June has been a month of outdoor fun for the whole McCrory family. (Even Katya has taken to frequenting the front porch with us.) Pat has enjoyed grilling out (I think...) and Israel is cleaning our front porch with his knees several times a week (and we don't even have to pay him!). One of the most beautiful outdoor times have been the meals we've eaten on Thursday evenings in the best backyard in Muncie (not ours...). We've had that time to hang out with some of the Muncie Alliance interns, which is great, since we don't get to do that as often as we used to. Pictured here is Beka, who has been one of Israel's babysitters. I think he likes her. Adam (with the dreds) and Pat enjoyed some good conversation about all kinds of creative ideas about life. Lisa (in the black and white) has been a wonderful host and provided us with an assortment of quiches and fresh fruits and veggies. These evenings have been laid back and wonderful. The dog plays, Israel explores (sometimes more than we want him to) and we get to enjoy some good company and take in all kinds of beauty. Who could ask for more?
Our garden is in full swing as well. We have had a time with the peas, which the rabbits seem to love, but most of the other things are growing well, including the weeds. We don't get out there as often as we'd like sometimes, but when we do, Pat and Israel and Sophie run around a whole lot. Israel thinks being chased by the dog while in his dad's arms is hilarious. While he doesn't seem to like pulling weeds very much, you can tell he likes being outside by the amount of dirt he brings home with him from these ventures. More often then not, an evening in the garden also means a bed-time bath. And more often than not, a bedtime bath means a funny hairdo to sleep on. This was one of the best.
Israel had another first this month: camping. It wasn't our usual out in the woods, five hours from home camping, but it was nice. We paid a visit to Josh and Michelle and baby Heron. They graciously provided us with all the materials we forgot at home and we slept in the yard where they live on the Lett property in Eaton. (If you were at our wedding, we camped out right about where the tent was for our reception.) I was admittedly apprehensive about the idea, but really wanted to give it a shot to see if we could handle something a little more adventurous later in the year. It went REALLY well! Israel could not have enjoyed himself more and was quite fascinated by the tent. All four of us (that's Pat, me, Israel, and Sophie) slept all night in the tent with no problems other than forgetting our pillows! We cooked over a fire, roasted marsh- mallows after Israel went to bed, and had an indoor pancake breakfast the next morning with Michelle and Heron. It felt like an overnight vacation! Thanks, guys!
In case you can't tell, Israel is growing and growing. We will have his nine month doctor's visit tomorrow to find out just how much! He seems to have temporarily lost interest in walking, as he can crawl and pull himself up in order to get just about anywhere he wants to go. He can wave bye-bye (and say it, too...) when he feels like it, which is most often during meal-time. I don't know why. He likes crawling all over the dog and anyone else lying on the floor. He likes to feed himself now (which makes things both easier and more difficult at the same time). The video below is of when he first started to do it; he's nearly a pro now. His favorite food is currently tofu and he seems to like Pat's lentil-burger recipe quite a bit, even if his mom doesn't like the "end result." He seems to be getting between two and four new teeth. He tries to imitate consonant sounds a lot and gives zerberts when you least expect it. He laughs at strangers as long as they don't try to hold him and is a pretty fun guy to be around if you have the energy to keep up! Here are some peeks at Israel doing the things he does the best.