LATELY : : SEPTEMBER

I’m not sure why, but every month this year has been packed with work and travel and friends and a new seasons obligations. Sadly, not much lounging in our underwear Sunday best watching cartoons went on in the past nine months. It’s been great. Just different.

Every single day in October is equally as packed, if not more so.

I’ve decided to do a monthly round-up of goings on. Over-looked photos and photographs from early posts will be used. I want to remember it all. In this month’s case, half are blurry phone photos, as I didn’t use the Nikon much and the camera on my phone is busted (didn’t stop me from using it, as you’ll see).

* THIS IS A  L O N G  POST, YA’LL!

We hungout with Nutmeg for the first time. She actually fell asleep on Rae’s shoulder for a bit.

Rae checkin’ her specks before heading down the road to “Cousin’s Day” at Aunt Teresa’s.

Random photos taken to brighten Aunt Sarah’s day.

We’ve been floating around town on Tuesdays and Thursdays during our two hours without Rae. I’ve enjoyed being home more (which I did not expect!), but maybe because it was so hot for most of this month.

We started learning about kings (of all places, backgrounds, and timelines) – but have taken a break for a bit, since Mae requested a new topic. She was loving this, so we’ll come back to it.

Mae wrote a poem on the fly. Not unusual for her, but check out that rhyming!

We’ve begun learning about Abraham Lincoln (per Mae’s request), and boy is she enjoying it!

She wants to learn about the man who “cancelled slavery.” (as she puts it)

This project will get its own post once we’re done and have visited the Lincoln Museum in IL. Fieldtrip!!

Zack and I went on trip with the youth into the city. My mom watched the girls for us, and our wonderful cousin Marsha watched Buckey boy for us.

Zack and I got to take a few rides on the motorcycle, together. We also went to his class so I could learn how to throw on the wheel. My first project (above) turned out perfectly. I still can’t believe it.

We actually had more time on the porch in August, but we did have a few chilly mornings and tried to take advantage of it.

We filled that precious, fleeting time just reading books. Short stories and chapter books.

^ Worse than normal phone-bad quality, due to my cracked lens but still worth posting.

On our last visit to my mother-in-law’s house, the girls traded skills and taught each other dance specifics and gymnastic stretches.

The girls walked across the street in their beloved leotards so they could ‘perform’ for Pawpaw and Deedee (Zack’s grandparents). They were impressed, I’m sure.

Buckey had a check-up at the vet. Never far from his BFF or the open box of treats set down on his level.

We got a new bunbun. We’re still completely smitten with her. I hope she lives forever and ever and ever and…

We went apple picking with my sister-in-law, Jenny.

Mae started her second year of dance! None of those are of her in dance class, but check out the fresh pre-class, no frizz hair! -and my girls always sitting soclose to one another.

Reading chapter books on the top bunk became a thing. On this night, we read Spiderwick Chronicles (book one), in one sitting…and then took [too many] photos of silly faces. (The front lens works on my camera. Who doesn’t love selfies, right?? Ugh.)

Rae fell asleep on the way home (one of our many trips to St. Louis this month), and Mae took advantage of Momma’s 42 percent battery life and her sister’s phenomenal deep sleep abilities.

Rae managed to get cuter. I thought she reached the highest level a human can reach. That last photo did me in.

Mae also managed to get more hip, and here I am, covered in her dust. (Not that I’ve ever been hip. Obvious, since I’ve used the word hip three times now.) I stand just like she’s standing, but I look like a dweeb with scoliosis and she looks like a tween model.

SCHOOL, LATELY

I started schooling Mae when she was three. Rae was a year old, and took a lot of naps, so Mae and I had quite a bit of one on one time for school and play.

Fast forward four years and we’ve made it back to that glorious time together.

This time around, however, she can read and write. What a difference that makes.

She asks questions that stop me in my tracks. She’s always been an “old soul,” but now I am seeing a new version of what that means for her. She absorbs information, ideas, and theories so brilliantly. Constantly in awe of her. – Maybe this is normal for a nearly seven year old, but I don’t remember being seven, so I’ma ganna gush on m’lady like its a new thing. Thanks for indulging.

She is very interested in science. All things science. Anatomy (of humans, animals, and bugs), Astronomy, experiments (baking soda + vinegar type biz), studying nature, and weather. If she gets interested in time travel, Daddy will be tackling that nonsense.

On Rae’s school days, we pick a spot outside – a park, a river, a cemetery or a lake. We get formal school work done, and then fill the rest of our time by exploring.

If we’re at a park, we’ll hike, follow squirrels as quickly and as far as we can, or simply collect nuts, bugs, and leaves.

If we’re at a cemetery, we’ll spend our time reading the oldest headstones and making up an interesting life story or researching origins of surnames.

If we’re at a lake or river we’ll fish, and observe spider webs and tadpoles.

Climbing a tree is an option everywhere we go. We love ourselves a good, low branch.

We also hit up the library at least once a week. We usually read a chapter book a day (3 days a week), and it’s quickly become one of our favorite ways to spend time together. Ya’ll know I can’t pass up a chance to snuggle – especially if it’s with a fellow snuggle enthusiast.

This past week, we read Kylie Jean – Cooking Queen (The Kylie Jean books are her favorite right now), Spiderwick Chronicles – Book 1, and Princess Poesy and the Crazy Lazy Vacation. We finished that last one is 15 minutes, and I take my sweet time reading books! I need to find more of those Princess Posey books! Even Rae can sit through that.

 

MRS. MCGREGOR

So. If you’re keeping track this makes, two cats, one puppy, zero sheep, six hens, one outdoor NZ hare, and one giant indoor bunny.

We’ve had her only two days, and already she’s tied with my beloved, George, and our Rosie for my favorite animals of all time.

Its like watching a stuffed animal hop around!! Agh!

She’s trained to go back to her cage to do her business and snuggles. (Snuggling and not peeing on my floor are the reasons George and Rosie made the list too)

Bailey (George’s sister) is cool too, but she only snuggles with Mae. She’s at the top of her list right along side this beauty.

She has her favorite spots, but lies at our feet when we’re in the room with her.

She adores nose pets and neck rubs as much as we adore giving them.

She has free reign over the front of the house, and Buckey gets the back two rooms (which is all he had before Mrs. McGregor showed up).

She has one ear that flops and one ear that stands at attention.

As soon as we named her Mrs. McGregor, Penelope said, “She needs glasses and a nice hat!” Haha. I don’t like the idea of clothes on animals, but Mae is all about that life.

-and, yes, I noticed the cobwebs before I took the photos.

-and, no, I didn’t remove them after I took the photos.

APPLE PICKING 2017

My sister-in-law and I (and our moms) took our kids apple picking in Illinois over the weekend.

It’s probably best that I went with other folks. My girls and I could’ve easily spent an hour crawling around on the ground, looking for apple worms. Studying them. Studying the bumpiness / smoothness of various apples. Are the leaves different depending on the color apple the tree produces? Which type of apple attracts the most worms?

Don’t get me started on studying that camel and soaking up her existence!

That being said, my girls got so much out of their short time at the orchard, and got so much quality time with their cousins, and I had a great time with my sister-in-law, Jenny (The coolest lady, and best momma!).

Rae runs full-force towards animals. Never expected baby-Rae to go near animals, much less adore them the way she does.

^  The famous Gwandma Shari & Mae ^

Next time my girls will share a bag!! They each filled theirs up halfway, and we still came home with 50+ apples. They’re way better than the waxy grocery store apples. Bigger and so much sweeter.

Mae got so discouraged when she’d pull one off and more would fall to the ground, destined for a bruised, devastating future of neglect. Abandoned with no hope of serving a joyful purpose. Hopefully they will all decompose and become great trees. That’s what I told her, so its going to happen! Well-intentioned mommas only speak truth, right?

She loves carrying food in her dresses (and her aprons at home). Belle goals becoming fulfilled.

Reckless. The sweetest camel. Sadie was smitten.

Mae’s ultimate dream for the past four years has been to ride a horse (or pony). This was an unexpected experience, and one she is still talking about. Loved seeing her wear a smile that she couldn’t force away.

(This pony’s name was Shorty)

^ ^ ^ A dream she didn’t know she had. ^ ^ ^

The girls did a couple other activities, and snagged some fresh cider before we headed home and got ready for Sadie’s [NINETH!] birthday party.