First Week of Summer!

 We survived our first week of summer…and actually had some fun, too! The kiddos had to come with me on a few cleaning jobs the first part of this week but they were mostly good sports about it and I tried to balance it out with fun stuff.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, we went strawberry picking! We broke the silence of the clearly serious strawberry pickers with our happy chatter and exclamations over the beautiful red strawberries we found!

And the kiddos all got to try one. Have to make sure they’re good!

Samuel’s strawberry blends in!

My niece ate more strawberries than she put in the box:)

Zakkai made it a goal to find the biggest strawberries he could!

                  Gosh, aren’t they beautiful??! They blow store strawberries out of the water!

Had to do something with the 11 pounds of strawberries! I made some Strawberry Honey Chia Seed Jam with a lot of it and made this absolutely delicious strawberry pie and some strawberry lemon muffins today! The rest I froze for smoothies:)

Then after strawberry picking we met one of my best friends and her girls at a splash park!

Braving the chilly weather;) It was in the mid-60s but none of the kiddos cared! They stripped down and ran into the water. They were a little chilly but stayed active so they had fun!

The boys getting dumped on by a bucket of water:)
 We stayed there for a few hours, eating lunch, playing in the water and on the playground next to it. Then on our way out, the kids wanted to stand on the park amphitheater stage and put on a little show:) Eliana just twirled and had so much fun. I love her serious face!


Yesterday, I packed up a picnic lunch and we hung out at the park for awhile, after running a few errands. It was a beautiful day! Look how big she’s getting!

She loves to climb!

All 3 kiddos loved this climbing thing (whatever it’s called!) and spent a long time trying to master it;)

Samuel was so determined to figure out how to get around it.

He worked for so long but finally had to give up. Maybe next time!

Eliana, thoroughly enjoying her peanut butter and homemade jelly sandwich:)

Silly girl!

Then last night, we got to go on a date!! My mom came to pick up the kids and we headed out on our first date since Feb! It was much needed time, especially with all the busyness these days. We had a really good time. We went to our new favorite restaurant “Amul India” where we practically groaned with pleasure while we ate. Seriously. Amazing food.

Then we picked out a new paint-by-number to start! We so loved doing the one last spring and finally got a frame for it to hang it up! We spent the last part of our date getting ice cream and taking a long walk in the park until the thunderstorm started. It was refreshing (the date, not the storm!) and just what we needed!

A great first week of summer!


Strawberry Picking and Swimming!

 We are really feeling at loose ends here in Ohio. It is the oddest feeling to be homeless. We are wanted and loved here and very thankful for the welcoming arms that have enveloped us, however, there is such a sense of displacement that we feel. It is very hard to convince ourselves that we are not just visiting and that soon people won’t be asking us, “How soon are you heading back?” Well, hopefully they won’t be asking us that! It wouldn’t be a good sign….:)

We are really hoping and praying that things (especially a job and a home) fall into place soon because then I think we can truly believe that we are here and begin to find our place to fit in. Thankfully, our kids seem to be doing really well now that we are all a little more rested. Eliana had a very tough time Sunday and through the night. She was beyond emotional, asking when we were going back to our home, and cried and cried and couldn’t be more than a foot from me at all times. After a couple of days of naps and good sleep, she is back to her happy self. Although, the question of “home” is a good one…

We have had some happy times with our families though. Yesterday, we got to go strawberry picking nearby which was a first for us!

It was a beautiful day and surprisingly, there were a lot of juicy, ripe strawberries left to be found, picked and eaten!

Eliana only needed to be told once not to pick the small, white berries. She was very proud of her finds!


My cute little niece came, too, and ate her way up and down the rows! We finally had to put a stop to that so she wouldn’t make herself sick:)

Samuel found lots of good strawberries!!

Zakkai did, too, but he only wanted to show off his favorite one:)

We were also gifted with a pool pass here so we went yesterday afternoon! There is a really great kids area with sprinklers and steering wheels and all sorts of fun water play. We had a great time!

Ben was with us, too but during the rest time, he got in for the adult swim while I held the children at bay:) They thought it was terribly unfair that the kids had to get out! But I, for one, am thrilled at the idea of a childless swim period as I am not too fond of being sprayed in the back and head with water guns and splashed! Call me a wimp if you must…

Brothers! They didn’t quite work up the nerve to go down the big slide into the pool but I bet that will come by the summer’s end! They are hoping we will go swimming tomorrow again:)


Today we spent some good time with Ben’s mom (or “Daddy’s mommy” as Eliana likes to call her) and Grandma, which was really nice. The kids love to play with his Grandma’s collection of stuffed animals and are highly entertained by them! Z also played on her organ, too, which I forsee being a future favorite.

We had lunch with Grandma and got to play a fun game with her. We are so looking forward to spending more time with her!

Now to convince ourselves that this isn’t just a vacation…..