Because this blog is also our family scrapbook,
I can't leave out the second half of the summer!
This is what grocery shopping for our family looks like!
Most of the kids were in an art class so my helpers and I went to Costco!
I must say that store is growing on me!
I was not a fan in the beginning but
I kinda love it now!
We love our evening cookouts!
So we tried to have as many as possible this summer!
The kids enjoy helping out and setting up!
Thank you Madeline, Abby and Luke!
And some of them just want to play!
We love the rope swing in our yard!
It hangs from a very large beautiful ash tree!
(that we are actively trying to protect from emerald ash bore)
The baby bird fell out of his nest ;-(
We watched the Mommy bird try to help him
and give him
a quick lesson on flying!
It is such a joy to watch the children play games in the yard!
Our lives are very busy...
but when I blog it helps me to focus on
the simple everyday joys
that can be missed when life gets too busy!
They love roasting their own hot dog or brat!
Everything tastes better this way!
We were almost mosquito free for the first half of the summer!
Because our property is low and near a wetland the state sprayed for those pesky critters!
Plus we have an abundance of dragon flies, frogs and bats!
All of which are deeply appreciated!
(as long as they stay outside!)
Nothing beats a s'more!
Especially when you get to make it yourself!
Roasted to perfection!
Boating is another one of our summer passions!
Abby has a tad bit of left over suntan lotion on her top lip!
They all pic a fun spot to be in and enjoy the ride!
But that's nothing compare to how much extra hubby had on his face!
It all soaked in and he was sunburn free!
Nothing like relaxing in the boat
on a warm summer day!
Swimming in the lake is quite a thrill for everyone!
they no longer need a life vest while they are in the boat.
This is not our rules it's a state wide law.
Sarah, Mia and Ellie are life jacket free!
All three are good swimmers!
Our sweet Emma can swim sometimes but bc of her cognitive disability
she will always wear a life jacket while she is in the boat.
The kids love jumping off the boat into the deep refreshing lake water!
It looks like Melissa is walking on water
but she's not.
This pick was taken at just the right time!
This year everyone was able to jump in lake!
Before this year some of our kiddos just weren't ready
(even with life jackets on).
When swimming in the lake,
EVERYONE wears a life jacket!
No matter how good a swimmer you are!
Nothing like a cartwheel into the lake!
Thankful for our abundant MN lakes!
Smile for your Mom!
Laughter is such wonderful medicine!
So nice to wrap up in a towel and get cozy!
And we are off!
We bought a wubble bubble and blew it up!
It didn't last long with 14 kiddos having at it...
but it was fun for awhile!
Our Abby has blood transfusions every 3 weeks.
It just so happened to be Sarah's turn to go with her on this day.
Everyone wants to go with Abby on transfusion day -
Children's hospital does such a great job making it a fun experience.
And yes, I said blood transfusion and fun experience in the same sentence.
If you are feeling a tug to adopt please consider adopting a child with
Adoption is truly life saving for these children.
When we decided to adopt Abby we thought she had cancer
but instead we were surprised and blessed
to learn she had a rare form of Beta Thal.
This pic was taken for the slide show for their gala.
Gel pens and grown up coloring books were a hit this summer!
During one of our summer cookouts
while hubby and I were peacefully sitting and visiting
on the front lawn
we kept noticing bees coming and going from
To say I do not like bees is an understatement!
It just so happened that my chair had the bees nest under it!
Everyone thought it was quite funny...
How unlucky can I bee!
In July we gained another new family member!
His name is Max!
Billy and Kelly are the proud parents!
Daisy and Max love to play and wrestle!
He is a yellow lab!
And he is the cutest little guy!
Jenny is amazing!
She learned how to swim so quickly!
Between Florida, YMCA swim lessons and summer swimming-
she is doing very well!
It probably helps that she wants to do what her other sisters are doing!
Here's Anna popping out of the slide!
Now it's Ava!
And here goes Jenny!
Seeing Jenny do this made Joey want to-
after many years of swim lessons
he can now go off the diving board and the slide!
Our church had a bingo fundraiser!
We LOVE bingo and we LOVE winning at bingo!
EVERYONE got a prize!
And the best part was that all of the kids that won more than once
gave it to their siblings who hadn't won!
(It's so fun to surprise Dad, especially when he isn't expecting it!)
It's what family is all about and it was a beautiful thing to witness!
The younger girls went to dance camp at church!
It was another fundraiser for an orphanage in Mexico!
Our boys went to boys camp too- but sorry, no pic...
The clouds parting for the sun!
Sun rays shining down!
I love sun rays!
It's a sign from my Mom, that she is near and looking down on us.
So thankful for medicines that come from special pharmacies for our children!
It is life sustaining!
We went to the pool as often as we could!
Summers are too short and we wanted as much time there as possible!
Seriously, what a bunch of hams!
Our girls aren't so little anymore...
so my hubby must be very strong!
The kids continued with horseback riding throughout the summer!
They love it!
It is very therapeutic for our children!
It teaches them responsibility and respect!
It's good exercise!
It helps them to learn to take direction and follow instructions!
This car was so clean (unlike mine) that the children could see themselves in it!
They marveled over how funny they looked and
how misshaped they were in their reflection!
I couldn't help myself...
I had to take a few pictures!
back at Costco for the college boy!
Johnny had 14 helpers plus Mom and Dad!
Throughout the summer we also traveled to see our grand babies
and they traveled to visit us!
That will be in another post!
Once again I have to say,
blogging helps me remember the joy
and the pictures bring to mind the fun we have!
It would be much too easy to get wrapped up
in the medical appts,
the teen drama,
and the to do lists...
I just don't want to forget
God is so good and we are so thankful to be parents to so many blessings!
you were awesome!