It’s been a summer of firsts for our family. First official vacation, first time on an airplane with the kids, first time attending Vacation Bible School, and finally, real progress on the house (update coming soon)!
We traveled to Juneau, Alaska for a family reunion with most of the extended family from my mom’s side. It was a great time, and the kids did wonderfully with all the new experiences. Big Man and I went on an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon nine years ago, so it was fun to be back there right around our anniversary. We enjoyed a little hiking, seeing the glacier, a fun waffle restaurant, and relaxing in a beautiful environment. The kids got to meet one of their second cousins (is that what the kids of first cousins are called?) and see bald eagles, a bear, float-planes, and more trees than they could count. My aunt and uncle shared a beautiful Thomas train set that they kept from their kids’ childhood, and Little Man and Little Lady enjoyed it so much. My parents watched the kids for us one afternoon so we could celebrate our anniversary. We got to ride in a float-plane and eat a salmon dinner at this cool historical lodge. Our vacation also included a couple very successful halibut-fishing endeavors and a fabulous fish fry. And the kids, Little Man especially, loved flying in the airplane. I was worried it would be rough, but they both behaved so well even on the trip back with a delayed flight. Ever since we got home, Little Man has been playing with his toy airplanes and flying them to different places in the house he has designated as “Alaska” and “Colorado.” It’s adorable.
It’s been non-stop since we got home from vacation. Big Man completed his second Bachelor’s Degree and has been enjoying the break from school work. He’s also completed his training for an exciting new position at work and it’s keeping him busy. Working on the house is of course time-consuming, and he’s also been experimenting in the kitchen. He made fried chicken for the first time (something I’m too scared to attempt) and it was a total success. I’ve been pushing myself for more diversity in my reading, so I’ve completed a couple non-fiction books, as well as some novels far outside my usual comfort zone. I’ve also has a couple successes in the kitchen, homemade English muffins and ice cream, as well as allowing myself to experiment outside the recipe for some things.
The kids are growing so fast! Little Man is still a big fan of trains, but he’s also added cars, airplanes, and construction vehicles to his playtime favorites. He’s started making up stories when he plays and it is so fun to overhear what is going on in his head. He’s also been on an art kick recently, and is a master at coloring inside the lines (something he largely taught himself) and completing connect-the-dots pages. We’ve made play dough together and he started trying to sculpt things, which is exciting to watch. Little Man enjoyed his time at VBS and there are a couple little boys he’s latched on to as friends. He and Little Lady also play together really well (most of the the time) and it is so sweet watching their friendship grow.
Little Lady is all about words and music. She’s teaching herself to read. Seriously, teaching herself. We make sure to help if she asks and provide a variety of books and reading games, but we haven’t done any official lessons. It’s like she decided she wanted to be able to read and has just thrown herself into it. She’s mastered at least 100 sight words and phonetically sounds out words new to her. It’s amazing to watch. Her other love is music. I have it on good authority she was the loudest singer in all of VBS, and she sings to herself constantly around the house. Her version of drifting off to sleep is laying in her bed signing at the top of her voice until suddenly all is quiet because she has fallen asleep.
It’s been a wonderful summer. The house project is moving in fits and starts, but there is progress and Big Man and I are working on being patient and not stressing about the timeline. The Alaska trip was a very relaxing break and it’s been nice to come home and settle into the routine again. I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer as well!