.

 

3 of my guys, passed out “watching” the NBA finals a few weeks ago…Is it called the finals? Or the championship?  They were rooting for the Golden State Warriors. We’ve held on to a few favorite sports teams from each move. We may always be #TeamWarriors and #TeamNats and of course, #rolltide!

 

 

This is at a park across town. Last year that park seemed like a million miles away, and I could not have made a single turn without the help of the GPS. This summer it seemed so much closer!

Last year I had a LIST of things I was NERVOUS about:

  1. School uniforms for the boys–Did we buy the right thing? Will they ever adjust to wearing collared shirts everyday?
  2. Switching back to regular school–Will we survive it???
  3. Meeting people– Will anyone like us? Will the boys make friends? What if there’s a bully? What if one of them gets in fights at school?
  4. My face is broken out like a teenager–WHYYYYYYY????
  5. Church people–We picked this church, but will it work out? What sort of people will they turn out to be? Do they pretend to be perfect and expect me to do the same? I’m not playing that game. I’m much too old for that.
  6. The village–Is this a good place for my children to be raised? Why is this crime report so horrible? Is this place less safe than D.C.? Because it sort of seems like it is!!!
  7. Dropping off J.D. ANYWHERE is impossible. He will NOT let me leave him. Will he ever stop crying???

The boys have taken turns killing spiders for me this summer. Perhaps I should call pest control…

This year I have about 1,000 LESS worries and anxieties!!!

All of the worries from last year are gone. We are happy with our school, our church, and JD usually lets me drop him off without too much of a struggle.

I can’t tell you much it warmed my heart to have ONE successful VBS year with my boys. First of all, VBS and our boys have not always been a great combination.

Most of my boys don’t enjoy crafts, singing, dancing, or listening. Sigh. That list pretty much sums up VBS, doesn’t it? Plus, they are a little shy, and they dislike large crowds, especially large crowds of kid where they don’t know anyone.

This week has been completely different for us! We have achieved VBS success. I can’t believe it!

First, of all, I taught Bible story time, so three of my four boys got to have me as their teacher for 20 minutes of the morning, which helped.

Secondly, they divided the 100 children into groups of 6 to 12 kids of like ages. I can’t tell you what a blast Joshua had getting to hang out all morning everyday with 5 other 11-year-old boys.

And Daniel made a new friend who likes baseball as much as he does!

Seeing them so happy made my day because most years they just feel like the outsiders at the family reunion. You know? Going to events in a new place where you don’t know anyone is like going to a high school reunion for a high school you didn’t attend.

It was also a relief to not be moving this year. Without all the unpacking boxes and living in hotels, we’ve had more time to do fun things this summer. We’ve gone to weddings, visited old friends, played with new ones, celebrated birthdays, and hung out together at home.

 

We have a lot of fun. Sometimes they make up their own costumes…

JD has developed a passion for puzzles, and he does these completely by himself.

swimming with friends: Here’s Daniel’s favorite girl squirting Caleb in the face with a water gun.

We actually had to say good-bye to Daniel’s favorite girl and her brother this summer, who is one of Caleb’s best buds, so we do know the sadness both in moving and in having friends move.

He wears a Batman t-shirt every single day.

We’ve visited both sets of our parents multiple times. My dad really loves having his picture taken, as you can see…

John David turned 4 and built up his Lego collection.

The boys had a ball getting to sleep in hotel beds.

I’ve almost recovered from sleeping in hotel beds….

 

 

visiting our old best buds on Caleb’s birthday

So this summer finds us in a much more secure place than last year.

We have friends. We know how to go most everywhere we need to go without looking at a map, and best of all, we have about a hundred acquaintances.

It warms my heart to see my boys relaxing more and being themselves.

I hear people knocking “acquaintances” sometimes, but those must be people that never move. When you move frequently, you learn to treasure even the acquaintances, because thanks to them, you can walk around town and be reminded to smile and nod because you spot a familiar face.

It’s reassuring to me to have tons of just acquaintances. Why? Because those are all potential people in your corner right there! Just seeing a familiar person, someone whose name you know, is enough to put you at ease when you sign up for something new and you walk into a room full of strangers.

Walking around in a sea of strangers feels a lot less welcoming to me than passing by people who smile and say hello because they know my name or they know my children.

So I would say that actually having a ton of surface level friends is not so bad.

Yes, you need a few close friends too, but you can only pour into so many bosom buddies. It’s pretty awesome just to be somewhere long enough to know people’s names and have a few friends to say hello to. It reminds you to smile, and when we smile we start to feel good, as though we belong. And you know what? You do belong.

Happy summer, y’all! I hope you’re having a good one too.

 

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10 Reasons Why We Don’t Have a Dog

When we were moving from California to Georgia last year, I actually entertained the idea. That was mostly because Daniel kept asking if each prospective house “had room for his dog.” It started to melt my cold, cold, hard dog-disliking heart for a bit there.

But Alan quickly came to the rescue with a firm, “No, Daniel, we aren’t getting a dog. We don’t have room, time, or desire enough for a dog. We move too much, and when we go on vacation, what would we do about the dog? No, it just doesn’t work. It’s not time for a dog yet.”

The dogs in these photos are both types of poodles. If we ever got a dog, which we won’t, we’d get a poodle, I guess.

We don’t do dogs. The boys’ grandparents just got a new dog, and the way that it has taken over their lives is actually a prime example of why we don’t have one. ha!

This dog belongs to our friends.

10 Reasons Why We Don't have a Dog

#1–And this is the biggest and most truthful reason—No one is really even asking us for a dog. No one has begged or pleaded at all, no one is drawing pictures of dogs, buying stuffed animal dogs, or mentioning them in their prayers. Not a single boy actually seems to care that we don’t have one. So phew! No pressure is reason numero uno.

 

#2. They poop.

a lot. And people expect you to clean it up, and that’s just gross. Touching poop is gross. I’m so done with that phase of life.

#3. They pee.

…and sometimes they do that in your house, and again, you have to clean it up. I am finally at a place where all of my little humans are toilet trained, so why would I go back to that?

#4. I’m sorry, but unless they look like a puppy their whole life, like the one in the photo below, they aren’t even cute.

Sorry, I know half of you hate me now, but I’m just saying. Dogs aren’t cute to me.

Okay, granted, that one is cute, but most of them aren’t.

#5. We move every 2-3 years, which is much more difficult to do with a pet along.

Hotels, car trips, planes, waiting, house hunting. This is not a dog-friendly life style.

#6. The 1st year we live in a place, we are basically friendless, so we don’t even have anyone to dog sit for us on vacations.

Okay, yes, there are kennels. I know that, but this article is about why not, not about being positive and finding a way. hehehe

#7. They stink.

Well, they do!

#8. They lick me, and I don’t like that.

#9. Unless they are trained, they jump on you with their muddy yucky paws. 

And I certainly do not have time to train some smelly dog.

#10. And in spite of all of it, if they ever put out a concerted effort to beg us to get a dog, I’d get them one, okay. 

See, I do have a heart, but it’s coupled with a great deal of practicality, and dogs are simply not practical. They don’t even provide a service. At least cats do eat mice and things. Well, some cats do. No, we don’t have a cat either. For good reason. That would be a rather similar list. Just add allergies and ‘litter box’ to this one.

 

This may be one of those posts that makes me more enemies than friends. But, y’all!!! I have to remind myself of ALLLLLL these reasons when I see how cute my little boys are when they play with these puppies. I will re-read this post every time the boys visit Bella (the cute puppy in the photos), to remind myself why we don’t have one!!

 

 

 

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