1.  The last month plus has been totally crazy….let’s see if I can catch up a bit here.

2.  Ty left for camp and was gone for a month.  He had an AMAZING time.  He spent a month with 73 guys, diving in to God’s word, focused on the transition to manhood in a Godly way.  They camped, they swam, they learned CPR, they learned how to do vehicle maintenance, household maintenance, daily physical training, how to manage their finances and so much more.  He came home different.  More mature.  Focused, calm (for him!), patient, respectful and more careful with his words.  This camp did amazing things for him and I’m so proud of him.  We missed him like crazy while he was gone and sent him mail, letters and goodies a few times a week for the month.  Every time he called home he sounded so upbeat, genuinely happy, exhilarated by his experiences.  I had to laugh the last time he called, he said goodbye and then he trailed off yelling “send fooooooooood!”  Ha!  We traveled up to go get him the last Friday of July.  It was really great to attend the banquet and see all the men graduate from camp.  He’s thinking about volunteering as leadership for the camp next summer, I think that’d be such a great experience for him.

3.  My mom was here for 3 weeks, the majority of the time Ty was gone.  I loved having her here.  It was her first visit since Larry passed away and she was able to stay more than just a few days for the first time since we moved to Austin.  It’s always been so hard for her to be away from him as his primary caretaker.  I know it was stressful each time she had to leave him.  We spruced up Taryn’s room, cleaned out a wardrobe in there and my mom was able to stay in her room.  T bunked with Jude for a few weeks and it worked out wonderfully.  Just having her here with us was really special.  She’s such a good Gee.  She has been taking better care of herself and took Jonah on a long walk almost every single day.  He was so cute marching out the front door with her each morning.  He was a boy on a mission.  It makes my heart happy to see them spending that time together, bonding, making memories.  Thankfully, my mom also got to make the trip to go get Ty from camp, she did get to see him for a few days at least!  And Jase and I even got to sneak in our first date night in 3 years while she was here!

4.  My baby girl turned 9 on July 21st.  NINE.  We celebrated by taking the family to Hawaiian Falls Waterpark.  T and I had a blast splashing around in the wavepool.  I felt like I was 9 we laughed and splashed and played, it feel so free and so fun.  Jude and Jonah were the kings of the lazy river.  Jude was cracking me up relaxing on his tube, while Jonah was waving at the lifeguards each time he passed one.  They were like a built in audience lol!

5.  The day after we got back from our overnight trip to Dallas and picking up Ty, we turned South and headed to San Antonio for the night.  My mom and I took Taryn to her first concert to see the Top 10 American Idol contestants.  We had a blast, Taryn loved it and we had a really good time.  That trip also marked the beginning of Jonah’s love for boats.  He could see the riverwalk from our hotel room at the Drury.  “A BOAT!  A BOAT!  IT COMING!”  It was thrilling.  He hasn’t stopped talking about it since.  In the middle of dinner tonight he declared out of nowhere…..”Boats are fun momma!”

6.  Speaking of, Jonah has been going through a language explosion in the last month.  He says 6 word sentences now, gets 5-10 or more new words every single day.  It’s crazy!  The other day Ty was in the kitchen looking for something to eat, hemming and hawing, and Jonah ran through, yelling over his shoulder, “Just eat a burrito!”  So funny.

7.  Oh!  Check out this IKEA hack Ty did!  It’s a little mini learning tower make from a step stool.  Jonah LOVES it.  I love having him up at the counter and Ty did such a great job building it.  He came home from camp wanting to be more productive and hands on in a lot of ways.  Such a fun project!

8.  Oh yeah, Taryn’s birthday cake.  My girl, she has big ideas, big dreams and even bigger expectations.  Her request for cake this year included a dragon cake that breathed fire.  I cried a little inside when she told me because I’m not that great of a baker.  Ty is, but he was at camp for her birthday.  With her allergies and our need for the cake to be gluten, dairy and soy free, it was a challenge.  Especially the frosting.  But, I buckled down and made it happen.  She was thrilled with the results and was so happy, her face lit up when she saw it.  If you know my girl and her high expectations, that’s amazing.  She loved it and I loved seeing her so happy.  She appreciated all the hard work and I really love how it turned out.  You can check out her fire breathing birthday cake here.

9.  I recently bought myself a new devotional called Jesus Calling.  It is so beautifully written that I also bought the kids version.  The kids have loved our devotional time each day.  I’d planned to start using theirs in January at the turn of the year, but they ask for it each day now so we are just going with it.  The author, Sarah Young, was blessed with a beautiful gift.

10.  Our garage reno is coming along nicely.  I’ve been able to use the new elliptical quite a bit and the home gym is now also in place.  New cabinets and it’s looking pretty good.  As soon as we finish a few more projects and organize some more I’ll come share a before and after shot.