A summary of summer, part 1

I know our blog posts have been a bit sporadic recently, but we’ve been up to all sorts of mischief. It’s summer after all! We’ve had playdates, we’ve played in the sprinklers, we’ve done lots of swimming, we’ve had sleep-overs, we’ve had visits to the library, we’ve had a couple of road trips, we’ve had homemade lemonade, iced tea and popsicles, eaten tonnes of watermelon and peaches and corn… you know… summer stuff.

But this summer we have also hosted quite a number of some really cool people. It has made for a busy time, but so worthwhile.

Let me backtrack to June, when we hosted Phillipa and Steve who were in New York to attend conference and who were also visiting Phillipa’s son, James, who has featured on our blog before. We’ve known Phillipa and her family for a long time (in fact, Ben was boarding with them when we were dating!), so it was really wonderful to see her again and to meet Steve. He passed the test: we like him. :-)

We enjoyed some sight-seeing in Central Park and elsewhere, some lovely cafe lunches and morning teas with them as well as some great conversations, which were a highlight for me.

June also saw the girls’ end of year piano recital (still getting used to the academic year finishing in the middle of the calendar year here in the States!). They both did really well. Marica even played a piece she wrote herself. I was a proud Mamma.

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Then we had Ben’s cousin Derek stay with us for just over a week, joined about half way through by another uncle and aunt and three cousins: Uncle Stan, Aunt Nora and Lindsey, Alice and Evan. It was like a mini Hoyt reunion! More sight-seeing ensued, as well as some more good conversations and lots of other good fun.

(Photo credits go to Uncle Stan and his stunning camera for most of this lot.)

We then traveled to Grove City, PA, for Ben’s cousin Esther’s wedding, where I got a surprising number of really terrible photos! So I only have a few to share.

The very next day we drove to my friend Anna’s wedding in the Delaware Water Gap where I was a bridesmaid. (Got a real pathetic number of good photos there too.) Needless to say that was a big weekend with two weddings in two different locations and lots of driving!

The summary of summer, to be continued…

We’re still here…

I’m just taking a break from blogging to enjoy the summer, and spend time with visitors, the kids and to do all those fun activities that only happen in the summer. I hope to resume a regular blogging schedule again in late August. Until then, if you want to contact us, please email us! We’d love to hear from you. :-)

Homeschool field trip

One weekend in May we took the girls in to the Ancient Egyptian section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, because in our history program we’d been studying Ancient Egypt. It was great to see many of the things we (including myself!) had been learning about in real life, and the girls seemed to really enjoy it.

Seeing that the Met is right in Central Park, we spent some time there afterward until the rain started coming down.

A fun and informative Saturday morning, despite the rain!

A peek at spring

April seems like a long time ago… spring seems like a bit of a blur filled with the house buying process and then packing and getting ready to move. But it wasn’t all crazy — we made some time to go enjoy the nice weather outside too. One day we packed a lunch and went and had a picnic at a nearby park.

Laurelin turned 2 in May. She’s growing up so fast, and providing us with many laughs every day. It’s been fun to see her learn and start to make sense of the world around her. She’s a real character — you can’t push her around! — I guess that’s what comes of having two older sisters. We didn’t really have a party for her, but I made her a cake with lots of M ‘n M’s on, which she loved, and we shared it with friends we usually have lunch with after our homeschool gymnastics class.

And of course, in May we moved to our new house. We were so blessed to have lots of strong friends helping, and were able to do it all in one day, with only one trip in the huge rented U-Haul truck (which Ben was able to drive without a special licence!).

Our new place

I thought it’s about time I showed you a photo of our new place. We moved in Memorial Day (with the help of some amazing and hard-working friends), and have managed to unpack all the boxes. There are still lots of little odd jobs to do around the place before we’ll be completely “settled”, but for now life can carry on again. Homeschooling has started again (though scaled back a bit for the summer). I still feel a bit like I’m on a treadmill that is going a little too fast and I’m going to fall on my face very soon, but it hasn’t happened yet, and so long as I keep plugging away at the ever-growing to-do list I might just avoid the face plant.

I love this house! It’s lovely and cute, we’ve got a yard, it’s beautiful and comfortable, in a great area, and great for hospitality (we even have a proper guest room now, so come visit!).

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We are so incredibly thankful for this house. I said to Ben the other day that if we hadn’t lived in our little shoebox under the stairs in Brooklyn first,

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and then in not-so-charming Jersey City,

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we just wouldn’t have appreciated this house. And so we are not only thankful to God for this house, but also the journey He took us on to get here. While I know we won’t be here in the long term, it’s good to have a place of our own to call home at least for the next few years.

Changing things around

You’ll probably have noticed that I’ve been playing around with new blog designs. And you’ll probably also be relieved to know that I’m done now, and that this is what the site will look like for the foreseeable future! Is anyone having any trouble viewing things? If so, let me know in the comments.

Speaking of comments… we love getting them! It makes us feel in touch with you, our readers. It’s probably the closest thing I’ll get to sitting down and chatting over a cup of tea with most of you for a very long time.

In other ‘changing things around’ news… we’ve bought a house! We’ll be moving soon, and because of that there might be a little lull in posts for a few weeks. Promise I’ll post photos when I get the chance!