Into the summer we go.....

Well we are fast approaching the end of June and in this house after this, I think summer is going to go all too quickly.  We have so far enjoyed a few beach days pre-summer vacation at both Grand Haven State Park and then at Ludington State park.  It was fantastic to be able to get out.  I am now (as of tomorrow) 26 weeks pregnant with our final child - a son.  So I am actually starting to feel the effects of needing to slow down (especially seeing as this is our 5th!); but before I slow down here are some up coming things we have planned:

A yard sale this week - Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  We did this last year and it was a huge success! We are trying to raise money for our family to join with the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation in August to go speak with congress reps in Washington DC.  We inform them about hydrocephalus, how it affects people in their community that they represent, there is no cure for this and yet our children's only hope of existence is with MANY brain surgeries in order to survive.
For those that may not remember, our little Willow is the reason we do this, as she was born with hydrocephalus and we did not know until she was 2 1/2 months old.  Her first surgery was done at the age of 4 months and 2 days - and then she had 11 other brain surgeries for various reasons (malfunctions, allergic reactions to the shunt, infections).  She had a total of 12 brain surgeries in her first 16 months of life - April 26, 2011 to April 5, 2012.  It seemed like we lived in the hospital during that time, and I unfortunately missed a lot of my older children's lives that year because of it.  I am upset for having to help her with all of this, instead we embraced it and her in our lives and working with the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation helps with that.

Now after our yard sale this week, we will be planning the 4th of July family fun (whatever that will look like this year we are not quite sure yet).  We usually stay here in the city and watch the fireworks in Grand Rapids, but I think it may be fun to branch out and see what else we can find instead! So if you know of anything cool going on, let me know - LOL.

The end of July marks the beginning of Jonathan's fun and our lives without him (so to speak).  He leaves for a week for Boy Scout camp, returns home long enough for us to do his laundry and repack him so that he can head out to Blue Lake Fine Arts camp for 11 days of intense learning with his violin!  He is quite excited about that.  Then he returns home from that and a day and a half later we leave to head to DC!  So I only have him home for a few more weeks, and it just seems so surreal at this point how crazy his life will be!  The rest of the kids get to hang out with me, and we will be doing various fun activities with mom's group and friends and trips to parks and such... But nothing compares to the family trip to DC :)

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday next week, (boy did that one sneak up on me already) and a great rest of your summer.. School will be starting again soon, and with that comes the anticipation of our little one's arrival! :)

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