Thursday, June 23, 2011

The month of June

Summer is in full swing. We have had fabulous weather and so far we have been quite busy. The girls finished school on the 18th so this is their first 'official' week on break. They both did well in school. Emma heads to high school in September and Ellie will be off to 3rd grade. Cannot believe I have a high schooler. She is excited about this transition and I am excited for her. Third grade is known to be much more challenging than 2nd grade so we will have our fingers crossed that Ellie will do OK. She starts summer reading school next month and we also have lined up a reading specialist to tutor her twice a week. Hoping it all pays off by the end of the summer.

We have been busy since our trip to St. Jude. We enjoyed having our friends Laurel and Tony visit us for a long weekend. Laurel and I shopped and had lunch and many laughs. They also brought down their kayaks and we took an early morning run at the lake. It was amazing. I was able to kayak down into a little cove and see 3 Belted Kingfishers. I think mom was teaching a class on fishing. I was able to get really close which was a treat for me. We also spied the Osprey and several catfish jumping out of the water. I so love the lake we live on. It's a blessing in my life.

After our visit with Laurel and Tony, Steve's cousin Karen was next to visit. She is such fun and we all laugh at her fun spirit. One day I had to work and she played with Ellie for most of the day. Ellie was overjoyed! We also went to Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg. It was just Emma, her friend, Karen and I. Since Ellie is not a fan of all the 'big' rides she stayed home and went out to the movies with Steven. Us big ride fans were not disappointed in the least. It was the first time for Emma and I (Karen too) going to Busch Gardens. It wasn't very crowded so we were able to ride the roller coasters all day without much of a wait. Love when that happens. When you purchase a ticket you can come back all summer long so I am sure we will be back in the very near future. There are still a lot of things that we didn't get to, that I would like to do there.

Weather wise, we have been fortunate to have pretty great weather. It hasn't rained much and there has only been one or two thunderstorms. It has been a bit on the hot side but nothing horrible. The life in the backyard has been a pleasure to watch this season. So many birds and their babies, chipmunks, lizards, the two Mallard ducks that come everyday, frogs, toads, deer and racoons. I love to just sit and watch from the porch. My favorite summer time activity.

One of Ellie's favorite activities is swimming and she has already gone to 3 pool parties. She did have to bid farwell to one of her good friends who moved to Utah and another little friend has been in China for 2 weeks but thankfully, there are still lots of little girls in our neighborhood to play with. Emma has been hanging out with friends too and last week I went to "chaperone" with a girl friend whose older daughter was having a party at our clubhouse. Emma and her friend were invited to come along but they were so nervous because these kids were sophomores and juniors (I know right!). Well, I spied this really cute boy and inquired about him (a rising sophomore) and then he was introduced to Emma and now they are texting and he just asked her out to the movies. We haven't put a dating policy into effect yet so we aren't sure how to handle this. It's fun to be a match maker though!! Who knew!

I have been busy with work too. Hoping to get to some new designs out this month. Emma has been helping a lot in the studio which is great. She does require payment in clothes from Hollister but so far the arrangement is working. Next, we are gearing up for our July vacation to Cape Cod. Cannot wait. Here are some random photos from the last few weeks of our summer thus far.

Melting Pot
We took my mom the Melting Pot for her 75th Birthday. Oh my...was it good!

Male Hummingbird
Ruby Throated male humming bird at the feeder.

Busch Gardens
photo from Busch Gardens. A scary one of me but man riding roller coasters in 95 degree weather makes you look a bit beat down.

Canoe Ride
Steve after one of our canoe rides on the lake.

Emma and her friend. Such pretty girls.

We have two chipmunks in the yard and I love to watch their antics.

Emma & Ellie
Emma & Ellie enjoying a summer night.

Party Girl
Ellie headed off to another pool party

Canoe Ride
Shot from our canoe ride on the lake.
See what I mean about this lake - such a blessing.