Summer vacation began with a bang as we hosted our housewarming party during a triple digit heat wave in late June. We enjoyed time with neighbors and friends from both church and school.
Swim lessons were a staple nearly every weekday until mid-August. Silas finally advanced to Level 2. Hooray!
Stephen attended weekly classes for the men’s Simeon Trust offered through our church. The Simeon Trust teaches men and women how to faithfully exegete scripture passages in a teaching setting. During the 8 week course, he presented an outline for two assigned passages—one Old Testament and one New. Then, the men in his group critiqued his work to help better equip him to teach the Word. I’m looking forward to taking the women’s Simeon Trust course this fall.
Our church small group planned several family activities like breakfast at the park and berry picking at West Union Gardens.
We came home with marionberries, boysenberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The farm had so many new kinds of berries to harvest. Loganberries, sylvans, and red and white currants were just some of the selections.
The blackberry thicket outside our back gate didn’t disappoint this year either. We lost ourselves out there picking blackberries on late summer evenings.
We said a sad goodbye to the neighbors two doors down when they moved out of state. In preparation for their move, they held a garage sale, which turned into an impromptu cul-de-sac sale. The night beforehand, my neighbor texted saying she was having the sale. So with just a few hours to prep, we pulled out things in storage to sell the next morning. Between our sale and the kids’ lemonade stand, we made about $160—not too shabby!
Friends from Arizona came for a three day visit in the middle of July. Because we’re seriously considering getting a dog at some point, DJ took the kids and me to the local animal shelter to visit the pets. There was only one dog adoptable for families with kids under the age of 6, so we played with the puppy to see how the kids and the dog interacted. Dog ownership would be a new experience for me (and for the kids, of course).
My Uncle John and Aunt Linda were in the area on a trip with their granddaughter when they contacted me about getting together. It had been almost 11 years since Stephen and I had seen them at our wedding! I loved being able to introduce them to our kids and to catch up with them.
The Washington County Fair was a highlight. Stephen was out of town, but the kids and I went to the fair with some friends. The kids enjoyed climbing on the diggers and solving puzzles.
Then we walked through the animal barns before getting some lunch. Silas had really been wanting to ride a Ferris wheel, and he got his wish. From the top of the Ferris wheel we could see Mt. Hood and Mount St. Helens.
The funnel cake wasn’t a hit, but at least they tried it!
Stephen took the morning off work one Tuesday so we could explore the Oregon Zoo. Though we saw only half the animals, it was a great zoo trip. They had several bears, a polar bear, and quite a few elephants. It was cool to see the elephant swim and pose for a treat from his trainer. We squeezed in a quick peek at Silas’s two favorite animals (the cheetah and the chameleon) before calling it a day. This zoo is definitely worth a second visit!
We hosted a Backyard Bible Club through our church at the beginning of August. A couple in our church has been putting on backyard Bible clubs throughout the city of Portland for 40 years.They provided the materials, taught the children, and recruited volunteers. I provided the backyard, invited friends, and helped out with snacks and registration. Despite it being the hottest week of the summer (highs up to 104 degrees with only one portable AC unit in the house), we had a group of 10-12 kids each day. My Arizona instincts kicked in and helped us survive the heat using spray bottles to mist the kids, keeping the kids hydrated and handing out personal frozen paper towels to cool off! I was thankful for the chance to share the gospel with several neighborhood kids.
Stephen and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at the Raven and the Rose downtown.
I had spotted this historic carriage house-turned-restaurant and wanted to eat there based on its charm alone. We enjoyed the seafood platter for starters, and then I ordered the rabbit. It just seemed like the type of place to try rabbit for the first time. My critique of the rabbit—it tasted gamey like sausage, but had the texture of chicken. Afterwards, Stephen was very sweet to take me shopping, but we ended up getting some chocolate and people watching—which was pretty entertaining.
In between times were filled with play dates at the park, the river, the pool, and the splash pad. So many long afternoons were spent playing with neighborhood friends.
We even managed to track down the elusive ice cream man in his van after a near panic attack that we had missed our chance at popsicles.
The total solar eclipse passed just a few miles south of us, but we stayed home due to all the craziness that was predicted with traffic jams and fuel shortages. We did get to witness 99% totality here, which was fascinating. The eclipse cast crescent shaped sunspots all over our patio and house as the sun filtered through the leaves.
I love fall, but I’m always sad to see summer go. It’s been filled with good memories, sweet reading times with the kids, explorations, and new experiences.