Saturday, August 22, 2015

Goodbye, Summer! I miss you already.

Whew! That was a fast one. I think this summer flew by faster than any other in recent memory. And we didn't even move! Or have a baby. But it still went by crazy fast. I think it was mainly because this was my first time working since Bennett was an infant. But our church has an awesome staff daycare program so while I was working my kids were having the time of their lives. But it did make the long lazy days fly by in a hurry.

But we managed to have all kinds of fun and I am not ready to send my kids back to school. They are old enough now to where being home with them all day isn't nearly as hard as when they were toddlers and homeschooling has even crept into my mind a few times this summer. But then one fight over the ipad makes me ready to throw them out the door.

But here a quick recap of our wonderful summer.

The summer started off when my sister and two of my nieces came to Dallas for a week to visit. Hooray! I had to work for part of the week but they had fun exploring the area on their own while I worked and we still had plenty of time to hang out in the big D.

 Simple things like getting Sonic milkshakes are more fun with cousins.

 And there is no shortage of fun things to do in Dallas. We checked out the new Frisco Athletic Center and let's just say that we made several more trips back throughout the summer. It was kind of amazing.

These girls were my first babies and I can't believe how big they are now. I will always wish that I lived closer to them, but I am actually amazed at how much we still get to see each other.

We took Lainey to her very first movie, Inside Out. She did fairly well, but I am not ashamed to say that I had to bust out my iphone about halfway through and she sat in the theatre and watched PBS kids on my phone while wearing a set of headphones. 3rd child. You do what you have to do.

 Here are Emmie and Sutton. We missed their older sister, but she spent two weeks this summer in Uganda. She was right where God wanted her to be and we are all so proud of her. Even if we did miss her a lot.

My sister left and took my youngest niece with her, but Emmie got to stay with us for a whole extra week! It was VBS week at our church though so I definitely put her to work.

And she got to help me with the opening skits where I was not afraid one bit to make a complete fool out of myself.

We headed to Virginia next and I blogged all about that on the post below, but first we had to swing through Alabama to take Emmie home. Here we are all loaded up and ready for a 22 hour (!!) road trip.

I did a separate blog post about the Virginia trip because it was that awesome.You can check it out on the next page.
On our way back we stopped off again in Alabama for a few days and got to see my parents and my cousin, Erin. I didn't get any pictures of us together, but here his Will with his 2nd cousins, Elijah and Ellison.

When we got back to Texas, I ran a Broadway camp at our church. I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love despite all of our moves and new locations. I am thankful to God for these opportunities that He provides.

 Bennett and Will were naturals. Of course they didn't have a choice whether or not they got to do it, but I am glad that they do enjoy participating.

Rob took a shot of me cracking up at the kids and I love it. This is pretty much how I looked all week. It is so wonderful when you get to do what you are meant to do.

The fierce and frightening dragon!

After Drama Camp, I immediately headed to Camp Bridgeport which is a Methodist summer camp our conference takes children to every summer. We took a group of 3rd-5th graders from our church for a week out in the hot Texas summer sun. I didn't really know what to expect because I hadn't been to a week long summer camp since I was a kid, but I had a blast. I was an exhausted hot mess by the end, but I would do it again in a heart beat. I think.

This is me and Heather (our children's ministry director) with our cabin, the precious girls of Lakeside 1B

If I had to eat camp food all week, I'm glad I got to share it with these girls. The ministry and bonding that was done this week was worth every single time I craved fresh fruit or vegetables.

And guess who got to do large group games? It must be a trend with me.

 Evening worship on the hill. I'm in there somewhere. It was really fun to go back into camp mode with silly chants and cheers and cabin points and all of those fun things I had forgotten. But these evenings singing praise to God were my favorite parts of the day.

 We had a lip sync battle one night and Lakeside 1B dominated with the best rendition of "Hard Knock Life."

There was a shaving cream fight naturally. Not gonna lie. Not my favorite part of the week. But I am sure I am in the minority regarding that.

 After two back to back weeks of drama camp and Bridgeport I loaded up the kids and headed back to Alabama to see my family. I needed some downtime and what better way to get that than drive 10 hours by yourself with three kids? Don't answer that. My sister brought all three of my nieces down (hooray!!) and I seriously did not get one good picture. I was too tired to even pull out of my phone. This was one of the only ones I got, but hey, it shows that we were there. I think they were all calling Lainey to come get in the picture. She wouldn't, of course.

But they did have fun swimming in the pool with Mommy Suttle.

And my parents took theme out to get ice cream, to the mall and also to the movies. Grandparents are the best! And don't ask about Lainey's headband. I have no idea. She's an 80's girl at heart.

And while we were in 'Bama I got to catch up with my dearest friends. No matter the miles or the years, these three will always be some of my best friends.

And I soaked in all of my favorite southern things such as Magnolia trees, smocked clothing on all of the children and boiled peanuts!!

My Dad had an extremely special treat for us. He got us tickets to see "The Little Mermaid" at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. This was the kids first real play. They have been to others, of course, and even been to shows at ASF in the smaller theatre. But this was their first one with an orchestra and an intermission. It definitely felt bigger and the show didn't disappoint. It was such a great production and watching it with my Dad and kids made it even more special.
We love our Daddy Suttle!

And Grandparents also stock the fridge with your favorite snacks and let you eat popsicles in their pool.

When I came back from Alabama it was my birthday! Unfortunately I was really sick on my birthday. I think it was the first year ever where I didn't do anything. I think the summer of going non stop caught up with me. I don't know. I took the kids out to an arcade that morning but had to come home quickly and spent the rest of the day in bed. We did manage to head out later for a piece of pie at Emporium Pies though. And that was all I needed. 

The next week we had another camp at our church. This one was called "Fun in the Son" so I spent another fun filled week with the kids of CRUMC. One of the days we had a shaving cream fight. Not again! But this time I happily documented it from the sidelines instead of participating.

As summer came to an end, I spent a special day with each of my kids. For Bennett's day, I took her to the American Girl restaurant in Dallas. This was probably one of my most favorite days of the summer. The restaurant has all of these little conversation starters on the table and B and I just sat there for an hour and ate delicious food and talked. Really talked. It was the best way to listen to her and get to know her more. I wish I could do this every week with her. I absolutely adore my 7 year old soon to be 2nd grader.

For Will's special day, he chose to go to one of those indoor places that had arcade games, rock climbing walls, laser tag, etc... And I realized that I don't have special days with Will as much. Bennett loves to come with me even if I am going to the store or shopping, but when I have Will, I usually have another child with me. He soaked up every second and wouldn't let go of my hand and kept telling me that "Buddy Buddy time is the best!" I really can't write about this kid or else I will cry, but I will just say that I love this little guy with the biggest heart more than words can say.

Lainey  wanted to go ride a merry go round for her special day, but I knew that was coming later so I took her to a movie instead. Disney was showing classic movies at a local theatre so we went to see Monsters Inc. What can I say about this date? She loved the popcorn more than the movie, but she crawled into my lap and so I spent most of the time just kissing the top of her head and holding her close than watching the movie, so it was a huge win in my book.

To close out the summer the whole family went to Six Flags. I cannot say that I was a huge fan of this, but Bennett won a free ticket from school for reading so much and so I promised we would go. It was expensive, hot, sticky, crowded and did I say expensive? I am a Disney fan for life.

Here is Lainey about to ride her first roller coaster. The look on her face says it all.

My little engineer studying the map. He did this all day long. And that's not sweat. He had just gotten off the log flume ride.

A few more random shots from the summer. Dress like a cow for free Chick-Fil-A? Yes, please.

Dallas has so many little shops that we love to explore. Henry's ice cream lives up to the hype.

Our church had family night at Hawaiian Falls, a local water park, and our kids got to stay at the park until midnight and ride slides over and over again. One of our favorite nights of the summer for sure. Here they are eating shaved ice and 11pm.

That mischievous grin will get her far in life.

Photo shoot one summer evening with our three.

So, good bye Summer of 2015. You were one of the best yet and I miss you already. But I am ready to start baking pumpkin muffins and watching football, so bring on the Fall!

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