Summer Highlights

Can you believe July is almost over and August is nearly upon us?! What happened  to summer?! Because I happen to home educate my daughter, I had this idea that the summer would be a fun, relaxing time without the structure of teaching every day and our typical “school” time free for blissful rejuvenation and opportunities to catch up on things like blogging, planning for next school year, and reading half a dozen books or so. On the contrary, I think this has been the busiest summer of our lives! I have done some planning and a bit of reading, but mainly I’ve been doing… well, I’ll show you some snapshots of what I’ve been doing!

If you follow my Facebook page, maybe you’ve already seen this “before” photo that I posted of my china cabinet. What it doesn’t show is the piece of black trim that our friend added at the bottom (the piece is a built-in that matched the cabinets but I wanted it to be black to tie in the black peninsula we added). He also added the white trim at the top (trim leftover from other projects) which really helped to fill out the piece and make it look like it stands alone (now that it’s all the same color).

Here’s the “after” photo. Black paint seems to take a long time to cure. This took a process of several days to complete all the sanding and painting and letting dry until it was safe to replace my china. But now that it’s done, I’m LOVING it!

 

Shortly after summer began, we enjoyed a week-long lake vacation with Kevin’s family.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with family and friends, boating and tubing, swimming, miniature golf (for the first time in my daughter’s case… she didn’t quite understand the rules of the game, but enjoyed herself and her own version immensely), board games, sunshine, an ice cream boat that patrols the lake daily selling frozen confections (which we patronized quite often), sunsets and moonlight and a campfire complete with S’mores…. mmmm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we returned home, we hit the ground running for a wedding week. One of my dear friends asked my daughter to be her flower girl, so I had a few last-minute items to procure to complete her outfit; plus I was asked to make her wedding cake.  In the meantime, a surprise birthday party was planned for my sister, and I was elected to make cupcakes for that occasion as well. I used a recipe she’d given me earlier for these delectable delights for which, at some point, I must share with you the recipe because I really believe it yields the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted in my life.

 

 

Two days later, it was time for more cake baking and icing making! I do not make wedding cakes as a rule but have made two exceptions for a couple of very dear friends over the last few years. This cake was almond flavored with almond buttercream icing.

 

Transporting the cake is the worst (i.e., most nerve-wracking) part. I was happy to be able to set it up the night before and breathe a sigh of relief as it left my hands (figuratively speaking).  I was honored and happy for this chance to help out my faithful friend who has invested much in my life over the years.

 

Friends! (Me and Little L with the bride while helping to decorate for the reception the night before the wedding.)

Here’s a picture of the flower girl. She got to wear cowgirl boots with her dress… and couldn’t have been prouder!

 

I know the flower girl and the ring bearer aren’t the focus of a wedding… but these two were so cute they threatened to steal the show!

The bride’s sister arranged all the flowers for the wedding, including those she added to the cake. Such gorgeous blooms!  I loved the rich purples and blues of the hydrangeas and other flowers.

 

Road trip! Soon after the wedding, my little sidekick and I took a quick trip to visit my hubby’s family — a fun summer tradition we started last year so she gets a chance to have some summer fun with her cousins before they go back to school. This year’s trip included, among other things, a fun day at an amusement park (this little girl is a serious rider!).

 

 

 

 

This is me at the top of the flume in the boat with my daughter and two of my nephews. We’re probably screaming (and definitely about to get wet).

 

 

We came home to a lovely surprise from my sweet hubby who must’ve missed us — he had a dozen roses waiting for each of us (in our respective favorite colors) and candy and Starbucks gift cards and a sweet note!

We also enjoyed visits with out-of-state relatives and longtime friends; and on the days that it wasn’t raining (it rained a lot this last month!), we were loving the chance to take advantage of our pool membership with friends. On the days that it did rain, I was thankful to get some much-needed household organizing and purging done and hope to do more before the summer expires.

We have also been tremendously blessed by the summer teaching series our church has held on the topic of marriage and I can’t wait to pass along some of the highlights of that to you in a later post as well!

Despite the fact that the summer has been much busier and less “productive” than I had planned in my trusty notebook (I didn’t even get a chance to finish planning what I was supposed to plan!), I am thankful for what God has ordained for these days and that He is helping me to realize that life is less about my to-do list and more about relationships with the people He has created and allows me to do life with, for ministering and for mutual encouragement as He continues His sanctifying work in us for His glory.

And there’s still a few weeks of summer yet to go!

What memories have you and your family made this summer?

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