Saturday, September 16, 2017

Goodbye to Summer

I know that summer isn't technically over, but it sure feels like it once school is back in session.  We had a good August and made the most of spending time with family and friends last month.

We had special visitors from Texas! My mom's sister, Aunt Jane, and her brother and sister-in-law, Uncle Brian and Aunt Margaret came to Virginia to see our new homes. It was fun to spend time with them while they were here! 

Our friends, Dave and Cynthia, and their girls, Olivia and Kailey, discovered the coolest library.  Slover Library is in downtown Norfolk, and has the best kids center and programs I've seen in a long time.  We met them there one day and our kids had a blast playing and reading books.

Olivia and Emma exploring the toddler climbing area. They were technically too big to play there, but they were "helping Hallie learn to play."

Hallie needed some help. She wasn't quite ready to climb and crawl, and just sat wherever we put her with a "What do I do now?" expression on her face. 

But there was another section at the library that was full of toys, puzzles, a play kitchen, and baby dolls. This was much more Hallie's style!

We had been meaning to have play dates with some of Emma's school friends over the summer, but her surgery and recovery time threw a kink in that plan.  We did squeeze in one play date with her  friend, Elisha. Hallie wasn't quite pulling up at that time, but she was determined to eat some of that good-looking play doh. 

Elisha's mom, Jenna, distracted her with a bottle of milk

 And the 4-year-olds got to play in peace for a little while.

In house news, we made some big furniture purchases this month. We took outings to several furniture stores to look at couches, ottomans, and tables for our den.  Dan, Hallie, and Emma are doing their due diligence to test out this couch (which wasn't the one we chose, ultimately).  We narrowed it down to two couches and when we looked online for the dimensions, we stumbled across Coleman Furniture's web site (a mail-order only furniture company). Coleman carried one of the couches we were considering for hundreds of dollars less than at the store!  They also carried the ottoman and matching tables we wanted for less.  So we made out like bandits by trying out the furniture in-person and then paying a significantly lower price online.  Best of both worlds!  We have waited over a month for the furniture to be delivered, but it should arrive at our home very soon.

Emma had no infections following her surgery in July (thank you, God!), and she had a final procedure to remove the stent from her left ureter. Dan had to lead teacher training that day, so he couldn't come to the hospital.  But Emma was well-supported by Grandma and Grandpa Jester and Papa Campbell.  They were watching Paw Patrol with her in the waiting room before she was called back.

Once she got into her hospital PJs, she got to play in the toy room. That's always the highlight of her surgery and procedure days. The stent removal was quick (about 10-15 minutes), although she had to wake up from anesthesia afterwards. We are continuing to pray that she doesn't require any more surgeries in the future!

I took the girls to Dan's parents' house to visit them, and Dan's sister, Robin, and her girls, Naomi and Miriam. The traffic was backed up on the highway, so we took an alternate route through the country and rode a ferry to Williamsburg. 

It was Hallie's first boat ride.  Both the girls loved it and got a kick out of the seagulls that followed the ferry across the river, looking for bread from the commuters.

When we got to Grandpa and Grandma's house, the cousins enjoyed swimming together.

And Grandma had bought special water color books for them to paint after dinner.

 Speaking of special things with Grandma and Grandpa, they took our girls to Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach one day when they were babysitting.  Hallie got to go, too, but since she's too young to really participate, all the photos are of Emma. :)

Emma says "Moooooo"

There were goats to pet

Birds to feed

And ponies to ride!  They had bigger ponies, but Emma wasn't interested in a ride until she saw this one that was just her size. She had such a fun day!

Emma (and Dan) started their first day of school on August 23rd.

She is a Pre-K-4 student with a whole year under her belt at Stonebridge School! Such a big girl.

The party starts at our house when Dan and Emma come home from school.  He, Emma, and Hallie love to play while I fix dinner.  They were playing hide-and-seek one evening, and he found a tricky spot to hide. :)

Emma had to try it out, too, of course! We've got the best dad and husband in the world.

And that wraps up the summer.  Dan is back to his regular busy school schedule, and Emma is attending Pre-K four days a week.  Hallie and I spend my day off together on Tuesdays. We are volunteering to help in the church nursery for an hour each Tuesday while there is a Bible study in session. Well, I help, and Hallie crawls around trying to pull the other babies' hair and "get their noses." For some reason I don't think she has made any friends. On Fridays, I get Emma and Hallie at home, and so far, we've done something fun with friends and family each week. We miss summer, but we're back in the swing of things and enjoying that, too.

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