Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Recap

It has been a long hot summer here in South Texas. I mean it ... really long and really hot. We've broken records this summer for heat and drought and there hasn't been any sign of a break in the weather yet. Although, our local weather guys are reporting that we should not have any more days over 100 degrees this summer. For the past couple of days its been a little bit cooler in the mornings, although the fires in central Texas have sent enough smoke our direction so that it's not pleasant to sit outside.

I thought it might be fun to celebrate the end of summer with a little photo recap.

In June we traveled to Houston where we spent an evening at Minute Maid Park watching the Astros lose to the Braves. But the evening ended with fireworks so it was fun. We were also honored to be there when our beautiful daughter-in-law, Marie, received the sacrament of confirmation that Sunday evening.

Early in the summer, while the rest of her family went camping, we had a week-long visit from Her Highness. We've seen her several times this summer, and she's really growing fast. Her mom reports that she's teething really hard right now. So even more changes are in store. I'm planning to hold her as much as possible this weekend.

Then we spent several days in North Carolina where we visited the Biltmore Estate and attended the wedding of Andrea and Louis. Andrea is my sister Jan's daughter. It was a beautiful wedding and we were so glad we made the trip. Bylinda, my other sister, traveled with us. We especially enjoyed the two days we spent in Asheville where both the mountains and the weather were absolutely lovely.

In August we visited Katy and Travis in San Antonio and attended a long anticipated reunion with my high school church youth group. It was a day to remember spent renewing old friendships and reminiscing. I had not seen most of them since the mid 1970s. And, of course, a trip to San Antonio naturally means spending quality time with the Grands and their parents. (By the way, Our Little Princess snapped the photo of Grams and Travis. Is it possible we have a budding Annie Leibovitz?)

When we returned from that visit we brought Our Little Princess home for a week of Grams Camp. We had so much fun just spending time together. We played with the water hose, we went to the mall, we spent an entire day at the Texas State Aquarium. It was so much fun that we're planning to make Grams Camp an annual tradition.

Now that summer is winding down, I've gone back to work as a substitute teacher; so summer is over in practice although not in reality. I've worked the past five working days in a row. I will admit that getting up at 6:30 a.m. has been a bit of an adjustment for me. My natural body rhythm is more along the lines of going to bed at midnight and sleeping until 8:30 or 9 a.m. Last week was really tough, but I'm doing better this week. Thank God for coffee!

We have several events coming up in the next few weeks. The annual family golf tournament will be held this weekend in Navasota, which means we'll be traveling to Nick & Marie's house on Friday where Katy, Travis and the grands will join us for the weekend. The men will golf on Saturday while we have a girls day out. I can't wait!

The next few weeks are going to be really busy for us. We'll be traveling to Tyler for the Skelton Family Reunion coming up on September 17 and then in October we'll go to Corn Hill for the Annual Valenta Fall Family Gathering. It is, hands down, my favorite family event. Every October the descendents of Adolph and Louise Valenta gather in Corn Hill for a day of family fellowship. I'll tell you more about it later.

I've been sewing like crazy and am just about ready to launch my Etsy shop, which will also be called Grams Made It. I'm finishing up some behind the scenes details like a separate bank account and photographing my creations. I expect to launch next week. Watch this space for a formal announcement and sneak preview.

I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers for all those in danger from the terrible fires that are burning across Texas. It truly is horrible and resources are stretched to the limit. KRIS TV, our local NBC affiliate, will hold a benefit on Thursday.  Details are available on their web site. Please do what you can to help. I'll have more information on how everyone can help in my next post.


  1. You are a beautiful photographer.

    Sounds like a great, but exhausting summer!

    And yes, it has been HOT here. HOT.

  2. What a wonderful summer you have had. Really glad that you are safe from the fires. It has been a difficult summer for a lot of people this year.

  3. Great photos of your summer recap. Your little grand daughters are so cute!
    It is hard to go back to work after having the summer off! We're in to our third week now and I'm just starting to adjust.