CC got me a new camera about this time in the summer. He did quite a bit of research on it and decided to get us a mirrorless camera. The advantage is a more professional quality without the bulky size. I love it and started right away playing around with it to see what kinds of pictures it could take.
Here's my first one....
It can also create special effects like this one.
I am learning how to adjust the focus on objects. I really like blurry backgrounds! (Isn't this a great edible centerpiece at K's house?)
Both Firstborn and Twinkle Toes signed up with our church's youth mission week called Mission Memphis. They all slept at the church, then went out each day to serve the inner-city of Memphis. Here's where they set up beds. Hmmm, sleep well, girls!
Firstborn was assigned to work at an inner-city church by setting up donated items and creating a thrift store. She got to work with her cousin. It was fun for her and hard work, she said. It also inspired her to purge and clean out her room when we got home!!!
She also got to paint giant canvases for the church. They had foam behind them and would provide some sound blockage for an overflow room. She was in Pinterest heaven!
Twinkle Toes went on a different project. She served at Memphis Athletic Ministries and helped lead a VBS for inner-city African-American and Hispanic kids. She was in her element and did not want to leave! Mark my words...that girl will be running an orphanage some day. I felt the Lord put them both exactly where they are suited, and I was so proud of them!
And while they were gone for the week, we played a little!
While in the USA, I got to see several of my sweet friends. I somehow didn't manage to get pictures of time with Stacey, my high school BFF, or Erin, my just-starting-out-as-a-teacher buddy, but it was so good to have a few minutes together to fill in the gaps from the last year. My cousin H stopped over to see me, and I went to lunch (always sushi!) with her and my sis-in-law.
I also got to see Jackie from my single days. No time now for long road trips to Florida, but the friendship will always be there.
And these gals, friends since my college days, always drive over from Arkansas to see me. It means the world to me! We pretty much do the same thing every year. I say as much as I possibly can to make them laugh, they laugh at me, we eat Dairy Queen and at some steakhouse, we shop at Lifeway/Target/Old Navy, then we hug and promise to meet again in a year.
Aunt K treated the big girls and me to a day at Magic Springs. We had a blast. Road-tripping it with K is fun. There's Diet Coke stops along the way, constant conversation, it's fun just getting there.
We spotted this amazing pirates and convinced the girls to jump in a photo with them. What an awesome summer job. Ahoy Matey!
Twinkle Toes trying her hand at driving!
Unfortunately, the rain found us. There was a rule that we had to stay out of the water park rides for 30 minutes after the last peel of thunder. We were stuck in the locker area for a couple of hours. Finally, the whistle blew and we got back in!
Thanks, Aunt K for an awesome day! She lets her nieces and nephews know she loves them!
We blocked a slot for a birthday party at Putt Putt for Sweet Cheeks and all the Memphis cousins during our week all together. It's a great way to celebrate her and to have a great time as a family. The older gals didn't want to miss out!
She always asks me if I am going to bake her a cake or buy one. She is my ONLY child that I could buy a cake for, so she will always get an awesome bakery cake! (I could buy cakes in Turkey...they are beautiful, but so light on the sugar, it just doesn't cut it!) She picked out a pink and green cake this year.
We played mini-golf, laser tag, arcade games, and then rode go carts!
I think the grown ups had as much fun as the kids!!!
After the fourth, after the camp girls returned, after CC and his dad canoed the Buffalo, we were all back in Memphis together for one solid week. It was wonderful!
We picked up the camp girls. I missed them so much. I didn't even want to sign them out, then pick up, as I was instructed! I just had to go hug first. Miss Middler went to camp only knowing her cousin, but since he is a boy, they weren't in the same cabin. She makes friends everywhere she goes. I had told her it was her job to keep an eye on Sweet Cheeks, since it was SC's first time at camp. When I picked Miss Mid up, I said, "Did you take care of your sister?" Her friends said, "You have a sister?" I laughed.
Sweet Cheeks did just fine. She said she cried a little at bedtime, but just didn't tell anyone, and by morning she felt fine. Sigh. The beginning of the send off we all face as moms has begun.
These sweet girls fell in love with Miss Middler so much, they tried to climb in as stowaways.
After church, we all gathered at K's house for lunch. This was not posed, but as I took it, I happened to think that it looked very much like some type of family or Sunday School brochure!
We had a perfect day, the kind that you realize as you are having it, it is rare. The weather was beautiful. Everyone felt healthy and strong. My cup is full.
Hideouts with towels and pool chairs.
We all were in the pool and played water volleyball. This day was a memory I will never forget!