It seemed like I blinked and suddenly 2 months had passed. And at the same time, those two months seemed to take FOREVER!
June brought visitors – lots of visitors. We had a great visit with Chip’s sister at the beginning of July! Her family made the trek from Nashville to spend time with us and Chip’s parents/grandmother. We took them over the swinging bridges, to see HaHa Tonka, to the Lake (however, we never made it to the Dam) and to swim at the beach (Lars had never been to a beach).
In July, Kait’s bestest friend EVER came and spent 12 days with us. So. much. fun. Those girls are crazy and fun. And for the first time ever, Brianna spent time with us and there was no fighting. The girls have come to appreciate and love one another so much. It makes my heart smile to see them together. (Although I could have done without the One Direction fan-girl stuff). Her daddy brought her down and stayed overnight with us. It’s so much fun to see him & Chip together – it doesn’t matter how long they go without seeing/talking to each other, they just pick right up. Now if we could just convince them to move to Iberia…
July 1st also marked the 1 year point for us here in Iberia. If you would have told this city girl she’d end up living outside a town of 650 just 20 years after high school (HOW did THAT happen!?), I’d have said you were crazy. But the truth is I love it! The town is great, the scenery is beautiful, but the PEOPLE?! Oh how I love these people. In less than a year, they made their way so far into my heart that I’m not sure what I would do without them. We’re putting down roots, we’re making plans and looking to the future knowing that the BEST is yet to come!
Noah’s team finished out the baseball season. He’s really developing as a player. He started out playing outfield (something he’d never done before other than on a rare occasion). He was the new kid on the team. He never once complained. He just dug in and worked hard to prove himself as a good ball player. It wasn’t long before he was placed at 1st base, where he spent most of the season.
Elijah has his first “job” this summer. He’s babysitting for a little girl in the church. He has to get himself up at 5:30 each morning. The best part is that he has his own money and isn’t asking us for it anymore. He even took Chip and I out for ice cream this weekend!
Kaitlyn and Elijah (along with a couple kids from our youth group) were able to join in with a MN group that came to town for two days to do Random Acts of Kindness. It’s stirred a passion in their hearts for servanthood. It’s amazing to see the way they are growing in their faith and learning to lean into Jesus.
Seth had a big summer with a trip to North Dakota with Chip’s parents, Granny & his cousin Taet. There was a family wedding that we were unable to attend and sent Seth as our delegate. He had a great time seeing some of the places that Chip lived as a kid, spent some time at the lake and had a great time being spoiled.
Taet came and spent just over a week with us in July before we sent all of the kids, except Elijah, to Chip’s parents for a week. We went from having at least 6 kids in the house all summer to having just 1 who was nearly grown. Did you know that when the kids are gone the house stays clean, the fridge stays full and it’s quiet enough to hear yourself think. AND COMPLETELY BORING!!! They had a great time with their grands though. And FaceTiming (like Skype) with a 2 year old is completely adorable!
Chip and I also celebrated our 17th anniversary this month. 17 years. We’re getting close to that tipping point where we’ll have loved each other more of our lives than we haven’t. I can’t imagine my life without him. He’s my everything.
So, now we’re into August. Today is actually 2 years exactly from my surgery that cut cancer (and a kidney) from my life. It’s amazing the things that have changed – not only in our lives, but in our hearts – in the past two years. JOY! JOY!! JOY!!! I feel like i’ve been released from one pilgrimage to another better one. Jesus sings over us with JOY and GRACE and PEACE in a way like I’ve never experienced before. I’ve got some things running in my heart and head for the future. It’s an amazing journey to know that you’re on the path God has for you. I think I’ve found the secret to being content – Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less – just Jesus.
We’re a month out from school still. We have more friends coming to visit in the morning on their way through to Branson. (All of our IL friends realize we are right on the way to Springfield/Branson, right?! COME SEE US! Or meet us for coffee on the way. We’re only 20 miles off the Interstate). We’re going to enjoy this last month of summer. The Lake is about to go back to a nearly normal with vacationers going home and we plan to take advantage of it as we fall back into a routine of normalness around here.
Here’s our menu for this week:
Monday - Spaghetti with the best garlic bread EVER! (I’ll try to post the recipe tomorrow when I make it)
Tuesday – Italian Beef
Wednesday - Chicken surprise (seriously – it was already seasoned at the store), potatoes, cucumbers, carrots
Thursday – 14 bean soup
Friday – Salisbury steak in the crockpot, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies
Saturday – Pizza
Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)