Friday, July 06, 2012

Summer Days

I love summer. LOVE it. As beautiful as the autumn is, I always find it depressing because it means the end of my absolute favorite season.

So I am trying to drink up these wonderful sunny days.  As badly as we need rain--and I have been praying for it--there's nothing else to do but enjoy the beautiful weather and be thankful for the low bug count that comes with drought!

The little kids have had the most fun outside, riding bikes, rollerblading, running in the sprinkler and playing in the sandbox.  B16 is glad of the good working weather, as his job at the Christmas tree farm has continued into this summer.  He's been mowing, trimming trees, baling hay, building fences and enjoying the outdoors. He also loves running outside, and jumping into Lake Michigan at the halfway point!

Blondechick has enjoyed the good running weather as well, since she got back from her college choir's tour in Europe. They traveled all over, singing in churches and cathedrals, staying in homes with host families, and soaking up the sights in Budapest, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Stuttgart, France, Barcelona and Madrid. After 3.5 weeks of living out of a suitcase, she was tired and ready to come home and find a summer job. She was fortunate to land a hostessing position at a restaurant chain that will train her to become a waitress this fall, if she transfers to another location near her college--but she needs to make enough money to afford a car! So we'll see.

B21 is still unemployed but has taken a volunteer position at a charity resale shop.  Two days a week he covers a shift, sorting, organizing, pricing and shelving books. The job is right up his alley, and good experience for him to put on a resume. Even more exciting, he is finally driving! We bought another older car for $1500--a '95 Toyota Camry with 176,000 miles on it--so that we now have two older cars for our three teens to share among them.  (The one we've had awhile is a '98 Dodge Neon with less than 100,000 miles, that we paid $1200 for. We found them both on Craigslist, and I thank God regularly for how little we've had to spend on repairs for the Neon, and pray that the Camry will be just as reliable.)  Anyway, we let B21 start driving himself to work and to his friend's house; he's recently added Walmart and our church to his known destinations. Soon I'll be able to send him to Aldi for me!

In May, B21 took a Greyhound bus to his grandparent's house in Ohio and stayed two weeks, helping my dad on the farm. He mowed, cleared out a haymow, moved wood, and I don't know what all. It was a great experience for him. We'd like to send him back for a few more weeks, but he needs to stick close to home just now to be available for interviews.  His caseworker is having him apply for jobs that she can follow up on, and he just had an interview at Walmart for a stocking job.  Say a prayer for him!

We've had various friends come to visit, and with the hot weather we always take them over to the beach. Lake Michigan is too cold to stay in for long, but the weatherman's refrain, "Cooler by the lake," is really true and it is so pleasant to sit in the shade and enjoy the brisk breeze off the lake.

We've been couple friends with the R's for nearly 24 years! Before any of us had kids! 

Their oldest; our youngest.

Mrs. R and I

Two peas in a pod!

These two have been flirting all their lives. Two more peas, I guess!
We don't have a good shot of the two of them, but the R's have another son who is one of B17's best friends. In the past we have lived together, vacationed together, and laughed, cried and prayed together. Their friendship is such a gift and a blessing!

When I met Mrs. Y 20 years ago, she was expecting the daughter sitting next to her. A month or two later, I was expecting Blondechick.

Now she has grandchildren! That's their oldest one in the middle.

Mr. Y is an Anglican priest who serves regularly at Light of Christ, so we get to see him often.

Their youngest is the other half of B17's "indie acoustic" band. They practice on Sunday's when Father Y comes up. (Think of The Civil Wars.  Yeah, they're almost that good! Totally unbiased opinion here.)
I have to throw in this brother shot for pure handsomeness, but also to show the relatives how tall B13 has gotten! B17 is half an inch shy of six feet, but B13 is going to be our tallest, I am certain. His feet are already nearly as big as his father's and both older brothers'. His voice has dropped and he's sprouting things under his armpits and on his upper lip. All our guests say he's the one who's changed the most, in recent months!

So grateful for twenty years of friendship, laughter, tears and prayer with this family! So thankful for this beach, beautiful sunny weather, and that our move didn't take us too far away from our old friends.


Julie Roys said...

Truly, your friendship has been one of the greatest blessings in our lives. Love you all -- and had a great time visiting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures! We almost feel like we're there with you.... Love, Pianomum

Mrs. Smith said...

What a blessing! I am so excited to see which of our friendships can stand this test of time. And hooray (!) that we will all have glory together!

P.s. how is Grandma doing?