Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Summer Full of Activities!

We've had lots going on this summer...and though I've posted some of these pictures on Facebook, I wanted to share an update blog of what we've been up to this summer! I can't believe I didn't take time to blog about our fun along the way...but honestly, it never crossed my mind! :)
Our summer began with Vacation Bible School at our church. I was a helper in Christopher's class, which may not have been the best choice. But, he brought along some friends and his buddy Mia was in his class, so he had fun. He just wasn't much for the singing and doing the motions part.

The next week, in late June, David had a conference to attend in Orlando, FL - so Christopher and I tagged along for fun. Our budget didn't have room for any theme park tickets, but we had fun finding out all the other stuff Orlando has to offer! Our friends, Joel, Sharyn, & Gabriella happened to planning their Disney vacation that week, so we met up with them for a little fun at Downtown Disney one of the days we were there. We found this restaurant there with a dinosaur theme - right up Christopher's ally!
The T-Rex restaurant is owned by the same people who own the Rainforest Cafe' - so it was quite a real experience! Unfortunately, I didn't get any great pictures inside to show how much fun we had! But, that night, Christopher and I took Daddy back to this restaurant for dinner! So, that should say something! ;)

After filling our bellies at lunchtime, we headed over to the Lego store in Downtown Disney for some playtime. While Gabriella and Christopher worked on their creations, Sharyn and I got some girl-time to chat and Joel got some quiet time alone.
Below is Christopher's finished masterpiece!
Other things that Christopher and I discovered in Orlando were a mall where Christopher had his first ever A&W Root Beer Float! Needless to say, mixing his two favorites (ice cream and root beer) was sheer heaven for him! On our last day in Orlando, Christopher and I hung out at the World's Largest McDonald's while Daddy attended his last conference. It's like McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese all rolled into one. They have a huge play area that's free, as well as plenty of arcade games to drain your bank account, if you aren't careful!
The sad part of our summer was letting our friends Joel, Sharyn, and Gabriella go to where God was leading them. It had been on my friend Sharyn's heart for many years to be geographically closer to her parents and God provided that opportunity for them this year by opening jobs for both Joel & Sharyn at a school in Oklahoma near where Sharyn's family lives. As much as we knew this was God's plan for their life and we couldn't really argue with Him (believe me, we've tried!), it was still hard to let them go! Sharyn, Gabriella, Christopher, and I had one last playdate at the mall. We started with lunch in the food court and then headed to the playground until we couldn't delay saying goodbye any longer...well, sort of! We did have dinner with our hubbies/daddies, our friend Heather and her sweet baby Molly later that night. It's just so hard to say good-bye to such great friends...so, we decided to say "See ya later!" instead! ;)

While we were at the mall, Christopher decided he wanted to make a Build-A-Bear for his cousin Hannah Kate's first birthday (more on that later)! Below is a picture of him dressing the bear he made in a special "Happy Birthday" shirt.

After a week of Vacation Bible School at Grandma Jansen's church, we headed off to Alabama to visit my family! My brother's boys Jackson and Brody spent two nights with us at Gran & Pop's house. The boys had a blast playing together - and we even made a special craft together!
Later, Gran took all her grandsons, Stephanie (my SIL), David, and me to see Toy Story 3 in 3-D. It was a great movie and I think everyone enjoyed it! We later went to my mom's favorite Mexican restaurant for her birthday dinner. The next day, Gran decided she wanted to take the grandsons bowling...so, off we went! Everyone had a blast!

On Thursday of that week, we had a low-key day. Jackson and Brody had gone back to their home. I had an Opportunity Meeting scheduled that day for anyone up there who might be interested in selling Avon. Once that was over, David, Christopher, and I headed out to check out some of my favorite places around town. Our first stop was the art museum where they have a hands-on area for kids. Christopher got to step into a painting.

Then we spent some time making lots of fun light art images. We made several, but here's one to give you an idea of how cool it is! This was Christopher - he moved and the lines followed him.
Then Christopher tried his hand at stamp art. Each stamp had a different color, and by the time you were done, you had a great image!

The picture below was taken at the entrance of the hands-on children's area of the art museum. Christopher is holding two prints he made with the stamps pictured above.
I decided I wanted to check out the "grown-up" art in the rest of the museum, but Christopher wasn't too interested in that...so he and Daddy wandered outside where they found this...
Knowing that my grandparents' last name is Till, they came and found me so they could show this to me. Turns out, Harry Jackson Till is my grandfather's first cousin. My grandfather's dad and Harry's dad were brothers. Very cool finding! Below is a picture of the fountain:

On Friday, on our way up to a family gathering in north Alabama, we stopped at my brother's house so Christopher could ride his horses. Josh walked him around for quite awhile and then his cousins Jackson & Brody took their turns. Jackson can ride the horse by himself!

Just look at this happy face...I think he LOVED it...how 'bout you?
We got to meet Wilson, my cousin Alison's little boy. He was born on Christopher's 5th birthday. Two special boys with one very special birthday!
My cousin Katie's little girl, Hannah Kate, turned 1 the week we were up there. We had a family gathering on Friday to celebrate this special event. I'd been looking at pictures of Hannah Kate and Wilson on facebook, even got to Skype with Hannah Kate once - but nothing compares to breathing in their sweetness in person! I think Hannah Kate loved her bear Christopher "made"!
Back home, Christopher decided he was a big boy now and asked Daddy to take his training wheels off his bike. I was doing an appointment at the time, so Daddy held him off until I could get home. Then we took his bike out for a spin - on 2 wheels! Christopher insisted Daddy hold on (so he got quite the workout), but David said he only held on enough to catch him if he went too far either way - Christopher was pretty much doing it on his own!
Christopher was invited to Vacation Bible School with his friend Emily at her church (yes, that's his 3rd VBS this summer)! Emily's church did High Sea Adventures like our church, which may have been a good thing! Christopher even decided he wanted to perform for the church on Sunday morning - a huge step for him! :) The picture below isn't the best - but it was the only one that was light enough to post!
I loved that Christopher went to VBS at Emily's church - because it meant I got to spend some time with her Mommy and my friend Maureen in the afternoons! Maureen and I used to hang out on the playground after school while our kiddos played...now, we'll be starting our homeschooling adventure together! :) Maureen's mommy loaned me the Sonlight Curriculm that her sister-in-law gave her. This was my choice curriculum for homeschooling Christopher, but the price tag put it out of reach for us...but God used Maureen and her sis-in-law to give me the desire of my heart (at least in this area)! :)
Right now, we are in the midst of swimming lessons again (not again this summer, but as in we're trying this again)! We've tried this just about every summer since Christopher was a few months old...and this is our first year without tears! Christopher actually got in on his own without any arguements! YAY!!! That alone is progress! His swimming teacher says that once he gets over his fear of putting his face in the water, he's going to be a great swimmer! She says he's very smart and follows directions well. That makes a momma proud! :)

OK...so, now you're caught up on our life. I would like to say I'll do better with blogging...but I've made that promise to myself before and I hate breaking promises...so, I'll just promise that when I can, I'll blog. In the meantime, check in with me on Facebook to get the most up-to-date info in our lives! :)

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