Sunday, September 18, 2022

The BUSIEST SUMMER EVER.

I've been trying to write this post since July 4th. It's not complete - all of the pictures are not there - but it's as done as it's going to get! Suffice it to say...life is BUSY right now. 

Labor Day feels like the official end to summer at our house. We've been in school since July, but it's still so darn hot here we just keep summering. We did so much and so little this summer. I feel like it was the fastest one ever. Wowzers. That's all I can say about this summer. We packed everything we could into May and June and we are TIRED.


I feel like we didn't mark nearly as much off the board as I expected! It's been LOTS of fun! We were hardly home at all! In no particular order (except the order of the board...), here's what we have done:

Columbus

Our trip to Columbus was a good one! We ate at Plucked Up and The Black Cow while we were in town (both excellent but I think I preferred The Black Cow). We started off at the Coca-Cola Space and Science Center and it was a HIT. The boys LOVED the flight simulators. Will wants all museums to "have hands-on stuff" and this one came through. It was small, but there was plenty to do to keep us entertained for over an hour! Next, we made our way over to the Naval Civil War Museum. This housed SO many Civil War artifacts. It was really well-done, but the boys were bored with it. I thought it was very interesting. Finally, we stopped by Auburn's campus for a few quick photo-ops. That was probably James' favorite thing. We spent the night and hit the ground running again the next morning where we started at the National Infantry Museum. Holy cow. This place is phenomenal. Even James said, "This is better than I expected it to be." Starting on the main floor you walk through life-size dioramas that depict one battle from each of the wars the US has been involved in. This was THE COOLEST and very immersive. Downstairs there were galleries (one for each war) with lots of information in each one. Will loved the miniature dioramas the most. It was incredible. Across the street from there is a place called Oxbow Meadows. I didn't really know much about it, but we were pleasantly surprised by it! It had so many reptiles and fish to see! It didn't take us long to go through it, but I think we really only scratched the surface. We had planned to also visit Historic Westville, but the boys were complaining that they were tired of walking and at $10/ticket I decided not to waste our money! We headed home after Oxbow. We had a great time in Columbus and found plenty to do!






















South Carolina
We visited South Carolina as soon as school was out this year! Eddie's grandparents had a house in Garden City and we have enjoyed our time spent there. We did a little beach playing, some putt putt, some golfing, lots of eating, and some did some work on the house to get it rental-season ready. On our way home we stopped off at the Columbia Zoo. It was good, but we still voted Jacksonville Zoo FAR surperior to it.














Lake Oconee
We came to Lake Oconee on our way home from South Carolina for Memorial Day weekend. Lots of eating, games, skiing, porch gliding, and boat riding! We always enjoy the slower pace of coming here because we don't have to GO anywhere. It's very nice!








FUMC Bingo
Our church hosted Family Bingo night and we had a great time! We ate hamburgers and played several rounds! Each family brought prizes and those were put into white paper bags so we didn't know what we were choosing when we won. Our family wound up taking home almost every prize we brought. Whooops!



Camp Dooly
James went to his first week-long church camp in June and LOVED it. He had the time of his life. He got deeper in his faith, made lots of new friends, and had a lot of fun. 






Pool Day(s)
We've gone to the pool a few times this summer with friends (when we aren't ridiculously busy!!!). It's always more fun to take friends with us. We arrive reaaaaally early and leave when it gets crowded and that's been a good day for us!


Tulsa
Eddie and I drove to Tulsa a few weeks ago for Usborne Books & More Convention. I had a GREAT time at Convention and learned SO MANY THINGS. We drove through six states to get there and saw a LOT! We stopped in Memphis and did a few touristy things on the way there. I wish we'd had more time!

VBS
This is always a fun week! Will and I participated this year and James came on the last day when he heard there would be FOOD TRUCKS.

Concert in Jax
We went down to Jacksonville this past weekend to see Joan Jett, Poison, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard. It FLOODED while we were there and we had lightning popping all around us. We wound up missing Joan Jett entirely. Once we got into the stadium we had to stand under the stands for about 30 minutes smooshed in with everyone else. It was NOT a highlight. We did love seeing Poison and Def Leppard, though! Brett Michaels was fresh out of the hospital and rallied to perform. Def Leppard put on an amazing show! I could do without ever seeing Motley Crue again. They were not my thing!




Listen to 5 Audiobooks
1. Among the Hidden
2. The Tower Treasure
3. Number the Stars
4. The Flying Flamingo Sisters
5. Echo

Jurassic World
We saw this the week after it came out and gave it "meh" reviews. It wasn't our favorite for sure. Those first movies (JP1 and JW1) will forever go down as THE BEST.

River Of Life
This was a mission trip that James and Eddie went on. They traveled to Savannah and spent 4 days working on houses and schools over there. Both really enjoyed it and are eager to have it come to our town next year! Eddie returned home and two days later came down with C*vid. It was our first bout with it and we are not hoping for another round...ever! 



SnoBiz
We've only visited a handful of times this summer so we need to step it up! :) The boys LOVE getting to stop here.

Palm Coast
We went down to Palm Coast after the concert was over and spent one night. The boys were also supposed to go but stayed with Grandmamma at the last minute! We need another trip to redo this one because it was entirely too quick!

Blackberries
We picked blackberries early in the summer at a local farm. We made ice cream, cobbler, and froze some. They were DELICIOUS!

S'Mores
We made s'mores at Papa and Yaya's lake house for Memorial Day weekend, but we could ALWAYS have them again!

Get Will's Room Organized
Whew! This was a CHORE! I cleaned Will's room out when he and James went back to Lake Oconee without us. It took me the whole time they were gone, but it's done and hopefully won't need another cleaning out for a few months.

Homemade Ice Cream
Ok, BEST berry ice cream EVER. I found the recipe HERE and it was phenomenal! We just finished it up last week!

Arcade
We went to the arcade in Garden City, South Carolina when we were there in May! This is ALWAYS one of the highlights of the trip! The boys had a BLAST playing. Skee Ball is still my favorite!

Lake Blackshear
And finally, we made it to Lake Blackshear for the first time this summer over the 4th! We've been so busy we haven't had another weekend available to go! The boys went while we were at the concert and then we joined them on Monday. The weather was pretty good on the 4th and it was a relaxed, slower paced day.

Camp Connect at Epworth
I'm not sure why this one didn't make the board, but Will had a GREAT time at his very first sleep-away camp. He was SO anxious when I left him and I worried he would have a rough time, but he rocked it and came home so excited!