Monday, July 31, 2023


 July was packed with travel - Colorado, Summer's mission trip to Appalachia, a trip to Battle Lake with Grandma and Grandpa T, a trip to Chicago for a family reunion, a trip to the cabin with the Kirkwood side, and other random fun!

Battle Lake

We headed up north to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa T!  We enjoyed fishing, tubing, playing in the lake, bocce ball, celebrating Larkyn's birthday, attending Paul's high school reunion, and more!

We caught a lot of fish and Grandpa fried them up for breakfast! Mmmm!

We celebrated Larkyn's birthday!  (More on that in Larkyn's birthday post)

Paul and I hung out on Friday and Saturday night with a bunch of his high school friends for his 20 year high school reunion.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for hanging out with our kiddos! 

Go Colton!

Family Reunion in Chicago

Each year we look forward to spending time with my mom's side of the family.  As the kids get older, it gets more fun, as they truly enjoy spending time with my cousin and sisters kids and pick up right where they left off.  I also enjoy spending time catching up with my cousins.  Thank you, Uncle Paul, for planning this get-to-gether year after year!

Cabin Time

We got to spend the weekend at my parents cabin!  I really didn't take many pics but it was great to connect with everyone.  Probably one highlight was watching all the kids ski - some for the first time!  They also did some double ski's - Colton and Teddy skied together and Larkyn and Colton skied together. 

Colton and Teddy

Colton and Teddy high-fiving while skiing.

Colton and Larkyn skiing

Summer skiing

Thank you, mom and dad, for a fabulous weekend of family time!

Random July Fun

We loved cheering Teddy and Charlie on in their soccer games!

Go Loons!

Mountain Biking

Summer's friend Adelyn came for a visit from Florida.  They have been friends since babies and they write letters to each other now that Adelyn moved away.  So great to see her!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Summer Mission Trip

 Summer went on a mission trip this summer with our youth group.  It was her first time being away on her own for longer than a weekend, and it was really cool to see how she learned to rely on God and how her faith grew.  They started their trip by driving 2 days to Appalachia, KY.  Once they got out there, they worked at Happy Church, a local church in the area, to serve the people there.  They cleaned, weeded, and helped lead a kids' camp.  Summer's role in the kids' camp was teaching piano lessons.  She created much of her lesson material (along with using some of her early piano books as a resource), and really enjoyed teaching the students!  It was so cool to see how God used her passions of kids, teaching, and music to serve him!  They also helped the church put on a carnival for the kids.  On the last day of the week, their team went hiking to enjoy the beauty of Natural Bridge, in Red River Gorge.  Then they drove two days back home.  

I sent this bracelet with Summer.  Each letter on the bracelet stands for a word.  Each day she opened a note that included a Bible verse where she discovered what word that letter stood for.  Also pictured is a bracelet my cousin Leah gave Summer that has a verse written in morse code in the beads.  She also had a whole team of people praying for her!

I am so proud of Summer.  She chose to follow the Lord's call to go on this mission trip despite feeling nervous, and she saw the Lord's faithfulness in action.  Ask her about it sometime!