Summer Wrap Up

In light of it already being the beginning of the fourth week of school for us I thought it high time to wrap up our summer photos and share our first day of school tradition as I have in years before.  As I've eluded to in previous posts this summer was nothing if not full.  And full of rich memories made with family and friends.  A part of me is a bit sad knowing we have kissed the last days of summer and her splendor goodbye.  Farewell my favorite season and thank you.  Thank you for every last fiery sunset and all of your fruit and sweet corn. 
With that I leave you with the photo montage below. 
Our friends moved this summer and we had a little farewell swim and barbeque with them to celebrate the next chapter in their journey.  They are missed. 

Family fun day in Stillwater. A sweet local offered to take our photo, thank you for that!  The last thing we need is another failed family selfie. 

Nelsons ice-cream experience, the cup at the forefront of the photo is a child's portion.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Known for their super sized scoops Nelsons is somewhat of an icon here.  The Things were beside themselves.  And let it be known that Husband Jared reaffirmed his love for peanut butter chocolate ice-cream here on the very day this photo was taken. 

Why yes, we did climb those stairs, all 152 of them I believe.  And the family photo seen above was taken at the top of this stair case. Worth the climb. 
Lumberjack expedition, log cutting.  We were also able to catch the log run.  It was a fortuitous trip we made to Stillwater this day, unplanned and all.  The fam had been wanting to experience the lumberjack fest and lo and behold there we were. 

But of course Thing 2 and 4 would want to take the mechanical horse for a spin.  Never mind that they are about 3 feet too tall for it. 

After three long weeks away from me in Cali this girlie and
I had a catch up coffee date and bike ride.

Thing 4:entrepruener.  After two days and only about 4 hours total this young man was rather successful.  He sold lemonade and cookies.  All the ingredients and supplies purchased with his own funds, leaving the profit to be entirely his. 

When these two returned from their Cali vacay a Target shopping trip was calling our names.  Then they proceeded to remind just how grown up they are becoming.  Wah!

Thing 1 tried her hand at her very first peach pie.  Made from scratch, pie crust and all.  It was the most perfect summer dessert.

The Things and I had a few afternoons at Lake Calhoun, where we lounged in the sand, swam in the lake, had fun on the tire swing and ate snow cones, of course!

This beauty had a date night with Husband Jared and me.  Her request, to be on the water.  Easily done sweet girl, Lola's here we come! 

The Minneapolis Farmer's Market, forever one of my favorites.  The four Things and our sweet friend Joy traipsed up and down the aisles, sampling, choosing veggies and flowers.  A Saturday Summer tradition.
Snow cone truck at Lake Calhoun.  As the Things would say, "artsy".
This boy had a sleep over at our house when  his parents celebrated their anniversary.  I am sure we fed him too much sugar, thank you Yo Yo donuts, and made him watch too much football with us.  Thanks K for hanging out with us!

Oh and this happened!  Thing 2 passed her permit test.  She has at least 6 months before she can actually be a licensed driver but she is on her way!  Love that smile, she was one happy girl!

Thing 3 came along with me to a work meeting and then we followed a nearby trail and went exploring on our bikes! 

After the Things taught Gpa and Mema the card game of golf that quickly became our go-to card game this summer.  Some of us, not to be named, are a tad particular about how our cards are arranged.  Ahem.

Another summer afternoon spent with these three at the Como zoo.  We stood in awe of the ginormous lily pads, saw all the animals we could and then learned it was free ride day for the one hundred year old plus carousel.  Yes please.  Thing 4 is not pictured because unfortunately she was working.  Sad face.

Family day at the Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Loring Park.  The festival was sponsored by Chipotle and other than food and beverages it was entirely free.  There was live music, local chefs offering demonstrations and various educational booths.  Upon entering the fest you were given a map and information, if you visited the displays/videos, etc. that explained Chipotle's philosophy you earned stamps, if you earned so many you were given a coupon for a free burrito and Izze at Chipotle.  Needless to say we took advantage of that opportunity!  Then we stuffed our faces with tacos.

Things 1 and 2 experienced their first day trip on their own.  Well, almost.  They were accompanied by two of their sweet friends.  Here they are preparing the music for the drive, mixed CD's I'll have you know.  Then they were off to the quarries in St. Paul.  A good day was had by all.  Husband Jared and I had to laugh at the amount of "stuff" required by four teenage girls for a single day.  The back of Sven was packed to the gills. 

My summer reading list.  I wrote about it here.

Just for fun Thing 4 decided to wrap Thing 3 in plastic wrap, because why not?!  Here she is struggling to break free.  Priceless entertainment.
Fort building with Thing 4 and Husband Jared.  This was on a family movie night and Thing 4 was intent upon watching our movie from the comfort of his fort.  It lasted a few days actually and wound up being quite the spot for summer reading. 

Last but not least our annual summer list.  We were able to cross quite a bit off.  Since this photo was taken we have been to Fort Snelling.  That's it.  A few left undone.  For us that is perfectly alright.  There 's always next year. 
And now, without further ado, the first day of school photo.  Keeping in mind that this was technically the last first day for Thing 1.  Thing 2's first day of junior year, Thing 3's first day of high school and Thing 4's start to junior high as a seventh grader. 

They were gracious enough to smile for me on the first day of school and then they had the nerve to pile in Betsy and drive away.  All by themselves.  The eldest in the driver's seat.  Thing 1 was so concerned about me that day she made sure I would have something to keep me busy and my mind distracted from the quietness of the house without them here.  I am that Mama.  The one that loves having them all home.  The house full of noise and chaos and them.  I love them. 
Per our usual tradition we went for icecream immediately after school.  It was a beautiful day and we decided that Licks in Excelsior was the place.  We sat outside, soaked up some sunshine and toasted our cones! 
That my friends is a wrap.  Here's to the end of one season and beginning of the next.  And I'm not just talking summer and fall here. 

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