Now that everyone is back in school, Labor Day has come and gone, all of our regular activities have started up again, and Ryan’s sabbatical is over, I guess summer has really ended. But what a summer it has been!
We kicked off our summer at the end of May by going to the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Turkey played in his sixth season of parks and rec baseball…or tried to. We had so much rain in the first half of the summer (including a tropical depression that made it to the St. Louis area), that almost half of his games were cancelled, which was a huge disappointment.
We visited the St, Louis Zoo to see Kali, the zoo’s new polar bear. We were impressed not only with the bear, but with the new exhibit, Polar Bear Point.
The four oldest children attended a week-long choir camp at one of our sister congregations in the city of St. Louis. They had a great time learning about music, got to go on a few field trips, and decided that they want to join the Kantorei at Hope. Chickadee had a fun time that week having me all to herself!
Tim Horton’s finally opened a store in St. Louis, and we were there on opening day! (This was also the week that Ryan’s sabbatical began!)
This summer in school, we learned about Illinois state history. We went to Cahokia Mounds on the first of our summer school field trips. We’ve been there several times, but there is always something new to learn!
July was the busiest month of the summer. We started with our traditional, Markel family Fourth of July celebration, which is always lots of fun.
Bunny went to Camp Wartburg for a week of theatre camp. We missed her at home, but she had a great time!
The week after she got home, Bunny celebrated her 11th birthday. The celebration included a trip to the spray park and a bunny cake, of course!
A few days after that, we left on our first-ever Markel family summer vacation/road trip. We visited Bowling Green, KY, Atlanta, GA, and our main destination of Charleston, SC. Even though there were a few bumps along the way, it was more fun than I could have imagined, and we covered all the vacation bases–family, food, baseball, history, architecture, and the beach!
Back home, the girls and I went with Grandma to American Girl Night at Busch Stadium.
We also drove to Kaskaskia, IL, to see the location of the first Illinois state capital and the Liberty Bell of the West.
August saw a bit more road-tripping. First, a drive to Vandalia, IL, to tour the oldest existing Capitol Building in Illinois.
We also drove to Springfield, IL, to visit the Lincoln Home, the Old State Capitol, and the current Capitol Building, as well as a few other locations.
Moose went back to school…he’s in the fourth grade this year! Still not ready to say goodbye to summer, though…
Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug also went back to school. Since Ryan was still on sabbatical, though, I still wasn’t convinced that summer was done.
We had a fun time taking Little Luther with us on all of our travels!
Ryan and I even found time to build not one, but two Lego modular buildings!
Moose got to miss a day of school for our field trip to The Magic House, where we learned what life is like in China, and did a lot of other fun things, too.
That same day (and the day after), we also drove down to Carbondale for a college women’s volleyball tournament.
And just last week, we celebrated the historic reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a tea party!
We traveled this summer…a lot. We visited not only spray parks, but pools and the beach, as well.
Most of all, though, we spent a ton of time together as a family, creating memories that I hope will last several lifetimes! It was a more amazing summer than I could have imagined, and I’ll never forget it!