We enjoyed Independence Day fireworks on July 3rd at Chesapeake City Park. The 4th was on a Tuesday this year, and we didn't want to keep the girls out late on a school night, so we thought it was great that Chesapeake City had their fireworks the night before, when we could sleep in the next morning!
Family photo before the fireworks. They had a great fenced-in kids' play area to keep the little ones entertained while we waited for the fireworks show.
My parents came, too!
We celebrated our brother-in-law, Rob's, birthday at Dad and Mom Jester's house
Rob and Robin's girls, Naomi (left) and Miriam (right), holding hands with Emma while we were praying for the meal. Miriam is so devout! Ha!
Emma absolutely loves spending time with her cousins. They came to visit her at our house while she was recovering from surgery a couple of weeks after the birthday party.
In house news: We are finishing the final touches in the kitchen and purchasing appliances and furniture to fill empty rooms. Every step forward makes it feel more like home.
Dan and his dad have added crown molding and toe kicks to the tops and bottoms of our cabinets. They look so pretty!
We picked up a used washer/dryer set off of Craigslist. We can do our own laundry again! For the past two months, we've taken our laundry to the Laundry Fairy (my mom), who volunteered to do a load or two for us each week while she was watching Hallie. She is a saint, and we are spoiled rotten!
Dan and his dad drilled holes in our fireplace to install a TV wall mount.
For the largest TV we could possibly fit in that space. The NHL games are going to look spectacular this season. :)
We also purchased a large dining room table and 8 chairs. Our friends, Dave, Cynthia and their daughters, just happened to be visiting us that day, and they volunteered to help Dan pick up the set and assemble it while I watched the girls. They finished putting it all together in a couple of hours, when it probably would've taken Dan and I three times as long. They are great friends to have!
While they were assembling, Olivia and Emma built a fort out of the large table boxes.
Kailey and Hallie played with toys.
The finished product! Everyone was paid for their work with homemade cookies.
We've had several opportunities to have friends and family over, and we're glad we've got a nice large table that seats everyone together!
We got to pet-sit our church friends' seven tiny fish for two weeks while their family was out of town.
Emma was in charge of feeding them once a day and entertaining them so they wouldn't get lonely. She is telling them a spooky story. Under her loving care, they all survived under our watch. (Whew!!)
We attended Kailey's 6th birthday party one afternoon. They have a pool in their backyard and the girls had the best time swimming and playing.
Emma wasn't allowed to swim so soon after her surgery, but she got to put her hands and feet in the water and spent most of her time taking good care of Olivia and Kailey's dog, Daisy. Daisy is a very gentle, older black labrador, and Emma absolutely loved her. She made sure Daisy drank plenty of water.
And decorated her hair with flowers.
Hallie loved meeting Daisy, too!
July was a very hot month, but we tried to get outside in the evenings when it was a little cooler. We took bread to feed the ducks at the nearby lake a few times.
Watching Emma feed the ducks
As much as we fit in, we still had many plans this summer that just didn't happen with Emma's unexpected surgery and recovery. But we know the things that we see as interruptions are actually God's plans for us. He knows us and the areas where we need to grow and learn to trust him. He never leaves us to face trials alone, and he has proved himself to be amazingly faithful in our every circumstance. We are grateful to him for the summer we've had and how he's reminded us that we cannot control our lives - but we can trust the one who is perfectly wise, all-powerful, and loves us more than we could ever imagine.