Last week was a crazy week, jam-packed with work on the bus, packing up the trailer for Michigan, and working to prepare the house and yard for a picnic on Saturday. Sprinkled among our week of chores was a lot of fun. Here is a look at all that happened last week!
On Monday I took Grace on her very first college tour. I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that I am at the parenting stage of life that requires college visits. I still feel like a college student myself! But here we are. This year is Gracie’s senior year so this summer we have planned a few college campus tours.
Grace is planning on going to school to get a degree in Special Education with a possible secondary degree or minor in American Sign Language. One of the schools on her list of possible schools is Kent State, located 1 1/2 hours away in Ohio.
We scheduled a college tour and took Olivia, Gracie’s best friend, along with us.
When we arrived we were taken by golf cart to the orientation building where we joined many other potential students and their parents for a 30 minute presentation. The orientation presentation gave us an overview of Kent State. They touched on everything from the history, the offered majors, the clubs and activities, the area, and the cost. The girls also each received a welcome pack and a Kent State backpack.
Once the orientation was complete the crowd was broken into small tour groups and assigned a college student to walk them around campus on a 90 minute tour.
It was a very pretty campus and a great first tour as we enter this new world of college placements. On the tour we were able to see different classrooms, the student union building, the library and food services around campus. It was nice for the girls to have access to a current Kent State student that they could question about life on campus.
They even had the opportunity to see sample dorm rooms and get a feel for how campus living would be.
It was a great experience and it made me excited for the girls and the adventure that awaits them in another year as they leave high school and follow God’s leading for their lives.
Tuesday was spent doing this all day!
Tyler headed off to cub scout camp for the first time. This was a day camp that ran from 8:30 am- 4:00 pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week. It was with a bit of anxiety I sent him off on his own for the day (without a parent or sibling) for the first time ever. I wasn’t sure how he would do and how the leaders would handle any struggles that might arise, so I did A LOT of praying in the days leading up to day camp…
And you know what?
He did great!
He did more than great. He had a FABULOUS time!
He loved spending the days with his scout friends and had fun with the leaders. He came home each evening eager to tell me about everything he did and learned that day. It was wonderful!
The theme for cub scout camp was Safari Adventures. Each day the boys moved from station to station around camp where they did crafts, played games, learned skills, shot bow and arrows and had target practice with BB guns.
On Friday they even had a mobile zoo come and teach the kids about all sorts of cool animals that they brought with them. Tyler was able to meet and learn about everything from an armadillo to a baby monkey.
On Friday evening the families of the cub scouts were invited back to camp for an evening fireside program where the different troops performed for the families.
A BIG thanks to all who made the week such a positive experience for the boys. This Momma’s heart is full of gratitude!
On Thursday evening the girls and I had the opportunity to join the women and teenage girls from church for a night of bowling.
One of the families at church owns a bowling alley and graciously opened it up to all of us for a fun ladies night out. Everyone brought an appetizer or snack to share and we enjoyed a night of food, fun, and fellowship!
On Friday Gracie had big plans with Olivia. Friday was Olivia’s 18th birthday and Grace made plans to take her out for a spa day to celebrate. Olivia knew she was spending the day with Grace but didn’t know what the plans were until she arrived and Grace gave her a pair of flip flops she had decorated with balloons and a note telling her to:
“Put on your birthday shoes. We are off to get pedicures!”
Grace took Olivia to the spa and Molly and Rusty went home with Miss Lana to spend the day with Tatum and Lucas. They needed to get in a play date with their best buddies before they left for Michigan.
The little boys stayed home and helped Toby and I get the house ready for a picnic the following day.
At the spa the girls enjoyed an hour long foot massage, pampering and pedicure.
After their pampering time Grace took Olivia out for a fun lunch at Shogun Hibachi Grill. It was a dinner and a show as the food was prepared in front of them. They even sang to Olivia when they discovered it was her birthday.
Happy 18th birthday, Olivia!
On Saturday we hosted a summer picnic for our Blessings Through Adoption support group. This local support group that meets once a month provides the opportunity to fellowship with other adoptive families as well as learn from a vast array of speakers that come to share their knowledge with the group at the monthly meetings.
Some of the Blessings Through Adoption families
This past Saturday was the summer picnic where families could come together for some social fun. We spent the days leading up to the picnic getting ready for the picnic.
Filling water balloons.
Gracie decorating the outdoor chalkboard with a welcome sign.
It was a VERY hot day so the kids kept cool with a sprinkler and water balloons.
The adults made themselves comfortable in the shade where we enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers and salads.
For dessert the kids roasted marshmallows and feasted on s’mores.
Saturday was also Tyler’s “Gotcha Day!”
It was 3 years ago that we sat before a judge and committed to be his forever family. It was fitting that out Blessings Through Adoption picnic fell on Tyler’s “Gotcha Day” because it is through the blessing of adoption that he joined our family.
For the boys’ “Gotcha days” we celebrate by letting them choose an activity for us to enjoy as a family.
Tyler couldn’t decide between going swimming and going to see a movie, so we did both. After a HOT picnic outside the thought of a cool swim appealed to all of us so after our last guest left we grabbed swim suits, towels and our swimming pass and headed to Ellwood City Pool.
That evening we packed up blankets and lawn chairs and drove to Dependable Drive-In to see the most recent Ice Age movie and Secret Life of Pets. We had a Groupon for four free admissions, a large drink and a large popcorn, so the cost for our fun evening was minimal.
It was a beautiful evening. As the sun set the temperatures lowered with it. It was wonderful to have that special time as a family before Toby, Molly and Rusty had to leave for Michigan. It was such a wonderful feeling of relief and satisfaction to look back on our crazy week, and see all that was accomplished, knowing the bus was complete and all the big commitments of summer were over. Now we can relax and enjoy some lazier summer days before we begin preparing for our big trip.
Life is good!