They look so innocent, don't they?
It has been an exhausting month for me, and the funny thing is there's not much to show for it in the way of pictures or progress. I always think of summer as hot breezy sunshiny days being lost in a book or swimming in the pool or spending time being still in the grass watching the clouds roll by. Somehow summer feels way busier than our school year. Swim lessons, VBS, continuing piano lessons, dance lessons, soccer games, special days like Father's Days and birthdays (and yes, I know, many of you are doing this and have new babies and moves on top of that! More prayers coming your way!). Then we deal with the lack of structure, and, hence, sibling interactions and dynamics completely change. It's been one crazy and sometimes frustrating ride, and we're only one month in!
Plus I was dumb enough/blessed enough to read Kisses from Katie, which totally drained me emotionally. If there is one book you read this year, let it be that one! It is an amazing true story and well worth being shell-shocked by the end of it. I'm still asking myself the question, "What now?".
We finally celebrated Rhianwen's finish of Kindergarten at a "garden full of flowers that's not in our yard".
The ice-cream cake with balloon embellishments as requested 'though not so professional, it did please the recipient. Did you know Ben and Jerry's are Fair Trade certified? Excited about that!
This year Rhianwen has mastered reading. She's blowing through chapter books now, and I'm scrambling to find age appropriate books for her since most chapter books are geared toward slightly older kids. She's loving the American Girl books, Wizard of Oz, Trumpet of the Swan, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. She is writing well and is working on her first story with chapters called "Belle and the Witch". I am kicking myself for not teaching grammar, but even if I had, I don't think we'd have gotten to how to write using quotation marks in the first year. We'll be adding lots of those types of subjects next year. I have lots of planning to do! She did Kindergarten math even though I felt she probably could have done 1st, I just wanted to take it slowly and build a firm foundation. And of course, she LOVED God Creation and Me, which was our catch-all---science, language arts, social studies, crafts curriculum. For Bible we worked through Long Story Short, but we're not even halfway done. We'll probably work on that more this year, but we'll take a break for Young Peacemakers.
So, back to summerness:
These boys have a love-fight relationship. I'm thinking this is a brother thing, but most days I think my boys will grow up hating each other and be bitter toward me for allowing this to happen. Then I cry a little and pray a lot. (I'm hoping you wise experienced mothers are laughing at me right now, b/c that will make me hopeful that I am being silly.)
Dancing, in a tutu.
We've had a ton of wildlife here. The most noteworthy to my husband being the pesky groundhogs. I've started calling Wally Elmer Fud. B/c when he goes out to the garden he often carries his gun...
We discovered this guy in the creek behind our house. He hung out long enough for the kids to sketch him.
Oh, life is sweet...at this exact moment.
Corwin's turtle masterpiece.
Alden's--don't you love the enormous feet?
We celebrated Elmer's, oh, I mean, Wally's birthday. I actually really do respect a man who can be logical enough and angry enough to take out a varmint, but I have to be a little light hearted about it b/c deep down I'm sad that something has to die just so we can have tomatoes and beans. I lobby for a fence often.
My guys on Father's Day. Aren't their ties adorable? Two Sisters Original from Etsy makes them, and another adorable thing is that for some they make matching dresses for the sissies!
We are still working on the chicken house....Not sure if Alden thinks he's constructing or demolishing.
Our baby wrens have hatched and are being fed worms and insects constantly by their mama and daddy.
With all the rain we've had, our creek has become more of a stream.
The kids have had a great time with their boats.
This summer I'm doing a little Mother-Daughter Bible study with Rhianwen and another mom and daughter. We're going through Tea Party Bible Times for Mom and Me. I've enjoyed a little one-on-one special time with her each night, and then we have a tea party once a week with our friends to discuss what we learned and to enjoy being girls :)
An update on our refugee family: the older ones have jobs which will support their immediate needs. We are learning more of their story, trying to navigate guiding them vs. letting them make their own choices, and seeking ways for the rest of our church to interact with them. Please especially pray that God would capture their hearts, that we would be wise yet proactive about showing them our faith, and, more specifically, that the mother would let the children participate in some youth activities.
Lastly for some funnies:
Rhianwen asked me how to spell "cheaty". I said it wasn't a word, so she could spell it however she wanted to. Then Alden piped up and said, "So just spell it I-M-H-O."
Corwin gave me a hat to wear, a normal black triangular type of hat:
Me: Why do I need a hat?
Corwin: It make you a Ho Ho. (This is/was his word for Santa Claus).
Corwin tries standing on his head: Me Ho Ho! Corna Ho Ho!
Rhiawen was looking at a map of the state of South Carolina and asked if it was Africa. I told her it wasn't and that is was the place where the Grandparents lived:
Rhianwen: "North America?"
Me: "No. Continent of North America, Country of the United States, Sate of...."
Rhianwen: "Macedonia?" (...then seeing my amused expression...) "I was just being funny."
Guess we may be traveling to Macedonia for the 4th!