I’m Back – Summer Recap with LOTS of Photos

Well, I didn’t mean to take a hiatus from the blog for the summer, but it turned out that when pinched for time, the blog was the first to go.  So, in an effort to prove why I neglected the blog over the summer, here’s a little recap of what our family has been up to.

We started the summer with me being a homeschooling mom.  (Those are words that I never thought I’d say, by the way.)  We had some testing done for Ayub at the end of the academic year and one of the recommendations was that he be in an academic program over the summer so that he didn’t lose any gains made during Kindergarten.  Yes, we could have put him in a program, but it made more sense to do it at home.  Since the other kids were there, too, I decided that they too should suffer be exposed to some school-type work so I developed lessons for them, too.  Yes, that means three separate “curriculums” each week.  It was a little much for me, but I think it was great for the kids.  They did more math and writing this summer than ever.  And, most importantly, I think some things really started to click for Ayub with the one-on-one attention.  We also had morning and afternoon activities or outings to keep us all from going insane.  I had this great plan that I would do a post each week to links of what we did, but instead, here is a dump of photos.  If you really want to do one of these things…search Pinterest.

Sidewalk Paint:

DSC_6729 DSC_6742 DSC_6762 DSC_6776 DSC_6790 DSC_6800 DSC_6801 DSC_6803Marshmallow Sculptures:

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Water Day:DSC_6856 DSC_6907 DSC_6949 DSC_6975 DSC_6992

Ice Cube Dudes:DSC_7045 DSC_7047

Zip Line:DSC_7214 DSC_7219 DSC_7225 DSC_7280 DSC_7368 DSC_7425 DSC_7435

Homework:

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Stray dog rescue (we only had him a few hours before we tracked down his owner):

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Shaving Cream painting/letters:DSC_7610 DSC_7615

Tea Party:DSC_7660 DSC_7681

Slime:DSC_7828 DSC_7955

Swim Meets:DSC_8590 DSC_8615

So that was June.

Starting July 1, Andrew had to be at his new job, so he left me home with the kids.  The first week, we had an extra kid, as Eleanor’s friend Alexandra stayed with us for circus camp.  Then, in the middle of July, Andrew met the rest of us at the beach for a family vacation.

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After vacation, Eleanor went back to the new place with Andrew, while I took the other three home for the final week at our old house.  We came home on Saturday, packed on Sunday, the movers came and did packing on Monday and Tuesday, then we loaded up and headed for our new home on Wednesday.  Because it was just me with three kids, a dog and two cats, we stopped to pick up Uncle Davey, who rented another car and caravanned with us.  (This man deserves a medal…first a trip to Ethiopia to bring home the kids, then this cross-country trek.  Since I am all out of medals, a stiff drink will have to do.)

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We broke the trip up into three days and took lots of breaks to eat and play.  Our favorite stop was at the Louisville Slugger factory, where Sam got his birthday present.
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DSC_9834 DSC_9837 DSC_9840We all arrived safely in our new city.  However, because of some problems with the sellers of our new house, we couldn’t move in, so spent four more days at a hotel.  During this time, Sam turned 12, we ate too much junk food, we made a trip to the mall to buy warmer clothes for the kids, and the hotel was evacuated because of an incident with a bank robber, leaving us at yet another hotel for a night.  (Yes, you read that right.  File that under “things that would only happen to us.”)  Finally, we were able to move into our new house.

As you can imagine, the combination of all these trips, Dad being away for a while, and an uncertain future took its toll on the kids.  They were all exhausted, grumpy, and breaking down.  After several days of multiple rages from Ayub, we almost decided to cancel our last trip of the summer.  But, instead, after only four days in our new house, we loaded up the kids AGAIN, and headed off for a reunion with some of the families we met while in Ethiopia.  It could have been a recipe for disaster, but as it turns out, it was exactly what we all needed.  It was fabulous to spend the week with another family who has two biological kids and adopted two kids from Afar.  We also got to see two other families who we LOVE.  All the kids played together, even though they ranged in age from 1 month to 16 years.  And Ayub did great, with only one breakdown all week.  The only downside was that I forgot my camera, so the only pics I have of our glorious reunion are from my iPhone.

4 families, 14 kids, 7 from Ethiopia:

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Yes, Eleanor is in a wheelchair.  While at the beach, she got a HUGE splinter in the bottom of her foot.  Trip to ER, surgical removal and five stitches later, she’s good as new, but on this day, she wasn’t up to the walking.  And, Lucy got her first kiss.  (As an aside, if arranged marriages were popular, I would totally set this one up, just so Anne and Pete would be our inlaws.)

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I really cannot say enough good things about this reunion week.  If you have adopted kids and you haven’t had a chance to get together with other families, please find a way to do it.  It was great to be in the company of people who truly understand what your life is like.

So, if you had trouble keeping up, here’s a breakdown of minivan miles for the summer:

Home to beach rountrip- 634 miles

Old home to new home – 1034 miles

New home to reunion to lake house to home – 2242 miles

Total miles travelled – 3910

Next up:  New home decorating, potty training and back to school.  Stay tuned…I promise it won’t take as long.

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5 responses

  1. I’m tired just reading this… SO HAPPY you guys are in the midwest; I can’t believe I am going to miss you this weekend. What are yoru plans while you are here? I hope everyone continues to settle in and keep it together. You are doing an amazing job. Can I send my kids to you next summer??

  2. You have been busy! What a summer– hope the fall is less eventful. I couldn’t agree more on reunions- we did two this summer and they were the highlight of the summer.

  3. Wow. You are an incredible mom. Not only creative, but somehow you also find the energy to make creative ideas reality. Just please, please tell me you didn’t build that zipline yourself.

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