8 Things I Did Last Month (Instead of Blogging)

My regular readers may have noticed that I published only one post on this blog for the entire month of June. I’m sorry about that, but I’ve had a lot going on lately. I’ll try to do better going forward, but in the meantime, I wanted to publish a few photos so you can see what we’ve been up to.

Here’s how we’ve been spending our time this summer:

  1. Enjoying grandchildren

    Summer’s a great time for field trips, and we’ve been taking our grandkids along for weekly outings to the library, the zoo, the park, the ice cream parlor, plus a full week of Vacation Bible School.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    We’ve also been thoroughly enjoying our newest addition. Isn’t he precious?

    What I've been 
doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    This little guy’s apartment was being exterminated the day he was discharged from the hospital, so he and his parents spent the first couple of nights at our house.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    There is never a shortage of family members clamoring to hold the new baby. He gets lots of attention every time his folks bring him over for another visit — which normally happens two or three times a week.

  2. Addressing homeschoolers

    Doug and I were asked to speak at the FEAST Homeschool Convention in San Antonio again this year.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    We each gave three talks, and in between sessions got to visit with a lot of lovely people — those attending the convention, those working there, and the other speakers and vendors.

  3. Cleaning closets

    I promised Doug that as soon as that convention was behind us, I’d get to work in earnest on the storage side of our garage. Here’s the “before” picture:

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    These are the leftover boxes that have been waiting to be unpacked since last October. A bunch of it will be donated, but first I have to sort through it all and find homes for the stuff I plan to keep — mainly craft supplies, homeschool curriculum, and costumes.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    I decided to pace myself. There are 42 boxes to empty — if I do two a day, I’ll be finished in three weeks. I’ve been working at it steadily for nearly two and a half weeks, so by this time next week, I should be all done!

  4. Hanging pictures

    Some of those boxes were full of pictures and artwork that needed to be hung on the wall. Since this house has a more open floor plan than any of our previous places (translation: fewer walls to hang stuff on), I’ve had to get rid of a lot and figure out how to group the sentimental stuff I kept in arrangements that look good and make sense.

    To that end, my handcrafted needlework samplers and folkart pieces brighten up my utility room…

    Utility Room

    baby portraits now adorn the walls of our master bathroom…

    Baby Portraits

    … and our family photos line the stairwell.

    Pictures hanging in the stairwell

    I used painter’s tape to mark the outer borders of each arrangement and 3M strips to keep all the pictures hanging straight.

  5. Doing yard work

    The pansies I’d planted in our front flowerbeds last fall had completely withered in the heat, but I was afraid I might have waited too late to switch them out for summer color.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    Fortunately, I found some nice mature plants on Lowe’s clearance rack that only needed a little TLC. I got them in the ground just in time, too. It rained for three solid days afterward, and they’re flourishing now, despite the late start.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    The rain has done wonders for our lawn, as well. Look at all that plush, green grass!

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    Next on the agenda is filling the new flowerbeds and raised vegetable gardens we added across the back of the house.

    Flower gardening

    The kids have been helping us with this weekend project, but the rain keeps sending us indoors before we can complete it!

  6. Changing blog themes

    Even though I haven’t done much in the way of writing posts, I actually have been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work on this blog. Most of the work revolved around switching to a more mobile-friendly, responsive design.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    I think I have most of the bugs worked out now. If you happen to spot any problems, would you do me a favor and send me an email about it? It would be especially helpful if you could also tell me which page gave you the problem, what device you were viewing it on (laptop, tablet, iPhone, etc), and which Internet browser you were using at the time. Thanks!

  7. Reading books

    We’ve been enjoying lots of wonderful books together this summer. We listened to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Story on our way to San Antonio. It was an impulse purchase of my husband’s when we stopped at Magnolia Market in Waco on our trip down, but one we all thoroughly enjoyed.

    Dad is currently reading Vango aloud to us in the evening. That’s a new one for us and is very suspenseful. Since Dad normally quits long before the rest of us are ready for bed, the kids have been extending storytime by reading several old favorites aloud to one another. Rachel regaled us with Schooled and Flipped, and Isaac is taking us through The Hunger Games series again.

    I read both volumes of Matt and Lisa Jacobson’s brand-new Marriage Wisdom 31-Day Devotionals last week. They were full of practical advice for couples and easy-to-implement pointers for strengthening your marriage.

    What I've been doing this summer (instead of blogging)

    Other recent reads include several eye-opening books on feminism, media bias, gender issues, and divorce culture. You can read a full review of those (plus short excerpts from each title) on my Loving Life at Home blog in a post called 5 More Books for Women Who Think.

  8. Making plans

    Although our family has been sticking pretty close to home this summer, we have some big plans in the works for the near future, including a 30-year anniversary trip to Machu Picchu, a return backpacking trip to Europe to visit our son whom the Army is sending to Germany, and an exciting documentary film project with the BBC. Stay tuned for more information on all those adventures!

What kinds of projects do you like to work on in the summertime? Give us a progress report in the comments below!

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