Summer Pictures

Our friend, Tracy, agreed to grab some quick pictures of the kids.  The downside was that it was over 100 degrees with humidity and Tracy had an allergy attack.  So, while, the pictures were not the best.  They provide a great memory and she did a great job editing them.  We’ll call these their official school pictures.  Enjoy!

Zoe, 7th GradeDSC_0062 (2)DSC_0052

Ace, 6th Grade

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Liam, 4th Grade

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Josiah, 3rd Grade

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Y the Brave, 3rd Grade

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Ceili Rain, 1st Grade

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Bryant, Kindergarten

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Malachi, Pre-K

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Emmie, Super-hero Training Level 1

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And  our “class” shots.

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Beach Livin’

We had planned a beach trip for the week before Y the Brave was to leave.  Obviously, when Emmie fell, we had to change our plans.  We contacted the place we had already reserved our rental with.  It “just so happened” that he had it open the weekend before her procedure.  When Mark explained what was going on, the owner was more than willing to change our reservation.  It was a true blessing and a great house to stay in at a great price!

This was Y the Brave’s first time at the ocean.  The kids would have all stayed in the ocean the entire time if we had let them.

DSC_2436 DSC_2443 Zoe and I scored a skimming board at Goodwill earlier in the summer.  By the end of the weekend, a couple of the kids were getting the hang of it.DSC_2447 Malachi was not thrilled about actually getting deep in the water.  But making super poses on the beach were just as good.DSC_2450 DSC_2455 DSC_2459 DSC_2466 DSC_2467 DSC_2480 Emmie didn’t much care for the water either.DSC_2482 DSC_2486 DSC_2487 DSC_2491 Cuddling with mama was on Emmie’s agenday much of th etie.DSC_2492 My absolutely favorite picture of us.

DSC_2528 DSC_2529 DSC_2535 DSC_2541 DSC_2556 We worked really hard to get a picture before we left.  But there’s always that one kid…this time it was Malachi’s turn.IMG_20150809_142549377Honey, we shrunk the kids…
IMG_20150809_142556547 IMG_20150809_142618811…Into starfishIMG_20150809_142635591_HDR IMG_20150809_142658303 IMG_20150809_142702203 IMG_20150809_152530436

A gentleman walked up to Y in the arcade and gave him tokens to play.  Needless to say, the kids had a wonderful time with those tokens.IMG_20150809_174446294 IMG_20150809_174458141 Emmie loved the pool water even if the big ocean scared her.IMG_20150809_174735305

Our little swing at the beach house filled with Emmie’s super sidekicks.

Play Ball!

One of the highlights of the summer reading program is free tickets to Augusta Greenjackets baseball game.  The game came the week after Emmie’s emergency trip and just before her halo traction.  The problem we had was that we only had five tickets but there were eleven of us (counting Y the Brave).  A neighbor had offered to get tickets for people through his work and we contacted him on a whim.  Not only did he get us the extra tickets, but he got us tickets in reserved seating.  On the first base line.

Oh ya’ll.  The looks on all of our kids faces when they met the baseball players and saw the action up close and personal.  It is definitely something I won’t soon forget.  We all had a wonderful time.  Got bobblehead dolls and watched our Y the Brave experience America’s past time for the the first time.  Their biggest highlight was not having to stand in line at concession and getting the unlimited popcorn and soda!

DSC_2427 DSC_2430 DSC_2431 DSC_2432 DSC_2434 IMG_20150807_203521076About the sixth inning, it started pouring.  I mean really pouring.  We all raced to the covered stadium, danced and laughed.  This was definitely a wonderful memory before all the stress and uncertainty.

July Kid Randoms

Photo dump time for July!

DSC_2178 DSC_2394 IMG_20150701_133548_443 IMG_20150702_151610_896 I love having kitchen helpers.IMG_20150706_174308_137 Trying okra for the first time.  It got two thumbs up too!


First Krispy Kreme.  Yep.  Two thumbs up as well.IMG_20150714_094045 IMG_20150714_134138

Double pig tails!  She finally has enough hair.
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Fort sticks…one of the best and most fun toys we own!

IMG_20150720_072116_266 Waiting to get fingerprints with immigration.  Our selfies are awesome.IMG_20150720_192954_908 IMG_20150720_193024_798 Rain shower in the summer means ice cream break in the garage.

IMG_20150721_091216_382 My hearts.IMG_20150721_200436709 Opening a gift of a watch from a friend.

IMG_20150723_094634 Curled up with Babbitt the Rabbit, unnamed pony and Dr. Snuggles.  IMG_20150723_160424_985 First milkshakes

IMG_20150727_140628_493 Lego Junior building success with two funny brothers.IMG_20150727_140635_875 IMG_20150728_194334_450

“Hello!”  Practicing her phone skills early.IMG_20150729_131705_220 IMG_20150729_131708_354 Playing in the rain.IMG_20150730_200343244 Posing before bed.


Early morning snuggles.

Pool Party

Summertime and the pool.  Ahhh, we absolutely love living in a neighborhood where we can walk less than half a mile to the pool and jump in.  Yes, we have to pay for upkeep but we, personally, are not responsible for the chemicals and cleaning of the pool.  I just love that.

All the kids were thrilled to have several pool days during this summer.  One of those days, Mark took the camera and got some great shots.DSC_2149 DSC_2154

Mid-airDSC_2155 DSC_2163 DSC_2164 DSC_2172 Be still my heart…Y the Brave knows just what to do to make mama freak out!DSC_2175 This was a much better jump.DSC_2176

Summer Blast 2015

Last year, we had some wonderful neighbors who organized a summer blast for the whole neighborhood.  Water slides, free food, and lots of fun.  They worked so hard and put together a wonderful time for all our neighbors.  This year, they did it again.  The whole neighborhood raised money and put together a fun party that lasted from ten in the morning to late in to the evening.IMG_20150718_122909690 IMG_20150718_122916873 IMG_20150718_122926283 Waterslides and cupcakes.  They made for happy kids and great memories.IMG_20150718_123201394_HDR IMG_20150718_123440653_HDR

Y tried to learn how to play cornhole.

Our Zoo at the Zoo

We took advantage of our zoo membership and took part in the Members’ Night festivities.  Our local zoo plans these member nights three times a year and they are always a treat and less crowded for our crew.

We thought Y the Brave had been to a zoo before because he lives in a city where there is a zoo.  But, he told us over and over that he had never been.  It was so much fun watching his excitement over seeing the animals up close.  DSC_2266 Spot our bunch…I have to say tie dye shirts are my favorite family shirts so far.  They were a lot of fun to make and easy to spot.DSC_2268 New sea otters exhibit is so interesting!DSC_2270 DSC_2271 DSC_2272 But, Emmie loved the bears.  She “oooohed” over them the most.DSC_2274 DSC_2276 DSC_2284 A volunteer singing about koalas.  We can’t call them koala bears now.DSC_2287 Feeding the Lorakeets.  They were so full from the whole day of eating but we managed to get them to take a bite or two.DSC_2295 DSC_2298 DSC_2299 Flamingo impersonation.DSC_2313 Y the Brave told us that he wanted to see elephants most of all.  I think he was thrilled when he got to see them.  But the smell…well, it always knocks us all off our feet.DSC_2315 A bunch of Characters in a small train car.  Mostly all smiles.

DSC_2321 Rock wall climbing.  I was a bad mama and forgot to open the flash so half the pictures were unrecognizable.DSC_2330 Zoe and Ace were proud of their checkerboard accomplishment.DSC_2334Here’s the traditional family portrait with the lions.

IMG_20150724_200957330_HDRThis is our family,our neighbors next door and our neighbors across the street.  Right now, we have twenty kids between our three families (we have some amazing neighbors who are foster parents!).  I can’t remember how many are in this picture though.  Pretty close to that number, I believe.

Peace, Love, and Dye

If we are close to a chaperon from New Horizons for Children during hosting, the rule is to plan a time to spend with the chaperon.  Well,, we were close to chaperons but they were about two to three hours away.  And, then there was the minor problem of transportation since, with Y, we are at capacity in our van unless there is a super skinny person who can squeeze in the back seat.

We really wanted to meet and spend time with the chaperons but we just couldn’t figure out how to do it.  Then a hosting family/friend, had the idea to bring a favorite chaperon to our area and we could split time.  When I told her what we were going to do, I told her that they could join us too.  So they did.  And the kids opened the fun trunk to find tie dye kits.

The fun happened before all of this though.  Ace woke up the day before with a rash that we thought might be poison ivy.  But, when the rash started moving around and we talked to other people, we realized that it was actually probably hives.  I made a call to the doctor and got an afternoon appointment thinking we would be done tie dying in plenty of time.  I totally underestimated our tie dying timing or skills.

DSC_2220 DSC_2221 DSC_2223 DSC_2224 Our friends arrived and we got to work.DSC_2225 DSC_2226 Soon after starting the dying process, we realized we didn’t have enough dye.  H, the other host mom, made a mad dash to Walmart to try and get more dye.  Just so you know, when it says it will dye nine shirts on the kit, what it really means is if you put one dot of each color on nine shirts, then you’re covered.  One dot is not enough for our crew.  They needed full on dye.DSC_2229 DSC_2230In the middle of the dye-fest, Ace’s appointment approached.  I begged H to stay at the house while I took Ace to the appointment.  We found out he had an allergic reaction to who knows what and needed to stay on an allergy med for awhile and then made a mad dash back to the house.

Even though it was quite chaotic, I think we all had a wonderful time.  And Y got to see his favorite chaperon, M.  It was a blessing for us to see her too.

At the Lake

We had a hosting gathering at the lake in July.  It was a truly wonderful time with our friends and fellow hosters to reflect and visit.

DSC_2102 DSC_2103 DSC_2109 I didn’t get to go out with the kids, but one of the hosting families had a boat and several of our kids got to go “tubing!”  It was all fun and games until Zoe broke the innertube. Just kidding.  It did break but not because of her.  Even though I didn’t get to hang out with them on the boat, I got to hang out with the littles in the sand.DSC_2118 DSC_2126 DSC_2128 DSC_2132 Yeah, awesome shot.  Silly face.

DSC_2140 We also had the pleasure of seeing the kids when they got back.DSC_2143 And hear about how it went.DSC_2148DSC_2147