Beautiful Day

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vignettes of Summer

It is still officially summer and not yet fall, but as school is back in the daily order of life, it seems a good time to recount the joyful memories we've made this summer.  Lots of pictures in this post!

First of all, a very fun and amazing outdoor day full of learning about everything from surviving in the wild to turkey calls to archery and how to shoot a shotgun.  Delightful day for my adventure-lovers!

Then there was music camp on a most lovely property.  A fun camping adventure, even if I did get 15 spider bites on one foot and a bunch on the other,  and my foot swelled badly, and the last bit of them are still healing!  It is worth it to give the children so much time outdoors with fun like this.

They even had their own fireworks.

This was where Littlest Warrior also had his first ice cream CONE.

This dear woman is wonderful with children.  She raised 8 very talented musicians on this lovely spot in a humble home.  Her spirit of hospitality and simple, gracious living, and her loving smile are so very inspiring to me as a mother.
Summer is full of Bible Bee around here.  And on this day there was a "Swarm" of Bible Bee-ers at the amusement park.  It was full of friends, laughter, activity and just plain FUN!  It was a little bit of revisiting childhood for me, as we used to go here every year for the annual Fireman's Picnic (and it was THE highlight of the year as a child)!

 I even talked my Tender Warrior into riding these "squirrel cages" with me!  Yes, here we are and yes, we even went upside-down.  It was a good thing he was wearing a hat because his height presented a bit of a problem and his head would press against the top of the cage when inverted.

There was even roller-skating for a little while.  The older ones got better at it and the younger ones tried out their new wheels and did great!

It was a very full and fun week, as in the same week we went to a most amazing time to celebrate the providences of our Lord in this country in honor of Independence Day.  It was hosted by the S. family, who are some of the most hospitable people I have ever known.  There were old-fashioned games, a homemade ice cream stand, presentations of music, history, and poetry, incredible food, zip lines, a pie contest, and so much more.  Beautifully done!  And I think this picture belongs in "Country Magazine" or something.  Love it!

We missed the fireworks, however, as we were en route to a wedding the next day in a town several hours away.  What an honor and delight to share with this beloved family, in the marriage of their daughter, whom we have known since she was a baby.  These dear ones have been long-time kindred spirit friends and I am so grateful that the years have continued to keep us close even though we have not lived near one another since those 2-1/2 years we were stationed together.  The evening sun was very bright, but I thought this moment between parents and daughter was so tender. 

With all of the wedding busy-ness, our time together was too short, but memorable nonetheless.
Then it was back home and time to prepare for the county fair.  We always seem to have loads of projects to submit.  One of the highlights is that Country Girl finally finished her 2-year project of hand-stitching (yes, every single stitch in it!) this commemorative quilt for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  She was rewarded with a Champion ribbon and a gift certificate, and it was a blessing to see her so rewarded for such a diligent effort.

Then it was off to a wonderful family camp!  The summer sun was hot and the weekend was exhausting, but again we shared fellowship, good music, food and adventures with wonderful people.  The hosts put on this camp for free.  They too are a shining example of blessing others with hospitality.

We returned home to catch up on laundry and get ready to host a baby shower for a sweet friend.  Country Girl and I had so much fun coming up with ideas that fit a western "country boy" theme.  She even made these wonderful cupcake toppers for me.

Next up, a local fiddle contest.  Country Girl, Adventure Girl, and Young Warrior all participated.  It was a lovely outdoor venue, a perfect weather sort of day, and full of fiddling friends.  They did well and one even advanced to the second round.

Several birthdays took place.  On my Tender Warrior's, I took him this "Mason Jar" themed picnic to the lovely grounds of his workplace to share a lunch date together.  I had so much fun finding foods that could be creatively served in Mason jars---caprese salad, sparkling lemonade, Greek yogurt parfaits, and cheesecake!  This picture doesn't really do it justice.  I also took a cut flower from home and floated it in water, and 2 votive candles.  Next time I will put the candles in deeper jars.  I could not light them because it was too breezy. :(  It was a beautiful picnic anyway.

We were finally able to visit my dear, sweet Grandma in her new care home.  I am grateful she is so well taken care of in a small, home-care setting since she had to leave her home earlier this year due to a fall.  She will be 94 years old in November!

And we're back to Bible Bee and Local Contest Day!  It was challenging and lots of fun for the children and young people who participated, and for all of us.  So many highlights wrapped up in this day.

Can you believe this AMAZING cake, made by one of our Bible Bee Moms????!!!  Our study this summer was on 1 John, and this cake is a wonderful reflection of the themes of light within that book.  I can appreciate this effort as a decorator of cakes.  Wow!  It was delicious too!

Contest rewards, and awaiting the results.....

We took a trip to our state fair so the children could participate with the fiddlers.  Since it was the same day as the Bob's Red Mill baking contest, I decided to enter.  And I got a 3rd place award!

And my Little Princess wanted to wear her older sister's Dorothy dress--the one I made for Adventure Girl's 4th Birthday.  She wore it to church recently, and it begged some photos.

So many delightful memories and so much to be thankful for this summer! 


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