Friday, August 8, 2014

Super Summer Summary

How did we enjoy the lazy days of summer?

Well, there was not a lot of travel (but I had to put a few spring Disney pics in somewhere, seeing as how I've completely neglected the trip on the blog):
 That's right, no high seas adventures this year. But look at those pirates. Aargh!

 We waited 2 1/2 hours for this picture here. 
 We went to the real stave church this one was modeled after last year in Norway.

Okay, back to this summer.
We were homebodies all summer long. Our only activities were two weeks of camp (art, and soccer), and perfecting the art of childhood. I wrote an article about Summer Sabbath, and I meant it.
(Article here: )
Most days, these Fab Five were hanging out together in the backyard, at the pool, and riding bikes on the cul de sac.
 They were really into Minecraft, scary stories, Goosebumps, and My Little Pony this summer. Yes, even those boys love that little gem of a cartoon (and secretly, so do I).
 We spent a lot of time on the driveway with the neighbors. Every summer, I keep big bubbles in a container beside the front door. Kids love them!

 Sometimes the kids would crawl in bed after Mark left for work. We'd snuggle and read together after everyone got untangled.
 I saw these lovely ladies.
Mark celebrated Canada Day with Canadian beer. 
 Aunt Jennie and I got a pic with the intern at the Rainbow House.
I think that place is just awesome.
 Love Wins.
 And we brought some rainbow balloons and a little gift to TaNeishea.
 Look who's 22! Love her so.
 Our bunny became so fascinated by Bonhoeffer that we renamed Mr. Tibbles "Bonhoepper."
I think it's perfect.
 Mark and I took turns taking both kids on several dates. 
Lulu and I had pedis.

 We changed churches. That's a story for another time, but God was loud and clear. As in stunning synchronicity, five dreams in a row with a theme of moving on, and then hearing a voice of guidance as I woke up from sleep one morning.
Call me crazy, or call it a "hypnopompic hallucination"... whatever. 
All I know is that this voice that I heard, and those five dreams, led us straight.
I finally feel free and accepted for who I am at Rez Downtown, after a lot of struggles of not feeling free and accepted before because I thought a little differently about things, particularly how I read the Bible. Square peg, round hole, I realized (after about a year of denial). This decision to leave our old church, which held so many fond memories for us despite it all, wasn't easy, nor was it knee-jerk or reactionary. But it was absolutely God's best for us, and we're much healthier now that we're at a church that genuinely accepts us. 

When God gives us seed, God tells us to plant it in fertile soil. Lesson learned.

Now I rotate helping to lead prayer on Sundays (leading into worship this Sunday morning, in fact), and a friend from school, Matt, and I teach a 6-week class at RezDT about the art of healthy dialogue called "Live & Let Think." This is a photo our first group, and they made this experience so incredibly fun. Next one starts up September 29. Can't wait!
"Where is our religion, if we cannot think and let think?" -John Wesley
 Loads of slumber parties this summer; usually impromptu and with the neighbors...

 ... This is how we get them to sleep at night!
 Handsome played baseball. He was really good with the bat!

 Who's that little stud wearing shades?

 Grammy, Bpop and Meg came to cheer him on a bunch.
 Proud of our little athlete.
 And his teammates went to see the Royals.

 We spent loads of time with family.
Here are the kids the weekend of 4 July (Cousin's baby shower/Uncle's 50th/Luksa Reunion).
 Speaking of dreams earlier, I woke up from a dream that a cousin was at a hospital giving birth, and our family was there searching through all the rooms trying to find her and hear how the birth went. While I was dreaming it, my cousin Stephanie, from Indiana, was in labor at 37 weeks! So happy to welcome our newest family member, Baby Grayson, born last week!
My babies.
 Uncle Todd turned 50. He rented a cabin on the lake. Party time!

 Our family's a little wild.
 And never boring.
 We also had the treat of hosting the Canadian Connellys, and they treated us to a night at Great Wolf Lodge. The kids had a blast splashing in the water and doing Magic Quest.

 Kayla, Lorelei, Tyler, Gryffin
 So grateful for our week together.
And we went camping with the neighbors in the Ozarks. Sherry was a virgin camper who hates spiders, so we had to initiate her into the fun of camping outdoors.

 We decorated the campground a bit one night when Sherry and Tony were in the bathroom. They looked a bit confused upon their return, and we got a short, strident scream with the spiders. Teehee.
We also spent some time at Silver Dollar City. Marvel Cave was absolutely incredible, only I don't have pictures. :(

 And finally, Lorelei got orthodontics yesterday! 6-8 months for phase one to widen her jaw as she grows; whether she'll need more later depends on when all of her permanent teeth come in. She's always wanted braces; she was so excited!

 ... And a wee bit nervous.
 Okay, seriously nervous now...
 But alas, after a few tears, she survived. She looks so grown up! Proud of you, Lulu.
 On the drive home, we stopped at Sonic for a milkshake.
 She was all smiles.

 School starts back in one week! The kids have been working diligently all summer on the library reading program and on worksheets I've made them for Daddy Dollars (each $DD = 5 min. on the iPad). Gryffy's a champ at reading and math, and Lorelei's not only devouring books, but knows most of her times tables. Proud of all their hard work.
 Oh summer, you always leave us too soon. We're grateful for all your treasures, summer 2014.

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