Emma and Eli: June 2014

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The Strange crew was so excited to welcome summer this year!  We had a great school year…the highlight of which was bringing home our sweet son on May 9th.  Summer kicked off with a class party for Emma’s K4 class.  We were so blessed by Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Lawson this year as they served as Emma’s teacher and parapro.  Both of these godly ladies invested in our girl this year and we can definitely see how much she has grown.  The main thing that Emma took from K4 this year was one of Mrs. Evans’ favorite Bible verses…”My God shall supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:19.  What a precious gift for Emma to understand at this age!

The first week of summer, Emma went to All Sports Camp.  She was exhausted at the end of each day, but she had a blast!  The last day of Camp, our coach called me and asked me to come to the gym.  All the kids were playing soccer and Emma had crawled up on a mat to fall sound asleep.  That’s our girl…either 100 miles an hour or completely sound asleep!  Emma went with me to a wedding that Saturday for a girl that graduated from NCCS…such a special celebration!  Clint and I went to a wedding that Sunday for a couple that both graduated from NCCS…always fun to catch up with former students!

The second week of June was my last week in the office for the 13-14 school year.  What an incredible year it was!  We work hard all year…and we play hard when it is time for vacation!  Our family headed to Destin, Florida early on Saturday, June 14th for a week at the beach.  Our good friends the Bitners joined us for the first weekend before they headed to Panama City Beach for a baseball tournament.  God has been so gracious to bless us with their friendship for almost 14 years now!

The beach was so much fun and exactly what our family needed.  Eli loved exploring the water and the sand and Emma was so happy to show him around!  We visited several of our favorite restaurants…The Back Porch, Pompano Joe’s, Don Pedros, Dewey Destin’s (both locations), and the Donut Hole…and a Moe’s of course.  We loved introducing Eli to all of our favorite spots as we continue to create family traditions!  Each evening after we put Eli to bed, we also enjoyed some special time with Emma.  It’s been really important to us to make sure she still feels special as the big sister in our family.  She is so precious and thoughtful with Eli and has been so incredible throughout this entire transition!

One day while we were at the beach, we drove over to Panama City to hang out with the Stricklands for a while.  Clint and Vernon have been best friends for over 20 years and we had so much fun spending time with them.  Emma and their son Drake were born just one day apart from each other.  After lunch with the Stricklands, we headed over to meet the Bitners at the baseball field and had a blast watching James and another NCCS student, William, play two baseball games.  We went back to the hotel for a pizza/swim party with the team and rolled back into Destin around 10pm.

After we came home from an awesome week in Destin, I snuck away with some friends for a few days in Hilton Head.  Clint was so sweet to encourage me to go and I had a wonderful time!  Very relaxing!  I drove home from HHI on Wednesday to pick up the rest of the Strange crew and then we drove on to Memphis that night.  We stayed for 10 days with my sweet sister and her family.  From Thursday-Sunday, we kept my niece Nora so Katie and JD could go out of town for a few days.  They are expecting twins this fall and we were so excited they were able to get away.  They have been so sweet to keep Emma for us several times and we were so happy to return the favor.  We had a blast with Nora and it was so fun to see Nora and Eli together since he is only 3 months older than she is.  Of course Emma was a huge help as always!

Once Katie and JD got back, we had a great week catching up and just hanging out by the pool and visiting some of our favorite Memphis restaurants.  We also had a blast catching up with some friends and family that we don’t get to see often.  We celebrated the Fourth at Katie’s with family and then spent all day on July 5th at the lake with Katie and JD before we headed home.  I think that we definitely made the most of my three weeks off of school!  I was only home one day…what a blast!

Over the summer, Emma has been so funny about wanting to dress like Mommy a lot.  I love it…can’t say that it will last…but I’ll enjoy it for now!  She even keeps asking me to “save your clothes Mommy so that I can wear them when I grow up.”  She also still loves watching all of her hairstyling YouTube videos and loves doing anything competitive or creative.  Eli has grown up so much!  He is saying several words and has shown us his hilarious little sense of humor.  We have loved getting to know him and can’t believe he has only been home for a couple of months.  We didn’t even realize all the fun we were missing out on before he came to live with us!

June 2014 was a great month full of making lots of fun memories and exploring new adventures.  I’ve posted several pictures below…

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