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Wow. I can't believe it's the last day of July and, really, the end of summer. This week the kids and I will spend our annual lake week with our friends from Oklahoma to swim, play games, do some fun activities, and plan for our upcoming homeschool year. It will be strange only planning for one student as Brynne is just days away from re-entering public school.

We had a busy month with lots of little trips and some significant changes for our family. Here's a recap ...

Kyndal and I started the month with a less-than-24-hour-trip to Las Vegas to see our beloved Backstreet Boys in concert. It was amazing, as usual, and despite the utter exhaustion we had a great time together!

We had a fun 4th of July holiday with all of the kids at Farrington Park.

Brynne won 2nd place in the egg race.

Eli won 3rd place in the softball throw.

And Kyndal and Dawson ended up wet in the water balloon toss. Well, Kyndal ended up wet.

Collin's birthday is on the 4th of July so we celebrated him, as well.

Our family was forever changed when we attended our first ever annual conference with the National Stuttering Association. I have never seen Eli so happy in his life, and we have made a decision as a family to make this annual trip a priority. We had a great time in Dallas, met so many new friends, and will be attending in Chicago next year.

Dawson and Alyssa made the move to Dallas so that Alyssa can start school soon. They had a fun going away party at her parents' house, and we made the trip back to Owasso to celebrate with them.

There was lots of pool time.

And the next day we sent them off with lunch and some video game style laser tag.

I reached a milestone this month by running 5 straight miles without stopping to walk. I am training for a 10K in September, so this was an important run for me.

I also made the decision to take a part-time job as a circulation clerk at our local library. I will be working in the mornings (while Eli does independent work) and then homeschooling Eli and caring for Bennett in the afternoons. This will be the first time I have worked consistently outside the home in 15 years, so it is quite an adjustment. I trained last week and, so far, am absolutely loving my job! I was born to be a librarian. Age 45 is not too old to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

Brynne attended volleyball camp at UCM, this year adding in a one-night resident camp.

Bennett had a big month as he started walking. He still prefers to crawl, because he can do that at lightening speed, but walking is now an option. He has also started saying some words ... ball, mama, more (when he wants a drink or food). He ended our month with a bang by winning first place in his division at a local fair's baby contest.

Here are all the proud grandmas!!

Then he turned around and just went ahead and won Grand Champion boy. He is one adorable dude!

Our month was just absolutely jam-packed! It was exhausting but lots of memories were made. August will have tons of highlights, too. But first, lake week ...


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