We visited my dad the end of May and took our two oldest grandsons along for the first time. Such a GREAT experience.
Then early June brought the tea party of the ages. Madison Riley turned 5 and needed a special event for such an important birthday. We had wonderful time treating Madi and her cousins (Abby and Ava) to a high tea at "Franco's Tea Room." They caught the humor immediately and loved it.
|Franco's Tea Room|
|Celebrators and Papa (Madi @center)|
Last weekend, we made a quick weekend trip to Orlando as a family. Please remember when we say "family" we're talking about 17 people and that's just grandparents, parents and children. We now officially qualify as a tribe, I think.
|Yes, that's ALL one family|
We went to the pool several times. I can not explain to you how hot it was while we were there. The humidity threatened to melt all our plans. But this is a hardy lot. We pressed on and the pool gave us the refreshing playtimes we needed.
|I dare you to look at this picture and not smile|
|Ava and Noni|
Our time at the local zoo was truly eye-opening. The boys were a bit disappointed that there weren't any lions but the snake displays more than made up for it. We kept finding our little ones pressed as close to the windows as possible.
|Noah and Abigail|
|Spencer, Madi and the Snake|
As we viewed all the different creatures, we reminded the children how creative God is. "Look at how amazing this rhinoceros is with all his protective armor. God created him with exactly what he needs for where he lives."
When we got to the exotic bird displays, one of the girls commented on all the different colors. "God made them extra beautiful!" All creation tells of the majesty of God. You can definitely see His handiwork when you visit a zoo.
|River Otter Show|
We took her for her birthday lunch and Spencer joined us because his was overdue. They chose the restaurant and we had a great time laughing and hearing stories. The waitresses even gathered around and sang Happy Birthday to her. She blushed.
The best moment was when a group of young servicemen started to leave. The children noticed them earlier so Papa had talked about how we should honor men and women willing to defend our country and protect our freedom.
As the young men started to pass our table, Frank spoke up thanking them all for their service. That's when we got the surprise gift. The first soldier asked whose birthday we were celebrating. Abby piped up, "Me!" He knelt beside her and peeled the flag badge off the shoulder of his uniform. "Do you know why this seems to be backwards?" he asked. "No, Sir."
He patiently explained that the flag would be flying that way if they were carrying it into battle. "So, we wear them on our uniforms this way to remind ourselves that we always run toward the battle, never away from it." He then produced a similar badge giving one to Abby and the other to Spencer. Later, when we got into the car, Abby Grace looked at her flag and said, "I will never forget this as long as I live."
The picture reminds me of a favorite bit of scripture. Psalm 125:2 says, "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever."
Now THAT'S a Gift!
How about you? Do you have a favorite summertime memory from your childhood? Has your family been able to find a creative way to gather in spite of the current restrictions? We'd love to read your experiences in the comment section.....