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17 July 17

It's been awhile. . .and not that I haven't had time to sit down and update. . .it just seemed I didn't have anything to say.  Then I go through pictures and decide that yes, indeed, my life has been FULL. . .this kind of full. . .

Eating dinner, all six of us together.
Banquet night at camp.
Dog Park.
Sharing meals (and movies!) with our neighbors.
Ohio trips.

No pictures of our first meal together since. . .well. . .I don't know when.  Thomas's graduation party?  But then there were many people there. . .it's been a long summer.

The two oldest left for camp the day after that party and didn't come home until yesterday.

Here is my favorite picture of the two of them from his party though:
No technology at camp!  I love that rule. . .but as a mom I have to re-adjust how to communicate with them and how to remember what I want to tell them (now I understand the lists by the phone that my grandparents would keep for their once-a-week phone calls with their daughters!).

Because Thomas was a counselor, though, they use phones to communicate throughout the day so he keeps his.  Which means that, per my request, he would send a couple of pictures -- usually from banquet night on Wednesday nights -- to me :)

This last picture was sent to me on a day that I was *really* missing my kiddos.  When I received the image I asked Tom, "right this minute, what would make me the happiest person alive?".  He said, "to have your kids at home"?. . .close. . .I got this picture of them!!

Tennis has been a big part of Frederick, Tom's and my summer.  Tom and I always play on Friday night with a mixed group. . .Tom has been playing with my group on Monday nights more and more.  Frederick is allowed to sub for that Monday night group once in awhile.
Frederick, Jan, Jenni, Amy
 I joined a group late to play interclub also (my friend on the end invited me!) and Frederick, of course, plays JTT (USTA Junior Team Tennis) during the summer.

I think, this year, he only lost his first match. . .he's had a good season!  We found out tonight that he will be playing in the playoffs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday -- yea!!

We have also had some good days on the lake -- some with friends, some just "us". . .but so far the dog hasn't made it out.  It's still a long drive as the boat is at Dale Hollow Lake and we now live in East Tennessee.

I'm not very organized with my pictures this year. . .Thomas has learned to get up on one ski with our little engine just killin' it. . .Thomas and Frederick both kneeboard. . .and all four kiddos enjoy the tube :)
I have yet to put on a bathing suit (yea!) but love, love, love the warm weather we have had and sunning on the boat.

Chelsea gets to the dog park at least 4-5 days a week. . .
And our dear framily (friends that are like family), Tommy & Barbara celebrated our 22nd anniversary with us. . .
22 years -- his t-shirt says it all :)

And then I was out of town and got this picture from Margaret and Tom -- Tommy & Barbara served them dinner in their new house. . .even though they don't have running water yet!

I have also had the chance to read LOTS this summer (due to lack of a job and not much pressure -- at the moment -- to run out and get one).  My two favorites, among many good ones, have been:
A very complicated story about domestic abuse
I liked the marriage truths -- both good and ugly -- that the author was able to weave in this book.

Both of these authors are new favorites -- Colleen Hoover's "November 9" was an excellent read from earlier this year and I also read "One True Loves" by TJR. . .I would give both of those "10's" too.  These are all deviations from my normal history, drama, and mysteries that I usually enjoy.  Needed some lighter reading this summer I guess.

And, finally, (not really, but this is getting really LONG). . .multiple trips to Ohio for me.  My beautiful niece, Susan, had scoliosis surgery last month.  I had the same surgery -- different procedure -- 30 years ago!  She was such a trouper and is doing great.

Monday morning she went in to fix this. . .

Came out of surgery six-ish hours later like this:
We only have photos to remind her (because she has no recollection) that she continually said, for days and days, "I just want my sister":
On Thursday she was ready to go home (!!!)
And, although she fell out of bed Friday night and was rushed to the emergency room at 5 a.m., she was back resting at home that weekend.  (No harm came from the fall.)
She is an amazing, amazing girl.
In 1986 I didn't get to this point until at least a week after going under the knife.  And I certainly wasn't doing this with my aunt two weeks later:
Susan, AVJ, Frederick
Or breaking out right at 58 minutes with my mom, sister, and aunt. . .

It's been amazing to see this recovery.  As I write this it hasn't even been a month since she underwent this surgery and the above picture was taken last weekend!  I was back up to check on her and hang out with my mom and her new dog because Mom had a little hand surgery. . .
Mom and her new dog, Sadie.  No pictures of her post-op.

And Frederick has started a little business here in TN but works on "vacation" for family -- this was a BIG job. . .

I also had the joy of having breakfast with a favorite little girl in Ohio. . .
She will be three at the end of the month. . .her mother was the flower girl in my wedding. . .and she is the one that lost her Marmie earlier this year.  It's always great to "go home" and catch up.

As I continue to go through my FB Pictures of the Day I see so many more "little" things that really are "big" things because they are memories of people and times I treasure.  This blog is for ME, for those who love my family and want to keep up, and a testimony of thanks to God for giving me these abundant blessings in my life.  This was my Picture of the Day today:
Day 2 of 2017 soccer camp for their high school.  Summer is essentially over. . .onward and forward.
 . .



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