Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ten on Ten :: August 2017

Well, I missed this one. Really. It didn't even occur to me that the tenth had passed until...yesterday, maybe? I generally know the days of the week, but after Ethan's birthday week, I lost track of it all, ha ha. No bother, it's my blog, and I will just do an amended version of ten on ten today. :)

Thursday, the 10th, was the only day we didn't have anything going on, so I caught up on housework, got more groceries, recovered from all the go-go-go, and just basically had the lamest summer day you can possibly have. And I don't regret it, ha. We needed a down day!

This morning view is my favorite. He is usually such a happy camper when he wakes up.
Well, for the second time. He's up between 4:30 and 5:30 to nurse and then he sleeps on our bed for another hour or so. It used to be after seven, but now he's waking up around 6:00. That isn't too much fun.

So technically, this happened the day before, but again, my blog my rules. ha ha
We met friends and headed to a water park. We had such a great time!

 And who left the sunglasses too close to the edge of the table?
This girl. So sad. RIP discount store aviators.

Never gets old. I could stare at his sleeping self all day long.

I headed to the grocery store, my home away from home.
For probably the third time in five days. 
It isn't even that I forget stuff, but the humidity makes everything go bad so quickly, so I just get fewer things but have to get them more frequently.
Can't win. ;) Anyhoo, this deer greeted me as I was about to pull into our driveway, only she let me watch her for a long time. I parked the van and zipped down the hill, thinking she'd dart off, but she stayed. Then a few minutes later, she met up with her brother and I watched the two of them before heading back inside to reality, ha ha
 Also, to be clear, I have no idea about the gender of either of the deer. We have watched them since they had spots, and I just came to think of them as brother and sister. :)

Later, I worked on these cute lovey blankets- they are the only thing that helped Levi sleep in his crib- and I'll be listing some in the shop soon.

I can't believe how quickly summer has flown by. We head back in just over two weeks, and some days I feel really ready, and others, not so much. Time just won't slow down!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ethan's Adrenaline-Filled Eighteenth Birthday Week

We figured, for your eighteenth birthday, you go big. And I'm so glad we did.

I love this guy so much. He made me a Mommy, and now he is getting ready to head out on his own. I'm excited for his future, which is a good thing because it's the only thing keeping me from breaking down and sobbing when I think about it all.

We wanted his eighteenth birthday to be something he'd never forget, a memory to always look back on and smile big. I sure hope that's the case! We had both grandparents over for cake, well, the brownie with cream cheese topping- which shall be called brownie cheesecake from now on, as that's what it really is anyway- and presents one evening, and Bill took the day off work to take him out for the day doing guy stuff. Which ended up including sushi, I'm told. And I may have been a little jealous. HA

 We have enjoyed getting to know his girlfriend, whose name I don't feel the need to mention. :) It's actually quite fun getting to hang out with them. She spent part of his actual birthday with us, before we headed out for adventure. Aren't they the sweetest looking couple?!

Then it was my turn!
We ventured out to Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown, NH on Sunday, his actual birthday.
It was fantastic! I highly recommend visiting if you find yourself in the area.

First up, getting fitted for harnesses and helmets, and riding up up up to the zip line courses.
I had never been. And I was a little nervous! The view was spectacular. It always makes me think about how creative and fun our God truly is, to create such breathtakingly beautiful sights for us.

We crossed rickety rope bridges, climbed moving platform things, and at this junction, a hawk's nest was next to us and the two baby birds were hopping on the branches, sizing us up. That was so neat.

Look! I did it!
Oh, and ladies, do not wear shorts. I repeat, do not wear shorts. Why did I not know this?
Wear capri pants, snug-fitting leggings, bike shorts, even jeans. But Do Not Wear Shorts.
ha ha

Ethan said he was proud of me. I will never forget that.
I'm afraid of heights, and wiggly things. So, yeah, big day for me too.

Next up, the real adventure... hang gliding!

We watched a teen girl go up first, and I was glad because I could see where I'd need to walk around to capture some good shots. The weather was gorgeous, just perfect. It was rather windy, so we did have to wait an hour or so for them to decide if it was safe enough to fly, and thankfully the winds calmed and off he went. I did not go up, but I do want to someday. :)

Also, just look at him. Eighteen years old. How can it be?
My heart begins to race just thinking about how it has all gone by this quickly, especially when, years ago, it seemed to drag on forever. Time is a cruel, funny thing.

Ethan said it was amazing. It sure looked amazing!
This day, the whole week, really, will forever stand out in my mind as one of the best.
Happy Birthday, Ethan! So proud to be your Mom and Dad.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Back to School Traditions

You'd think since I've gone through so many First Day of School's I might be kind of tired of them. Nope. It's such an exciting time of year. I don't know if it's the teacher heart in me, or just because I have such happy memories from my childhood of going back each fall, but to me, nothing beats brand new school supplies and shopping for shoes and first day outfits.

I feel like I need a second job to pay for it all since everyone has gotten so big, but still. I love it all.

Anyhoo. Here are our traditions. Some have changed a bit over the years, of course, as we all grow and change as well. And others we added along the way, and I find myself looking forward to them year after year now. I've also learned that it's okay when things change, which was kind of a hard lesson for me to learn. And it doesn't diminish the beauty of the older things, it just means that they are now wonderful memories. There may be some mourning on my part, yes, but it's okay, and we find new things that fit our needs and enjoy them. Truly enjoy them.

My husband takes the day off from work and we have an Us Day

We did not start doing this until Isabelle started school five years ago, when I suddenly found myself with an empty house for several hours each day. And since our anniversary is around this time, it became a great way for us to have a day to ourselves. We always seem to end up near water, ha. Our love language.

The two and a half years we homeschooled, this special day did not happen. I'm really looking forward to putting it into practice again!

We take one last summer trip to the beach or mountains the week or weekend before school starts back up

While I have my complaints about living here, on of the things that I try not to take for granted is the fact that we are within an hour's drive of both the mountains and the beach. We love it.

Homemade waffles for breakfast and reading the special verse of the year

Well, you know what? Sometimes it's pancakes or French Toast, and once or twice it was something straight out of the freezer and into the toaster. One year, when we were still stranded in Guatemala, I wasn't even home for the first day of school! That was a hard one. But mostly, it's my Mom's recipe for homemade waffles. :)

I have to admit that I have intended- and failed at- reading scripture and praying on the first day back. Most of our prayer time and reading happens in the evenings, and if I'm being totally honest, then it's still somewhat lame at best. It actually absolutely breaks my heart. The best intentions and the worst follow-through. I am not giving up, though!

Of course there are first day photos

I've got literally dozens and dozens of these photos, so these are the cute ones from when they were little. They make my heart so happy.

And of course, last year's were pretty special too...

 Look how tiny baby Levi was!!! Ugh, lump in my throat now.
And then later, I looked over and witnessed Caleb wishing her a wonderful first day. No prompting or anything from me, and it was just the sweetest moment.

Special Mommy and Me Day (when Isabelle was little)

I had waited so long for my little girl, and then for her adoption to be completed, so we had several years in a row where we had a special day just the two of us. Usually shopping (all those clearance sales!!!!) and a treat out, and I still remember each one of them. So special.

Chocolate chip cookies after school

This has changed a bit also. Somewhere along the line, Cookie Friday came into existence, and since our schools always start back on a Wednesday, this became their you-survived-the-first-three-days-back treat. 

And now this year, we've got this cute firecracker. Since he doesn't go with anyone but us, I have a feeling he'll be a third wheel come August 30th, but that's okay. I miss him too much when I'm not with him. Being blessed with a baby after facing so many devastating losses has completely changed my perspective.

Meal Plan & Scheduling

Many don't find this fun, but I love it. After loose schedules and throw-together dinners because there's no rush in the summer, I need to get it together once school (and sports) starts. I also plan out a few individual activities with each child and put them on the calendar just as I do our appointments. That's important to me.

Sharing with Erica and Shay for Workin' it Wednesday. I know I'm a day late to the party, and I have read some of the posts that are linked up. While they all have the same common theme- cute kids, duh- I love reading about everyone's fun and creative spin on things. Happy early weekend. :)

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