July was our first full month in Florida without our family that came to help us move.
Therefore, it was also our first month to celebrate the Fourth of July without family. In Illinois, we would always spend the day with Dave’s family that came in out of town. We would go to the parade and fireworks together and then just hang out the rest of the day. We had no idea what to do in Florida as it was so hot and most towns did not have a parade. (I couldn’t find any online, but later I found out there was one somewhat close to us — but we didn’t want to sit outside in the heat anyway.)
An older man in the church asked if people that didn’t have family could come to the church and we could all grill out together and play games in the gym. So that’s what we did. After we spent time with those who came, we borrowed one of the church member’s pontoon boat and went out on a local lake with another family. The kids and dads even got in the lake a couple of times to swim. Later people told us that there are alligators in that lake, but we didn’t see any. At least we were way out in the middle of the lake, and the lake had been churned up very well by the boat. I don’t know if we’ll do that again though. People do go water skiing and tubing on that lake all the time.
We quickly found out that about the only good thing to do in the summer is stay inside or swim. We went to Clearwater Beach one day — which was beautiful but very crowded and not easy on our eyes with scantily dressed ladies. We decided to stick to less populated beaches after that visit. We also were able to swim at a couple of the elderly ladies in our church who have adopted our family and let us swim in their pools.
A first experience for four of our kids was going to a circus that came to Tampa. It was nothing like the 3 ring circus I had been to as a child, but it was a lot of fun to watch. It was inside too, which was nice.
We enjoy seeing some of the native animals that live all around us. We have big birds that frequent the lake right behind our house, and it is interesting to see these big turtles that live in the lakes beside/behind us and also to see armadillos up close.
Karis and I had a mother-daughter date in July. I do this with my girls when they are around 11 years old. We go to Red Robin Restaurant and then go into the mall and they can get their ears pierced. It’s a fun time for both of us.
And then, many of activities revolve around the church. I am in the older ladies Sunday School class. My husband is not in Sunday School as he is talking to people or getting ready to preach for church, so I decided to join their class (with one other lady my age.) They are fun to be around, and they have so much wisdom they can share with me. They love each other and look out for each other as almost all of them are in their 70’s and 80’s and a couple are even in their 90’s. Of course, as a Baptist church, we also have our fellowships where we eat and talk.
Hopefully, you enjoyed that peek into our life. I am trying to do these more often so that I get caught up with these monthly posts!