~Derek's birthday is the 1st, so we begin the month with a holiday. I was off that week from work, so we made a day of it. Dan even took the day off (a much needed break after more than a month of 60 hour weeks) to join us at the Wet-N-Wild Water Park in El Paso, TX. Such fun we had! Up and down, around and around we go! Wave pools, water slides, kiddie pools, tube slides and MORE! Fun fun fun!
~DT enjoyed a 2nd chance to enjoy birthday fun on his game night party. Cake, presents and more friends.
~Hayley (our niece) came to stay for a week with us. She arrived the night of the second Magic tournament and got to meet most of the boys' friends right away. I think by the end of the week, she was sick of Magic and tired of boys. HA! Poor thing, she might not want to come back next year. However, after a few nights of shopping with Uncle Dan, she found a car that met all the needs, including price and so getting a car while she was here MIGHT make up for the Magic mayhem. Dan will be driving it to MN for her sometime in the next month or so.
~I think we went to the dirt track one more time this month, but don't quote me on that.
~School went largely out the window with the arrival of guests, guests and more guests. D wasn't working at the gym this month, so we went back to getting some done before work each day, and some reading. P was happy to abandon all pretenses of doing "REAL" school and just read-read-swim-read-read-swim-read-read all day long. DT was probably doing the most school with 4 days of summer literacy/math camp each week, plus his reading for the summer reading challenge.
~We went with all the Benson kids, my kids, Jodi and her kids AND Jayson to White Sands before Jay left. Good times were had by all. (Have I mentioned that their fancy schmancy car has air-conditioned seats? Best.Invention.EVER)
~Patrick left on the 13th, travelling with Jayson to IL to visit the grandparents for a few weeks. He enjoyed a full week with the local Smith cousins before they had to head back to school, spent a fun day at the Volo car museum with 'Shua and Lauren (and got to help them move into their new house), saw the air show in Chicago with Uncle John while on a huge speed boat, and other such exciting activities. I'm not sure he is going to want to return home. I may just have to pack the rest of his belongings and his school books and ship them all to IL. *winks*
~I got to turn a FB friend into a REAL LIFE friend this month as a friend (Kimberly Terrill) was moving from Cali to Ohio and made the detour to swing by with her husband and her youngest son. It was a great visit (plus she didn't turn out to be an ax-murderer which is always a bonus. LOL) Actually, it was one of the best visits ever. They walked in and instantly felt like family. They even unloaded the dishwasher and refilled it before they left the next morning while I was at work. Good times!
~Once I was finished with my summer job, and Dan was finished with the crazy 60 hours a week, things started to settle back down to the regular level of chaos we enjoy around here. I started cooking and baking again, the house got actually CLEAN for the first time all summer, we got caught up on some sleep, some lingering home/car maintenance projects and even had the time AND energy to paint David's purple room so it was a more acceptable near white. Life was back to 'normal' or at least whatever passes for normal around here.
~I got to spend a full day with sweet little Ollie while Ryan and Kelsi were moving. I had a ball! I wore him, D wore him, DT played with him, he tried to crawl after the cat and dog, and we chewed on EVERYTHING. Good reminder of how much I love babies, and how much fun they are, AND how much work they are. Phew. Also a good reminder of why I'm grateful I don't have an infant or toddler anymore :) Took some really great pics of him which worked out well as his 6 month pics as he turned 6 months the next day.
~The end of the month is another holiday for us. Happy 16th anniversary to Dan. Happy "You're Stuck with Me Forever" day. LOL! We took D and DT to Auntie Karen's house and enjoyed an evening all alone. Got to step out and see a movie together, and just enjoy some child-free hours. And that's always a good way to end a month. And an especially great way to end a crazy, hectic summer.