Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sweet Early Summer

2016 is a year of "markers" for our family, as yesterday Dominick and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, Angela celebrated turning 18 in April and Kenny will turn 18 in November.  I'll be turning 50 in August.  That is a lot of celebrating in one year!  I wish we could have turned this year into an extravaganza of events, but we simply can't afford to do that, so our celebrations have been necessarily low key.  This past year has been one of enormous financial challenge, and we are at the stage where our house is almost 20 years old, and every major appliance is electing to die an unceremonious death as well.  They have served faithfully, but as one after another after another heaves its last breath, all we hear is "Ca-Ching, Ca-Ching"!!

Last night though, as I looked around the table, I realized that low key suits us.  We are not a flashy family, and Dominick and I laughed over our big anniversary meal of nachos as we talked with the kids about other "big" anniversary years...our 10th as we were separated and working on moving from California to Colorado, our 25th as the girls came home and we couldn't manage any sort of celebration really.  There was a lot of laughter and joking, and sweet handmade cards with surprise gift cards in them so we can have a night out sometime when things settle down in our life.  The store has been super busy, a real blessing, and I am traveling every week or week and a half to Denver or Colorado Springs for the kids for camp or other events.  We decided we will wait until fall and then maybe have a little overnight getaway when we would really look forward to it, rather than trying to "cram it in" around everything else.

And you know what?  It's all good.  We are enjoying the life we have, not needing anything more because what we have here is all we need.  We moved to live where we would not feel a need to have to "go on vacation" to get away from it all, we have a very happy family life and live with the kindest, most helpful teens, and Dominick is SO happy with his work life now, it is a joy for me to see.

We are having a wonderful time hosting Christi, my friend Candi's daughter, and are very excited that her son Billy also decided he wanted to come for a visit, so we will be adding another "adopted" son next week, as I pick him up when I pick Matt up at the airport in Denver.  These two are such wonderful additions to our lives, and we are so happy to have the chance to really get to know them better this summer.

Matt is having a once in a lifetime adventure himself right now, as he is in Bangor, Maine with Civil Air Patrol at Flight Camp.  There, for ten days, he is immersing himself in official ground school and will hopefully be passing enough to do his solo flight as he pursues obtaining his pilot's license.  If all goes well there, he will return and work on flying enough hours to get his license.  He flew by himself, a first for him and another rite of passage for our young man.  We are all enjoying reading the camp's blog and receiving photos of his time there.

Clearly, he is taking this all very seriously, as he should.  Matt has a strong desire to remain with Civil Air Patrol as an adult and work with the younger kids.  He'd like to be the one flying and taking them up for their first flights, and helping train them.  

Here are a couple of pictures of Christi with the kids, I stole them from their Facebook pages! Hahaha!

We haven't done anything exciting while Christi is here, nor will we with Billy.  It always leaves me wondering if I am a good enough "hostess" when we have company.  Our idea of big thrills was to go cherry picking locally, where the kids all happily picked 9 lbs of cherries, which as of this writing 2 days later are all gone.  We've gone for a drive to get out of our hot home (swamp cooler is broken and being replaced) up to the mountains to Silverton and wandered around.  We are going to Sam's Club today and are joking about how many trips to Walmart Christi will make with us (four thus far, shooting for eight).  But we are laughing together, reading together, playing games together, having long talks together, basically, just being us in our little world.  

We can't wait to have Matt and Billy join us!  It's been a sweet, sweet summer so far, and stopping school to enjoy a few weeks of true down time for the first time in years has been wonderful for me, as well as the kids.  There is still much ahead with church camp to look forward to for them, and a week at Lake City in August.  In the meantime, Sam's Club we are off!

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