Well, I remembered my summer was officially over when my alarm clock went off at 4:30 this morning. Back to reality. Back to life.
Great. Now that song will be stuck in my head all day.
I figure a great way to officially end my summer is by doing a Summer Replay...highlighting my ups and downs of my summer break.
Here we gooooo....
School ended and I was finally able to spend time moving in to my new home. It seems funny to me, now, that I've only lived here for three months. It feels like it's been a lot longer. We actually moved in a little over a week before school got out.. but we spent all of that time living out of boxes, because there was no way that I could try and move in and work at the same time.
My first summer activity was taking Jelly to see Scooby Doo Live. I had a nasty fall before getting in to the theater, and ended up with this as a souvenir...
But the show was really fun, and Jelly and I had a great time.
May also ended with some pretty extreme weather. Maybe a sign of what to expect over the course of the summer. We had snow earlier in the month - which is unheard of in May - but we ended the month with bouts of tornados and severe storms. Moore, OK received two tornados in a matter of a couple of days. I remember thinking that I'd heard tornado sirens more in the couple of weeks we'd lived in our new house more than I ever had in my whole life.
Then June arrived.
The first weekend in June, Hubby and I decided to take the girls out for the day. Butter was at my parent's house, so we decided to enjoy the cooler weather and go out for some exploring. We took a nice, long drive and discovered a beautiful park called Terra. It was a very artsy place full of sculptures and art... but it resembled something more like a scene from a Harry Potter movie. Trolls and gnomes and other funny creatures lined the paths through the park, and we even got to see a huge Fairy garden and life sized chess board.
A few days after our visit to Terra, I was determined on doing some gardening. I had been inspired by the beauty that the park had offered. The weather had been unseasonably cool, and I was prepared to tackle my little "oasis" garden located down the side of my house. Roses had appeared, which got me pumped up to go out and search for goodies to transform my little garden in to a Fairy Garden. Unfortunately, as far as I got was going out and buying a bunch of stuff to use. No actual gardening took place. That's because the weather did a quick shift and I apparently spent all of the cool days going shopping, and once it was time to start working... it was too dang hot.
June also brought my first family BBQ in my new home. My entire family came over to swim, eat, and have a good time. It was the first time for them to see the house after everything had been moved in and the new furniture had arrived.
June also sent me back to work for a couple of weeks to teach summer school. What started off with me thinking that I'd made the biggest mistake of my life, turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I did all summer. I had such a blast teaching summer school. I got to spend my afternoons hanging out with some pretty terrific Jr. high kids, running around, making a fool of myself, and having such a great time. I even performed in the summer school talent show with two kiddos - and we won first place!!
During the middle of summer school, Hubby and I took Jelly and Butter (Peanut was taking her turn at my parent's house) to play some miniature golf. It's the first time we'd ever taken them. Despite the heat, we were able to have a blast...and it was a great way to have a little fun.
The second to last day of June, my mom and I went to play bingo. What I thought would be something that would happen a few times over the summer... but it didn't. I spent my money on different things. Things that actually included the whole family. I didn't win, and it was actually a pretty boring night. Didn't even get close... which I'd rather do than sit there without even a chance all night.
And that brings us in to July...
The first day of July, I took Butter fishing. It was a mother/son day... that also included my brother. We got up at the butt crack of dawn, loaded a packed lunch, and took off for a day by the lake to catch fish. Unfortunately, the fish had other ideas. While we all managed to catch a fish, I caught the biggest fish of the day...that was big enough to use as bait. I did get to catch some more sun to add to my already beautiful summer tan. Summer school and days by the pool had already helped turn my white skin in to bronze perfection... but more sun was apparently needed.
This year we made sure to get our fireworks fix. We visited not one, not two, but three professional displays. The first being at a nearby town in Missouri that's a part of my school district. Hubby even went with us for that one. The show was fantastic, and it was great seeing some of my summer school kids that I hadn't seen in a few days... because summer school had ended.
Then, we went to a display in my school town. Again.. more seeing some sweet faces and enjoying a great show.
The 4th Bonanza, however, occurred on July 4th. That's when I had all of my family over for a BBQ, swimming, and to spend the night. We had a fantastic time...and then when it was dark, the kids walked up to the park to watch the fireworks while the parents sat out across the street from my house to watch it all. Definitely one of the most fun days of the summer.
A week later, and it was time to spend a day at Chuck E. Cheese. Another entire family outing with my parents, all of their kids, and even my aunt and cousin whom I haven't seen in forever. It was to celebrate my niece's 4th birthday. Parents sat and watched....kids ran around like crazy people. Summer perfection!
Once Chuck E. Cheese was over, Jelly went back to spend some time with my parents and Butter went to spend some time with P-Momma. That left Peanut. Peanut decided to have her boyfriend come over, and the four of us had a day of double dates. We caught a movie, did some shopping, and went out for dinner. The next day, we had him over again...and we all went out to play some miniature golf. It felt nice to be able to enjoy some time with my Peanut...and her beau...and her not want to die of embarrassment or curl up under a rock. She seemed to really enjoy herself. Who said hanging with the 'rents is so bad?
The end of that week, and I had a houseful. My brother, my sister, her boyfriend, Peanut, her boyfriend, Butter and Jelly...who both finally came home. The extra kids were over for a reason - we took a trip to the new fancy water park that had been built and opened this year close to us. It's the biggest thing to happen in NW Arkansas...and it was apparent by the hoards of people that we encountered. I took my turn sliding down huge slides and feeling like I was flushed down a toilet.... all the while dealing with a very extreme fear of heights. The things I do for enjoyment is crazy! Good times!
A few days later, I was conquering another fear... getting on the back of a horse. While I had spent my whole life wanting to ride a horse, I'd never actually done it. And thanks to weird fears I've developed since having kids, the thought terrified me. I was just sure that I'd try and get on the back of the thing and it would either buck me off, or take off at a terrible rate of speed leaving me holding on for dear life or dangling by my ankles. Thankfully, neither of those things happened...and I was able to enjoy another life long dream, and conquer another fear.
July ended in a very proud way for me. After catching wind of it on Facebook, I discovered that a local Marine had been killed - and that a certain hate group had planned on protesting at his funeral. I made a split second decision to band with my town to show honor for the fallen soldier by building a human wall around his funeral. Of all the activities I did during the summer, this was probably one of the most sentimental. I didn't know the marine...never even heard of him before hearing about his death... but I was humbled and honored to participate in such a civic duty as attending his funeral. The sights from that day will forever be with me. Thankfully, the hate group didn't show up... but regardless, that boy deserved a funeral with this much display of love...
But, it's OK. I can't complain. It's been a great one.
And then that was it... July was over and we were heading in to August.
I spent the first day of August doing what many teachers were probably doing... getting the first glimpse of the work that needed to be done in my classroom. I made the trip for the first time since summer school to my room...and was a little overwhelmed with how much that needed to be done.
Just two days ago, I had a mole removed...and that's about the most exciting thing that's happened since August started. I had a mole. It worried the bejeezus out of my mom. I had it checked out, finally, for her sake. And the next day I was driving to Joplin to have the thing taken off. It's something I've been putting off for a good part of my summer, and so glad my procrastination didn't kick me in the rear and I could have it all done in two days.
I did have my family over yesterday for a small back to school swim party. We haven't been able to use the pool in over a week because of how much rain we've been getting... so, it was nice to have them all over even for just a couple of hours.
And that leads us to right now.
Looking back, I certainly can't complain. I've had an amazing summer. I was finally able to pull off the promise I've been making my kids since the first day I walked on to a college campus with the understanding that a few years later I'd be a teacher: That I'd spend the summers with them.
For the first time in five years, they didn't have to hear how busy I was. They didn't have to hear how we couldn't afford to do anything during the summer... because Mommy wasn't working and was trying really hard to get through her school work. I didn't have to hear them whine or complain about how bored they were and how they wished they were able to do something...anything... to make the time go by. Despite the fact that all of the kids spent a majority of the summer rotating in and out of the house while they went to visit and stay with family...the time we did spend together was great. I was able to spend quality time with each of them individually, and we were also able to spend some quality family time together.
Although, I know that the time is over. It's time for me to head back in to the world of working. Summer is over.