Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer List - Why We Didn't Do As Much of the List as We Wanted To, Making Kebabs and Homemade Ice Cream, and a Picnic

Well, summer is pretty much over.  Jim and Drew went back to school last week, and today is Labor Day.  We got several things from our summer list done, but some things just never fit our schedule or our weather.  We also had some unforeseen events, some costly, this summer that changed a lot of our plans around.
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.
My van got broken into the following week, while Jim's car was still out of commission from the flood.  The thieves stole my Ipod and tried to steal the whole van, but were unsuccessful, thankfully!  In their attempt, they ripped out my ignition, which left the car inoperable.  With two deductibles to pay and having to go without the van for almost a week, we had to adapt our plans!

Make Kebabs
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.
 We put the meat in the middle of the skewers and the veggies on either end of the skewers (to hold the meat in place.
 My dad did the grilling on the back deck.
 We had a fabulous Mediterranean dinner with the kebabs, some couscous salad, pita chips with a white bean puree, and tzatziki sauce.  Everything was delicious!
 Drew was the one who wanted to put kebab making on our summer list.  He had seen kebabs somewhere and thought they looked fun, so he was excited about trying them.  My brother-in-law helped him take his meat and veggies off of the skewer.  Drew loves sausage, so it was no surprise that he really enjoyed his kielbasa kebab!

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.
 The ice cream was smooth, creamy, and delicious!  What a fun treat!

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!

 Maddie amused herself on the playground while the adults were playing a game.  I can't believe her fearlessness!
Garden Box
Our garden is growing and growing, and we are just finally starting to harvest some veggies!
 We picked a few tomatoes this week.
 Some of our green peppers are getting almost big enough to pick!

Hawkins Family Summer List
1.  Drew - Barnes and Noble summer reading program
2.  Make homemade ice cream
3.  Grill pizza and s'mores
4.  Go to the sprinkler park
5.  Have a garage sale
6.  Make a strawberry pie
7.  Go to the library
8.  Get Sonic shakes in our jammies (They are half-price after 8:00 pm!)
9.  Have a picnic
10.  Go putt-putting
11.  Go to Metro Beach
12.  Go to the Lego store
13.  Paint our bedroom
14.  Go to the dairy farm
15.  Drew - learn to ride a bike
16.  Drew - go to choir camp
17.  Drew and Jim - go to a Home Depot craft morning
18.  Make kebabs
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 - Drew, Maddie, Us
22.  Go to a baseball game
23.  Maddie - try potty training
24.  Go to Dress Like a Cow Day at Chick-Fil-a
25.  Go bowling

I will probably do one last summer list post in September since we have a few things that we really do still plan to cross off the list.  Some things are just not going to happen, and that is fine with us, but there are a few that are still scheduled, so I will post about those later this month.

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