Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm Back: Sharing Some Of Our Summer Fun

Well hello dear readers!  I know...it's been so very long...almost two weeks since y'all heard from me.  I really did miss sharing with y'all, but I promise I have continued to faithfully do my June Quests even when you didn't hear from me.  Here's an update on the past thirteen days.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have done some housework, yard work, and quite a bit of walking to fulfill my Quest to Exercise Every Day.  Sometimes I exercised by myself, but some days I had company.  Thankfully at one time or another all three of my guys did some of the yard work or housework with me.

I did most of my walking by myself...well I wasn't all alone because I chatted with God while I trekked along on the treadmill.  One evening last week, I did enjoy the gift of a walk around our neighborhood with my bestie, the Gourmet Hostess.  We had a great chat and I enjoyed that power walk more than I can express in words.  It did my heart good in more ways than one!

Take A Picture
In the past two weeks we welcomed several visitors to our home.  Our guests are always greeted by a very special little bench.  Years ago, I purchased an outdoor planter made out of barn wood and painted with a red, white, and blue flag.  A white wooden heart represented the stars of the flag.  I loved the little planter, but after several years sitting outside on our front porch at two different homes, the weather took a toll on it, and the planter became very rickety.

Hubby decided to repurpose it into a little bench and I was thrilled with the idea!  Hubby, along with our two boys, crafted it into this sweet little bench that has welcomed visitors to our home for the past decade.  I love it.  As you walk up the sidewalk to our home, you will see this bench and know that it represents the kind of people that live inside.  It is, of course, very special to me because Hubby, our Scientist, and our Engineer worked together to make it for me.  This sweet little bench greeted our recent guests.

Our first visitor of the past two weeks, was our Scientist's special girl, the Nurse.  Just after her arrival, we enjoyed a two night performance of Hansel and Gretel starring our very own Engineer as Papa.  He surprised us as he stepped out on stage with a beard!  He did a great job with both his onstage performance and behind the scenes stage work.  We were so proud of him, we treated him to ice cream at Dairy Queen after the show.  Some of our family joined us for the night of fun as celebrated our Engineer.

The next day, my bestie, The Gourmet Hostess arrived with her hubby Q, little guy Q2, and their pet fish Blue in tow.  We greeted them with a 29 inch pizza from our favorite local Italian restaurant.  It was as yummy as it was big!  We spent our first evening together laughing, talking, and just delighting in being together.  It had been two years since we had all been together.  We were so thankful to have these very special friends visit us!
We surprised Q2 with this special t-shirt from our Scientist's school.  Q2 loved it and spent the next three days wearing it!  I'm not sure if it made our Scientist, Q2, or me the happiest.  And yes...the shirt actually says "FEAR THE FROG".  It makes Q2 giggle...and that makes the Scientist and me super happy!
During the visit our Scientist, Engineer, Nurse, and Q2 enjoyed some good old-fashioned gaming.  Monopoly is a favorite game of both our Engineer and Q2.  This game actually lasted three days before Q2 triumphed over the college kids.  Not bad for a third grader!

At some point in the visit, the Gourmet Hostess, Nurse, and I decided we needed a little girl time in a house full of boys.  We took off for the local nail salon and had our toes done.  The Gourmet Hostess had a Disney trip in the near future, so she opted for Minnie Mouse inspired toes.  The Nurse and I went for more jewel-toned options.  Mine are dark teal which is a new color for me.  I love it!  We might have also hit the shoe store, beauty store, and Target during our little outing...but as I said...we needed some girl time.
The night before the Gourmet Hostess and family hit the road for their next adventure, friends stopped by for a chat and a hug.  One friend is an "old" friend of the Gourmet Hostess and a "new" friend of mine.  She came with these beautiful flowers in hand.  How sweet was that?  Of course, I do love beautiful flowers!  I had never seen roses like this.  They are called Circus Roses.  Pretty and fun!

So after a whirlwind action-packed visit, we helped Q, the Gourmet Hostess, and Q2 pack for the next leg of their cross country journey.  No one wanted the visit to end, but alas, the time came to strap Blue in the front seat and wave goodbye until we could no longer see the taillights.  My heart was full.  What a blessed time with very special friends.  I hope our next reunion comes much sooner than this one did.

That evening we piled into the van and drove down the road to Aunt Prayer Warrior & Uncle's restaurant.  We met up with most of my family to celebrate Father's Day and Youngest Brother's birthday.  After a delicious meal of fried chicken and fish, we drove on down the road some more to Mom and Dad's farm.  Mom had homemade strawberry and rhubarb pies waiting for us.  She also surprised Youngest Brother with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  By now have you picked up on the fact that our family enjoys a little DQ ice cream from time to time?

Back home, Hubby and I ran some errands and I decided to do a little shoe shopping. After three trips to the store looking at these pretty navy wedges....I finally purchased them.  After wearing them to the movies the other night, I can say...I love them!  They give this short gal a little height and they are comfy as well.  I think I'm going to be pleased with this purchase.

The next morning, our Twins greeted our next guests, Hubby's parents: Dodge and Darol.  They came to spend a bit of time with us and attend a family reunion.  We all loaded, once again, into the van and drove several hours north to meet up with a large group of our relatives.  Many of them we had not seen for quite a while.  For some, it was our very first meeting.  We celebrated a special uncle's 85th birthday, and then journeyed back to our home with summer rains pouring down on us.

Our last evening with our guests was spent around our dining room table playing a laughter-filled game of family favorite, Mexican Train.  Of course Darol won the game.  She is quite competitive and tends to win.  We all went to bed with smiles on our faces, but a bit of sadness in our hearts as our Nurse, Dodge, and Darol would all be leaving us.  The Nurse headed back home to her family.  Dodge and Darol traveled on to their next destination visiting more family a couple states away.  They will stop by our home again this month for another visit on their way back to their own home.

Yesterday, was pretty quiet around our house.  Our visitors had all left, and I didn't accomplish much beyond a load of laundry, and working on this blog.  Our boys spent the day goofing off as well.  Here's our Scientist enjoying a little computer time.  It was a nice day...but maybe just a bit too quiet after having a house full of chatter and laughter for the past two weeks.

Tonight I pulled the blinds up on our big picture window in the living room and enjoyed catching sight of a lightning bug every few minutes.  Lightning bugs are special summer entertainment in the Midwest. They are out flying tonight and I am enjoying their blinking glow outside my picture window.  I tried to capture them...but truly you can't capture "lightning in a bottle...or as it turns out...lightning bugs in a picture..."  I promise I saw one right before I took this photo in our backyard...

Maybe there's one in this photo?

Or this one?  Do you see it?  No?  Sigh...

Even if I couldn't capture it in a photo, I did delight in the lightning bugs that patrolled our back yard tonight.

So far our summer days are shaping up to be filled with love, family time, good food, and summer fun.  I wish the same for all of you!

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