Our first official month of summer did not disappoint. It was filled with day trips to fun new places, a visit from our Tennessee cousins and lots of work outside our home. And it was hot. Oh. My. Word. It was a hot month. Lots of air conditioning and pool visits to fit in between all the fun.
To kick off the month of June, we picked strawberries in my dad’s garden! He planted strawberries when my oldest son was born and every year the kids know them as “grandpa’s strawberries”. They are the best. I canned lots and lots of freezer strawberry jam to enjoy the rest of this year. We also enjoyed strawberry shortcake and strawberry pie. All things strawberry for about a week – and then they were gone…
And baseball. I love this time of year because of baseball. I also am glad when baseball is over. It’s such a great way to get out in the spring and get to know other parents. My boys both improved and love the game. But summer doesn’t really feel like it’s arrived until we’re done.
What We Accomplished This Month
In terms of the house. We’ve been working hard on the outside this summer. We planted grass where the trees were taken down and the stumps were removed. And I watered and I watered. And nothing. Then it finally started to rain mid-June and the grass grew. So what did I learn? It doesn’t matter. They need God’s help. I’m thankful to share that most of the grass came up except for one area. We’ll replant there later this fall.
We also assembled a picnic table to enjoy outside meals! We built an eight foot table using a kit we found at Menards. Of course, as soon as the project was completed it became entirely too hot to enjoy anything outside. We have yet to enjoy dinner outside, but when we do, this table will be ready!
One of my favorite things we accomplished was this fire pit. We took the bricks from the chimney in my grandpa’s machine shop and built the fire pit. It was something we had wanted to do for awhile. And from start to finish it took three hours. Three hours! Why didn’t we do it sooner?! I plan to document how we built it in an entirely different post so if you want to build one as well, you can see the details. But, isn’t she lovely? We enjoyed s’mores over the fire this past week despite the heat. Yum!
One of my favorite things we accomplished (and be “we”, I mean hired out) is the lightning rods. I have a fear of our my home being struck by lightning. I have not enjoyed a thunderstorm since we moved in because of it. I am weird, sometimes. We removed the original lightning rods that were in disrepair when we restored the roof. Since then we’ve been waiting for a gentleman from Indiana to come back into Ohio this summer to put new ones in.
I decided not to go with the really tall lightning rods like we originally had. Instead I opted for a taller than normal lightning rod that I think really balances the house. We also purchased and had installed the glass balls that make it look historical. They’re a little hard to see in this picture – or any picture for that matter because they are so high up. The balls are light green. And that rope in the picture? That was used to hold the lightning guy on the roof. Oh, my!
Bring on the thunderstorms!
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Day Trips and Travel
One of my goals this summer was to take the boys on a day trip every week. It’s not always worked out with our schedule but I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve had together. Here’s a few places we visited:
Neil Armstrong Museum – My oldest chose Neil Armstrong as someone to represent in his class last year. Since then we’ve been planning to visit. The museum was great, and the boys and I really enjoyed seeing a piece of the moon!
Velvet Ice Cream Ye Olde Mill – I haven’t been back since my days of venturing to 4-H camp, but this stop was a must this year. We enjoyed the ice cream and tour.
SPI-Spot – I stumbled onto this one. Just 12 miles from the Velvet Ice Cream factory, is this great science play place for kids. The boys LOVED it. And it was only $3 per person.
Country Variety Store – One our way home from the Neil Armstrong Museum we stopped at one of our favorite bulk food stores. I think the boys wanted ALL THE CANDY. And their signage always makes me smile.
In addition to our day trips, while our cousins visited, we also visited Cedar Point and the National Air Force Museum. It always amazes me how much there is to do in Ohio!
I know this was a June update, but in true me fashion, I’m late. So July 4th has come and gone and I just can’t not share all the awesomeness. First, the cousins were all in town from Tennessee AND Ohio for the 4th! It was a super special week. Independence Day is my favorite holiday of the year. I am patriotic and so a day to celebrate our country – well, I’m in! We ride in the back of my brother’s army truck in the parade and it’s so much fun!
The theme continued in that it was HOT. But we braved it out. And packed our day with the parade, a big picnic and fireworks.
Okay, so I have to just share with you what I saw on TV this past month. Our dining room light! It’s such a unique light that I’ve never seen another one anywhere… until I stumbled onto Salvage Dogs playing on the DIY network.
And there on the TV screen, was our dining room chandelier! We know it was actually a lamp that they ended up hanging up. Apparently someone else had the same idea. I emailed Salvage Dog about the lamp, and although it had already sold, they told me the little bit they knew about it. It’s called a slag lamp. I don’t typically watch the show because it makes me so sad when they tear down old houses – hello! You know I know that you can fix up and restore any old home to beauty. 🙂
Here’s what hangs in our dining room. (Please ignore the cobweb.) Same exact one. I was a bit sad it had already sold, but then again I don’t really need another one. While I’ll probably never see another one like it again, it was pretty cool to see it on TV.
All in all it was a great month! The visit from the cousins really pushed us to get a few things done like the fire pit and the picnic table. It was so fun to host everyone in our home (even with one bathroom!). I am blessed by our home and the ability to continue to welcome people into our doors to share the history as well as to make new memories.