Okay, so it has been several months - and actually an entire season has passed - since my last blog post! A lot has been going on here in Kansas, at the Billings household. I thought it might be a good time to catch everyone up!
We had an awesome summer - filled with lazy days, swimming at the pool, gardening, vacationing and friends!
We were lucky to have the time to travel to Maine and spend two weeks in Stonington. We were also lucky to be joined for the first week by our good friends the Bohlkens. It was so much fun to share our home and "Maine" with friends. Also fun to see things that we take for granted through fresh eyes! When we first arrived, the fog was thick and visibility almost nothing. As Dan, Kelly and the kids were staring at the fog out the big picture window in the living room, the fog began to lift and reveal the amazing view! They had no idea that we were right on the ocean with boats and islands surrounding us! It was funny, too, to hear Zach's comment of "I've never seen that before". I started to realize that he probably doesn't remember much from his last four visits to Maine because he was too little! We had great fun doing a little bit of everything from shopping to boating and hiking.
The second week we were joined by Roger's mom, Helen. She was a bit under the weather, but we still had a nice visit - and I know she enjoyed getting to see the grandkids! We had really great weather, with only a few days of fog and rain, so we were able to do some fun hikes and take the kids out on their first kayak outing. We collected lots of rocks and shells, had lots of lobster races, took some amazing photos and no one wanted to head back home. Did I mention that we drove again this year?! A bit insane - but all went well. Our kids are troopers!
We returned home just in time to start school (only three days to spare)! Emma is in 4th grade this year and Zach is in 2nd. They grow up so fast! Homework has been a bit of a challenge - things get harder as you move up - but otherwise everyone has transitioned well.
Emma decided to take a break from soccer this fall and is focusing her efforts on softball. Of course, she excels in almost everything athletic she tries (she must get that from Rog), and she has made no exception with softball. She is also gearing up to start volleyball academy in November and hopes to start playing next year. Her dad can't wait to start showing her the ropes! She continues to tumble when she can fit it in, and has joined the dance team and running club at school. She will be running a 5K in a couple of weekends! Go Emma! On top of all of this she continues to make straight A's at school! What a great kid!
Zach has given up on soccer for now and is exploring flag football with his buddies. He has had a couple of practices and his first game last weekend. Surprisingly, for the kid who doesn't like contact sports, he seems to really enjoy football. He even got tackled twice during Saturday's game, but popped back up (pulled his pants up) and got back in the game. He is hoping to play basketball this winter, and will continue playing baseball with the Mud Dogs in the spring. He has a great bunch of boys in his grade and they all have a blast playing sports together! He is improving his reading this year and is really impressing Rog and I! I know this is the year where we will see lots of changes in Zach!
Rog is still working for Golf Course Superintendents Association, and I continue to contract with Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County. Both organizations have been struggling in tough economic times, but we are grateful to still have meaningful and rewarding jobs. Our biggest project recently has been to paint our kitchen cabinets. It has actually been easier than we expected and so far is making a big impact on the look of our kitchen! We hope to have this project rapped up in a week or so. Then it is on to bigger and better things!
I promise to make a better effort to update my blog more often. In the meantime, here's wishing everyone a beautiful and peaceful fall - my favorite time of the year!