Life is always so full around here, but especially so this summer. After posting all of these photos, I couldn't believe it all happened in the course of only one week, but it did! Last Friday we enjoyed what has become a summer tradition ~ seeing James Taylor perform at Tanglewood. Good friends, good food, a perfect summer evening....
...candles, tablecloths, a starry evening.....
...and James Taylor ~ not to mention John Williams conducting his Superman and Catch Me If You Can music.
And then I got deathly ill! Really, I can't believe I'm standing and serving in this photo because just 24 hours prior, I though I might die from a horrific stomach bug. I am convinced that the Lord heard my pleas for strength though, because on Sunday I was able to get up and not only have lunch guests from Oklahoma (Hi Franklins!), but also host Kory's 16th Birthday Bash! I also had lots of help from my friends Christie and and Kate as well as my sister, Melissa, who had arrived with her kids the night before. (Robert had to go and pick them up ~ I was too sick to even ride along. Ugh.)
Kory was blessed to celebrate his 16th birthday with lots of church friends and family.
He got lots of "words" of affirmation, as people shared a word that came to mind to describe Kory and explained why.
Then he got more of the The Word from Robert ~ Proverbs 2.
Later, he got words of prayer over himself and his future.
And of course there were lots of games and not just one ice cream cake (his annual request), but FIVE!
The next day was the 4th of July. Fortunately, the festivities didn't begin until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We all needed a morning to sit and catch our breath from the weekend!
Aunt Melissa bought everyone a cream soda and we all enjoyed the downtown parade together.
Later, Robert took five of the six kiddos to volunteer at the local carnival and fireworks celebration. Our church serves as volunteer staff for this event every year. The kids especially love taking up donations for the fireworks.
Cute cousins enjoyed a picnic dinner together....
...and the sisters just enjoyed chatting and just being together. It is NEVER enough, though. The visit ends and there's so much we haven't said and shared. Missing her especially now after the short time together last week.
Thursday was the cousins' departure day. Since they were leaving from Boston and had never been to Boston, we decided to get an early start and see as much as we could before their departure time. First stop: The Public Garden and a visit with Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack, and Quack.
Then a ride on the swan boats. (The sun was very bright!)
Next, the crew indulged me in my aspirations to be a Boston tour guide and historian. Yes, they even filled in blanks as we went ~ be still my soul! (I did bribe them a bit with the promise of Starbucks or ice cream at the end of the tour.)
Can you sense the thrill in their hearts over being at the grave of Paul Revere?
A much needed pit stop for probably the most delicious burger any of us had ever eaten at "b.good" right on the Freedom Trail. Gluten free buns and hand cut fries ~ Oh my!
Even though I cut off everyone's feet, I still love this photo of everyone in front of the Old South Meeting House. Do you know the secret phrase that was uttered by Samuel Adams during a speech he gave here giving the go ahead to dump 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor???
Sensing the time was coming to an end, these two best friends and cousins decided not to let go of each other all the way back to the Common AND the airport! I love that they love each other so.
No, this is not a group prayer, but rather a group hug. So sweet. (and a bit of silliness)
And off they went! We miss you Maisie, Madeline, and Jonah!
Friday Robert and I headed to Connecticut for.....just guess! Another wedding. I had thought it was our 8th wedding of the summer, but it turned out to only be the 7th of 10, and it was so nice. The service, which Robert officiated, was in a beautiful old stone chapel. Katherine was involved in our church as a college student, and now is in her third year of medical school. We enjoyed getting to know her now husband, Tim, and his family. Don't know if we've ever felt so loved and welcomed by strangers. Tim's parents were just so kind and hospitable to us ~ we were truly blessed.
So....from concerts, to near death illnesses, to the cousins coming, birthday parties, fireworks, and picnics, to Boston tours, and weddings. You'd think it would be time for a little vacation, but not in this crazy summer. No, now we're on to youth camp! That's right. We got home on Sunday morning, re-packed, and looked like the Beverly Hillbillies driving down Rt. 2 with our ironing board, bicycles, and suitcases hanging out of the bed of Robert's truck!
Pray for Robert, who is speaking all week, and for our boys who are participating in wonderful times of Bible study and worship and fun!