Fun, Friends, & Free Food

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Have you guys ever been on the Tilt-A-Whirl? It’s an old amusement ride where you spin in a large cart while going around in a circle.

Some of you are nauseated just thinking about it, but this summer has felt a little bit like that ride; spinning and whirling to the point where there are days I am confident of the month but that’s about it.

We have had a lot going on including two weddings this summer (separate posts to come to recap those special days), my new website finally going live, getting matched with our precious son, and SO MUCH MORE.

Lily turned 6 years old this month, and I took her to the Fulton Opera House in downtown Lancaster to see The Wizard of Oz musical. A friend of mine offered me the tickets because she couldn’t use them, and I was incredibly grateful to be able to treat my little lady.

I took her out for breakfast which included way too many donuts and lots of smiles.

That face. She is so stinkin’ cute.

I grew up going to a summer camp with no electricity, outhouses for bathrooms, and freezing cold showers. This camp had a waiting list a mile long every year because of the hours and hours we spent during the week playing games and having fun. No technology required. So I thought I would try my hand at recreating a glimpse of that with our friends’ kids from church. Between all of my years playing group games at youth group, FCA in high school, my extended family, summer camp at Circle K, and the list goes on, it was not hard to come up with group ideas for an afternoon/evening of fun.

4 mil 100-foot long plastic sheeting, a sprinkler, and tear-free baby shampoo = easy, DIY backyard water slide.

These two have been friends since kindergarten and this pic makes my heart smile.

8 amazing girls right there.

Have you ever played UpJenks? It is a game that stands the test of time because watching 16 kids get as competitive and into this game as we used to when I was a kid made me laugh. One side of the table plays against the other side and you pass a quarter underneath between hands on your side until someone says UpJenks and then elbows go on the table with closed fists. The other side says DownJenks and you slam your fist to an open palm onto the table in unison in hopes that the other team didn’t hear who has the quarter. That team then gets X number of guesses to discover which hand has the quarter. I had to teach them some of the strategies involved (yes, there is a strategy to slamming a quarter on a table), and then they were off.

Zach and I loved spending time with this crew

This past week the girls were both at CAVOD’s performing arts camp so yesterday Caleb and I went out for breakfast.

He ate everything on that plate except for one egg. I cannot fathom how much food will be required to keep two teenage boys alive one day.

Halfway through breakfast, a police officer bought all the kids in the restaurant cookies.

Then when we went to check out the waitress told me a gentleman heard Caleb and me talking about our favorite muffins from the glass display case and bought us one. What in the world? Surely there is no drug more powerful than simple acts of kindness.

Coffee Co Cafe – where you get lots of free food. Haha.

Lily was so excited and nervous about her first-ever summer camp. CAVOD does such a lovely job every year with their intro to performing arts camp where they do tumbling, dancing, singing, memorizing Bible verses, learning how to speak them with confidence (public speaking), arts and crafts, etc. This is where Gracie was first introduced to the stage as well.

Their end-of-the-week showcase includes a little performance of all that they have learned.

Of course, camp is always better when you are with friends.

Speaking of camp, Gracie has one more week of musical theater camp where this group of 50+ kids from 10-16 years old will put on the musical Elf Jr. If you are local, then surprise your kids with a trip to CAVOD Theater to see ELF Jr July 22 and 23.

New hair. Old me. Usually, I dye it a shade darker to match my natural eyebrow color because my hair pulls so much red, but this time I let it stay the natural color (no gray yet, surprisingly) and added darker low lights, and caramel high lights. I like it. They are subtle. I hate taking time to do my hair but now that it’s shorter I don’t have much of an excuse. Ha.

I hope you are having a lovely summer, but maybe your summer this year includes a lot of hard, messy moments. If so just know, you are not alone. In between these smiling pictures, there have been a lot of tears and struggle especially on my end as I juggle work/life/home/marriage/parenthood balance and often do it very imperfectly (but making progress!). Many of you are in the same boat or maybe you are in the same ocean and are barely keeping your head above water. My advice? Reach out. There is a lifeboat or a life vest somewhere, but you need to look around and move toward it. Don’t try to stay afloat alone. You are AMAZING. You are LOVED.

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  1. Ha–I hate taking time to do my hair also! đŸ™‚ It looks great, though. What an amazing week of celebrations and kindnesses. Visiting from Wonderful Wednesday.

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