Monday, August 15, 2016

Where Has Summer Gone? Taking Time to Reflect.

Where has summer gone?  The question seems to be hanging in the air these days.  I'm running into it everywhere I go.

And, I have to admit the familiar fall chill in the air the last few mornings, combined with the boxes of books arriving on our doorstep daily now, have left me wondering the same thing.  Where has summer gone?  Did we actually do anything this summer?  Or, were we so busy, that I just didn't take the time to be present in the moment with the family?

After some reflection, I decided this has been a normal summer, with the normal amount of activity, togetherness, and fun - with the only differences being, having older children has meant their summer activities have been more self-directed, and I've been less involved in the planning - and blogging less this summer, I haven't stopped daily to reflect, with purpose, on what we've done each day, which has allowed the summer days to blur together in my mind.

So, before we plunge back into our fall studies, I decided to stop for a minute and reflect:  where has summer gone?

It started for us with a trip to Oregon.  G (age 17) and A (age 15) and I, took the train out for G's boyfriend's (hereafter known as "the boyfriend") graduation.

We took the train for a fun experience.  I'm not sure about fun, but it was definitely experience. We rode coach on the way out, and had a sleeper car on the return - we recommend the sleeper car.

We got back just in time to check D (age 13)'s bags, before he headed off for a week of summer camp...

...and to sign E (age 11) and C (age 10) up for their first week of VBS.  They attended four different weeks of Vacation Bible School, at four different churches throughout the summer (really three VBSs and one basketball camp), and despite the picture below (with sun in their eyes) they had a fabulous time at each one.

They did enough crafting at VBS to satisfy their creative urges for the summer, so we didn't do much in the way of art projects at home. 

And, instead of baking lots of different goodies throughout the summer, A (age 15) and I, filled in as the "snack ladies" for at our church's week of VBS, while D (age 13) helped with games.

We held our annual family water balloon fight on the 4th of July...

...which was only slightly overshadowed by A (age 15) getting her toe slammed in the front door (loosing a nail) and G (age 17) putting a fresh dent in the Man of the House's old truck (a few weeks and a little negotiating later, and G was the proud owner of a new-to-her, and only slightly dented truck, and the Man of the House had blood pressure returning to normal levels).

G (age 17) and T (age 19) took advantage of the break from studies to work full time.
But, still had enough time left over to catch a few movies, and plenty of Pokemon.

Grandma (my mother) joined us for a few weeks.

 C and T celebrated birthdays.

A (age 15) made it to the state fair with friends.

And we made it together as a group to a couple of museums, and a few homeschool park days.

Oh, and we continued to spot some cool things outside, like this 15-Spotted Ladybug (anatus labiculata)...

...and some awesome, bug catching, common night hawks (which it turns out are not hawks at all, but part of the Nightjar family).

The teens hosted an anime marathon.  The younger girls made it swimming twice, and put in a fair amount of time on their bikes.  We didn't set foot in our brick and mortar library once, but did make use of the online collection to download books from home.

So, where did our summer go?  Into trips, camps, fairs, museums, church, visiting with family and friends, reading, video games, movies, and summer jobs.  Or in other words, the business and bustle of daily life, with just enough room left over for an end of summer concert, and Shakespeare in the Park, before we slow back down into fall (Lord willing).

How about you?  Do you know where your summer's gone?


Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

The flavor of things does change as they get older. I have experienced that this year as well. It sounds like you had a fantastic summer to me.

Camie Madsen said...

I think it's good to reflect back and see all that really did go on in just a few short months. Your summer sounds fantastic. In many ways, we've had a quiet summer here since my oldest two work part time jobs and the rest of us have been busy decluttering and cleaning several rooms plus our garage. But we've made time for some family fun as well.

Dawn Rebekah said...

What a great summer. Our summer felt different too. With the kids being older. I did not have to entertain as much and we dropped almost all of our traditions (free movies, library programs). I guess it is just the normal progression of life.
Blessings, Dawn

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Sounds like a good summer!

We had a wonderful summer, but it really flew by. I wasn't too thrilled to send the kids off to school this morning, but at least they all like their teachers.

Ticia said...

I am asking the same question, and getting much the same results, it passed in the usual business of summer, and no matter how often I think I should have gotten more done, I really did achieve quite a lot.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

Sounds like a great summer! It's been an active and busy summer for us too, but, to be honest, I am kind of ready to return to school routine by now :) Everyone looks so suddenly grown up on your blog :)

Blessings! said...

Thank you for sharing what you all have been up to. It's fun to hear of all the family fun adventures you all have. It's encouraging as we are simply a family of four and do some "little" things, our two growing blessings are now eleven and nine and are but moments behind the grand train adventures and summer job ideas. Thank you so much for sharing your fun adventures. Feel free to pop by our little bowl of cherries over at so see a few pictures of fun things we have caught on the camera in our neck of the woods - so to speak - this summer. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!