trip back home part 2


For the rest of our stay, we lived next door to Aunt Colleen and her four girls.  The girls call me “Aunt Shanda” because Colleen (my mom’s baby sister) and I are practically the same age.  The girls  are creative and busy and are so good with little children.  Seth and Sarah love visiting there.  They have a wonderful back yard with lots of room to play, AND a swimming pool, so the kids went swimming every day.


Seth with his “bugs bunny” teeth, being kissed by mama.


We piled into the van one afternoon for a trip to the park.


It was a hot day so we splurged on coolattas from Dunkin’ Donuts for the kids and iced coffee for the moms.


Reesy (the kids love him but he nips so they couldn’t get too close).


Aunt Colleen removed Seth’s stitches over his eye.  She’s a nurse.  And awesome.

Molly painted the cool rock that Seth has his hand on.


We went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house one evening after mom was done with work.  Seth relaxed on the hammock.


Mom took this photo.  Dave looks strong and manly and tough and he is, but he’s also a super-sensitive and caring guy.  We text each other at least once a week.  He’s great.  He and Maria are devoted to their nieces and nephews, too.


We saw a mother deer with two babies when we were driving back to Colleen’s that evening.


Perry’s ice cream is the best!!!  There is a stand right down the road from Colleen’s house and I think we went there 3 times over the week.


Blueberry sundae for Sarah Joy.


Perched in a perfectly splendid apple tree.  This small bird.  🙂


We sat together on the wooden swing for a while one evening.  Such a dear girl.


I wandered throughout one of my favorite local shops one morning while the kids were at VBS and had to take a photo of one of the “corners”….Mary Poppins, Little House, hello sacred life, markers, Beatrix Potter, all such good things.  The shop owner is always warm and friendly, and while I paid for my selections we had a nice little chat, I told her that I visit every time I can and how much I love her store.  With tears in her eyes, she gave me a free chocolate for being an awesome mom and told me to “Rock On”.  We even hugged over the counter.


We met Mom for lunch on Thursday.  Seth and Sarah gave her flowers, too, which I had picked up from a florist.


Outside the courthouse where his Grandma works.


As we were walking from the courthouse to Boscovs (where I had parked the car) I ran into a friend from High School!!  I hadn’t seen her since graduation!  (The skirt I’m wearing is one of the things I bought at the General Store…it’s organic cotton, so comfy! and my favorite color, too.)


Boscovs sells fiestaware so naturally………

Also, a note about Seth’s shirt.  He collects baseball cards and recently sent one to Derek Jeter to sign.  He wrote a fan note that began, “You’re my biggest fan……” (SO SO CUTE).  While I was out shopping with Colleen one day we found a wonderful second hand store where I found the Jeter shirt for only 2 dollars.  🙂  It was fun.

The new color is that yellow in the bottom left…DAFFODIL…I took home two of the smaller bowls.


Seth and Sarah were invited to spend the night at Uncle Nate and Aunt Melissa’s house on Friday.  Seth adores Tyke, their little doggie, and by the look on Tyke’s face the feeling is mutual.


At the playground with cousins.


The cousins went to VBS, too, so these kids had lots of time together last week.  What a blessing!


Saying goodbye to VBS!


They absolutely loved it.  On the first morning Seth said he was nervous but when we left  after the last day he was sad “because it was only five days long”.

vacation Bible school


The children were taught to notice “God sightings”, specific times during the day when they were aware of God helping them, showing them something important, teaching them, or keeping them safe.  Each footprint on the map represented one “God sighting”….and by the end of the week the footprints went all the way to the promise land.

Caleb is standing with his cousin, Makayla, my brother Nathan’s daughter.


This is Gregory (Makayla’s brother) with Seth.  They are both starting Kindergarten this fall.


The leaders all dressed like the Biblical Israelites.


My Aunt Mary did the decoration design, and Aunt Colleen was on stage leading the songs, stories, and announcements.


Roger and Dawn are Colleen’s in-laws and I stayed at their place during the week; I have known them throughout my whole life.

“God saves us–so trust God!”

“God gives us strength–so trust God!”

“God guides us–so trust God!”

“God gives us what we need–so trust God!”

Roger and Dawn helped my cousin Katie’s boys with a tambourine craft.


Cousin Erika was in charge of the weaving…my Sarah is in the picture, in the pink shirt.


Pretty yarns and colors.  Sarah asked me to help her finish one of her weavings and then proceeded to tell me I was doing it wrong.


Outside games.

Sarah told me (she remembered later on, in the bathroom) that they played a game with toilet paper, they put the toilet paper on their backs, so silly!


The children each had a bandana to wear.  Seth wore his on his ears.  I watched him concentrate on making a necklace.  He strung beads and a bell on a string.  Guess where it is now?  Dangling from my rearview mirror….because he gave it to me.  Thank you, Seth.


Seth is such a busy boy that it amuses me to see him still and quiet.  Look at his crossed ankles….. and there’s Grandma Dawn again.  I guess she helped out all over the place.


On the last day some men brought exotic animals to show the children.  Caleb was thrilled.


He was thrilled because he got to touch a snake.  He is passionate about snakes.


He stayed with the snake until he had to leave for another activity.


To say he was thrilled is putting it mildly.


Then, it was his turn to do some more weaving with Erika.  Also pictured:  my cousin Marissa in yellow, Erika’s son Jack, and my cousin Molly in the striped dress.

You can say that this VBS was a family affair.  We got to spend time with Judy P, Mrs. Butler, Pastor and Mrs. P, Cassandra P (my future sister in law), Deb V, Candy L, Pam H, Uncle Rog, Aunt Carol, Carol A, Fran, Stacie and Jamie S, the Smiths, and so many other old friends!  Oh it was wonderful.


The songs are always a highlight of Vacation Bible School.  Seth (in striped shirt) did all the motions and dancing along with everyone else.  The songs were played up on big movie screens so the children could watch them and do the motions along with the people in the video.

This one was my favorite::

Thank you to everyone who made the week a wonderful time for all!  I spoke with Franny H and we both agreed it should last two weeks!  😉