August 29, 2012

Like so many things in life this has gotten away from me. Our summer has ended and we are in the second week of school. I had pondered this blog for a year, was so excited to start it and then all our travels began. I have had to realize I am a person who needs structure. Why is this so surprising since God is a god of order. I have not gotten into a rhythm of this blog being in my daily, weekly or monthly life yet. I so aspire to be a blogger. I read them, I am inspired by them, I learn from them, I am hoping to have one be a part of my life....

So I would like to begin my second attempt at blogging by sharing highlights from July and August of this year.

We enjoyed swim team in our neighborhood and both our youngest children received the award for Most Improved in their age range. We enjoyed getting to know some of our neighbors better and got to spend time with some we rarely see.
Our little bug doing Breast Stroke. Oh how I did not realize how much I missed seeing them swim the past two years we have not swam on team.

Aaron could barely swim across the pool before we started the team. He was ready all the time to learn a new stroke and compete in the race for the new stroke.

Oh the sharpie arms with their name and all their heats and strokes.

Swim Team is as much about the snacks as it is the swimming!


We spent a lot of time in MI. Thank you to my in-laws for having us so much. We have never had friends come to stay until this year. For my birthday some dear friends the Trent's came with two of their boys. The weather was not the best, but we made the most of it. We especially enjoyed ourselves when other friends, the McCoeys, stopped by the beach for the day. What great food and fellowship!

 Smores on the beach! Best because we get to see the sunset as well!
What a gift to spend my birthday with one of my dearest friends. Thanks Kel!

We loved sailing in Papa's and Grammy's new sailboat.

I am amazed how life is orchestrated sometimes with moments that leave a mark on our lives even when we do not know it is happening. Our second daughter turned 10 in June and only wanted to her three best friends to go to Grammy and Papas on Lake Michigan. From that desire sprang a desire to take the next step in her faith and get baptized. This is the moment I was just referring too...the one where we get a glimpse as a parent into our child's heart and we are inspired by their step of faith. Below are some of my favorite pictures from this time in MI. Her love for nature and all the is created is why she desired to be baptized in one of her favorite creations and by her dad. Bonus was that my Mom was there with us from NC. Thank you MOM!

Kathryn's baptism in Lake Michigan with Daddy! He shared why we get baptized from scripture and she shared her testimony. This is the moment that inspired me!
My Mom and Kathryn. What a special moment to experience as a grandparent. Thank you mom for being there with us!

Kathryn's love for the Lord is contagious!
So proud to call you my husband. Thank you for leading us and encouraging our faith.

Little Kathryn, her three besties, Aaron and Emma dug the deepest hole I have ever seen. Then they spent hours jumping over it and me capturing them in mid-air.
Having fun playing outdoor games for Kathryn's 10 Birthday Party.

My Mom treated the kids and I to a few days on Mackinaw Island. Can you imagine life with NO automobiles? It was great. We rode 9 miles around the island and just enjoyed the history of the island. We were so blessed throughout our times in MI with a family down the beach from my in laws. They are one of the most generous families I have ever met. We enjoyed tubing on the their boat, kayaking, their porch in Mackinaw and their grand kids!

Mom and I taking a break from biking on the Island.

Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.
Memaw and kids at our favorite rock along our horse and buggy tour.
We went back to MI for our annual Walpole/Oskam week away from reality. 7 cousins, 6 adults, and a dog. What fun we had riding a Dune Buggy on the Dunes at Silver Lake. It was a treasure to hear my husband and his family remembering the houses they rented on Silver lake when he was our children's age. Oh how things sift as we get older...that is the sand from the dunes.
We had so much fun Cousins!
What a great picture of an amazing family. I thank God often for the family I am gifted with through marriage. We have such good times. Thank you Papa and Grammy.
After MI we hosted my family at our house in IN. My mom and her friend Frank brought my nieces early and we enjoyed pool time, adventures in the woods, a water park and much more. Once my sister arrived we took off to Chicago for the day (only girls) while the boys went to Cincinnati for a baseball game. We enjoyed our last day of the summer with Aunt Na Na driving through the streets my husband and I owned our first home. We found an incredible Bistro on the Canal and had the best meal of the week. Then school began....
My kids and my sisters girls feeding the ducks in our neighborhood.
A day at the water park. It was cold. They are so funny. This is Elaina my sweet 8 year old niece.
This is the niece that changed my life. After meeting her day 2 of her life I decided I had all my priorities wrong. One year later we had Emma. I love Carly's sense of humor and her smile.
The top of the Hancock Building was more than I expected. The girls loved cleaning the windows and watching the air show.

What a day all because of my mom. Thank you for allowing all of us to see the best sites in Chicago.
Hancock Building, Navy Peer, the Bean, American Girl Doll Store, and the fountains. You are the best!
Taken from the Ferris Wheel. I love Chicago.....
I love you Rene! I love your free spirit combined with your unwavering faith.
Thank you for spending you days off with us. You are a delight.
OK I promise to never have such a long post. Goodbye summer and hello school year where we talk about Spreading Joy every day to those around us. I hope you join us again to see how we are spreading joy.....
Thank you God for all the joy I got to
see spread and my cup is overflowing.