Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Look Back at Summer 2010

We've just finished our third week of homeschooling.  It's hard to believe summer has gone by so fast.  Here are some highlights from our summer, including a cross-country trek:

Filling up the inflatable pool in June:

A summer birthday:

Every year after her birthday, I think to myself, "boy, that was a lot of work! Not sure if I want to do that again!".  But then, every year, it's so fun to get together with family and friends that the fun outweighs the work - most of it long-overdue housework :)

This year we simplified from a cookout to water games and cake and ice cream.  It was a blast!

She was queen for the day in this birthday crown courtesy of the dollar store.  She pulled out her favorite dress and we used barrettes to keep the crown on.

She had a great day - which is really my only goal for any birthday boy or girl :)

One of her favorite, and most used gifts was this bike.  She went through a growth spurt this year and really outgrew the bike she got at 3.

She uses this bike three times a week to go on a 45-minute bike ride while I walk with my neighbor....I guess that could be considered homeschooled gym class :)

My dad, fondly known as Papa to his grandchildren, took the grandchildren and children that were available for the day on an outing.

The girls had a great time riding the train.  Such a common experience for so many, it was the highlight of their week!

On our train joy-ride, things got a little silly waiting for the return train.

It was about a 20 minute wait and the kids entertained themselves accordingly :)

Another part of our day was visiting my grandmother in the nursing home.

We were surprised by a visit from my great aunt.

It was such a nice coincidence!

Also on that day, we stopped by my grandmother's former home (now passed on in the family).

We have generations of pictures taken in the front of this little yellow house and we kept the tradition alive with a shot of the cousins, the fourth generation to be captured on this front lawn :)

 My oldest brother gave her this vest for her birthday.  She didn't take it off for about a week!

Fortunately on this day, it was very handy at the state park :)

She and her cousin went exploring the wildflower fields and even used the binoculars to examine their surroundings.

Some of the little proof available that my husband wasn't trapped at work for all of our adventures - just most!

He got to spend some time at the park with us thanks to holiday weekends :)

Here he's being the favorite uncle/best dad of the day by helping the girls climb onto a tree stump they REALLY wanted to explore.

Following our adventures at home and on day trips, we headed west......very far west.......hours upon hours west to my oldest brother's home.

Before we left, my dad the deacon, offered a blessing for our travels.  We went through many, many, many, many rain storms (at least one every couple of hours on a day-long into the night trip).  At the very end of the storms as we approached our destination, this was the view outside our care (taken by my copilot!).

If you look closely, you might be able to see the arc of the second rainbow of this double beauty.

When we reached our destination, we took several day trips around town and a few hours away.

One of my sisters was so mortified by the hats that she quickly offered to take the picture of the rest of the gang.

This picture was taken for the benefit of one of my sisters-in-law.  Christmas around her isn't just an event, it is THE event!

Here's a picture of my fellow road-trippers plus my niece that lives in the area.

My road warriors accompanied my thousands of miles across the country to visit family and have adventures!

One of my nieces should win an award for being the only one able to contort her face without the use of her hands.....

My other niece is so embarrassed by the rest of the gang that she's actually in the process of jumping out of the picture when I snapped it!

Silly faces reigned in many pictures for the rest of the day......

As did other silly poses.

In this shot, I believe she is queen of the mountain :)

Letting the cold water from a mountain stream run across her feet, she is enjoying her day in nature.

We had such a good time, including a picnic and a scenic hike through stream-laden foothills.

We ended the trip by driving south, very, very, very far south!

In this picture, my daughter is talking things over with her newest cousin, Pickles :)

After this stop, we headed north and east for home, road-weary but happy for our adventures!

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