Friday, September 2, 2011

End of Summer

It's hard to believe that it's already September. The summer seemed to whiz by. We've been back from Jordan for 2 1/2 months now, most of that time spent here in Lexington, VA. We're living in the basement of Steve's parents until further notice -- Steve is looking for work as he prepares to start half-time, long-distance doctoral studies through the University of Exeter (England) in January. Both of us are doing computer work from home, which helps but doesn't pay all the bills. We're very grateful for Mom and Dad Gertz's hospitality and generosity!! They are long-suffering and patient.

The highlight of our summer was a trip to the Midwest to visit friends and family. We spent a week in the Wheaton (Chicago) area, catching up with college and church friends, and sharing memorable places with the kids, like the John Hancock Center and Cosley Zoo. It was wonderful to spend time with people who know us well, and the kids had a great time playing with our friends' children, canoeing and pedal-boating, fishing for the first time, and splashing in a few different water/splash parks!

My immediate family also got together in Wisconsin for our first family reunion in years. Grandpa and Julie, and my uncle David and aunt Pamela, all flew out from CA; my parents flew in from Nigeria (!!), and my two siblings, their spouses and kids made the trek as well. What a sweet time it was to meet my 3 nieces (for the first time!), play with my nephews, and catch up with all the adults! I loved seeing my kids get to know their cousins, while playing "football" (soccer) in the garage, hide-and-seek and sardines in the house, and throwing stones into the nearby lake. I loved singing with my whole family while my dad played guitar -- great family favorites by Simon & Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul & Mary.

It was all too short, though! Thankfully my parents were able to spend an extra week with us in VA, but when you only see each other every 2 years, 14 days doesn't seem like enough!! And it had been even longer than 2 years since we'd seen my other relatives. Sigh...

Back in Lexington, the kids enjoyed going to two Vacation Bible Schools, having an overnight with their cousin Owen, swimming a bit in the city pool, and generally enjoying American life again. We can't get enough of the color green! Can't get enough water, either!

Now it's September and we've done two weeks of school. We're using "My Father's World," Math-U-See, and Spelling Power for Naomi and Josiah's 4th grade, as well as Count on Math and Picture Book Activities for Ethan's preschool. More to come...

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