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A Quick Week In Review

I don't have a lot of pictures to share this week because my camera went missing mid-week (it was found again!) but for the 2 days it was gone I was amazed at how many times I wanted it and didn't have access to it. . .wow.  I was kinda lost.  At least I have my phone, but I certainly don't take as many pics on that.  My sister did send me a great picture of my niece, AVJ, when she dropped her off at the University of Michigan's swim camp last Sunday:
She is a champion swimmer and was really looking forward to the difficulty level at this camp.  I haven't heard from them since she got home but knowing AVJ, she took advantage of the superior coaches there and spent a great amount of time absorbing what they had to say and working on her times. 

Last weekend we made a quick trip to OH for Amanda's graduation.  Besides Tom and me, these were the other people there to celebrate her culinary arts degree from SCCC with her:
I have known Amanda since just after she was born.  She's worked really, really hard to get to where she is and it was important for us to be there for her.  Her grandparents (far right) put this little party/lunch together afterwards and it was really nice.  She's pictured here with her finance and most of his family along with her dad, stepmom, and two little sisters along the back row.  Her dad and his family live about an hour from us, funny enough.  This is the first time we had met his wife and daugters and I certainly hope to run into them down here sometime -- apparently our town is one of two "big" towns they come to sometimes -- ha!
My camera's settings were not set correctly (what a surprise) and this picture of the two of us didn't turn out as well but it's still special to me.  And here was a view of the University of Dayton's arena at graduation:
It was a packed house!  There were over 1000 students walking that day.  Did she know she was on the big jumbotron that that moment?
This is where my dining room is now:
Yea, not much change.  I think the window is going to be a "go"?!?  My girlfriends suggested getting the window in before picking the paint color -- brilliant!  Marie is going to be home with me every morning this week (just her!!!) so I'm hoping to get a little further with the priming and board & batten.  I got a decent start on the table but lots to go. . .I'm very excited about this project. . .










One of the days I was "missing" my camera I did use my phone to record this as my picture of the day:
We had a couple of boys over one afternoon because their mother had to go out of town for some medical tests. . .Margaret's "chore" that day was to keep an eye on the littlest one (he's 4).  She made chalk paints for them to color on the driveway with!! 





So cute and creative. . .you can find anything online :)
The younger two went to a sports camp that was hosted by a local church this week and Thomas helped out with the soccer group.  I didn't really get any pictures of that, but Tom went to the closing ceremony on Friday (I had an inservice for school) and sent this picture to me:
Thomas is in the green shirt, holding a little boy in front of him that was in his soccer group, helping him to do some of the hand motions to the song.  This is the kid that Thomas is. . .I hope this is a glimpse of the man he will become.  I ran over on my lunch hour and snapped this quick picture of the entire group during their worship time:
It was a large group and this church did a *great* job.  I love that the kids get excited about the music, the motions, and wanted to buy the CD to listen to time and again in the car.  I love how much they love Jesus!!!


Frederick, down on the ground, getting ready to jump up and shout "O, happy day, happy day, You washed my sin away! O, happy day, happy day, I'll never be the same!  No, no, no, forever I am changed."  AMEN






Three hours later, when I got out of my inservice, we headed over to Marie's award ceremony at the camp she has been at all week.
Dr. Doom (Bob Dawson) has been holding his "famous" basketball camps in our small town for many, many years.  This year, since Marie has made her middle school basketball team, we decided she should try a week of camp to work on her skills.  Apparently soccer and lacrosse are not the only sports that she does well in -- when all was said and done on Friday she walked away with 7 different awards from the week.

Among the awards were "1-on-1 winner", "best shot award", and "MVP" female for her age group. . .and, to further add to this, they counted her as a 12-yr-old -- ha! 

What is particularly funny about her age is most people think she is 12. . .including me, her mother!  A few weeks ago I was confused about U12 soccer try-outs saying that she couldn't try out because it was for under 12 and she said "I know". . .so I insisted she couldn't try out and finally she looked at me and said, "but Mom, I'm only 11".  Really?!?  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she's only 11 because I don't want to be a year older either but. . .really. . .11? 

And the shoes were a funny part of her camp. . .one of Robert's friends handed down this great pair of indoor soccer shoes to her and she couldn't wait to wear them and insisted on wearing them for this camp.  

The first day I picked her up Coach Bob said she got the award for brightest/loudest shoes. . .then, on Friday as he was passing out the awards and she was winning some kind of "fastest" award he commented on her shoes again, saying that she was probably the fastest because she was a soccer player too.  Hmmm. . .wonder if I captured that in the picture above?  Looks like they both may be checking them out.

Yesterday (Saturday) I had the privilege of helping at a great retreat Rising Above Ministries does each year called By the Brook.  It's a weekend completely devoted to moms of special needs children. 
 They have breakout sessions throughout the day for women to sign up and choose from. . .my good friend Rene, who is a Stampin' Up demonstrator, sponsored two of the breakout sessions and invited me to help prep for and then assist with the project at the retreat. Rene came up with a super-great project. . .the sessions were each 45 minutes long and Rene and I spent about 3 hours talking about and/or prepping for the class last Wednesday night:



 Man, I need to learn how to do a collage on my blog.  Anyway, these ladies had so much creativity in them. . .this was an awesome (and hopefully useful) project for them.  They can be little picture albums/brag books, name tags, information tags. . .anything in the world!  I love working with Rene -- she really has the best ideas.

It's fun to hear people who come in saying, "I'm not creative" or "I don't have a crafty bone in my body" walk out with something like this that they made entirely on their own.  I'm not creative or crafty either but with the internet and most especially Pinterest, I can copy and create and feel like I'm crafty and creative -- ha!







Although I love journaling for my family and as an outlet/diary for myself, I've spent the better part of today doing it!!  Yesterday I joined my family at the lake (and later Rene's family joined us too) after the retreat thing but those pictures will have to wait. . .I have windows to wash and I'm expecting my dad today too.  Thomas and I got his room all ready for him earlier this week --
Our bonus room. . .storage room. . .craft room. . .until mid-week Tom and I had been using it as our bedroom for the past 8 months. . .when people visit we just usually just put them in the master bedroom but Dad is going to be here on-and-off for the next 5 weeks so we wanted him to have a space that no one invaded.
My dad is volunteering at a camp here in Tennessee that is about 45-60 minutes from us.  I'm glad that he's found this to do since he's alone now and I know the children he'll be with will be blessed.  Since it's a week-at-time place I think he'll be staying here on the weekends. . .we're not really sure exactly how the schedule is going to work out but glad that he'll be so close to us! 

I can't believe summer is half over!!!  The kids have been out of school for over a month now and one month from tomorrow will be their first full day back.  Wow.  I like our almost-year-round schedule though. . .by the time October rolls around we will be due a 2-week break and I love that.  Until then. . .I've got lots to keep me busy!!!

Love,
Jenni

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