Thursday, August 1, 2013

July 2013 Review

Jackson finally lost his first tooth. It happened while he was spending the day with our summer sitter. He was SO excited!IMG_3007

Family night and the game of Life!IMG_3012

We celebrated July 4th, which is also known in our house as “Elizabeth Experiments with Camera Settings Day.”IMGP8614

We saw Monsters University movie with our summer sitter and her little brother and sister.IMG_3091

July was the month of visits to New Town, which is a planned community about 20 minutes from where we live. We spent two Saturday nights there, going to concerts with friends and hanging out at their house.IMG_3119

We made our annual visit to Six Flags with the kids. Bonus: now that Jackson is in school, he read enough in Kindergarten to earn his free ticket to Six Flags. That means both our kids were free!IMG_3163

I took Jackson to walk through a local labyrinth  for the first time. I was surprised that he enjoyed it and actually stayed on the path.IMG_3238

We took Katie to summer camp, where our friend Bryn was one of her cabin counselors.IMG_3260

I loved watching Jackson hug Katie goodbye!IMGP8752

I took Jackson to the batting cages for the first time. He was pretty good at making contact with the ball, and even let me have a token so I could play a round. I forgot how much it hurts to whack the ball and have the bat vibrate in my hands.IMG_3282

Katie and I visited the library alone one day, just as it was closing. The librarian announced closing time, but Katie kept getting sidetracked by more books she wanted to borrow. I love that she can hardly step away from the stacks!IMG_3391

Summer vacation bible school = happy mommy!IMG_3420

Our youth program at church had a Redneck Red Carpet event. All the kids showed up dressed like movie stars or hillbillies. Some kids meshed the two worlds and had some great getups. There was a red carpet, costume contests, a mechanical bull, a “walk of fame” where you could put your handprint in concrete, paparazzi, games, food cooked by the hunkiest BBQ  man I know, and a cool photo booth.1

Our summer sitter also had some photo booth fun with the kids. This one is from a trip to the mall. They adore their Genevieve!2013-07-24 Kids & Genevieve at The Mills photo booth

This is a screen shot from a meeting I had with my phasing-out boss and my newly arrived boss. They were at another church campus about 30 minutes away, and I was at my campus. Google Hangout let us have a meeting even though we weren’t together. I think technology is really amazing!IMG_3470

Genevieve and Katie have played Just Dance on the Wii almost every day this summer. They are actually really good at it now!IMG_3477

Jackson visited the dentist and our friend Angie (who is a hygienist there), pulled his tooth for him. We left on a road trip later that day and spent the night in a hotel in West Virginia, so the Tooth Fairy had to be creative in order to find his tooth!IMG_3480

While on that road trip, our minivan turned 100,000 miles. I had fun playing with the panorama feature on my phone.IMG_3488

We arrived in North Carolina to stay with my sister and her family. The next morning, Dan and I went to Starbucks for coffee and hooked my laptop to the wifi so we could dial in to church and worship together. Again: how COOL is technology?!IMG_3499

On our way to the beach with my sister and my niece, we stopped to tour the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship. I was fascinated by how much the ship is like a floating city, with almost everything you need (but not exactly everything you want) on it. I could have toured the ship for another two hours, but my niece Peyton was NOT okay with that!IMGP8882

We made it to Carolina Beach and spent two nights (three days) there. We visited the nearby pier for ice cream and a sunset stroll.IMG_3646

This might be one of my favorite photos of me and my sister.IMG_3651

On our big beach day, Dan decided to rent a surf board and let the kids try their hand at it. It was lots of work for him and not truly successful, but the kids enjoyed giving it a shot.IMGP9210

The kids found this abandoned sand castle under a washed-out pier, and immediately set to work rebuilding it. I love how they cooperated and started working on it without any fighting or bossing each other.IMGP9026

We spent the morning on a seashell search. I love this photo of me walking with the kids into the distance.IMGP9041

After we left the beach, we headed home via the North Carolina Aquarium. We saw turtles, alligators, pet sharks and anemones, and watched jellyfish (my favorite part).IMG_0679

We took a ferry to the mainland and seagulls on the way. Jackson didn’t like how they were so aggressive in trying to get food.IMG_0684

In Southport NC, we had lunch at my sister’s favorite restaurant: Provision Company. It was so good, I even cheated on my gluten-free dietary restrictions and had a crab cake. Yum! (I paid for it for the next week, though. Ouch!)IMG_3815

After lunch, the kids sat on the dock of the bay and put their toes in the water. It was nice to just sit and hang out for a few minutes.IMG_3805

July also had some dark clouds, but I look back at these photos and I can see some beautiful silver linings. I am thankful for that!

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