We’ve been absent from the blogging world for a month or more now, but it’s because we’ve just been so darn busy!  School starts back up next week, but we’ve had a wonderful summer.  In the interest of getting caught up, I’m going to share a couple of pictures from everything we’ve done together since June…get ready for a whirlwind tour of our summer vacation!

In June, we had our annual church picnic.  As always, the food was good and visiting friends while helping our parish was priceless.  Each year, the kids and I make several cakes for the cake wheel booth.  Usually, we make a bunch of easy things and then one “masterpiece”.  This year, the main event was a gold fish.  It turned out great, but started melting as soon as we left the house.

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The day after the picnic, we packed up and headed to Tunnel Mill for Cub Scout day camp.  It seems strange to say “pack up” for day camp, but Tony and I were both on staff so our family had the option to camp for the week.  Unfortunately, the weather was quite rainy and stormy, so Sophie and I headed home each night after dinner and returned EARLY each day rather than sleeping in the tent with the guys.  We are blessed to have an awesome camp program in Southern Indiana, including a day camp cabin for siblings who are not scouts, which is where Sophie spent her days.

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Tony and I were in charge of the scientist station for the Webelos, or 4th and 5th graders.  We covered a lot of info so those boys could get many of their requirements knocked out.  One day, we worked on their astronomer requirement and brought in the StarLab.  We put it up in the old dining hall (which we had to clean the ENORMOUS spiders out of first).  It was huge – and a huge hit with the boys.

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At the end of day camp week, I headed out for my annual week volunteering at Hoosier Girls’ State.  This year, we moved from Terre Haute to Angola, Indiana, which is about 4.5 hours from home.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as usual, but it was another good session and I received my certificate for 15 years on staff.

By the time I returned from HGS, it was July.  Andrew was selected for the 10 and under All-Star team from Clarksville.  They didn’t win (at all) but I was proud of all of them for their effort and especially proud of Andrew for playing up one age level.

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The fourth of July was rainy and nasty, so we watched Jeffersonville’s annual parade from the back of the van.

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The cub scouts and their ginormous flag were featured on not only the local news, but also picked up by the national news.  It was pretty exciting to see my boys on the CBS evening news!

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Sophie is super excited that our school has opened a new preschool building.  The building is beautiful and offers all sort of great opportunities for our littlest learners.  Best of all, they moved the apple from the old building to the new one!

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The old little apple building looks kind of forlorn, but I’m sure it will be put to good use.  I went to Kindergarten there, and all three kids had the chance to attend at least one year of preschool, so it’s a pretty special building.

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Tony and I went to Gatlinburg this past week for our anniversary.  We had planned to take the trip last year for our 10th anniversary and got on the waiting list for LeCont Lodge, but couldn’t go when our date came up.  Thus, we celebrated our 10th anniversary for our 11th anniversary!  LeConte Lodge is a very special place.  It’s the only lodging in the Smoky Mountain National Park, and it exists because it actually predates the park.  The only way to get there is on foot, and the trails range from 5 miles to 9 miles.  Did I mention the lodge is at the top of Mt. LeConte – elevation 6,593 feet?  There is no electricity at the top of the mountain, so each cabin has kerosene lamps.  Dinner and breakfast are served, and the crew packed us a lunch for the hike down.  I have so much I could write about this trip, but it would take days.  Suffice it to say that we had an amazing time and I’m so proud of both of us for climbing a mountain!  We definitely plan to return and take the kiddos next year (well, maybe not Sophie).  For more information, visit the LeConte Lodge website at http://www.lecontelodge.com.    I’m just posting a few of my very favorite pictures.  If you live nearby, I have printed a photo book that should arrive next week!

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You would think that our trip was the peak of the summer, but there was still some fun left to come.  This weekend, Tony’s sister Erin and our nephew Hunter drove home to visit from Ft. Mitchell, Alabama.  I got to host a baby shower for Erin while they were here, and we were thrilled to spend some time with them since they haven’t been home since Christmas.

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My niece, Gracelyn, should be born in October!  We are so excited!

Andrew played his first travel baseball tournament this weekend as well.  I promised him a mohawk for the occasion, although I personally can’t stand the haircut.  I was going to turn around and buzz it off the same day, but I gave in and let him keep it for scout camp as well.

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That’s right, Andrew and Tony had one more scout camp to attend.  Since Andrew is now a 4th grade Webelos scout, he and his den were able to attend resident camp for 4 days in Clermont, Kentucky.  They just returned today and had a wonderful time!

So, now we’re all caught up – until next week when I need to start posting back to school pictures!

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