I remember...back in the day...when we first began homeschooling, we lived in Las Vegas. It was stinkin' HOT in the summer, and so we happily took our "summer" break in March or April, when it was pleasant outside and we had easily breezed through our school materials. We'd order the next core early and begin another round of school when it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. With a couple of babies born during our 4 years in Nevada, plus quite a bit of traveling to Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, we enjoyed our free and easy and flexible schedule, pretty much doing school "year-round" but taking breaks whenever we wanted.
But our next few moves happened during summer months (2009, 2012, 2015), with babies also arriving in summer months (2011, 2013, 2015). So it just made sense to keep a more "regular" school-year calendar.
With last summer bringing us back overseas PLUS a new baby, this summer was bound to be less...stressful, I suppose. But it was busy nevertheless! Here's a rundown of some of our summer highlights:
* Charis, Tobin, and Arden attended the Christian Youth in Action training camp the first week in June. Run by Child Evangelism Fellowship, this training prepares teens to share the gospel with children during 5-day clubs held throughout the summer. The kids learned how to completely run a club by themselves, from leading games and songs to teaching Bible and missionary stories, Bible verses, and review and application activities. It was a lot of work, but they all agree they are glad they did it!
* Immediately after this intensive training week, Charis left for a week-long missions trip to a reservation in South Dakota along with a team she has accompanied 4 different times now. She loves those kids and got to specifically use the skills she had just cultivated the week before as she interacted with kids and shared the gospel.
* Kenna, Lucan, and Zaden had swimming lessons the first two weeks in June. Seanin and Rhema and I enjoyed some quality hang-out time.
|Zaden loved getting rides in the boat!|
|Seanin braved the big slide by himself at the park!|
* We got to spend some time with our CO family when Joel and Sarah and their boys came through for a few days' visit on their way to a family reunion in Kansas (or maybe Missouri, I can't remember). We especially enjoyed an outing together to see the train park and then get some ice cream in the Old Market.
|Charis, Anders, Zaden, Arden (before his summer haircut!!), Cade, Lucan, Kenna|
* On June 28, Ted and I celebrated our 19th anniversary! Actually, I think our date night was the next weekend, but we DID get out for a date. And now I can't remember what we did...pretty sure we went to eat at Sinful Burger...oh! I think we saw Finding Dory! And then Ted took the kids to see it during the discounted matinee show the following week.
|Charis made this darling baby Dory for me after seeing the movie!|
* On July 15 our baby Rhema turned one! Charis made a fabulous birthday cake for her and we had a simple family celebration.
* The last week in July Charis attended a Bible camp with some of the kids in the local youth group. Aside from sleeping in a bunk the first night that had bed bugs in it (!!!!!!!)...she says it was a great week. (Mom is trying to refrain from further commentary here...)
* The first week in August our backyard hosted up to 16 kids during the last 5-day Club of the summer. Charis, Tobin, and Arden all taught 4 clubs, which kept us busy several weeks in a row as we drove to Omaha and Bellevue to other host homes. So it was nice that the last one was right in our yard with kids we knew, mostly from church but also a few from the neighborhood.
* On August 8 the kids took the online Bible Bee test, the culmination of 8 weeks of study over the summer, working through their Discovery Journal to dig into John 13 - 15 and also 14 different memory passages.
* August 10 - 14 I took another trip, this time to San Diego for a "Naples Reunion" with a number of ladies who were stationed there at the same time. It was SUCH a blessing to go! I stayed with my dear friend Joyce, co-founder of Missione di Luce with which I was involved during my time in Italy. She, like many of the ladies I met up with, now lives in San Diego. It was a joyous, refreshing few days as we caught up on each others' lives, prayed together, laughed together, and definitely ate good food together. I'm thankful for the opportunity to go.
|We spent all day at the beach, people coming and going as their schedules allowed. Sooooo nice to relax and talk!|
|Sheri opened her home for sushi-making at lunchtime and lots of hang-out time through the afternoon.|
|I think this is almost everyone who was able to make it!|
* We had a local Bible Bee celebration in our backyard August 20. Nine families had registered for the summer study, and while not everyone was able to complete everything, the feedback seemed overwhelmingly positive. We rejoice that kids spent time in God's Word, learning how to study the Bible and memorizing verses that will renew their hearts and minds! Also, we praise the Lord that Charis was able to qualify for the National Bible Bee Competition again this year.
|Kenna receives her certificate and chooses a verse to recite (John 13:34-35).|
|I took Zaden to get a haircut a couple of days before his birthday. Everyone was very sad at how short his hair is now, but I still think he's a cutie-patootie!!|
|We have generous friends who let us borrow this inflatable water slide for the friend party! It was a hit!|
|Brothers and friends!|