Hello Friends! Here we are in the middle of August already! So I thought it would be a good time to do another check-in post and let you know what we’ve been up to these last few weeks.
My husband, who has been instrumental in bringing the Hope Center for Arts and Technology (Hope CAT) to the Shenango Valley, was honored as an Orb Lighter for Sharon Waterfire. Hope CAT is based on Bill Strickland’s belief that environment shapes behavior. The program offers youth arts and adult medical assistant training classes, all of which are held in a contemporary high-tech, newly renovated school on the West Hill in Sharon, PA, filled with art and light, and the belief that everyone can succeed.
We’ve finally had some time to hang out in the kitchen. I think I’ve mentioned before that Kyle wants to be a chef when he grows up and he loves cooking with me. At the beginning of the summer we planned to do some shared cooking each week. Unfortunately, as so often happens, most of the summer got away from us. Between baseball, dance, music and lots of pop-up events we just weren’t home that often. But we did finally find some time make a few dinners together. I’ll feature our favorite recipes in an upcoming series Cooking with Kids.
Speaking of baseball . . . There is never enough of baseball. Less than a week after All-Stars concluded my little guy was back on the field working on pitching and hitting. He wants desperately to be a switch hitter next season, so he is taking lots of reps from the left side of the plate. He does have an advantage though – he is left-handed and plays tennis leftie – so he should get the swing of this in no-time. (ha, ha).
We had a nice visit to New Jersey. In addition to some great family time, we went to a Yankees game. And they even won! Kelly and I visited New York City with my cousin Brandi. And we went “down the shore” and spent the day at Asbury Park. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid and I can’t say enough good things. It was “cheap” to get on the beach – $5 for adults and kids 12 and under were free, clean, and had just enough to do to keep everyone occupied for the day. We will definitely be back.
We’ve been taking advantage of the nice summer weather to get in lots of runs – I love my new pink shoes – and family bike rides.
Kevin took a quick trip to Niagara Fall with his best friend Ryan.
Kelly went to her first concert – and she picked a good one. We went Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour with two of our best friends. The show was nothing short of incredible – so much more than a just a concert. With pyrotechnics, multiple costume changes, inflatable snakes, floating orbs, satellite stages, fireworks, flashing bracelets and more, Tay Tay did not disappoint. I’m not sure how Kelly’s next concert experience will ever live up to this.
Kelly has been working out a lot. In addition to Aerial, I think I’ve got her hooked on the Pilates Reformer as well. And she’s back to dance class too. Now, if I could just get her to run with me . . . .
We squeezed in last minute trip to Baltimore with just Kyle. Each of the kids has gotten a special one-on-one trip with us at this age. Kevin went to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress about food allergy legislation. Kelly went to Chicago to visit the flagship American Girl Store (sorry Chicago, but we all think New York’s is better). And Kyle picked Baltimore to see Camden Yards. We had a terrific time – touring historic ships and submarines, visiting the Aquarium, taking a scenic boat ride, and of course catching a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards – the nicest, cleanest ball park I have ever been to. I just realized that Kyle has now been to four Major League parks this summer – not bad for a 9 year old!
We sat right behind the Mets dug-out and Kyle got a ball tossed to him from Todd Frazier. It was his second ball this summer.
We found our favorite breakfast place of of all time: Miss Shirley’s. It was so good we went back two days in a row. And I look forward to recreating some of the recipes here at home. Just look at those Strawberry Bites! I know the photo sin’t the best, but trust me when I tell you they are delicious.
And a special thank you to our two friends who took in Kelly and Kevin while we were away. You guys are the best!
While we were gone, Kevin’s band played at Open Mic Night at Stone Church Brew Pub. I can’t thank Joni and Jack Laeng enough for always being so supportive and welcoming to our boys. Kevin broke out the acoustic guitar on stage for the first time. And the boys had an amazing time jamming with some older musicians. I hate that we missed it, but love knowing he’s getting more stage time.
The kids found a little time to build some Legos.
And, sadly, went back to school shopping. Goodness, just writing that puts a pit in my stomach. Why must summer always go so fast?
Oh, and I don’t have any pics yet, but I’ve got it on good authority that the patio guy is finally coming today to start our patio!! I’ll believe it when I see it, but I am so looking forward to having my outdoor space back.
Now I’ve got to run and start on the preparations for our annual Glow Party tomorrow night. But, I’ll leave you with this beautiful sunset picture, because nothing quite says summer like a pretty pink sunset.
Have a great weekend!