Y’all, my kids are out of school for around 74 days of the summer. I counted this morning. We’ve had overnight guests for 39 of them. Now don’t get me wrong. We’ve enjoyed each and every guest. We’ve hit every monument; enjoyed meals; reintroduced our kids to our friends’ kids; hung out around the fire pit; caught fireflies and lady bugs; taken whole crews to swim meets, soccer games and band nights; stayed at the pool until we’re crisp…you know it’s been great. I am also exhausted. 

There are several blog posts that have been running through my mind…

  • Colin Kaepernick and his fiasco. 
    • This could be an entire blog post alone. It’s on every blog right now though so what more can I say? Well, this… I don’t agree with Mr. Kaepernick. Here’s the deal. My kids stop everything, turn to a flag and put their hands on their heart EVERY time they hear the national anthem. They are military kids. They are taught to respect the sacrifice of our service members…you know, the service members that are both genders and every color of the rainbow. My children also know that we watched their Dad go to Fallujah so that Mr. Kaepernick could sit it out. If we make every one obey protocol, it’s not freedom and worth nothing. Last thing I’ll say… I wish Mr. Kaepernick had really looked at what is happening. Of course, I have friends and family that work in law enforcement so my perspective is very different than his. I wish he had a conversation with someone. Let’s work on the problem of violence together. My blood boils when our national anthem plays and the many people in the audience don’t give it the respect I believe it deserves. I don’t think yelling at these people will do anything. Let’s have a conversation about pride in our country, what it offers, what we could do to make it better. 
  • Gabby Douglas
    • Yep, I’ve been thinking about our national anthem all dang summer. I’ve looked up protocols. I’ve read op-ed pieces. She’s a military brat not different from my own. I’ve looked it all up. Here’s one article that I found from 2012. I think we need to have a conversation about our national pride and what is expected, but not required. Heck. Even President Obama was given a hard row to hoe about it when he was running for office. Let’s set the record straight. The flag code states that if you aren’t in a military uniform protocol is stand facing the flag with your right hand on your heart. If a gentleman is wearing a hat, it should be removed and held at the left shoulder leaving your hand over your heart. Of course, this is what you SHOULD do, not what you MUST do. For the love people, if you are at a basketball game at least set down  your soda and nachos and stand up.
  • Our Educational System
    • I just read an article written by a girl discussing the ramifications of attending a high school as big as the one my girls attend and the opportunities that you get with a high school as big as the one my kids attend. Yikes! Does the good cancel out the bad? I’ve discussed the fact that I feel like my high schoolers may as well have stepped onto a college campus. My kids have a bigger and, dare I say, brighter world than I knew existed in high school. The pressure that comes with the bigger and brighter can be hard and it’s just harder to achieve the top with so many people competing for it. As we get ready to jump into honors, AP, extracurricular nuttiness I’m worried about these things.
  • Letting My Kids Find Their Own Faith
    • Again, this is a blog post rolling around in my head. One of my lovely little darlings went on an overnight trip. I’ll admit to being furious over something that she heard as “guidance.” When I stepped back and looked around, it actually helped her cement her faith. It’s one of those long stories. I know we are supposed to want this for them but watching them struggle, well it’s hard. 
  • Our visitors should each have multiple blog posts.
    • Grandma and Kendall
    • The Delcours (That may not have technically been summer)
    • Kiana
    • The Babcocks
    • Mallory and her “special friend”
    • Nana and Papa
    • Please know, we’re super excited to have more visitors anytime. There is nothing like a visitor to make us get out of the house and see the world around us. Book your visit at the Stiff Bed & Breakfast any day.
  • Kids’ Stuff
    • Bria made the travel team and her games will start soon.
    • Arleigh’s band performance this year is so much fun! I can’t believe the hard work they do all through the summer to get ready for band season.
    • Hanan made the high school cross country team. I never doubted that she would but those early morning practices took their toll on both of us.
    • We finished swim season and Bria will start winter swim in GASP! 3 weeks. It’s can’t be winter yet! I won’t allow it! 
    • Arleigh made it to a Drake concert with free tickets. I let that child go on the metro into the city for a Drake concert. I know I have to cut the strings and give them room to find their way but it took a lot to send her to the city like that. 
    • Hanan got to visit a life sized ark. 
  • Big Mac
    • Big Mac AKA my computer that’s older than Bria and has already had one new life installed was going down fast. Ray has replaced her but not all my stuff is back. That’s why all my pictures have to be uploaded from my phone or Facebook. Sigh… I’m sure I’ll learn the new system soon. 

So, I guess I have a lot to blog about. I also have a lot of laundry to do. I’ll just leave you with pictures of a few of the highlights.