I'm always so amazed when I look back at the photos I've taken over the month to realize how much happens, I apologize in advance for the length of the post. I should have done one each week but I didn't and now here we are.
Settle yourselves in for a long post.
We started July off with a family reunion on my beloved's side of the family.
We were invited to his cousin's lakeside retreat in Princeton for the July long weekend.
They are set up so perfectly for these kinds of events. You can see our trailer tucked beside the lake on the left side and then on the right are washrooms and a large area for other campers and tenters.
We brought Mom along this year. I should have taken a picture of her tucked into the back bunk of our trailer to prove she came camping. =)
It was so good to see these cousins and a few aunts and uncles. Since the last family reunion, we have lost several family members and so we all recognized that having these times together with family is meaningful and important.
They all remembered the last time that we started deep frying doughnuts one evening and so we pulled out the deep fryer again.
There is nothing like a warm doughnut out of the fryer on a warm summer night by the lake.
Thank you, Gary and Heather for being such amazing hosts once more!
We came home on July 3rd and we set to preparing for Mom's 80th birthday party the next day.
Is it just me or does this cake look like it is wearing a summer (winter weight) scarf?
I was so thankful for Bea's help in decorating and making it all beautiful!
My dream was to set out four long tables with white tablecloths on our back lawn but the weather that day just looked too uncertain so my beloved came up with a way to fit the 14 of us under our tent.
We wondered about a theme for decorating.
Bea created these beautiful napkin placeholders using old German pages.
We had searched through photo albums to create a story line.
In doing this, we just missed Dad so much and felt sad at all he has missed in the last 22 years.
So cute in their going away outfits!
Skipping ahead to about the time I came into the family.
Five generation picture when Terrence was born.
Mom and Brenda, Mom with us in Hawaii and Mom with her first great granchild.
Oh how she has loved each new great grandchild as they were born.
Here is a recent photo of Mom.
The sheer pleasure on her face is so beautiful.
You know how hard it is to get a good photo once everyone sees food in front of them right?
"80 years loved" the mirrored sign says.
In her 80 years she has loved much and has been loved much.
These little ones that call her Oma, just love her to bits.
So, it didn't rain but it was super windy but we took a photo in the field anyways.
Bea set the camera on timer and then ran to the back to find a spot to be in the picture.
The fun thing is that we were facing the road and cars and berry picking machines were driving by, honking and waving and so it was easy to get everyone to smile!
Mom is front and center.
Left is our youngest son with his beautiful family.
To the right of my beloved is our oldest son and his beautiful family.
On the far right is my beloved's sister and her husband.
We didn't invite Kobe into the photo... she just showed up. =)
Ok... on to other things.
I love weather and was quite excited that we had a thunderstorm in the middle of one night.
I sat straight up in bed, opened the window wider and just enjoyed the sounds and the flashes for the short duration.
I just thought my red currant bush was beautiful.
I planted it mostly for the beauty of the berries but did end up making one batch of red currant jelly.
I should give away a prize if you know what this is without peeking ahead.
Stranger things have happened I know, but one day my youngest came over and popped these worn keys off my keyboard and pulled out a little bag of replacements.
He said... "I've never seen anything like it'.
Who looks at their keys anyways?
I didn't know there was a problem.
I just type!
But thank you!
OH.. and then I got into this macaron making frenzy.
The macarons above were for "Little Miss Muffet's" birthday party.
These were her colors.
I'm not sure what happened but before I knew it I was making macarons every day for a week.
Humid, or not, I was giving them a go.
I wanted to be sure I could do them with sure success.
The ones above were with red currant buttercream. (remember the red currants? )
Stay tuned in the weeks to come, for a teepee making tutorial.
All this "Kanneloni Macaroni" girl wanted for her birthday was the teepee for her American Girl.
I looked it up to order but at the cost of a night away in a lovely hotel, I decided I would make one myself.
I searched for tutorials on how it is done and when I saw what was out there I decided to come up with my own teepee plan.
She was happy !
Yesterday I sent a quick text to her mom to see if she had taken a photo of it all set up with Kaya in her new teepee home.
She sent back that she hadn't yet....
But within minutes, she sent me these few photos after looking out the back door and discovering the play happening right then.
Is that not a beautiul thing?
So.. the teepee project that took 1/4 of my July was worth every momemnt!!
Are you still with me?
The next birthday was for Little Miss Muffet.
I always love to help in some ways for the grand parties.
This sweet girl had a cake picked out and I did my best to recreate the photo from Pinterest.
I just had so much fun making these rose swirls out of tinted whipped cream.
I'm getting better at them. Not perfect yet, but better.
Turqoise, gold and purple.
Jasmine topped the cake!
When this sweet girl was born and I called her Little Miss Muffet for my blog, I had no idea how perfectly it would suit her.
She is just a little doll!
It is probably terrible to take pictures while we are praying but...
I love to be able to see this.
I thought it was funny how when the food was served, the groups naturally formed.
The girls sat together...
.... the birthday girl went and sat with all the boys.
OH boy! There is a sign of things to come.
OK.. we'll come back to birthday parties.
We went to the BC BMX races.
These riders did our family proud.
Ok.. this was fun.
On one Saturday night at church, the power went out during the first bar of the first song.
After a few more songs and the realization that the power was not coming on anytime soon,
the service was taken outside to the back of the church property.
It was wonderful!
Now, this guy, Little Oh, wanted a skateboard in the worst way for his birthday.
When that thing came out of the box, it was straight outside and his first attempts were not to learn how to skateboard, but rather to learn tricks.
Yup! He's something!
Since this was taken, he is riding.. "for real".
Now, his brother's birthday is not until December but what good is a skateboard in December?
Is that not the best excuse for a 8 1/2 year birthday gift that you ever heard?
Thanks to SkateXS for sending these custom boards to us.
The older of the two, got on his board and like anything he has with wheels, just rode that board like he owned it.
It looked so easy, so I stood on the board. Just ... stood on the board.
We will come back to the birthday party later, because I like to keep the month in order of how it happened. Thank you for bearing with me.
These guys really wondered why I was taking a picture of them. Should I have run out to explain?
Our insurance company sent out someone to just do a prudent check that all was well with our systems on the farm.
It turned out that our main box that the power comes to from the road was hot!
We called our electrical company to come out asap and switch out the box.
That meant, that the power from the road had to be cut off by Hydro while the box was being switched off.
The farm ran on our generator for the day while this happened.
So thankful that this was caught and was fixed!
It's good to document these things too.
And then!!.... the book arrrived.
When Herald Press called to say the book was being delivered we were so excited and even more so because it was already planned that the west coast girls would be seeing Charlotte who was out for a family reunion.
Marg and her hubby invited us all to their place for a book reveal party.
Judy helped her plan and made these darling little loaves for us to take home.
They set the table to perfectly for theme of the book.
It's just so precious to share in the joy of another book with these amazing women who are such dear friends.
We will launch the book on August 3rd and you will of course see the photos of that next month.
We pray that it will touch the hearts and lives of many women and we pray that it will provide for many orphans and widows.
On the 22nd we went to the party for Kanneloni Macaroni and Little OH.
Every year, their mom does this great question and answer routine with them.
I just love to see how they change and grow.
I shared it with you last year and so here it is again.
This girl is just as sweet as you can imagine.
My favorite part is the Holdy spirit. It's not a typo. Is that not precious?
And these are his very serious answers. =)
If you know him... you will just smile.
We also celebrate this guy who shares the birthday with Little Oh!
He will do almost anything to bring a smile to the face of the littles.
He's still a keeper!
They do a traditional birthday photo together.
Born on the same day 53 years apart!
A day or two later, we invited siblings over to join us in the tent for a quiet dinner together.
And that is how we winded down a very busy but very fun month of July!
Ok.. we are done!
If you are still here with me, thank you for sticking with the story of July in my world.
I hope you all have a most wonderful August.
Summer is half over and I'm still waiting for the lazy days of summer to begin.
I can see them on my calendar and will be thrilled to share them with you on September 1st!
Love to you all...