IN BRIEF: July, 2012

It's time for a change.

Well, it's been time for a while for some significant changes in my life - hence my fresh start post of last week. But for the moment let's just say it's time for a format change in terms of my periodic wrap-up reports. Enter IN BRIEF, a new version of the summaries I write to give interested parties a glimpse into our family life each month, starting with July.

As is tradition, we spent July 4 with my husband's parents. It was unusually (unbearably!) hot, so we spent more time inside than usual, but we did take the girls to the local aquatic center in the afternoon. And that night we enjoyed a concert - narrated by John Philip Sousa's great-grandson - and the always-impressive fireworks show in a nearby town.

We had three visits from Anna and Leah, the sweet girls I babysit. Not surprisingly, Leah enjoyed our little wading pool...but so did everyone else.

We welcomed the girls' good friend, Sarah, for two playdates. Both times they filled their mornings with imaginative play, indoors and out, and went swimming in the afternoon, once at a local water park and once at the Y.

We went to the zoo with my dear friend Becky and her two girls, Elizabeth and Julianna. Before this past March, the girls had last seen each other when all were preschoolers, but you'd never have known it from watching them play together. They seemed like old friends, and they've all asked to see each other again soon.

Though Jeff's been on it several times before, the girls and I enjoyed endured our first ride on the Zippin Pippin roller coaster at Bay Beach. Actually, Abigail really did enjoy it - she laughed the entire time - but Rachel and I simply survived. I loved coasters when I was a kid, and maybe I would still like a sturdy metal (smooth!) track, but this wooden one was not for me. As for the other rides at the amusement park...well, the girls generally had a blast. But I discovered that we really do outgrow some things, whether we want to or not.

The girls attended their first-ever Fine Arts Camp at Celebration Church, and we're already looking forward to returning next year. One of the best things about this camp - different from any other summer church camp we know of around here - is that each child chooses which classes to take based on his/her particular interests instead of just traipsing through the mornings with all of his/her same-aged peers. So Rachel took Wood Art, Tie-Dye, and Flag Team, and Abigail chose Candy Creations, Tour de Babylon, and Drama.

Rachel celebrated a major milestone in her spiritual life when she was baptized on July 15. I wrote a whole post about her big day, one I believe she'll always remember and cherish.

We left for our wonderful annual vacation trip to Lake Lundgren Bible Camp on July 29, returning home earlier today. I took the time away to begin work on those "significant changes" I referenced above. But more on that in another post; first I need to unpack and get a start on the mountain of laundry we've dumped on the basement floor!

Photo Credit: shopcuriosities

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