Well, another summer is in the books and another school year is up and running. This is a significant school year for our family as it marks some major milestones. Our baby is in full-day kindergarten. She is in heaven and LOVES every minute of it so far. Our other "baby" (who is not AT ALL a baby!), our very first baby, is a senior in high school. A SENIOR! On the one hand, I saw it coming -- he has lived more than 17 years. He has progressed, one year at a time, from kindergarten to first grade, to second grade and so on. From elementary school to middle school and then to high school. I'm not a complete idiot and I get how time works! But, on other hand it has caught me completely off guard. How can it be true? I don't think I have fully internalized the reality of it yet. All my people go to school all day, 5 days a week. 3 of them to high school and 3 of them to elementary school (praise the Lord for a year of respite from having a middle schooler!) I have a decent amount of time where I am not responsible for any short people and can pee and go to Costco without a sidekick! This day has been nearly 18 years in the making. I still am not sure what I think about it, though. I could become completely giddy and overwhelmed with excitement or burst into tears at any moment. It's a bit of a crap shoot. Consider yourself warned!
A few weeks back we were having some car trouble, so, if I wanted a vehicle to drive during the day (which, with 6 kids who needed to get shuttled to various activities, I did!), I had to drive Kirbs to (and from) work. So, I'd drop him off in the morning and drive the 3 or so miles back home to get on with my day. Well, one afternoon I drove on campus (in case you didn't know, he works at a local university) to pick him up after work and as I entered campus, I looked left. On the left, when you enter the campus, the first thing you see is the (beautiful!, new) athletic complex. On the football field that afternoon were lots of (big!) men in purple uniforms. At that moment it hit me (HARD!) that one year from that very moment, my "baby" would be out there with them. Donning a UNW uniform and practicing football. Living, not at our house with us, but on his own in a dorm! That wasn't an easy moment.
Summer is hard. This summer was hard! I don't know if summer is hard for me because it is hard for our family, or if summer is hard for our family because summer is hard for me. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Even with the hard of summer, it went by shockingly fast. I think there were a few backpacks that never even got unpacked before being packed back up again for the next school year. Before I knew it we were at the fair eating too many fried foods and trying to get to bed earlier, so that our return to the school year routine would be slightly less brutal. There were certainly some great things about this summer :: Rebekah had the time of her life working at camp all summer. There were walks in the woods and backyard bonfires and bike rides. We had a wonderful, just-what-we-needed time at family camp (although we missed Jacob who couldn't go with us due to football practice, but was well taken care of by his grandma)! We did some swimming and played at the park. We celebrated birthdays (my grandma's 90th, most notably!). We spent time with friends and grilled lots of stuff . . . but it was still a hard summer!
This summer wasn't only hard on our family. It was hard on our world. Locally. Nationally. Internationally. There is lots of crap going on in the world. And also lots and lots of good and beauty. That is how life is! (More on that in another blog post, possibly.)
We undertook some major house/property stuff this summer . . . . and into the fall. We removed 4 trees from our lot (a couple diseased, one old and decaying, and one that was just a nuisance and was in the way of some changes we want to make with our driveway). Tree removal is a spendy and loud endeavor! We got a new roof (unfortunately we had some shoddy workmanship when we replaced the roof a few years after moving in to the house, following some hail damage, and it was in BAD shape and also causing some leaking in our living room). Sara was disappointed that the house didn't really look any different once the new roof was on. I don't know what she expected, but clearly the new roof was not living up to her expectations. Also, when your very efficient roofing crew of 8 or so guys shows up at 7am and all get up on the roof to start ripping off old shingles, your kids will be a bit upset that their summer sleep schedule has been disturbed by quite a bit of noise that cannot be ignored! It seriously sounded like they were going to come right through the roof and join us inside the house! Roofing is a spendy and loud endeavor! We have a couple more projects coming yet this fall. Replacing/repairing the living room ceiling, which has nasty water damage, and replacing our old, rotting porch windows. Once the budget recovers from those blows, we will take on the driveway project (hopefully sometime in 2017). There's always something to do when you live in a 90-year old house!