Tuesday, October 4, 2022

September Recap

 September came and went. As I type this our weather has cooled down and it's a rainy, gloomy day. I made fresh subway loaf bread for our family for dinner tonight. We will have soup and sandwiches and feast together. It feels like fall. Officially fall. And I feel truly and deeply blessed. Tonight will be simple, just as I need it to be. Sometimes we all need that. 

September went by quickly, as most months do now. Here's a recap. 

When the weather was nice and we were still getting outside almost daily:

Monte made us this gigantic outdoor table and we have loved it so much this first month. 
We got out for some archery practice and a long walk!
I had a friend who celebrated her 40th and I took her a quick little gift, complete with one of my first sunflowers to bloom at my own house:
When we returned, Jayden insisted we put together some sunflowers just for us:
Each September this is and annual festival in the town our small school is in. Parents of the school bring food for a bake sale. So we made puppy chow:
I'm also really into making frittata these days:
So yummy! September also marks apple and pear harvest time. My mother-in-law came to help with that and we got so much done. 
The kids even got a ride on the tractor:

Our pears from one pear tree
                                                            Our apples from 2 apple trees
Grandma helping us process apples.

One weekend this month, I loaded up the boys and went back to my hometown. My grandfather passed away last year and my grandmother also went to the nursing home last year. The house is officially sold but I went back and got to say one final goodbye to the home and all the memories I cherish. So many moments from my childhood that shaped a piece of who I am. 

We also got out and explored the area with my mother:
Grandma also came to our area for a work training and we got the privelage of meeting up for a swim and dinner out:
Back at home, we have enjoyed our chickens and letting them free range when we are around to keep an eye out for predators (mostly neighbors dogs):

Jayden begs for the bounce house any chance he gets:
The kids had school picture day:
Jayden wanted his picture taken as well. He's getting so tall:
While the kids are at school we try to bake at least once a week. Here we are making cookies together:
These cookies were a total hit as we were running close to pick up time (seems to be my style any more) and I made much bigger, less rounded balls of dough. The kids insisted grandma was hiding back at the house making these cookies since they were more her style (and definitely her recipe). 

We also work on preschool and here Jayden enjoyed making a shark after reading the book shark and fang:
And, of course, we are out and about playing as much as possible together.
                                          Here Jayden is getting some fun time in at the park.

Piano lessons are back in full swing and Payton is fully enjoying them:

After school the boys have enjoyed playing football together. 
We attended a family fun event our community hosted and we got to try kayaks for the first time. Payton was so brave and went on her own and loved it for the most part! Riley rode with me and warmed up to it a little and Jayden rode with Dad and loved his time. We were so thankful for this community day event in our small little town:
This same event also offered firepits to make hotdogs and s'mores and bounce in bounce houses along with lots of outdoor games. It was so fun and of course we did not pass up food...

The kids had one day off from school, our bonus days as we lovingly call them. It was a Friday and we cleaned house and then went to the coffee shop before stopping at the park to play. The perfect day to us:
The last week of the month was spirit week and the kids love to dress up for these days!
Dress like one of your favorite adults day! Both kids were staff at school. Payton was her teacher and Riley was the PE teacher.
Dress like your favorite movie character day. Payton was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter (a friend from school was Harry) and her Minnie Mouse was Bellatrix Lestrange. She earned a coupon pass for good behavior to take a stuffed animal on that day to school. Riley was Darth Vader and enjoyed have the costume (and mask) on at school!

We missed getting a picture of pajama day. Their dad took them to school that day and somehow we just all overlooked getting a picture, but they did participate! One of the easiest days for us to do.

And, finally, we made it to spirit day and FRIDAY! We were all glad it was the end of the week and ready for the weekend:
We rounded out the tail end of the month with Payton getting a haircut. She went super short and I am still adjusting but she has been begging for a short haircut for a long time. So far it is working better for her to maintain and care for it:


I hope your September went well, too! On to October we go!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Our August

 As I type this we are well back into the school routine but August was our end of summer. We did all the things we still hadn't checked off our summer bucket list (and if you know us you know that mean most of the things, that's how we seem to roll). We also sent kids back to school which is always a sad day for me. Another year of two kids in school and our 3rd at home with mama still. As one can imagine, the 3rd child transitioned back to school the best. The other two are still working on accepting summer has ended and fall is coming.

But, first, the end of summer:

We took many walks and Jayden blessed me with picked flowers on one of the walks:

Fresh country air is where it's at for us! We also got sunflowers on this walk:

I found a picture Jayden also took of Riley and I reading together one morning:
My boys are both early risers and we tend to snuggle up together and/or read books many mornings. 

We made homemade English muffins:
We also spotted grapes growing on our grapevine. This is the first year for this and was truly a delight to our family. I am not sure I will ever get over learning and watching how food is made in nature. And home grown always seems to beat out store bought any day:

We gave all the kids haircuts. This month Monte and I did haircuts at the same time and it really got us through the 5 of us quickly:

We have gotten outside for lots of play time!

I have a single lemon growing on my lemon tree! Yes, just one. So we are literally putting all our eggs in one basket and I am hoping this one makes it. But, so fun to see and watch. Another first time gardening experience and I am just so thankful for watching things come to fruition:

One of our summer bucket lists was to take a family vacation. We didn't do anything huge but it was such a blast to us. We went a few hours away and stayed at an airbnb for the first time! We went to one of our favorite zoos, rode the ferris wheel at the mall, shopped, tried out a new (to us) children's museum, saw a movie, and swam. Swam in a private pool! A royal treat and one that I hope our kids will always remember fondly. 

Our family
At the zoo with my zoo.
Payton and Jayden held butterflies at the zoo:
We also did a special surprise:
We went to the movies in downtown in a city!
And a trip to this town's children's museum:

On the ferris wheel!

Back at home, we swam and swam and swam some more:
We also moved some trees that started growing around:

                                           The kids also asked to play at the park a few more times:
So I offered for a picnic lunch there as well:
Our sweet neighbors surprised us with a cute note and some peaches and pears! I'm telling you, the simple little things do matter. So, if you read this and are considering serving someone in a small way, do it. You may never know how much it means to them but I assure you it will mean something.
                                       Kindness. This is how we really change the world.

I am back on a kick of making homemade bread as much as possible:
My mom came to the area for a few nights. I was lucky to make it up with Riley to see her and have some Chinese food:
Jayden and I went to the park on a date together and saw baby ducks:

I took the kids for ice cream one night when Monte was gone for work for the week. We survived and one day in particular we needed something to perk us up. It can be hard being the only parent for a week:
We ate the ice cream in the park with the hopes to play but were rained out. We celebrated and thanked God for this rain as our area desperately need the moisture.
Back at home, Monte snapped a picture one night of Payton sleeping with me. She asks the most to sleep in our bed but we let each child have one special night a month that they sleep in our room and they really treasure this time.
And a picture I got of her sleeping after a rough evening:
I sure hope this baby girl knows how much we love her.

Riley made scotcharoos that fit the needs of our food allergies. Jayden was so excited to have them and decided they are one of his favorite treats now:
We also had many ice cream at home nights:
                                                   And we just keep swimming and swimming:
One request the big kids had before we went back to school is to make it to the children's museum again so we made a special day trip for that:
Riley also requested the local pool one last time:

And a random picture where we checked the growth of our tree line. These trees started as tiny sticks and have grown so much recently. I'm hoping their roots are established and they will really take off now:
Jayden found some the food projects we did for preschool and requested the whole family do, so we did:

And, sadly, the day finally came to send my 2 big kids back to school. We all had mixed feelings about this day and are still trying to find our rhythm. 
             May this school year bless them and help them to grow in their learning and friendships. 

I also feel like I saw so many amazing clean kitchen pictures during this time on social media and mine looked like this:

Food prepping, eating quickly and trying to get out the door. This is the season of life where things are so busy. I have to force us to focus on slowing down. But, this is the life. 

With school back in session also means football games. We have spent a few Saturdays now cheering on our favorite college team. 

During the week, Jayden and I are finding our groove together just the two of us. Jayden loves picnics while simultaneously working on school work. I just love soaking up my time with him before he becomes a big kid and goes to school as well:

We have also squeezed in some swim time together:
And all around, he's just so much fun to be around.

Payton started back up with piano lessons as well and we use that time to take Riley and Jayden to the park to play. This is a change for us as last year the boys stayed home with dad during this time. But, we are loving this weekly trip to the park and will find something else to do (like the library) when it gets too cold:
The first week of school brought a good solid round of sickness and landed Riley in the ER for the first time:
So scary to watch a kid struggle. He is doing better now after antibiotics and a steroid. We are definitely grateful for times of good health.

And that's a wrap on our August. We said goodbye to summer and hello to another school year. My life is flying by and time just speeds up and speeds up. How lucky I am to be in this life and I try to soak up every second of it.

See you in the September recap!

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