Hello, stranger.

My, my...has it really been 4 months since my last post? How is that possible? We've been having too much fun this summer, it would seem.

In May, our family flew back to the mainland to visit our family in our home state of Texas. The kiddos and I stayed an entire month, my husband joining us for two weeks of travel time before returning back to Hawaii for work. Although a month sounds like a long, leisurely visit, it was truly a whirlwind. We began our adventure (all four of us) in San Antonio with my husband's family, then drove down to Houston to meet my brand-spanking-new niece, then drove back to San Antonio for a few days before heading north to Lake Texoma to be with my dad and stepmom. From the lake, we drove back down south to Fort Worth, visiting a dear aunt and uncle before putting my husband on a plane back to Hawaii. After dropping him at the airport, the kids and I stayed in Fort Worth a few more days, then headed north to Oklahoma City to see my grandmother and extended family before moseying back to Lake Texoma to spend time with my mom. After that, it was back to Dallas-Fort Worth to catch a flight home. Whew!

During our trip, we played, danced, climbed, swam, explored, and ate our weight in delicious Mexican food. It was such a wonderful time. Here are a few photos I captured during our adventures:

(Click any image to enlarge)

The day after returning home from our trip, my son began a 5-week intensive cello course. The class met every day, five days per week, from 2:45-3:45p.m.  In downtown Honolulu. Doesn't sound like a big deal, until you realize that means a daily commute across the island in rush hour traffic in the city with THE WORST traffic in the U.S. Ugh. Aiden's hour-long lesson required a 4-hour time commitment each day, and although it was a beating, it was so worth it. Aiden fell in love with the cello and learned so much--seeing him play the final concert was worth the hours of traffic with two whiney kids. Well...mostly.

After cello camp, we entered into the 'camp phase' of summer. Aiden spent three nights at junior high church camp, and then the following week, he and his sister spent a week at sleep-away camp. That's right--Brad and I had one GLORIOUS week sans children. The kids had a blast at camp--Aubrey actually cried when she left camp--and Brad and I thoroughly enjoyed a week of dinners out, adult conversation, and a clean house that stayed clean.

After camp week, it was time to begin our homeschooling year. And that takes us into the present. We are officially three weeks into our third academic year of homeschooling. This year brings a new curriculum and a new set of adventures. The kids are (so far) enjoying the new schedule and curriculum and slowly we are establishing our new routine--which means I finally have some free time to edit the backlog of photos from this summer and update the blog. I photographed my first birth and have some other exciting news to share in the days to come, so stay tuned for the updates!