Back in July, Jim's brother-in-law, Larry, who had had a heart attack and some strokes in the past year took a decided turn for the worse. He was placed into Hospice care and given about a week to live. We found this out the morning we were planning to leave for vacation in South Carolina, so we changed our vacation plans to be home to help Jim's sister and her family in any way we could. We spent as much time as possible at the hospital that week. Larry passed away a little over a week later. Jim helped his sister make some of the funeral arrangements, and he was a pall bearer at the funeral. Larry was a very special person - extremely kind and generous. He was described in his eulogy as a cross between the ice cream man and Santa Claus, and I think that was the perfect description of him. We were so sad to say goodbye to him, but he had been very ill, and we were relieved to know that his suffering was over and that he was in heaven.
Due to a huge rainfall and flooding in our area a few weeks ago, Jim's car got damaged and was stranded for a few days before it could be towed away. Our mechanic got it going again, but the inside of the vehicle got very wet and needed to dry and be cleaned. We had to reschedule our dental appointments (they were scheduled for the two days following the flooding, and flooded streets and car issues made it impossible to get to the dentist!). Thankfully, a friend from church lent Jim a car for the weeks that Jim's car problems were being dealt with.
In late July, we spent a week in South Carolina with my family, and my parents decided to help us cross off a couple of activities on our summer list while we were there. One of those things was making kebabs. We made three different kinds of kebabs - kielbasa with green pepper and purple onion, marinated chicken with green pepper and purple onion, and mushroom and cherry tomato.
Make Homemade Ice Cream
My dad has a fairly large garden in his back yard, and he has some blackberry bushes that did really well this summer. My mom cooked up some blackberry syrup during blackberry season and saved it for our visit (since she knows that Jim loves blackberries), with the plan of making homemade blackberry ice cream. We made the ice cream the same night as we made the kebabs, and we ate it all at a big family dinner. The ice cream maker did its work during dinner, and then we had some delicious blackberry ice cream for dessert.
I had planned to have a family picnic this summer, but we had to settle for Jim's staff picnic at school. The night before faculty in-service began, the school staff and their families got together for a picnic at the school. Jim grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecue chicken. All the families brought salads, side dishes, burger toppings, and desserts to share. It was a fun night!
Our garden is growing and growing, and we are just finally starting to harvest some veggies!
Hawkins Family Summer List
4. Go to the sprinkler park
5. Have a garage sale
10. Go putt-putting
12. Go to the Lego store
13. Paint our bedroom
15. Drew - learn to ride a bike
17. Drew and Jim - go to a Home Depot craft morning
19. Keep up with our garden box - Tomatoes and peppers are growing, and we've picked a few tomatoes!
20. Go to the dentist - We have appointments for the end of August and in September!
21. Organize the bedrooms -
23. Maddie - try potty training