I think I can truthfully say that this has been the busiest summer of my life to date! Between lots and lots of church ministries, a kitchen remodel, all the canning that a big garden necessitates, family reunions/travels and birthdays, multiple hospitality opportunities, and of course the daily hum that goes with four little boys, goats, and chickens...well, let's just say that it's been a wild ride and I am just now coming up for air! The chance to catch my breath and regroup will last for approximately five days, though, before diving back into a full calendar this fall. We have had so many great experiences and made wonderful memories that I am thankful cameras can help capture!
In June, we had the penny tent outreach (pictured in the last blog post), two birthdays, a trip to the ER with Silas, the start of a young mom's discipleship Bible study, preparations for a parade float for the 4th of July parade, our first trip to the local roller rink, and a young families fellowship at our house for 30 people!
Hard to believe I hit the big 33 this year!
We enjoyed a little field trip to the day care center at our church when the fire department came for a visit!
The boys thought the fire truck was super cool and super huge!
With four boys, I am honestly surprised we have not landed in the ER until now...unfortunately, it was our little Si-Guy who busted up his nose on the brick fireplace stoop in our living room and needed some glue! After being turned away from two Urgent Care facilities, we were sent to the ER where we waited for nearly 4 hours to be seen for about 5 minutes. The whole experience cost us one very expensive bill! Praise God, we have a fantastic healthcare sharing ministry (Samaritan Ministries) that is covering this bill for us. And Silas' nose is looking great! I keep putting lavender essential oil on to help with the scarring. We'll see how it turns out in the end! (Picture above is of the wound before treatment.)
Once a rainbow lover, always a rainbow lover!
This was outside the church building on a night I really needed a reminder about God's presence and faithfulness!
Lampshade head. :)
His dress-up antics crack me up!!
Running errands in town one day...
Celebrating Josiah's 4th birthday at a friend's pool!
Such a beautiful day for a swim!
The boys had a blast...
...especially when the water guns came out!
Playing with his new present of Magnaformers.
One of Isaac's creations!
Celebrating with cake and friends at our Young Families' Fellowship!
The 4th of July parade was a hot success (very hot!), but I don't have any pictures of our float since I was too busy making it! We were using it to share with the community about VBS and soccer camp activities coming up at the church. VBS was a huge week for all of us and also a lot of fun! July also contained a family reunion with the Britton side of the family in Dayton, Grandma and Grandpa Camp for the oldest two boys, a mission trip to Dayton for Daddy (which meant me holding down the fort by myself for three days!), a family movie night at church, more Bible studies to write and teach, a finished kitchen remodel (at last!), Nathan's 32nd birthday, and lots of canning!
Teaching songs at VBS.
"Christmas in July" with the Britton and Dickey clans!
Because some kids like to do math with lamp shades on their heads...
Grandma and Grandpa Camp kicks off! Isaac and Josiah had a blast along with 9 of their cousins!
Feeding giraffes at an Amish farm/zoo.
Running an obstacle course made from noodles!
Ready to go on a tour of the cheese factory and splash around at a water park!
Meanwhile, back at home, our kitchen went from this...
Isn't it gorgeous?!?!
(More before and after pics coming soon!)
With the start of August came Adoniah's 4th birthday, soccer camp at church, a baby shower for a new friend, more Bible studies, more canning, a visit to the children's museum, a visit from our sweet friend, Sarah Jane Jameson all the way from Texas, and the start of AWANA clubs! It's official. This summer has been a whirlwind!
Addy Boy turned 4!!
Soccer camp was a hit with my boys!
My shopping buddy munching on a snack. I love his happy grin!
The best little corn shuckers around! I love how they are getting to be truly helpful around the house and farm! Early training pays off! ;)
A "beary special" shower for a very special mama and baby!
It was lovely having such an open, spacious kitchen in which multiple women could work at one time! ;)
Putting the finishing touches on brunch.
My new friend Molly and Baby Caleb soon to arrive!
Thankful for the natural energy my special "pink drink" gives me to keep up with all these shenanigans!
The boys had a blast at a small children's museum about 2 hours away that we went to as a rendezvous point to pick up our friend, Sarah Jane.
We started out in the water room.
Then we moved out into the main room. They loved dressing up like construction workers and playing on the bulldozer!
The fire truck was another huge hit!
Firefighter Isaac putting out the flames!
They must have played firemen for at least 15 or 20 minutes!
Isaac thought the fishing was really fun!
What a catch!
Loading up the crane with foam blocks.
Up it goes!
Building a house...
Addy really liked that crane!
Busy little bees!
The pretend house was one of Isaac's favorite activities! He especially enjoyed knocking all the bricks out and then rebuilding them (of course).
Silas thought it was great fun to ring the doorbell over..and over...and over!
Adoniah the little vet.
Dismantling shelves as always.
The puzzle boy found a puzzle!
Putting on a show!
We had a great time with Sarah Jane! So great, that we hardly took any pictures! Ha! During her stay, she helped me clean out and organize the basement, milk goats and clean out the barn, care for the children so I could clean off my desk and dresser which had become "catch all" spots during the summer, cook meals, wash dishes, can green beans, go on AWANA visitation, give Nathan and me a date out, and paint this mural on the wall of our children's wing at church! She was an absolute blessing in every way and added a lot of joy to our household with her cheerful ways and helping hands!
You would never know Sarah Jane had never painted murals before!
She did a great job helping me with this project!
I still need to write the words: "Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World" but the actual artwork is complete! We are pretty thrilled with how it turned out!
While Sarah Jane was here, we took the boys to the closing activity for the summer reading program. It was a one-man circus, and wow - was he talented! He did some amazing juggling acts as well as many other tricks like balancing 8 folding chairs on his chin!!
I promise that painting is not crooked; we just had a 5 year old behind the camera, so his angle is a little creative! ;)
Sarah Jane was so sweet to make these adorable pencil bags for the boys in anticipation of their upcoming school year! She sewed them and individualized them with the first letters of their names. This girl's thoughtfulness never ends!
Whew! If you made it to the end of this blog post, I am impressed! There was so much to share and record in my online journal! I am looking forward to a great fall season and the start of a new school year...but first, time for a little rest. Maybe. :)