This summer has been pleasantly cooler and less humid than in recent years. Corbin acquired Grandpa's old riding lawn mower. Everyone jokes he finally got his go-cart! I am thrilled to never need to ask someone to mow again... he's right on top of it. Here he is trying it out for the first time:
He has since then painted it bright orange with blue and white flames. Classy, huh?
The girls, meanwhile, have been spending days at a friend's farm. They love helping her with the bunnies, cats, and chicks. Here's Anna with her favorite bunny, Calico:
Nora with a cute bunny:
Anna with a little bunny:
Rosa even was willing to get a little dirty and help out:
And a final shot of one of the rabbit hutches with Calico waiting at the door for Anna:
Back at home, the girls enjoy getting out the kiddie pool and slip-n-slide whenever it is hot enough to do so. Nora discovered how to make her flip-flop like Moses parting the Red Sea:
And here's a picture of Ella playing with some pink netting at home:
The big event of the summer was attending the big regional convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Milwaukee's Miller Park Stadium. The attendance each day was around 30,000! We loved seeing so many friends we hadn't seen in years and making new ones. Here we are the first day, getting settled in our seats:
We had a great view of the jumbotron and the stage below. Brother Splane was our key speaker tied in from New Jersey.
At lunchtime they opened the retractable roof.
Here is another shot of it opening. That afternoon fighter jets roared overhead, scaring the kids. Thankfully the next two days were too foggy for the air show they had planned!
And here is the little "take my picture!"
One of the highlights of the convention: new releases!
Here's the girls waiting while we clean our section:
A local television news crew was even there reporting on the event:
With a population of over 500,000, Milwaukee is certainly a big city. This can be good: the boys loved to be able to try some real Dunkin' Donuts coffee. They loved it! (And the rest of us loved the donuts!)
But large cities have some not so good things, too. We woke one morning to police vehicles all over the parking lot of our hotel.
And this is what we were greeted with when we opened our room door!
No worries, though. By the time we returned that evening, everything was back to normal.
A brother had restored an old car and made it look like an old Bible Student's car for preaching in the early 1900s. Here are the kids in front of it with our new book:
After the last day of the convention we decided to go see Lake Michigan. (Alex decided we were crazy and chose to stay in the hotel room.) We were hoping the fog would have lifted, but about a mile before the lake we found ourselves in fog. Determined, we found a local public park and decided to walk around a bit. It was awesome! We felt like we were walking in a cold rainforest, and with no mosquitoes!
Pretty wildflowers abounded. The fog was ever-present, dripping water from the trees above.
Finally we saw the lake. Well, we saw the fog and heard the water lapping the shore.
We decided to walk the trail a bit longer and see if we could get to the shore and throw in some rocks. Ella stopped to smell the flowers.
It was so calm and beautiful. The foggy mists swirled around, birds sang, the water lapped the shore, and the cool drips of water gently kissed our heads. (Did I mention NO mosquitoes!?!?!!) Ahhh...
We managed to find a beach, and the kids quickly kicked off their shoes and waded in.
Nora went to work finding cool rocks.
Ella wanted to go farther in. It was hard to imagine this as a huge lake when the fog made it look so small.
Around this time, Corbin noticed the dead fish. They were everywhere! In the water, on the beach, next to our shoes. Yuck! So we told the girls to wrap up their rock hunting.
One last photo of Lake Michigan:
(Yes, Corbin's shoes are that painful to look at in real life, too!) We started wandering back to the van. Here's Corbin and Caleb:
and the girls in the rain:
One last shot of them all in the forest.
We are so glad we went to Milwaukee!