Sunday, October 22, 2017

Trunk or Treat 2017

Why wait until actual Halloween to have fun in costumes?  The twins' costumes arrived this week and they've been trying them out around the house. Everly has been planning on being a butterfly now for months and Grant finally settled on a dinosaur. (Because it is green and has a tail.) They loved going to school for "Trunk or Treat" and carried their bags all though the line. 

Happy early Halloween from my black cat, runner girl, cherry blossom princess, flapper, butterfly and dinosaur! 

Monday, October 16, 2017


I think I say this every month, but this season has really been a whirlwind. We've already had several bouts of sickness in the midst of school starting, volleyball games, and new schedules. But, we did have the opportunity to celebrate ten (TEN!) years of life for our sweet Brinnly last month.

She is such a gem, that girl. She's fancy and feisty. She is such a tenderheart, especially with the twins, but then keeps right up with her classmates, even though she is technically younger than most of them. I love that she's a runner and up for trying new sports and music as well. Reading is still her favorite pastime, especially when its of the fantasy genre. She loves cooking, baking, and trying new ethnic foods but still avoids most fruit. She loves chocolate, camping, and motorcycles--I always say she's a perfect combination of her grandmothers.  She may be a whole decade old, but she's still quick to cuddle up to her parents. We had a blast celebrating her big birthday with a swimming party at the Y with her whole class. Her menu choices of a donut cake and lasgana soup were pretty fantastic too. 

 Brinnly Ruth Ward, you bring each member of our family such joy in your unique way. We are so thankful that God gave us you as such a special gift. We know he will continue to use to do great things!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Summer Fun 2017

We had a fantastic summer. We really enjoyed being home together, swimming a ton, celebrating birthdays, traveling to Michigan and Indiana, and appreciating Milwaukee's attractions. The older girls were a huge help with the twins and Everly and Grant just loved playing with their sisters. Neighbor kids were here often too and it seemed like we were always serving snacks, pulling out board games, or handing them books to read to the twins. In the evenings the middle of our cul-de-sac was the place to be and all of the kids would play their made-up games together. So fun to watch!  Oh, and we remodeled our basement! That just added to the busyness and fullness of our house--construction workers here almost daily. Grant especially loved it.  Thank you Summer 2017 for such lovely memories. ( Here's a link to our Google Photos album of some of my favorite shots of the beautiful warm weather months. )

Monday, August 28, 2017

First Day

We now have a Sixth Grader, a Fifth Grader, a Third Grader, and a Kindergarten girl!  It was a rush of emotions over the past few days since we've all loved summer so much this year.  And it is so. much. work. to get ready for a new school year, But they all had wonderful first days of school and I'm so proud of them.  God's blessings on students, teachers, and schools of all kinds!

Because they are now Wisconsin girls,we celebrated the first day with frozen custard and cheese fries.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bookworm Gardens and and a new Lake Michigan beach

We had a wonderful day trip to Sheboygan this past Sunday. At breakfast, we made the spur-of-the-moment decision to make the hour-long drive north after church that day. The "Bookworm Gardens" has been on my bucket list and I was still hoping to squeeze it in this summer. It did not disappoint!  It's a lovely botanical gardens based on children's literature. It was so well-done with hidden book clues among the landscape and plenty of interactive areas. Here's just a few snapshots...I have LOTS more to download on the better camera. 
Click-clack Moo

This was a sensory digging table near "Mr. MacGregor's Garden"

Mr. MacGregor's Shed--behind the gate. Everly closed Jonathan in there over and over and couldn't stop giggling,

The Giant's shoes!

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Magic School Bus

After the Gardens closed, we headed to a small beach a few miles away. Sheboygan's beaches are much different than Milwaukee's!  The sand is beautiful and much more like the Michigan side. We hadn't brought swimsuits, but the kids played it in anyway. Grant was so funny...he must never have seen waves before because he kept saying "the water is getting me!", like it was a game of chase.

It was a lovely day and the kids were thrilled to drive thru Burger King on the way home for dinner. They still had plenty of room for ice cream when we got home and it helped everyone feel a bit better about school starting this week.

Monday, August 07, 2017


Eight years ago this month our beautiful burst of sunshine entered our lives. Our only Michigan-born girl, Carrigan Grace. She loves to hear the story of how she was born when a lot of things were challenging in life, and her sweet personality was exactly what we needed. Her lovely blond curls and bright blue eyes charmed us so,

Fast forward to today, and she's right in the middle of our family with a personality all her own. She's our biggest homebody and loves times like family game nights or drinking tea with her mommy. She's an early bird, like her sister Amalia, bu then prefers to lie around reading for a good chunk of the morning.  During the summer, you can find her zipping down the street on her bike all evening long. She's a fast runner too and does well in sports like that. She enjoys school and her class is just the sweetest. They are all best friends (all eight of them!) and the four girls in there spend their recess time in a pretend gymnastic class.

Carrigan's biggest fan is Everly although Grant is a close second. They love to climb up in her bunkbed to visit her in the morning. She may struggle at times to get along with certain sisters (especially when chores are involved) but she's quick to forgive and find her way back to the group, especially when there is a game like Scattagories involved. Her humor is top-notch (instrument playing with cleaning toys during devotions!)  and she's thoughtful and sensitive.  She still loves fruit, art, reading, long fingernails, pierogis, scary movies, and the color green. Her newest thrill this year was riding the American Eagle at Six Flags and I think more roller coasters are definitely in her future,

Carrigan Grace--we love you so very much.  Next year we'll try harder to make sauerkraut pierogis happen for your birthday dinner!