Sunday, September 28, 2014

What Did We Do This Summer?

This post is for my husband.  He recently had a friend ask him, "What did you do this summer?"  To which he paused and then replied, "I don't actually remember, but I know it was busy."  To his credit, Jason was at work at the here is what we did this summer:


We continued our home school year since we normally take 6 weeks off from Thanksgiving-New Years; Joey also began an on-line math class.  We had weekly guitar lessons.

Joey also began high school soccer practices.
(They have optional practices 5 days a week during June and July.)

Jessie, Katie and Anna ran with the local Striders Track Team 2 evenings per week and participated in one track meet this month.

We began twice a week trips to Cranberry Township, PA (a two hour drive one way from our house) to see Dr. Bulow at Revive Chiropractic Care.  He specializes in Upper Cervical adjustments.  Jessie has been crying almost nightly since March in pain from her scoliosis and we seemed to have "plateaued" with the local chiropractic care.  I am happy to report that she has not cried since the last week of May, amazing results!!!

We had Joey's birthday party: 5 friends went swimming at a local pool and then stayed over night and played video games.

Libby's Birthday Party:  She wanted "princess jungle theme"-Jessie decorated the whole house and created a "pin the tale on the zebra" game with daddy's help.  We had one other family come over for dinner, games and cake.

We "technically" ended May with an end of the year party for my "Little Women's Literature/Hospitality Class" on the 31st, so we we basically had an entire months of parties since one of my friends also had a baby shower!

We went to our local Greek Fest and saw the latest "X-Men" movie.  We went to the Carnegie Science Center for "Snowball Day" and had a blast.

Jason began remodeling work at our duplex with a friend and his son.

I threatened to dispose of all animals on the farm after the dogs and chickens tore up all my flowers for like the 6th year in a row.  Jason installed an electric fence that partially works.  It kept the dogs out, but not the chickens that kept escaping from the chicken coop.  There is nothing remotely romantic about free range chickens.  The only reason why chickens still exist is that the desire to have eggs and meat for one's family overrules killing them all off.  I still don't know how pioneers (and people who lived in earlier times) managed to keep them alive during the winters when it required allowing the animals to live in one's house.  I'm praying that I never have to figure that one out!!!

The five kids and I left for our annual Iowa/Wisconsin trip on Wednesday the 25th to see our extended family.  We began by driving all night Wednesday and part of Thursday to my dad's house in Iowa where we watched my dad build a brick patio outside his house and work on his amazing vegetable and flower gardens.  The kids did lots of bike riding and digging in dirt.  We went to mass at Georgetown, Iowa which is the church that my Great-Grandmother Elizabeth worshipped in and is buried at.  My heart was overwhelmed to be sitting there.

Jason attempted to start on a "Honey Do" list while I was gone during his evening hours after work, but he came down with a cold.  Then anything he attempted to complete did not go right on either the first, second or third time.

At various times both Jason and I attempted gardening: he on his vegetable garden and me on my front flower garden beds.  I got tangled up with poison ivy again....I was itchy for 3 weeks.

While in Iowa we visited my late maternal grandmother's farm and ate ice cream at "Graham's" in Ottumwa, Iowa (which is a local ice cream spot that my grandmother took me to a few times when I was little.)  We got to visit my uncle who survived a horrible car accident last December that my dear aunt died in.  It's amazing to see how far he has come since he was in a coma and woke up not remembering things.


We left for Wisconsin and tried to outrun tornados (that's an entire blog post in itself).  We ate at a Pizza Ranch franchise which the older kids have now decided must be an Iowa tradition.

We went to Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee and then to Old World Wisconsin where we ran into a former high school classmate and my former junior high school principal.

We celebrated the 4th of July by going to a cousin's wedding and dancing the night away.  We saw fireworks in my hometown and played lots of cards with our family.  (Jason flew in to be there for the wedding.)  We drove back home and then drove back to Wisconsin four days later unexpectedly for an amazing extended family picture.

We had soccer, Striders track, online math class and endless doctor appointments both for the Chiropractor and other annual check ups.

Also, May began the start of endless car and lawn mower repairs, which ultimately resulted in us sucking up buying a new lawn mower in July.

Joey went to Scout camp for a week and Jason joined him for the last half of the week.

Our dear dog, Grizzly Bear, died.

In May I found a "Zumba in the Park" group and unfortunately the last time I made a work out was in July.  Need to get restarted!!!


Jason started the month out by going to Pennsic for the first time in 8 years.

More vehicle repairs (We are at $2, 000 and counting now between all the different vehicles.)

I tried to go to some of the Infant Jesus of Prague Prayer Novena Services about forty-five minutes from our home starting in July.  I made 2 of them in August before life got complicated by the vehicle repairs listed above.  I think I spent over 6 hours just driving different people to different places one day while we were juggling having just 1 vehicle for 3 adults and 5 kids.

Online Math class, end of the year testing for Joey and Jessie, six days a week soccer games/practices become mandatory.

End of the year Awards Banquets for Scouts and Striders (on the same night of course!)
(Jessie received the President's Award for Striders and Joey "won" the Skills Board competition during Scout Camp-he completed 32/36 Skills Listed on the Board.)

More dentist and doctor appointments and more truck repairs.

Major purging and cleaning of the house.

Home School things for current school year began.

Jason finished remodeling one of the duplex units and it is thankfully now rented out.

Appointments for our "St. Nicholas Project" continue.

We had Katie's "Dinosaur" themed birthday party.

We tried to go swimming a few times-it was such a cold August again though.

Jason and I went out for our 8th Wedding Anniversary to Drover's Inn and saw a movie.

Our church had it's annual Church picnic: tons of food and swimming time:)!

We co-hosted a "Bon Voyage" picnic for some friends spending the next year in the Ukraine.

High School began for Joey: He's a 9th grader now!

Jessie tried out for the local community theater's production of "Into The Woods" and will be "Little Red Riding Hood" for at least one performance.

Our goat Poppy had twin babies.

Took the older kids to "Rugby Fest" and to a movie to thank them for all their hard work this summer.


More purging and cleaning, plus a few more St. Nicholas Project appointments.

I spoke at the Steubenville Catholic Diocese's Respect Life Conference.

Jason and I had THREE date nights this month and saw TWO movies!!!  This is a record number of dates in one month (including when we were dating through grad school!)

Home School Co-op began and goes on until May.  I am teaching 3 classes: Logic and Speech for middle schoolers, Montessori Kindergarten and Pre-School Catechesis of the Good Shepherd one day a week.

The 3 Littles began dance at Delelle's Tumbling each Wednesday: they are taking ballet, tumbling and hip hop.

Jessie has guitar and voice lessons.

Jessie has "Into the Woods" rehearsals 3 days a week and will now also be playing "Little Red's Grandmother" for at least one of the performances.

Joey has soccer 5-6 days a week plus high school.  We usually see him at either 6:30am or 10pm at night on his way to shower and bed.

Anna had her 5th Birthday: "Finding Nemo" theme.

We went to Rochester, NY for Jason's 15th Year High School Reunion.  We visited the Seneca Zoo and his friend Chuck's family for a pizza lunch/play date.  (This was when we got our third date thanks to Grandma Debbie.)  We also got to see Jason's Aunt Julie and Uncle Don.

Jason has another friend helping him finish remodeling the second unit at the duplex, with more work to be done in October so that hopefully we can have it rented out by the end of the month.

I consigned at the fall TCA Kids Consignment Sale.

Jason and the older 2 kids cleaned out 1/3 of our barn so that we can fit more hay in it for the goats this coming winter.  We lost a chicken and two cats, but had a third litter of kittens born plus one more  older kitten join our extended barn family.

And that my dear husband is what we did this summer besides the daily grind of running our store and keeping the children fed, bathed and clothed.

Wishing you a blessed new school year and fall.

May you enjoy the blessed sweetness of juggling family life,