Animal news: We have outdoor cats! Homer (named after our good friends!) and Peyton (the kids wanted to name it that for my football boyfriend!) turned out to be girls =) I am not a cat person. In fact I hate them. But...the kitties are so cute...and they come when called...and they go for walks w/us...and they have already killed multiple rodents! I also think they have scared the woodpeckers away, which is good for our house. The kitties are adorable, though. We wanted them to be handled enough so they were used to people and so far that plan is working more than well enough!
House/Home/Property news: We are on the verge of upgrading the heating system and doing a few other updates. We have more pictures and decor on the walls, I've been using a recipe from the neighbor to keep the deer away from my flowers/plants and I have a few more garden plants this year! In the spring we made some bridges and we were able to get across to the first ridge of our wooded acres w/o getting wet - the kids had fun helping w/that! There is so much to see along the ridges...in winter we hike the whole property since the swampy areas freeze over, but it's been neat seeing some parts of the property in another season. We just set up a swing set in the yard and oh my, all the swinging - I knew the kids would love it and it is already paying off in more ways than one.
Camping: In June we were able to take 2 mini trips! The boys did well on their first and second times camping. We've taken even longer trips since then, been to multiple states and there was only 1 injury and very little damage to the camper. (It seems something always gets broken, goes wrong, etc, but not this time!) Everyone stayed healthy!!! All these wins make us want to go again...
Dave: Spent part of the 4th of July night in a kayak on Lake Michigan, watching one of the neighbors' fireworks show. Yes, we have neighbors who live on the lake and personally fund a really good fireworks display! We have no idea who they are and honestly I don't think they do it on the same day every year. But you know what day it is going to be by the fact that they light one off every half an hour all day! It's kind of funny, but it works! When we're home, he works on things like fixing the well, re-doing my garden fence (repeatedly!), and cutting brush from the woods edge.
Moses: Finished out the school year at the local school w/his brothers and sister. He was like a celebrity - every day the others would tell me where and when they spotted him! This past season in gymnastics he competed in his first USAG meet and we were impressed. He is still into music, reading, drawing, drama and sports. He only has a few inches to go before he surpasses me height-wise, which of course is something he likes to bring up often. He got braces this year. Much different experience than when I was a kid! It's so odd to be in that stage of life where your kids are going through stuff you actually remember doing as a kid yourself.
Colleen: This girl...she is a science and robot junkie. We read about them, watch Battle Bots, talk about science experiments from 3rd grade and pontificate on the ultimate robot we would build. She's been doing some physical therapy lately and I think we'll keep that up. Strengthening your core is good for everyone, but it's a necessity for her. She's been relishing the big sister role, not in a bad way, but in a way that we've never seen before. Pretty cool stuff!!
Bert: Demands adoption day is tomorrow. =) I cannot wait for the day when he can wake up and I can tell him that YES - TODAY IS ADOPTION DAY!!! Both Bert and Ernie did soccer camp this summer and the Ninja Mud run. Despite his reservations, Bert took off like a shot from the starting line and showed no signs of being winded or tired. I barely could keep up to take photos!! He loves all things sports and yes, so do we!
Ernie: We call him the mayor. He greets everyone, chats and makes friends. For you adoption/foster care folks, yes, we are working on boundaries and being safe around random people. But there are times that he makes a friend out of the older gentlemen in the checkout line or the cute little girl at the pool and you just have to laugh! He knows what their fave color is, what they like to eat, and where they're going next! Apparently he would make a good interrogator....? Anyway - he was so proud to do soccer camp like the big boys! I can't believe he will be in all day school this year...
As for me...I'm hanging on for the ride! I've been emotional eating, slacking in the cleaning department and letting some other personal goals slide. The beginning of this calendar year was rough but we are coming out of that. My eating habits got wack, my attitude was up down and around and I sort of hid out. HOWEVER - not to make excuses but some of those things were what I needed. What we needed. There really wasn't much time for friends nor did I feel like making any. I sort of felt whiny and 'not fair'ish. But like I said, I'm coming out of it and sorting my feelings out. I am once again making goals, only they will start when the school year starts. I have a few plans and I have a few things in place to help me accomplish (or at least begin) them. That's a pretty big step for me to get things back on track. (I'll write about the goals in a diff post.) I got to see 3 of my best friends recently and that really makes a girl feel special!! It sucks that we live so far away but they encourage me and spend time w/our family which really means a lot. I'm grateful for all my friends...so many people who might not understand this journey we are on but don't bail on us when life gets crazy! You know what else helps me this time of year? I LOVE FALL - I can't wait for pumpkins, apples, leaves everywhere and the promise of snow!! Summer's great, but nothing can top fall!!