Welcome to another month of highlights!

We had a family reunion, I have a big family.  This is my Dad’s side of the family, really maybe not quite half of them:).  And, only my Dad & his sibs and their kids & grandkids — no great aunts & uncles and extended stuff, they are all direct descendants of my Grandpa (or married into).  My Mom’s side of the family is even bigger;)

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My lovely niece Ashley was there — and she sometimes reads my blog:)

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My cousin Karen gave up her fight with cancer last spring (today is actually her birthday). We did a balloon launch as a remembrance for her.140802_FamilyReunion_061 140802_FamilyReunion_015

The “after party” back at the family farm

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We then had 6 days without kids!  WHAT!  Marian was at Camp and the boys were with my sister. Kelly still had to work, so I had some alone time.  I spent some time with God and His amazingly beautiful creation.

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Do you ever realize His love for us in the way He gave us such beauty!

I played a round of golf with Debbie:)

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Kelly took a day off and we went kayaking and exploring140807_WeekNoKidsAC_035

We happened upon a park with a butterfly garden and this is why I HATE not having my real camera with me, blurry, grainy pictures!

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Then we headed towards the kids and did a little golfing on the way there

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And . . . came back with 5 kids! Alyssa & Kashton got to hang out with us for the week.  We had VBS, we had a Bible marketplace – it was so much fun!

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We went to our favorite village, and because I thought 5 wasn’t enough, we invited Emma & JC to come too.  My MIL Sandy was kind enough to come too

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We spent some time at the pool

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A rare capturing of Kashton on camera!

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And, the zoo

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Of course, I put them to work harvesting some green beans (oh, there were sooo many!)140812_KashAlyssaVisit_011

We bought an in-ground basketball backboard/hoop, the boys helped to dig the hole140816_BlakeDaniFamily_385

It was really hot!  They decided to set up some shade and then Tobin said they needed cold water and I came out to this;)

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Tobin did take his turn.  And, yes, they are digging with plastic cups — they couldn’t find anything else to get into the narrow post hole 140816_HoleDigging_001

Trying to use the post hole digger didn’t work for them

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Brady gave a concert, he was great!

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We watched American Ninja Warrior, and they all had daily ninja training (Mari took these pics)140819_untitled_067 140819_untitled_071

Mari had junior high orientation!  Mary, if you are reading this — still didn’t cry. She is so excited to go!

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We spent more time at the pool

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And, the boys played Gaelic football every Sunday afternoon140824_GaelicFootball_079 140824_GaelicFootball_045 140824_GaelicFootball_031

And, we headed to America’s Roller Coast for the day

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Ez & Mari are up there

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Mari & I finally worked up the courage to do Top Thrill Dragster – it was AWESOME!140828_CedarPoint_003140828_CedarPoint_012

In order to combat the wretched headache I got last year, I prepped by over hydrating the day before, getting a drink band so I could rehydrate all day long (mostly water but some lemonade & gatorade too).  And, took 2 rounds of preventive ibuprofen.  I know, a normal person just might give it up, but this girl loves her roller coasters!.  The day was fab, Tobin & Kelly both actually rode roller coasters, the Gatekeeper was Tobin’s favorite and really no lines.  Apparently, I’m now too old to go as hard as I used to, but that’s probably better for my family anyway.  They were laughing at me all day when I shared one of my old rules of Cedar Point with them (#1 Must get there before park opens and stay until they kick you out, #2 No kiddie rides, they take time away from coaster riding).

It was a great way to wrap up summer!

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