Monday, July 29, 2013

A Great Summer To Remember

Wow! Almost 2 months since I've written a blog post. And, I have to say, I've kind of enjoyed the break. In fact, I've been trying really hard to be off of the computer more often in general. I kind of decided that there are times when you just have to revel in the moment instead of worrying about remembering it with pics or journal entries, so that's what I focused on doing this summer. I always hoped to some day use one of those websites that turns your blogs into a scrapbook/journal type book, but I don't know if I'll ever get to that. At the same time, I've realized that there are times I wished I had blogged about things just because when I'm 80 years old I can look back at my journals and it may be the only way I remember anything. I really, truly do have one of the worst memories ever. So many times people will talk about things or ask if I remember an event, and honestly I don't. If it wasn't for pictures, I probably wouldn't even realize I had actually been to this or that event. It's terrible!

This summer has been one of the best that I remember in a long time. In part due to the weather. The past two summers were record breaking heat summers and we were miserable. This year has been quite the opposite. In fact yesterday was July 28th and the temps only got into the 60s for the high and it rained all day. There have been some days perfect for going to the pool to cool off and other days when the windows could be opened to let the nice cool breeze blow through the house. Love it, love it, love it.

Another reason I'm thankful for the cooler temps is our air conditioner went out on us. We were gone on vacation for a week at the beginning of the month and when we got home it wasn't working. It seemed to run nonstop and was not cooling the house down. We finally had to start using the fan part of the a/c, the attic fan, ceiling fans, and standing fans to cool us off, but it wasn't too bad. Six days after vacation the kids left for church camp in Oklahoma. While they were gone the temps in the house got to about 83-86 degrees so I'm glad the kids didn't have to be home to endure that. We had some people come look at the unit and our pressure was really low. They could put freon in it that they said could last about two weeks or another year. They suspected there was a valve leak somewhere. We opted for no freon yet until we decided what exactly we were going to do. Last year during our house buying inspection they told us the a/c was a dinosaur but was still working, so we new this would be a not too distant thing we would have to replace. We decided to go ahead and replace the whole unit along with the furnace and there might have to be some new duct work done too. After we made that decision they gave us freon the day before the kids arrived back from camp. The new unit was scheduled to be put in last Thursday but we had a funeral to go to so rescheduled and it will all be done two days from now. I think we are spoiled people when it comes to a/c. It wasn't that many generations ago when they didn't have a/c, and there are plenty more people around the world who live without a/c.

The funeral we had to go to was for our beloved children's pastor's husband. She was in OK at church camp when she was told her husband was found dead. I believe what happened was he did not show up for work, so I think our pastor was called. She then called her son who went to their house and discovered his dad. Their other son who we are good friends with called Roger Saturday morning from Brazil where he had to go for work and told us what happened. His dad had a heart attack. He had a heart attack 7 years ago and I guess the doctor's had lost him during surgery, but revived him. Our pastor had always commented on how grateful she was that she's had her husband around as long as she had. He was only 58 years old. They were an awesome couple with awesome marriage and coming to know Christ testimonies. He was just as much a huge part of the pastoral staff and church body as his wife who is a paid staff member. He will be sorely missed, but he really does leave behind a wonderful legacy for and in his sons and his grandchildren. Roger was a pall bearer and I hope there are other things in the future that we will be able to help the surviving family with when they are in need.

Our vacation was wonderful! On a Tuesday night after Roger was done working and Lauren was done with her dance class, we drove to OK City and spent the night in a hotel so we could get up really early the next day and catch a plane to Houston, and then on to Orlando. We stayed one night at a Disney Resort, and then the next day were on a 3 night Disney cruise. This was the third cruise for Roger and I, and the second Disney cruise for our family--the first one being 5 years ago. We were on Disney's largest ship the Dream. We had a stateroom with a veranda which was fun to go sit on. We had one stop in Nassau, but didn't go into the city because last time we found it boring unless you take some kind of excursion, but we didn't. We also stopped at Disney's private island Castaway Cay which is one of our favorite stops. However, it was actually kind of chilly this day. We got into the ocean for a while, but I couldn't stay in as long as the rest of the family, so I enjoyed the sunshine on the beach. The broadway shows were fantastic, the food and restaurants were fantastic, the on board activities were fantastic--you just cannot go wrong with a Disney cruise. It is hands down our family's favorite type of vacation. When we got done with the cruise, we spent a couple of nights at another Disney resort and spent one day at Magic Kingdom, and one day at Epcot. The only way we were able to do any of this is because we had points in our Disney Vacation Club to "pay" for the resort stays and cruise. And, driving to OK City, staying in a hotel, parking our car for a week, flying out of OK City, the price for filling up the car saved a couple hundred dollars than flying out of Wichita.

The day we flew home from vacation was a Tuesday. We jumped in the car, drove home, got home at 5:30, then rushed Lauren to the YMCA to be there from 6:00-8:00 for her first night of competitive dance team try outs. Her second night of tryouts was Thursday and we found out the next night that she made the team. Thus begins a new adventure in her dance career--competitions. That is all still yet to be determined, but in the mean time they are meeting Tuesday and Thursday nights to work on dance skills through August and then in September more details will have been worked out as to what her year of dancing will look like. We know this is an exciting opportunity for Lauren, but the cost is crazy. I think I've already struck a nerve with the head coach because I am asking a lot of questions, but for two weeks now they have not had a parent meeting yet but want us to spend certain money already and I want answers as to why things can't be cheaper or why they are necessary at all. I have two other moms who agree with me and we are all trying to get answers. I am not a stage mom, but I'm also not going to sit quietly and just put up all of this money without asking questions first. Surely there has got to be some things that can change. Their response is to participate in fundraising and I counter that with if we could do away with some things or find cheaper alternatives then maybe we wouldn't have to worry about fundraising.  We'll see how things move along.

Roger and I had a fun week of date nights while the kids were away at camp. Monday we went out to eat and then to a Boy Scout parents meeting. The Wichita homeschool troop that is sponsored by the Wichita homeschool organization is disbanding because the new rules and regulations they voted on do not align with our Christian beliefs. The homeschool organization will sponsor us through December so those older boys earning their Eagle Scout have a chance to finish, but they will not support anything that requires giving more money to BSA like popcorn sales that happen in the fall. Roger and I are in support of this. There is a brand new organization that is trying to form called On My Honor and that looks like the direction our troop will be taking. We'll find out more as the months move on. Tuesday we went and saw Man of Steel and we both liked that movie. Wednesday I think we ate out for dinner, went to church, then went for yogurt afterwards. Thursday we went to Pacific Rim. I did not want to go to this at all but went and am sorry we spent the money to see this movie in Imax 3D. Roger liked it, but robot/machine movies are not my thing. I told Roger he owed me with a chic flick. We tried to find some chic flicks to rent for Friday night, but weren't successful, so we stayed home and I chose to watch a couple of movies we owned--Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Princess Bride. This week of date nights was so much fun for us because honestly we go about twice a year and that is not an exaggeration. It also got us out of the hot house due to the a/c problem, and I enjoyed my uneventful days to myself while Roger was at work. I planned on doing prep work for my homeschool co-op class I'm teaching in the fall, but ended up just reading and doing chores.

We put our old house up on the market at the end of June and have only had two showings so far. My prayer was that our house would sell quickly, but now I'm just praying for God to bring the right buyers along. We had an professional inspection done which has given us a list of things for Roger to work on while we wait for a buyer. We also had a professional cleaning crew come in and clean the house before we put it on the market and that was a huge mess. If you ever want to know who NOT to use to clean your house, ask us and we'll be glad to tell you. It's a long story that I'm not going to get into, but let's just say we were duped hundreds of dollars than what we were told, this is sad because this is a Christian woman who used to go to our church, and she will be reported to the Better Business Bureau. After all of this happened to us with the cleaning company and word got at about our ordeal, we were told by several people at our church about their own problems in dealing with this woman and her company. 

Other things we've done this summer was go to Botanica twice, the zoo and Exploration Place. We've been to the Y waterpark a couple of times, and the kids have enjoyed playing with the neighbor kids.

Last week the kids' curriculums arrived in the mail. The plan was to start school today, but they both ended up sleeping in until 11 a.m.! So, we will try for tomorrow. We always start slow and ease into a full blown routine. Plus, their friends and neighbor kids all have about two more weeks before their schools start, so I want them to be able to enjoy as much play time with them as possible. In the meantime, the kids did start reading their literature books that are part of their curriculums, so they are getting a jump start on that. I am hoping we can finish by the first of May!

Well, now I have to end and go bake some cookies for Evan's Boy Scouts Court of Honor dinner tonight. They receive any badges they've earned, or people get recognized for things. I've never been to one since I look at it as a special father/son time, and Lauren went once and was bored, so us girls may just stay home tonight. However, it would be a free meal for all of us and I don't have to cook except for the cookies that need to be brought.......

Anyways, that's been our summer so far. I've probably forgotten some things, but those can always be written about at another time. Enjoy the rest of your summer!