the next few days are going to be filled with big changes. mary claire's heart is pretty tender when it comes to her sister leaving for college. in a matter of days the upstairs of our house, which is usually the noisiest of all, will be earyly quiet. mary claire will be the only full time occupant and let me tell you, i do not anticipate an easy transition. i pray that the loneliness is not overwhelming and i am being overly dramatic.
with the hopes of being proactive... we got a new cat.  because kittens make life better. hopefully this little rescue kitten eases the transition. 
she is pretty adorable!
it's hard not to smile looking at this sweet face. 

 by this time next week, who knows, we may have a dozen new kittens. 

look up

the first week of june we packed up for a week of camp. all three of our children have had the best experience here. ask me and i will tell you it is the gold standard of christian youth camps. this was mary claire and i's first teen camp. it all started when my friend paige invited us to join her and her girls. we invited my niece, mary claire invited a friend, liza invited a friend... word got out that a group was attending look up and within a week we had filled up two rooms.  

one of my favorite things about this camp is one of the very things that makes it unpopular with some. they do not allow campers to have cell-phones!  {praise!}  "look up believes that once distractions are removed, campers find themselves surrounded by God’s creation, an environment that turns their minds to Him and to the eternal and away from the world."

replacing cell phones with bibles... {praise!}
my heart was leaping for joy see the girls spend their free time enjoying walks in nature, girl talks. hair braiding hair, making up silly games and songs instead of surfing the internet... and not  complaining about it... divine intervention :) 

it rained quite a bit. our morning devotionals usually started with, "today we are going to give thanks in the rain! we are going to replace complaining with praise... even when it is a torrential down pour and everything we own is wet!" 

and they did!! another praise! i was so thankful for allison and her amazing house keeping skills! thanks to her everything stayed neat and organized. 
i loved spending time with this lady! love her!

each day the girls would write down a thought for the day. the camp topic was apologetics. so towards the end of the week the thoughts turned to questions... questions that were often so deep allison and i needed time to research. 
my favorite things was always the same...
all these GIRLS!

i loved most of all spending time with this sweet young lady! 

what is today?

 ask me what today is? before this summer who knew harry potter celebrated a birthday! before this summer harry potter was something rarely, if ever mentioned in our house.

happiest place

if we still mailed out christmas cards, this would not be the picture :) i always, i mean always, have high hopes for a decent family picture from our vacation. and always, i mean always, i get a last minute "get in this picture!" kind of picture. i have a picture that sits on my desk from years ago. it looks very similar  we are all smiles, mismatched, make-up-less and a little sun fried. 


it's part of the seventh grade curriculum at school: shelling. every seventh grade summer vacation is met with over the top excitement about sea shells. this year was just as expected!


 while on vacation, i came across a facebook post from a mother with small children. she was talking about vacations with small children being "awful!" she was tired of all the perfect pictures of vacations floating around on the internet, because they were deceptive to what's really going on. botton line, this fb friend thought family vacations s___!

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