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!

Friday, July 28, 2017

July, So Far

 We've been busy!  We started the month with a road trip to Michigan...
 Construction on the drive has been awful, but at least it gave us the chance to find a new favorite Chinese restaurant in Indiana!
 We celebrated the Fourth of July at Aunt Grace's house with a lovely view of the impressive Baroda fireworks.  Love this tradition!
 And the next day we went on our annual camping trip to Indiana Dunes.  The big girls set up their own tent!  They are always so proud of the decorations Grandma Deni bring to our site.

 We had lots of fun geocaching, hiking, swimming, and cooking yummy camp food. The weather was perfect until rain on the last night, so we packed up early and instead had our maple bacon pancakes at Aunt Kara's house.
 These two stayed in Michigan the first two nights but joined us for fun the last day.

 A few days later we came back to Michigan for Aunt Pam to visit!  And the annual "Cousins' Day" while she was in town. My mom's cousin's son took some amazing pictures that day that I need to link to this blog.

 Whenever Aunt Pam is around, there's always a conga line.
 I guess Grant was tired so Everly pulled him home.  They've been loving playing outside!
And we had a pet for a week!  The preschool guinea pig, "Pumpernickel", visited us for a few days. The twins loved him. Grant was reading him a bedtime story in this shot.