We had a full month of things to do in the month of July. We started the month with Hannah's 11th birthday. While lying on the beach in May, she and I planned her party. She wanted to invite a few friends over for a sleepover and scrapbooking. Scrapbooking has become one of her new loves. I am thankful for this because I plan for her to help me get everyone caught up. Her sister loves it, too. One of my friends let my younger two spend the night with her family and Kevin was working the 3p-2a shift, so it was just me with five preteen girls! The moms met me at IHOP and the girls and I had dinner there. Then we went home and started scrapbooking. I think this was a hit. The girls really enjoyed it. I bought some paper albums from Hobby Lobby, along with paper and stickers. We just asked the girls to bring their photos from home. As the night progressed I found out how loud 11-12 year olds can be. And I was sort of in shock because I learned that they still love to play hide-and-seek and "Your It". I think Hannah really enjoyed her party and I am so glad she did.
On July third we made a trip home to visit family. We were there for 10 days. I thought this would give us plenty of time to spend with everyone in the family. I was hoping to get to be there for the birth of my new niece, but she decided to come after we left. But we really had a good time with everyone. We ate good home cooking, went to the zoo, went shopping, and played with the cousins. We played hard, because it took me a few days to recover from the trip!
Once we got back home, I had less than a week to get my two girls ready for camp. They went to camp on a local college campus for two weeks. Hannah has been to Centrikid which is four nights away, but neither girl has been away from us for that long. We were able to communicate only by mail. So for two weeks in July we only had one child in the house. It was very quiet. No fighting or fussing was heard until Kevin started playing the Wii. If he didn't win, Aaron was an upset boy. We are continually working on this issue with him. He's a very sore loser! On the 31st Aaron and I went to camp to get our girls. I think we were all glad to see each other and of course we had to stop at Kevin's work to let the girls give him a hug. Daddy's girl (Alli) requested we stop for the hug. She couldn't wait till he got home. The girls really enjoyed camp. They had loads of fun and are ready to go back next year for two weeks. And Alli finally got to ride a horse! On the day I left them at camp, I told her several times not to be upset if she didn't get horseback riding as one of her skills. They only had a few slots for that skill. By Tuesday or Wednesday I got a note from her saying she was going to ride horses. Her eyes light up when you ask her about the horse she rode. The girl lives life to the fullest! And we learned that Hannah doesn't like camping out. As you begin to listen to her story about camping, I can understand why and I easily have a picture in my head of her trying to sleep that night. The spot she and her cabin mates chose for their tent was on top of some tree roots. She said her sleeping bag was on top of the biggest root. I couldn't help but laugh, listening to her. I think Hannah made some good friends and they are now emailing each other. I am so thankful they were able to experience this camp.
So for now we are enjoying the last bit of our summer before it's back to the books. I am looking forward to this new year. Aaron will be in kindergarten and I know it will be a fun year for him. Alli will be in third grade and she will cheer for the Jr. Pee Wee football team. Hannah will be in the sixth grade. Sixth grade was a hard year for me, so I pray hers goes a lot better than mine. Hannah will play middle school basketball this year, so I am looking forward to that. I asked Kevin where he thought Aaron got his competitiveness from. Kevin told me that I was competitive, so that was where Aaron got it from. I asked him what he was talking about--I am not competitive! He told me I was the one who couldn't be quiet when the girls were playing upward basketball and that I hated to lose. Yes, it is true, I have a hard time shutting my mouth when my girls are on the court. And yes, I probably hate losing, too. Oh well, I lost that one.
Monday this week Kevin's friend, Erik, experienced a great loss. Back in April, Erik's parents were hit by an SUV while crossing the street in New Orleans. His dad had lots of broken bones, but has been recovering well. His mom came out of coma towards the end of April and had struggled with lots of problems due to her injuries. She had been slowly improving, but over this past weekend took a turn for the worse. She has been ultimately healed by her Lord and is in heaven with Him now. Our hearts hurt for them and we pray that the Lord will comfort and strengthen in the days ahead as they cope with this great loss. If you want to read a sweet post about this precious woman, read her daughter-in-law's(my sweet friend, Erin, Erik's wife) blog, embracing my cup. It is the post titled, "In Jesus' Arms."