It happened again.....I blinked and the summer slipped away. Summer: the slightly irresponsible younger sibling to Spring who gets away with more than he ought and melts hearts with his warmth. It's the take-me-as-I-am, schedule-free, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants season. I love it!
Since I was a kid, this time of year has always brought with it a bit of melancholy and recently I`ve taken a look back at all this summer held for us; man, it`s been a full one and quite a roller coaster ride. By the end of the first week of July, we'd packed up and left our rented home-along-the-river and moved back to "The Palace". After being away for three plus years, it was good to be ome where I`ve been reminded of the MANY little things we take for granted: toilets that flush, water that is hot, lights that turn on...... It's been interesting to say the least.
There isn't anything that has gone on around here that Meagan hasn't been in the midst of. Whether it was readying the Palace for the move while keeping clients happy, being a bridesmaid in one wedding while a maid of honour in another yet to come. In the midst of it all she managed to squeeze a trip to Spain in there to witness the nupitals of friends she met while in the Czech Republic. She has been...correction, she IS invaluable. I don't just speak of what she does, but as I pause and take a look back I see that it was in the midst of it all that she has lived out who she: one who gives of herself and puts others needs before her own. She sets a standard for all of us. I admire her.
On July 27 Brad and I celebrated the arrival of another beautiful daughter and our kids, a sister when Ben wed his lovely Buhle. Though I may be a bit biased, it was a spectacularly beautiful day, perfect in every way. In the days leading up to the wedding, I would picture my Benjamin as he once was, my beautiful, blond- haired, brown-eyed boy. I watched this young man end his single life when he made a covenant before many witnesses and God to love, honour and cherish the woman whom he has chosen. Ben's journey in finding his bride was not an easy one, but I greatly admire how he allowed God to refine him in throughout the process in order to prepare him to be the man Buhle would need. I believe she is his reward for some tough but well made choices.
Carleigh graduated from highschool in June and completed her high school career. She worked hard and received her first year tuition free at Trent University, which is a huge blessing! I know this summer has been bitter-sweet for her. I understand the emotions that she feels as she says goodbye to friends. I see the look in her eyes when she leans in to speak to Tess, Rhys and Declan and grabs a kiss or a hug. She's the only one of the original 5 that has lived continuously with her younger siblings. When Declan was a baby, Carleigh took on bathtime....and she's done it ever since. I admire her discipline and steadfastness. It's the end of an era, but a new adventure awaits and today we loaded up her belongings and sent her on her way.
Noah turned 22 yesterday and in two weeks our family will celebrate yet again when he marries his "high school sweetheart" and he and Casey will begin their journey together as husband and wife. Though we already consider Casey to be one of ours, on September 15 she will officially become an Allison and will be another welcome addition to our ever-expanding family. The excitment around here is building as the final plans are being put into place. I've watched these two over many years as their relationship has matured. I admire Noah's loyalty; his love for people is genuine.
Brad and I just returned last evening from the aproximately 2400 km trip to Muncie, Indiana (not the end of the world, but I think you could see it from there). Following a disappointing first game loss (it would appear that our defence didn't get on the bus) we spent 5 cherished minutes with Cam. I can see the maturity he has gained from the tough lessons he has learned. Cam has inspired me on many an occasion. Though to look at him no one would be surprised to learn he plays football, that doesn't mean there haven't been challenges along the way. In spite of them, Cam holds fast to what he knows is God's plan for him. I admire his courage and perseverance. Football is not just a game to Cam but he's come to view it as his worship to God. What an amazing place to be!
And then there's the "expansion pack"....some days I wonder what will be left of Brad and I by the time these 3 start University and get married! Oh dear.....though we see glimpses of each of the older kids in them, they are each uniquely themselves. Declan is his father's son; a thinker with a quick tongue and a dry wit. I think if I had to compare him to a bible character, he'd be Paul. He is not fond of crowds but values his relationships. Rhys is his opposite - a boy with a sensitive soul who whispers his love and gives the best kisses despite bearing the weight of the world on his brow. Fortunately for him he is developing a great prayer life! I think he's like David. Tess....I don't know how to put her into a few words. She has many people fooled with her seemingly quiet, tiny self but don't let that exterior fool you. She's a fireball who isn't afraid of anyone or anything that we can see. Remember Jael? She was the woman who drove the tent peg through Sisera's temple? That's my girl. When she's 12, if we survive til then, I'll start farming her out to her older siblings! I'm kidding.....we'll play it by ear.