What I did with my Summer Vacation ...

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Lets be frank. I'm going to remember the summer of 2012 for one major reason ... the arrival of our 3rd baby. Baby Tres's grand entrance into this world (which we are still anxiously anticipating) is the most momentous occasion I can think of. However, there are other amazing events that I don't want to forget (like the heat wave, just in case we're tempted to plan another "summer baby"). And many other special family memories that could get lost in the shuffle if we don't record them. I know it's the eve of August (okay, it's 4:30 in the morning on August 1st, and I simply can't sleep anymore), so there is still enough summer left to make some more memories. BUT, from May 31 (when I like to think our "summer" officially starts) until today, here is what the Van Dyk's have done with our summer:

1. Gone to Coldstone as a family for ice cream (actually, countless times), sometimes biking there, but mostly Mommy drove for fear of falling off the bike

2. Had a great beach day at Maranatha with Grandpa, Grammy, Auntie, and Ryan 3. Went to Binder Park Zoo with Auntie and Ryan 4. Caught Hand Foot and Mouth (the first time) 5. Mommy started a consulting job with addalingua (such an incredible, young business with so much to offer language immersion schools, but ... more on that later). 6. Coached a State Tennis Tournament (and had a fabulous Holland weekend with a great team) 7. Met our new nephew/cousin, Beckam Davis Creswell! 8. Worked on the flower garden (planting, weeding, and watering as a family; they are great caretakers) 9. Visited John Ball Park Zoo with Grammy, Auntie, Ryan, and Beckam before they left for home (in New Hampshire). 10. Had an end of the season pool party with the tennis girls 11. Went to two very special high school open houses (and Kayleigh ate as much dessert and candy as she could possibly con out of anyone)! 12. Went to Millenium Park to go swimming and enjoy the Splashpad with Grammy 13. Went tent camping as a family for Father's Day (in over 90 degree heat!) 14. Learned how to Slip n Slide in the back yard

15. Went to the Frederick Meijer Gardens to play in the Children's Garden with Grammy 16. Bought an inflatable kiddie pool 17. Went to the library at school, often, to check out books 18. Kayleigh took Summer Spanish classes and "traveled" to 6 Latin American countries (I have her "pasaporte" to prove it!) 19. Took lots of naps 20. Met our new friend (the 2nd baby in our lives from the Summer 2012), Elise Joy Hoeksema 21. Mom got to play match play with her high school tennis girls (and the kids enjoyed evenings with Daddy at home) 22. Met another new friend (the 3rd baby in our lives from the Summer 2012), Kayla Grace Texer 23. Mom ran junior tennis camp with some amazing helpers (and the kids had a great week with one of their "favorite" tennis girls, Audrey Bouma) 24. We spent a week at Maranatha as a family that included: family sunset watching, late night swims, Grand Haven coffee dates, a trip to the musical fountain, special visits to the Sweet Shoppe and Snack Shack, Family Photos on the beach, Kayleigh's first on stage "performance," and private fireworks on the beach (with "old fashioned candy" that Grammy found, and glow sticks from some generous friends who equipped all of the Maranatha kids with as many glow sticks as their tiny hands could hold) 25. Kayleigh started ballet lessons (and Benjamin cried a lot, wishing he could join her) 26. We had Alexa over a few times to play 27. We visited the dentist (this is truly a highlight for my daughter, she LOVES the dentist) 28. We spent a weekend at Grandpa and Grandma Van Dyks' Cottage: including Kayleigh's first tube ride, Mommy's first fish bites, and LOTS and LOTS of jumping off the dock 29. We got to meet (for Benjamin) and get reconnected (for Kayleigh) with our relatives visiting from Germany. 30. The kids spent a couple days with Grandpa and Grammy Creswell at Maranatha ALONE that included: Kayleigh's first "pajama party," LOTS and LOTS of jumping into the pool, special trips to the Sweet Shoppe, Kayleigh's "second" tabernacle performance (this time including a fall OFF the stage because she was dancing too vigorously), and lots of repeated viewings of Veggie Tales. 31. We made strawberry liquados as a family (which flopped, but it was fun nonetheless) 32. We made LOTS of "big big donut" runs and "hot cocoa" (yup, even in the summer) trips 33. Survived our 2nd battle with Hand, Foot and Mouth

... and had many, many moments of family snuggle time, good food, great friends, and wonderful blessings in between.

When you look at it all that way, we've had a very full summer (and its not even over yet).