School's Out for the Summer

 For the first time in nearly seven years of living overseas, Tim and I decided to stay home for the summer. For clarity, since home is a relative term, we chose not to travel back to the states and forego road-tripping all over kingdom come in favor of a slower paced six weeks here in Jarabacoa. Don’t get me wrong, we always LOVE our time back…long car trips, family reunions, sleepovers with besties, Mexican food binges, sightseeing and exploring, coffee dates with dear friends, thrift store scavenging, Dairy Queen blizzards…SO good! In all seriousness, we wanted to aprovechar possibly our last opportunity to live a summer in the Dominican. And truly, it’s been great--tranquilo but full of all the good stuff. BuenĂ­simo!

So here are few highlights of our first month of summer...

Grandma Jules' ten day visit! It was a full and blessed time. She spoiled us with lots of goodies from the states, taught Char how to be a super swimmer, and discovered an affinity for Colombian food. Mostly, she just dove in and did life with us. It was a treat but went by too fast.
Card making. Tim made me a website that's meant to help kickstart my dreams of an art business. You can check it out while it's under construction at www.epiphanyart.net. Meanwhile, I'm having a blast painting and selling cards here as a little side job.
Lazy mornings together:) Since Tim has had a more flexible work schedule, Charlotte's enjoyed daddy being home to cuddle in her crib with her in the morning. 
Pool dates with "Moggie!" as Char affectionately calls her. We are so sad that this dear friend/adopted family member is moving in the fall, but abundantly thankful for stolen time this summer.
Unexpected hangouts with high school girls like this one, recent Doulos graduate Melissa Murillo. Char can't quite fill her shoes yet. Girl, you are a treasure who will be sorely missed.
Pallet project for Charlotte's room. Mom and I started it together--we cleaned and sanded it down, pulled off all the wood, laid chicken wire, nailed back on a few boards, painted some colors from her room and pasteled the words, all for less than two bucks!
Reading to Charlotte with our precious neighbor. Lissette comes over a few days each week to practice English, paint with me, or play with Charlotte. 
Spontaneous trips to the beach. We left last Friday for a short overnight to the north coast to reunirse with some friends. Chris Buster was here from Austin and Doug and Margaret hosted us at the Makarios House in Montellano.