Sunday, September 14, 2014

It is Fall Y'all!!

Yesterday we went to Jonamac Orchard to kick off our fall festivities (you know since it went from 80 to like 40 degrees!!). We joined the Schumacher clan and picked apples, jumped on giant pillow things, played, and waited in line for apple donuts for WAY TOO LONG (don't worry they were worth it). Really if there is another way to celebrate the coming of Fall I am unaware.

While we were watching our kids jump; and by watching I mean we were mostly talking and occasionaly doing a head count we saw a dad jumping on the pillow thing that looked just like a friend form college- no wait it WAS Jason's friend and roommate from college! Love running into people...there are 6 more kids in tow between us than the last time we saw each other!

our taste testers and pickers

love these girlies!

Yeah for family near us!!

Last year we went apple picking just a few days before this little man was born. Seems like forever ago and yesterday all at once.

And our boy didn't let the fact that he (barely) has 4 teeth stop him from tasting them apples!

seriously how cute are these two?

cousin time is the best!

fall also equals climbing on hay in our book

the apple train

And alas we finally got our long awaited (seriously there were many texted exchanged between the guys waiting in line and the Mamas wrangling all kiddos...but that is how much we needed them donuts people!) fresh apple donuts!
Dear creator of apple donuts, I think you are both brilliant AND evil because we cannot make ourselves stop!!
Happy Fall Y'all,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

starting school, an ice cream social, & decorating cupcakes

First day of 3rd grade at her new school JT Manning.

This girl has gone from school in Africa, to home-school, to Chicago Public Schools, to a new public school. She has been through so much change but also has a gift to make friends quickly.  There were tears every day the first week but she now reports that she has lots of friends and her teacher never stops smiling.

First day of Evy's second year of preschool.

This is Miss Robin her teacher at the YMCA.  Miss Evy is going 3 days a week this year and each Wednesday she gets to take swimming lessons! She cried about going to school the first day but bounded into the car after and exclaimed "I love my new school!"

The first day of school for Anni the girls had a surprise for them when we got home and they were so excited. It was fun to see how pumped they were to get special themed treats.

Our prayer pencils! We prayed for each one and that God would guide, protect, nurture, and be with the girls as they go to school this year.

The last night of Crusin' in downtown Westmont...gotta love Evy's poses.

My mom and brother got us an aweosme, crazy big playset for our backyard!! Consider that an invite to come over and play!

Last week Annikah invited a little boy she saw riding his bike in the alley over to play on our playset and I soon met his mother who is our next door neighbor! We headed to the Back to School Ice Cream Social together.

sack races

the fire department let the kids tour their trucks

The firemen opened up the hoses and let the kids run in the street in front of the school!

It was crazy awesome!

Annikah even got a turn to use the hose!
At the end of last school year a friend had a cupcake party and my girls loved the idea.  When they were so sad about our move they suggested we have a party to make friends and I thought it was brilliant! So we had our own cupcake decorating party and invited all the girls and their parents from Anni and Evy's classes.  It was great to meet the girls and parents and make sure they know our home is always open.It was messy, loud, and fabulous chaos!

Grateful we have been busy and making new friends because this transition is tough!! We are trying to decorate our way through.
The beginning of the school year is the stuff of new starts and for us this is one of many new beginnings.
Happy start of school.

SKG shopping date

Anni and I have continued our mama-daughter dates this summer.  To be honest every time it feels like fighting for that space and time; getting babysitters, shuffling the kids, and coordinating schedules but each time we meet together to focus on our beautiful, unique, and special girls I sense God's presence.  Parenting can feel like "managing" a lot of the time but these dates where we intentionally create space and talk through important topics have been life giving.  It helps that I get to walk through these dates with other awesome women and their fabulous daughters!!

This last SKG date was about beauty, modesty, and style and was a shopping date with friends.  We looked through books that showed fashion through the ages and talked about different styles and how our fashion can show our personality, follow trends, and be unique. We also talked about peer pressure and body image; being honest with the girls about our mistakes and what we have learned being "old and wise." On the drive home Anni asked me in the "old days" when I was a kid if I had to wear a corset. So that was awesome.   The girls learned the "tests" clothing must pass in order to be appropriate and enable us to play and move freely.

Then we turned them loose and allowed them to pick up some outfits to try on and give each other feedback. It was pretty adorable! I realized Anni had never gone to a store to pick out an outfit just for fun and she had a blast! She picked this dress and a scarf in the end.

The final outfits!

Friends have such a deep impact on who become as girls and young women and these relationships are precious to us.  I'm grateful we get to journey together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor day weekend, Anni turns 8, and saying goodbye to summer

Summer you are always so good to us and for that we say thank you. A million times THANK YOU.

 This weekend we squeezed every last ounce out of summer by heading to Lake Geneva after a quick visit with Bibi Rhoda and Babu Jim so they could see our new digs and wish Miss Anni a happy birthday.

Free pancakes at Egg Harbor for the birthday girl!

love watching Anni open her presies.

We love us some Auntie Katy time!!

tradition: bday number pancakes in bed.

AND Bday ice cream sundae bar. We take our bday celebrating seriously around here.

There was lots of boating and jet skiing and swimming to fill our days

our captain Babu

tubing with Auntie Katy

and mama :) and yes, I think I may have made that face the entire time

Uncle Rob and Mel got in on it too- everyone had to tub with the birthday girl

some of us preferred the pool .....(and gotta love the strategically placed plastic shovel)

not everyone was always happy. true story.

Oh, we ALL also ate like a boss.

There was also late night board games that carried over to lazy afternoons. This picture is sooooo real life: Papa won monopoly and the girls'clearly were thrilled. The hashtag on this one would read: goodsports or sorelosers.

Life at the lake is pretty fabulous y'all! Grateful my parents let us crash the joint all summer,