Things around our family have been constantly changing for the last several years, especially the last five years since Sierra and then Landon have come along. We have moved three times, I have changed schools three times, and I have changed grade levels twice. Things have just been kind of "up in the air" for most of that time.
This has been the first summer in a really long time that everything in our lives has pretty much stayed the same. It's been nice. We've been able to get out and do a lot more things this summer-partly because all the kids are older and easier to manage by myself and partly because we haven't had to spend our whole time packing, moving, and unpacking. We've done quite a bit of organizing and simplifying, the kids have learned to be responsible for a few chores that really help me out (putting away folded laundry, vacuuming, and clearing the table are the best ones), and it's just been pretty relaxing for the most part.
It's also been nice to not be worried about finding a job. I know which school, what grade, and which room I will be in when school starts next week. I've even been able to go up during the evenings and work on my classroom sometimes. I feel like I'm more prepared than I ever have been for school before.
This is also the first summer in a long time (since Landon was born) that we have been able to take a "vacation" with our family. Just the six of us. So, a couple of weekends ago, we headed off to Springfield, MO for a quick overnighter and had a great time. It was so nice just to get away with the kids and have no real agenda or schedule other than to just have some fun and spend time together.
Our first stop was Dakota's summer state swim meet. She swam the 50m butterfly, the 50m backstroke, the 50m freestyle, and the 100m freestyle. She did well in all of them, but my favorite was the 50m butterfly. She had only swam it in one meet before state and I was really inpressed with how well she did. In her heat, she came in first (!) for her age group. That got her fifth place overall in the butterfly for her age! She has been swimming for less than a year, so I think that's pretty great. This is the video of her butterfly. Look for the white swim cap.