Throughout Greg's time at school, we knew that we'd get in a weekend visit from him now and then, but it was a welcome surprise to find that he was able to get a full 18 days of summer break, starting on the last day of the children's school year. What a great way to start the summer!
The children with their teachers on the last day of school.
The very first weekend Greg was here for summer break, our friends Pixie (my early-morning running buddy!) and Jason got married. One of my BFF's, Jenny, was the events coordinator, and did a FABULOUS job of creating one of the most special weddings I've ever been privileged to attend.
Unfortunately, Greg and I didn't get any pictures together...in fact, NONE of our friends got couples photos...but on the upside, all of us girls made sure there were pictures taken of ourselves! Ha! Oh my.
Jenny and I
Angela, Grace and I
I love all of these beautiful friends
We've had a fair amount of rain this year, so our nearby lake was actually full enough to go swimming! (NOT the case last year.) While Greg was here, we only made it there once, but I plan to go again with the children throughout the summer to meet up with friends and play.
Elijah's birthday fell just at the end of the visit, so Greg put together a Pirate Party for him (like Andrew had last year).
Greg organized a Treasure Hunt through the woods to find ingredients for the "Grog" (virgin, of course, with Piratey ingredients like "Sweat squeezed from an old pirate sock...and sand from a thousand beaches....")
I'm not really a big fan of decorating cakes, so when my friend Alicia found a pirate ship cake pan at the library, I was very excited (did you know that you can check out cake pans from the library? How fun!) I made a simple yellow cake, and made a big bowl of whipped cream stabilized with a bit of gelatin. (For every 2 cups of cream: dissolve 1 tsp gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water for about 5 minutes. Melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until liquidy. Add a little bit of cream slowly to the gelatin -- perhaps 1/4 cup. Whip the rest of the cream with some sugar and a little bit of vanilla extract until slightly thickened. Add the gelatin/cream mixture to the cream/sugar in the mixing bowl. Whip until stiff. Thank you Aunt Terry!!)
I served the cake plain with whipped cream on the side. As an oversight, we somehow didn't have any forks on hand, so we encouraged the children to "eat the cake like Bad Dirty Pirates".
Love the Piratey Chest Hair Curls
And yes, I did have to just hose down the entire playground after this incident. But it was fun.
Elijah opened lots of fun gifts, including an Amazon.com gift card from my parents, some videos from Aunt Terry, a check from Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bob, and a great big box from Poppy and Nana, along with gifts from friends.
Greg and I gave him a slingshot (OK, so Greg picked that out), and as party favors, each of the party guests got a bag of slingshot ammo. After the Cake Incident and Gift Opening, everyone went to do a little target practice at a range that Greg had set up.
As it turns out, Lavella is a crack-shot with the slingshot!
We fit so many adventures into the 18 days that Greg was home -- he also took Andrew and Elijah on a Life Skills camping trip, but that'll have to be it's own post.