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Off to Camp. . .and 4th of July pictures

I started this post Monday morning. . .it's now Wednesday night. . .ha!

The younger three and I are off to Centri-Kid camp with our church today!
We are really looking forward to it. . .Thomas went to Cedar Lake Camp yesterday for the week. . .we decided this was his fifth summer attending!  I didn't even get to drop him off. . .his cousin was going too so Aunt Debbie took them both up together.  I'm sure the picture this year wouldn't have been much different then last year. . .
Patrick and Thomas, July 2011
 Well, except they are maybe in a different cabin. . .and much taller. . .

We spent the 4th of July holiday in Ohio with friends and family. . .here are some unedited pictures for those that are interested :)  Busy, busy!

Boys cooling off

Hanging for the day

Good twist Frederick
Marie & AVJ ready for Cincinnati fireworks!
Croquet anyone?

Picking up the mallet with his grandpas

Frederick, Susan, Margaret at Nana's 4th of July feast

Grandma and her boys :)

Attempting to get a picture of Nana and Grandpa Fred

Outdoor fun after dinner. . .swinging from a tree and fighting over backyard balls. . .

Grandpa Foster, Duke, and Frederick
Miss Susan let me pull a tooth -- one of my favorite things to do (really)!
Setting up for fireworks. . .it was a pretty good crowd!  The two misses didn't want their picture taken.

After the show we got back to our cars and out of traffic pretty quickly.

Thursday and Friday was more running around. . .meeting up with people and catching up.  Thursday the younger kiddos and I did another stint at the pool (what a way to spend the summer!).  Tom and Thomas helped Grandpa Fred on a project and then did some work for Grandma (my mom).  That evening I had dinner with friends, one who I bonded with when she became the librarian in the school I first taught in.  At the time her son was in 3rd grade. . .that same boy has now completed his Master's Degree and his first year of teaching!  So cool to catch up on "life" like that. . .and the directions life takes. . .sadly, for her, she lost her husband suddenly a year and a half ago and this is the first time I've gotten to see her since that happened.  I can so relate with her as my mother was widowed at the same age four years ago. . .always missed, forever in our hearts.

Friday I had a chance to have lunch with another good friend -- she and I started teaching together the same year and in the same grade!  We both started having babies about the same time (both of our oldest are entering 8th grade), both ended up with 4 healthy beautiful children -- I have bookend boys and her boys are twins "in the middle", both left the classroom during our second pregnancy and now we've both recently returned to the classroom. . .I went up a grade from 6th to 7th. . .she went down to 2nd grade -- she's a saint, obviously.

Friday night the VJs had a cookout for everyone.
We (Bells) were in charge of appetizers. . .some left over from the 4th. . .some from our favorite -- DLM!  Marie's salsa is also featured here -- a triple recipe, no less.
The hard-working chef
His beautiful daughter AVJ (like that t-shirt?!?)
And his oldest nephew, Thomas, with crazy family friend James:
And my favorite person. . .the one that balances me and is truly the "better half":
Amanda was there too but it's hard to get a picture of her.  She was just to the left of Tom at this table. . .they were picking on each other the same as when she was 2 and he was 21 -- ha!  It really did remind me of old times when he kept threatening to eat food off her plate and she would get mad just like when she was 2 and now still at 21. . .oh yea. . .some things just don't change. . .it's great to have those memories alive.

Saturday it was time to leave again. . .second time in three weeks we've had a good-bye lunch in Dayton.  My mom likes to meet all of us at My Favorite Muffin. . .as a family we have steadily gathered there since before I was pregnant with Thomas!
Me, my mother, and my daughter Margaret

It's a good, central location for everyone and there's something for everyone :)  Thanks, Mom, for this treat each time we're in Dayton.
Margaret, Tom, Thomas, Nana, Frederick, Fred, Marie, my empty seat, Grandma
And that's it for now. . .only 1 1/2 days left of camp at this point. . .fun, fun times (but only -- very few -- pictures on my cell phone and those I can't transfer until we get home). . .I start school a week from tomorrow -- yikes!


  1. Looks like you guys had fun. Love the picture with the hand in front. lol. Thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. It means the world. Stop by tomorrow at my Make it Pretty Monday party. It goes live 8am CST. Hope to see you there. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


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