Our first year of seminary, the name of our building's newsletter was "Bits of Tid." The phrase still brings a smile to my face. That is your first "tidbit."
We got home from our trip to Cincinnati and immediately got slammed by Post-Road Trip Syndrome (PRTS). If you've road-tripped, you know it well. The kids get sick, the laundry is overflowing, the house is a disaster - both from suitcases that have thrown up all over your living room and from the deep cleaning that you don't get done when you are out gallivanting all over the midwest - your schedule is slammed because you are trying to catch up after your time away and quickly get prepared for a crazy busy schedule to come, and all you want is to take a nap. So these are the random "Bits of Tid" from our life in the midst of the chaos of PRST, ministry meetings, VBS preparations, and 2 more weddings!
What do you do when you need to start making decorations for VBS, but you want to spend quality time with your kids? Have them help make decorations for an arts & crafts project! They are so excited about being a part of the decorating crew!
According to Allie, she would like to be a babysitter someday. Or a mermaid. A mermaid would obviously be cooler, because you could swim with sea turtles and seals, but you would have to learn to breath underwater, and that would be hard (her words).
Is it just me or does this look a little like C-3P0 decorating a butterfly? Or Ryan's impression of C-3P0 at the very least...
Ryan would like to be a lifeguard when he grows up - until he becomes a fireman and a race car driver. Really, he just wants to be Lightning McQueen. He just hasn't figured out how to turn himself into a car...yet...
Some of the butterfly decorations for VBS.
We FINALLY made it to the lake. Between travel and weather, our days in the water have been few and far between. But we are squeezing our lake days in whenever we can! Our most recent trip was actually a fairly cool day. So chilly that I never even thought about the fact that I didn't put any sunscreen on me. I thoroughly sunscreen each child before putting on their swimsuits, but had forgotten myself. I was so cold, that the idea of burning never occurred to me...and we stayed in the sun to keep warm because it was really cold in the shade. I am currently as red as you are imagining...
Allie jumping in!
Ryan swimming (can you tell that he is unhappy that I won't put the camera down and come in so he can take of the floaties and practice swimming under the water?)
We have a garden this year. Sort of. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious black thumb. But, our fish have survived this long so I figured we might be ready. A good portion of what we planted didn't make it. But a few things have. I'm thinking of it as our dry run before next year. We're mostly just going through the motions and figuring out what we are doing - any produce we actually collect is a bonus!
Helping me water the garden.
We have already "harvested" 2 meals worth of peas. Our dill has been growing like crazy (which is awesome because I LOVE dill). 1 pumpkin plant made it and looks like it is doing great (so we should have mini pumpkins come fall).
Allie loved the rainbow you can faintly see in the water spray.
The biggest surprise (pictured below) is our zucchini plant! A surprise because we didn't plant any zucchini. We didn't even buy an zucchini seeds. As far as I know, there were no zucchini's or their seeds ever in the vicinity of our garden. I almost pulled this plant when it first started growing because it was definitely not the radishes I had planted in this spot. But it looked so much like our pumpkin plant that I left it in case I accidentally planted a pumpkin in the wrong spot. Just a couple days ago I discovered little zucchinis growing! Good thing we LOVE zucchini and use it for everything - like to replace lasagna noodles and keep our meatballs moist. (Update: It turns out it is a cucumber - which we also did not plant! We LOVE cucumbers and have a ton of dill...so it is still a match made in heaven!)
If you look very carefully you can see one of our little zucchinis growing at the bottom in the center.
Our Home Study Update is finished!! Our social worker and friends who wrote our reference letters knocked that out in record time! We are all set to reapply for our government paperwork in August!
The other evening, I put together one of my favorite childhood summer pass-times for the kids. A water slide!
As part of the home study I had to do a TB test. When I went in to pick up my results, Allie threw a HUGE tantrum in the bathroom. After making everyone in the doctor's office wonder if I was abusing her, I left wondering about her behavior as of late. I realized that I got in a bad habit of spending a lot of time on my computer during the time I was down with my ankle. So, I have been trying to stay off the computer when the kids are awake. Trying to be more present - because the more connected I make a point of being, the better their behavior always seems to be!
They LOVED it!
Speaking of my ankle...I'm out of the air cast! Have been for 2 weeks now. At first, the extreme loss of range of motion had me disheartened. I have been working on some physical therapy type exercises a nurse friend gave me, and have made a lot of progress! My bad ankle still doesn't have the movement that it used to, but I'm able to move much more easily than I was when I first took of the brace. I feel encouraged by the progress.
They kept comparing it to the slip 'n' slide at Papa & Gigi's.
Friday morning donuts have started to become a regular occurrence (when we are home). You have a good chance of running into us on Friday mornings at our local donut place (which is so much more than JUST a donut place). We wrap up our time there visiting the animals, and then set out to see if there are any local garage sales where we can "treasure hunt." I love our Friday mornings.
I borrowed Uncle Nic's slip 'n' slide trick of adding a little dish soap to help them move across the tarp.
Ryan and Allie have been into decorating for parties lately. Every day one of their stuffed animals has a birthday. Every day there has to be a unique party with a unique theme and homemade decorations. I love watching them put together their parties. It makes me happy that all the thought and effort I put into their parties clearly isn't going unnoticed. I do not love having to clean up after their daily parties.
Because of all the party decorating, I took some time to teach the kids that only the blue painter's tape can be used on the walls. The result is that my painter's tape is always missing and I'm constantly finding things taped to the walls everywhere. But as long as they are only using the blue tape, I'm calling it a win!
Speaking of a win, one of my favorite parts of the summer is that my kids go semi-vegetarian. As fresh produce is abundant (sometimes from our own garden), they request as much as they possibly can for every meal. It is not unusual to see 3-4 fruits and/or veggies on their plate at lunchtime.
Once they got over being sick, the kids started waking up between 5:15 and 6 every morning. Every. Single. Morning.
Clearly, for them, "summer" means use every single minute of daylight to have fun. I'm kind of looking forward to the days when "summer" means sleeping in...
As always, we have many more adventures in our near future! We will keep your posted as best as we can :)