Monday, August 17, 2009

Where, Oh Where, Did My Summer Go?

My it is, the late evening of August 17th! I've been doing this "mom" thing for some time now, and so it has always seemed as though when summer is over for the kids, it's over for me, too! Sarah begins her junior year at Edwardsville High School tomorrow. She's just a tad bit excited. Sarah is very involved in marching band and they just completed their two week band camp last Friday. Her first year she played the flute, last year she was playing a xylophone thing, and this year...
she has a brand new synthesizer keyboard at her fingertips! She's pretty darn excited about the whole thing. Their performance this year is entitled "Essence". There are several classical sounding sections, and then towards the end it gets a tad bit more jazzy. To say she was having a good time would very much be an understatement!
These pictures are very not in order of the last month, but oh well! It was a blast to have all of the kids come home on August 5th to spend some time together before Marshall leaves on his mission. This was actually the LAST picture they took together, late Sunday more group hug! Most of the pics are from that weekend.

Sweet Baby Claire has arrived at the stage where she is pure entertainment! She started walking before she was 8 months old! It's so funny to see this little person cruising around like she owns the world.
I have been stockpiling toys for my future grandkids for quite some time. I was pretty excited to pull them out, unpackage them, find the perfect basket for them and watch Claire be amazed at what Grandma had found! Well, was I put in my place. She immediately went for a box of oranges that was sitting on the floor in the kitchen...threw and rolled them all over the place! And then she found the broom and entertained herself off and on with it for quite some time. She also found a bottom drawer in the kitchen filled with measuring cups and wouldn't leave it alone until one was broken...oh well. I do remember always having a kid drawer in my kitchen...guess I'll have to figure that one out. Not the last bit intimidated by the size of the thing!
This picture was taken after church on Sunday. Marshall and Rich both spoke in Sacrament Meeting since all the kids were there. Marshall, Chris, Dustan and Mike Barnard also sang...delightful! Chris' girlfriend, Holly Beecher, also joined us for the weekend. Yep, my hair looks pretty funny because I'm trying to grow it out one-more-time (for Rich!). I feel like a teenager with braces and cute little clips in my hair! (We missed Joseph...he needed to visit North Carolina with Claire the following week...she's had her share of airplane rides lately!)
Saturday mornings Rich and I have been hitting the bike trails in and around Edwardsville...totally fun! Katie, Claire, and Lindsay joined us for the ride and we had a blast!
Especially Claire!
So much so that she crashed...sound asleep!
This picture was taken late at night, after the Open House for Tyler and Miranda Conkle which was at our home on the evening of August 7th. I couldn't have done it without all of their help! We were all pretty worn out by the end of the night. Love these kiddos and it pleases me to no end that they are all pretty good friends and enjoy each other's company!
Thought that this was a super cute picture of Katie with the bride, Miranda. They were sweet high school friends. I was so glad to have had the privilege to be part of Miranda's special day!
Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Conkle! Sweet!
Another group shot...outside! Funny thing...I found these darling shoes for Claire. They were a little too big, but we put some extra socks on her and it seemed to work out. I had no idea when I bought them that they had this incredible little feature...they squeak when she walks! She figured that one out fast and it was rather hysterical.
The girl loves pickles!
Claire looks very much like her daddy, but she definitely has a "Katie grin", wrinkled nose and all!
Oh, I love this little face! Way too cute!
So, back in July my oldest sister, Sharon, came to visit me from Virginia. She's also known as my second mother because she has two kids older than I am and I spent quite a bit of my youth under her direction. She means the world to me! We weren't able to have our "sister get together" this year, but I managed to twist Sharon's arm enough to come to see me for a visit. We had a very, very busy week together. One of the things we did was to go over to Independence and visit Liberty Jail where the Prophet Joseph and several others were imprisoned for many months one very, very cold winter. It is heart-wrenching to think about the conditions they endured and the lessons they learned...a great spiritual experience.
OK, so these are way out of order...I'll figure this out yet. But anyway, before my sister arrived Rich and I took off for the weekend and headed over to the Kirtland, Ohio area - another site rich with church history. Here we are in front of the Newel K. Whitney store. I don't think there are words to put to the feelings we experienced as we spent time in this particular building and learned of all that took place there.
OK, so what are the chances? We got to Kirtland and went to the place where we waited for the tour to start. Shortly thereafter in walks Terra Reed and her sweet family! Terra and I work together in Relief Society at church. She had been visiting her family in Ohio for several weeks and they decided to spend some time in Kirtland that same particular Sunday afternoon, at the same time...amazing! So, in the short space of 3 weeks I had been to Nauvoo, Kirtland, Independence, and back to Nauvoo...way cool! (And so had Bluebelle!)
OK, my sister Sharon is phenomenal when it comes to refinishing furniture. She's been at it for decades. She and her husband own a little antique store in Virginia called Elderly Treasures. So, it seems this way anyway, whenever Sharon comes to town I have a little project for her to help me with. Her expertise is invaluable! This time it was this cute little 6 drawer spool chest that I found last summer. I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out...and I think I have this process down...
...which is a good thing, because I have several projects to work on! While Sharon and I traveled I-70 between St. Louis and Independence, we stopped at almost all of the antique malls along the way. Artichoke Annie's, mile marker #137, was by far the best. We found it last, unfortunately, and spent almost 4 hours there...and only because it closed! Good thing, though, is that it's only 1 1/2 hours from my front door! So here's several before pictures...and probably I'll have the finished pictures up about this time next year if I'm lucky! Cute little, fold-up victorian rocker. Need to find some perfect material to re-upholster it also.
This dresser is in great condition with all the original it for a steal and can't wait to see how it turns out! Not sure which one of my kiddos will end up with this one.
This mirror will look super cute above the dresser! I thought I had one more picture...guess more item is a cute trunk. I'll definitely post before and after on that one.
So, all in all, it was a great summer and I'm headed into a very busy 3 months...yikes! We have been so lucky to have had a relatively mild summer, as far as the weather goes. Hope yours was fantastic, too! Marshall leaves in one week. Lots of packing still left to do...wish me luck!