LATELY : JUNE 2020

June really just blew right on by! Here it is July and I am just now getting around to wrapping up the last month.

We tried to continue laying low in preparation for our trip to another state. While I am thankful we are all used to being around each other so much the girls really need to make some homeschooled friends, quick! I am thinking we may have to wait until the spring semester to seek them out though. Quite the bummer.

Below, though, are some parts of our month that were not a bummer!

Zack and I swiftly passed our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We celebrated by taking the girls for a picnic of our favorite food at the park.

…Don’t let the lack of exclamation points fool you, it was delightful and just how we wanted to celebrate.

Birthday treat.

Miss Maybe celebrated a birthday as well! She is seven or eight now? I think we went with eight…

We found a secluded river spot (minus a family down the way that had a dog that loved the girls) and enjoyed a swim for a bit – with Daddy!

Have I mentioned how great it has been actually seeing him on his summer break? It has been years since he has been able to enjoy summer with his ladies, we’re all feeling a bit spoiled.

Family bike rides are now a thing! They both have a bike now, and while Zack and I have many many bikes, we have been using the tandem bike.

Puzzles, and Pokemon, and Lincoln logs. Hours and hours of play.

Rae’s

Drawing flowers and then watering them. Clever girl.

“Okay, time to go in and take a shower…”

Before it became too hot outside, the girls enjoyed evenings and mornings outside with sidewalk chalk.

A new secret swing set in the woods!

Mae and I have been spending most of our time together. She is such an incredible human being and I am really grateful for our long conversations about anything and everything.

We had, for about two weeks, a sandpiper living nest to our driveway. It was so cool. Something got its eggs and I think it moved down the road a bit.

Mae is still a reading machine. She prefers to read while next to me, so I read while she reads, stopping occasionally to listen to her tell me about her book. It is so wonderful.

Watching the rain.

As part of our pioneer studies, the girls tried a few different honeys and made corn cakes with Aunt Jenny’s homemade jam for breakfast one morning.

Mae’s / Rae’s

We (always, myself included!), spent a few days learning about the Statue of Liberty. They really got involved with it.

We renewed our licence plates! Haha, but more importantly Mae stepped in to learn a new skill. She now knows how to take off and replace licence plates. So, if you’re in need, look no further.

July has had its own fun so far, but the rest of it may entail mostly work on our other house. That should be fun in its own way, but probably not blog-worthy. We’ll see.

We also took a trip to Tennessee, which you can read about here.

LATELY: MAY 2020

How is June already here??

This month held two weeks of sickness for Mae and I, but also a lot of family time and time spent outdoors. So. Lets get to it…

My mom took us to a bluff/cliff in her town. Shari (my mother-in-law) said they used to ride their horses along the trails…which border the edge. Yikes. The views are incredible, though!

The month started off warm, so the girls broke in a fresh box of chalk and their swimsuits, despite being far from water. We are so excited for the rest of spring and its warmth!!

George has begun going out once a day or so. As a result, we have held a couple bird funerals and had to ease a live bunny out of the house.

Mae and I enjoyed a few walks around the yard exploring our flowers and clipping some to put in the kitchen. The honeysuckle and roses have been oh so nice!

For one of our Sunday lunches, the girls set up a restaurant with Daddy as the cook and Mom as the helper. The girls waited on the grandparents and even earned tips!

Mae took it upon herself to take care of me when I got sick (not ‘the virus’), and as a result, she became sick – despite trying to keep her distance. On the left she is so happy Mom is feeling better, the right is her too weak to sit up to the toilet.

A weed that turned out to be a mutant carrot.

Mae being sick meant I had an abundance of one on one time with Rae. We spent a lot of time drawing, painting and creating, cooking, and cleaning together. We even took a bike ride around the neighborhood and pulled weeds in the soon-to-be melon patch.

Animal Crossing, Lego play, repeat.

Also, Mandalorian is still a great love of Rae’s! Daddy bought her a Lego set with FIVE Mandalorians and a ship (“speeder”?) in it!

She beat Daddy and I at a game of Junk!

We also played a few games here and there, but I am hoping to really increase the number of family game nights we have next month!

DeeDee turned 86! We celebrated with fried chicken, cherry pie, and cards from Rae (Mae was sick at this point).

The girls are still not going out into the world around people (aside from certain cousins we see from time to time, but only them: see next slide), but one day we all rode to the hardware store and waited in the parking lot for Daddy to return. Very exciting.

Those cousins I spoke of went camping with their parents and we were invited to visit with them for a day. It was so nice for them to be around other kids. They made s’mores, swam in a pool, went for a walk, and played around with water guns.

Just when I thought it would be an eternity until they could swim again, a friend, Jim, invited us over to his pond to swim…the very next day!

I think it may be Mae’s new favorite place. They both used a kid-sized kayak for the first time! They were both so brave swimming around independently.

That’s it! I will have a school related post up and write about our pioneer summer soon!

Happy June!

APRIL AT HOME

Precious precious toilet paper gifted to us from our beloved Aunt Karen.

I am grateful, while our lives are in fact very different right now, my girls have not seemed to notice. A month before the prescribed ‘stay home’ we moved into a new home with their grandma and two great-grandparents. Zack was set to join us full-time in May and, well, what timing! The seven of us are all here under one roof.

Aside from a new setting and new ‘roommates,’ our lives are just as calm and full of love, patience, and no worries as before the virus (at least where the four of us are concerned). My girls have not asked to go anywhere in this month, they have no signs of cabin fever (or the virus), and we are all so grateful we can be together.

Maybe is calmer here…ish. She is happy to have so many folks showing her love and an abundance of nap spots, and her fellow cat (ha), George, close by.

Per usual, the April weather has been a hot mess. Wind (Oi the wind!), rain, hail, extreme heat (followed by frost), large beautiful moons, clear skies, and (mostly) cloud cover for days on end.

Poor George is missing all of it. He seems to be adjusting to life indoors, but I know he would love to chase a bird and feel the grass under his paws.

For the time being, Zack and I have built him a ‘sunroom/catio’ for him to use when he needs fresh air. He sort of likes it. We will eventually add a scratching post and a second-story place to rest.

We have been enjoying the occasional family walk/bike ride. We have the place to ourselves during ‘working hours’ even though all other kids are home now.

Dandelions are all the rage right now. Grandma mentioned getting rid of the dandelions next year. I’m not sure the girls would be alright with that.

We saw and purchased the house during the winter and are just now getting to see the wonderful plants in their best state.

The girls are halfway through their year (7 1/2 & 91/2), which means they are growing quickly, seemingly overnight. I’m okay with it. Every age so far has been a great age, and thankfully, that still holds true.

The night before Easter Sunday, Mae made supper solo.

She is used to a ceramic griddle and was upset when they were burned or hard to flip. She also used a box batter for the first time. Not quite the same results as scratch, but she did great!

When we closed on the new house, we often wondered if Shari (never mind the rest of us) would be settled in by Easter. Well, Easter came and everyone had been settled for a full month already. It was so nice knowing the grandparents wouldn’t have to be home alone during that time and that the girls would actually get a big Easter! (I don’t do eggs and bunnies for Easter and Mae lives for a big celebration.)

We used the fancy plates, candles, fresh flowers cut from a tree outside, and had music playing.

We filled the eggs – leftover from Grandma’s previous egg hunts – with jelly beans and quarters.

After lunch, the girls enjoyed a dance party to Ray Charles. It was fantastic.

Grandpa (“Papa”) turned 86. I’m, once again, glad he had a full house of folks there to celebrate!

The janitors are getting a head start on their summer deep clean, so the teachers are clearing out their rooms here and there. Which means we are accumulating 8 years of wonderful past projects!

Zack was very bummed the students couldn’t finish this Millennium Falcon, after working so hard on it all year.

As far as the house goes, well, there as been plenty of activity. There has been construction going on, several days a week this entire month. Even as I type, men are installing a new roof, which began as a project brought on by hail damage. It was perfect timing, though, as we were able to perfectly match it with the room on the new garage/apartment thing, the “barn.”

A few times, the girls and I went down the road to a park (where we weren’t around other folks) and found some new-to-us trails we would like to become our new hangouts once things get back to normal. We also decided this framed site of an old pioneer house would make a great picnic spot on warmer days!

I posted our school goings-on back here.

On a sadder note, this past Tuesday, two of my all-time favorite women passed away, my great-aunt Mary (basically one of my grandmas) and my great-aunt Nell. I’m so glad Zack and the girls got so much time with Aunt Mary during their lifetime and Zack was able to spend time with Aunt Nell (before we had kids).

LATELY : JANUARY 2020

I talked a bit about January and its business in the last post but I thought I’d put the few photos I took into a post, for memory’s sake.

Probably the last photo of someone on the bench. This was taken on a Sunday before church.

One of Rae’s Christmas presents from Daddy! Her favorite gift, for sure. Mando is safely tucked inside, ready to save the day.

A cow lady from a cartoon they saw at Grandma’s house.
“Just a Dog” by Rae.

Mae has been drawing roses and animals non-stop! She has drawn one or two large roses, but for the most part she keeps to teeny tiny roses. They’re the sweetest.

She is also still very into drawing characters from the Mandalorian show.

Katie Cat.
Ready to go to the theater!

We read Dr. Doolittle as our first read aloud of the semester, and found out the movie was coming out just as we finished it. Totally by coincidence, but we just had to take them to see it! Thankfully the movie left the racist parts out. The book hit a rough patch somewhere around the middle. We tried to find the 1960s version, but couldn’t. It followed the book more, but the girls loved hearing familiar animal names and they discussed the differences and similarities all the way home from the theater.

We ended the month camping at the new house, but I will put a few photos from that in a separate post.

Hope everyone is enjoying February so far!

LATELY : DECEMBER 2019

Heading to Grandma’s for Christmas.

One day left in January and I am just now getting around to documenting December. I nearly let it go to the wayside but I know I would regret that.

December was a bit of a weird month. School was more random than I care for. Zack has been using my car, so we were (still are) stuck at home all the time. Time drug on and on. Our house was a disaster (still is) from remodeling and we had to put up and take down our decorations a few times. The holiday season was not as sparkly as it usually is. We also bought the girls gifts for the first time since we had no time to fulfill an ‘experiences.’ We did manage to slide our family gift in – which was to see Star Wars in the theater (for the fifth year in a row!).

The last two weeks of December really filled up with plenty of visiting and pretty exciting things!

We had a few run-ins with some snow, but nothing truly great yet, and none on Christmas day. It was, I believe, just enough for the likes of my girls.

The cats are inside nearly full time for the season! They are dog-level needy, but the girls are enjoying George snuggles daily.

We got the keys to the new house December 23rd!

We spent every available moment at the house over Zack’s winter break..and nearly every weekend in January. December had decent, usually warm weather (check out those tee shirts!) so the girls were able to spend their time in the new yard which comes with a treehouse and playground equipment – and space upon space to run!

Two days before Christmas, Grandma realized she was too busy to come to our house (two hours away), so we took our decorations down for the last time, loaded our things into the car, and we to her house two days early.

That tree is the only decoration we had to the Big Day.
They each got ten gifts from Grandma.
Baking cookies alongside Home Alone.
Holly decided to skip the cookie making and settled down in her new jammies with a good book and a warm drink.
Cutest spacklers you ever did see.

We also spent time getting Grandma’s house ready to sell.

She had just moved into this when Zack and I began dating, fifteen years ago!

My brother, Ben, and his family came for a visit (the initial reason we drove up to my mother-in-law’s). I have no photos of Ben or his wife or their son Carson, but plenty of the girls with Susie!

My parents were able to spend time with seven of their nine grand-kids!

We walked around parks and Downtown Saint Charles, played many games, and just over all enjoyed being together for about a week.

Before heading back to our little corner of the world, we took the girls and my mom to Ikea, just ’cause we like it.

The girls are still so good at pretending. I often let them act out a situation in each room display. They could spend hours in there. We even ate lunch there that day. Zack and I really like the 1970s thing they’ve got going on. All my favorite colors and styles done right and all in one place. Yes, please.

I don’t typically wish days away, but I was glad to see December go. There was so much to be overwhelmed by. January hasn’t been much different honestly (so much to do at home!!), but at least it flew right on by!

I think I took about three photos in January, so it will be interesting to find out what I recall mentally from the whirlwind of driving, fixing, packing, driving, teaching, cooking, driving, and the constant ‘doing.’ We have experienced seven years of living in a home as we remodel it, but somehow we haven’t felt the chaos of it until now.

BUT! The kitchen is clean and that is something…happy February!

LATELY: OCTOBER 2019

OCTOBER! The month of birth and of my firstborn. The month fall shows up and we bring out all the warm clothes and hearty food. Most of the bugs are already hibernating and the birds fill our porch to fill up on seed. It begins the final and most holiday filled months of the year. I love this time of year!!

The hens have begun to molt which means fewer eggs for us (which is fine!!) Rae had been requesting boiled eggs and as a way of marking them, she has been doodling on them. Although, if the eggs are in the fridge, they’re boiled, so they don’t really need to be marked, but doodles make it fun.

We spent the morning of the first chilly day at the park. We brought breakfast as well as tea in a thermos, Rae’s pumpkin (’cause, autumn), a vase of flowers, and candles. We read Jill Barklem‘s Autumn Story (Brambly Hedge) and a chapter from Elska (Horse Diaries series). Afterward, they explored, collected nature and marched around and around the large firepit.

She received the coolest babydoll from Grandma!

Mae turned NINE this month!

For her ‘birthday experience’ she chose to get her ears pierced. We celebrated on the last weekend of September since we would be in the city (near a Claires). She chose ‘diamond’ studs to match the earrings she always picks out for me to wear so that we could match. I mean. Could she be any sweeter?????

The girls each carved a pumpkin early on in the month. We listened to the old radio drama version of Frankenstein while they did so. We also thought of ideas for Mae’s actual 9th birthday – Family video game time, no formal school, bake something, etc.

On Mae’s actual birthday, she requested pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a bonfire with s’mores before bed. The moon was so bright; when they were done the girls ran around the yard in the moonlight dancing around the shadows of tree limbs.

She ended up with marshmallow in her hair. She just asked that I cut it out – which took out quite a large chunk of hair. She was so happy to hear that she may need a full hair cut that we chopped it off right then and there. She is thrilled with it and hasn’t had a single tangle since.

I wrote a post about Elwood P. back here.

Mom/Wow by Rae.

Rae is still delivering one hundred drawings to me daily. She always writes some version of, “Mom, I love you,” on each one.

This is definitely one of my faves. The ghost on a string, I have shopping bags for some reason, the heart knee patches and the intricate zipper, that sweet striped shirt with sleeves that are juuust a bit too short (cold wrists foreverrrr), that cool bob I wish I could pull off, that thick swipe of eyeliner, and that freckled smiley next to my face. Mmmmboy.

The hens have become mega chill now that it is cold outside. I still don’t trust Miss Maybe around them so they are stuck in their coop always, but we managed to coax her inside so Mae could hold a lady for a bit. Anyone remember our old flock following her around the yard like a mama hen? I miss that.

I wrote about the month’s school back here.

As well as a side bit about our Viking lessons here.

The girls cooked and baked and cooked and baked. (My favorite was the Barmbrack they made for my birthday!) The colder weather certainly makes us enjoy so much daily time in the kitchen – except for the cleanup part. Although, Mae did flash a smile up there while putting away clean dishes. Maybe the entire process is wonderful?? Must be.

My aunt sent me a text of an incredible cake she thought my girls and I would dig. Boy, did they!

They, of course, wanted to make their own and quickly chose a turtle. I kept all of the icing-less scraps for myself. I think we will try something with coconut fur next!

Mae helping me write this post.
Waiting for takeout dumplings.

Zack was away for two weekends with friends and had friends over one evening and a few drop by on other evenings. That man needs as many brakes with friends as he can get to balance out his constant jobs and side jobs and home renovations.

We sure missed him while he was canoeing, camping, and hiking with friends. I tried to make it extra fun for the girls while he was gone. We almost had a movie night and some sort of fun meal – in the photo above, we grabbed Chinese food and they were so excited to go into the restaurant since they had never seen the inside. It doesn’t take much to make them happy!

I turned 32 this month!

We don’t typically give each other gifts, but Zack got me every episode of my favorite show! I’ve been waiting for years to get it. Rae drew this for me one day (always drawing!!) and I adore it. I have every episode memorized but I still chuckle constantly.

Back when we could go a day without rain, the girls enjoyed raking leaves. Not to jump in, they just like raking. They laughed and laughed so much. I am so thankful they are friends.

Would you look at that face? Is that guilt or desperation and longing for mom hugs?

Miss Maybe got some extra love and plenty of scraps this month. She also spent more and more time outside exploring that usual. Getting into trouble, no doubt.

Fridays are a bit more lax for us. On this particular day, we headed up to the library after our morning time and thought it was so incredibly pretty in town that we must stay a bit longer.

We grabbed some warm beverages and donuts from a gas station, found a spot back by the library to park, and walked.

We walked until we came to the gazeebo by the tracks so they could enjoy their treat and wouldn’t you know, a train drove by just for them.

The funeral home’s flowers are still alive through the unbearably cold weather! Suspicious much? AND a cute tree with a cute nose.

We took the long way back to the car. We named our favorite houses and admired everyone’s decorations, tried not to trip on the sidewalks/tried to catch those who did trip, and talked about anything and everything.

The girls are still trying to enjoy that pioneer life as best they can.

Have you read Ox-Cart Man? That would be Mae’s ideal life. Rae likes dressing the part and the cooking. In the photo above, they were enjoying some tea (water) and reading some pioneer type books.

Mae is very into Halloween. She enjoys thinking up a costume, wearing said costume out of doors, collecting candy, being in and walking around town, carving pumpkins, observing everyone’s decorations, the fall trees being in full color, any and all fun food that comes with the holiday…she likes it all.

We didn’t really celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. The last Halloween I remember I was possibly five-years-old? I was a black cat. I can’t imagine my parents ever celebrating it as kids. So once I had a child who was so enthusiastic about it, I decided to run with it and figure it out as we go.

This year, we decided to carve an extra round of pumpkins on Halloween. They also danced to fun Halloween music (they really like Thriller this year), watched Hotel Transylvania and the making of the Thriller video, and read books we grabbed ahead of time from the library. I gave them the day to themselves – no school, no chores.

Our first stop this year was to our wonderful neighbors! We usually make them our last stop, but it was SO cold this year, we went there first before the sun began to go down. They are always happy to see the girls and they give them the best goodie bag of treats -like popcorn and hot chocolate, pencils, and a couple of pieces of candy.

Zack was able to go trick-or-treating with us for the first time in years! It was so nice to have a buddy and for him to see them, old enough to walk to the door without us and hear their joy about it all as we walked.

We went to more homes this year – possibly because I had a buddy who could warm me up. Everyone was genuinely happy to see the kids come up and get candy. It was so nice to see.

Their costumes were perfect since they could bundle up as much as they needed to and it wouldn’t mess up their ‘look.’

Left: Rae’s Right: Mae’s

Their pumpkins greeted us when we came home!

Once we were home they sat down and began to sort their candy and immediately began discussing their costume ideas for next year while I made a late supper.

Today we are taking down the Halloween decorations, giving the house a once over with the broom, and starting a new book!

Happy November everyone!

LATELY: SEPTEMBER 2019

September was so wonderful.

The best part has to be the amount of time we have spent with Zack. He has been so busy this past year. He is carving out more and more time for home and we are so thrilled.

I’m not sure if I have written about it here, but over the summer, Rae brought back her pixie cut. She is so so happy about her fresh hair I think it should be documented.

Shelling eggs she boiled.
Making Chicken and Dumplings.

The girls have become so at home in the kitchen! This semester we are having them each cook full meals solo! Depending on the meal I will hover, but they are getting to know recipes and techniques so quickly.

Found a very cool rock at the lake.
My favorite restaurant has become my children’s favorite! Woot!

Zack had to drive three hours south to pick up clay for work. We took the opportunity to take the girls to Springfield – where Mae was born. We haven’t been in two or three years.

I believe it was my favorite visit to the town. Maybe because our girls were old enough to enjoy it?

Some of our favorite places were no longer there but we still managed to feel overwhelmed with nostalgia!

The girls were able to spend time with other kids last weekend at a friend’s birthday party. They are still talking about it. I think I need to get some friends together on a regular basis.

Reading Sarah, Plain and Tall.

The girls have a ‘required’ hour of daily independent reading. As a result, they are always reading. I especially adore when Mae shows up to read to me while I cook, clean, or drive to the grocery store.

Amelia usually comes up and asks me to stop whatever I am up to and go snuggle somewhere while she reads to me.

I am loving this season of mothering.

I wrote two posts about our schooling back here and here – but I believe the reading and cooking should be included! This is going to be such a monumental year where their (and my) growth is concerned, I can tell…

JULY 2019 SUMMED UP

Zack’s summer could be wrapped up with one word – WORK. But he did have five days off at the beginning of July, which we spent in Alabama. He got back from North Carolina with two days to spare before he starts back for the fall semester. Woof.

The girls and I tried to stay busy while he is away. The day he left for Charlotte, we left home to stay with his momma. We spent ten days in the city, filling our time with The Magic House, Costco, the Science Center, The Muny, the pool, shopping, the Loop,  playgrounds, and long walks and movie nights.

When we got back home, we spent the next three weeks, keeping up with the lawn and pets and housework. We did some more swimming, played games and completed a puzzle, read many books and watched many movies. We visited friends on the weekends (some back in the city) and tried to relax and enjoy our home. We stayed up until midnight most nights and enjoyed breakfast on the porch most mornings.

It has been such a nice time having my girls all to myself, but we missed Zack too much! He just got home! He is definitely taking the semester off from side jobs with the hope that we get some quality time with him this year!

LATELY : : JUNE 2019 PART ONE

June left us all feeling very content. The final month of spring remained, for the most part, cool and rainy. We skipped any formal schooling and just went where our days happened to take us. July has been far busier, so reviewing our June has been so refreshing.

Let’s see how you feel about it…

We had our somewhat-monthly family game night. We need to have another real soon!

Zack and I celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary with the girls swimming at the Shut-Ins and camping.

We actually got to see Zack for a few days here and there, between teaching summer school, side jobs, traveling to Saint Louis many weekends, and having company over, we really had to take advantage whenever he was home. Usually, that just called for a movie night, or a quick meal out, visiting a quiet part of the river and enjoy the solitude…together, or the ever boring grocery shopping.

OH! We also took the girls to our first Drive-In movie. They’re finally old enough to be fully alert that late at night. We got to see Toy Story 4 and the newest X-Men film. It was a perfect night for it. It was such a lovely family date night.

Pity smile.

We had our niece and nephew over for a weekend. For the girls, it involved plenty of chicken chasing and they made about one hundred bath bombs.

June held onto the chilly weather and brought blackberries!

The girls spent hours upon hours building with Legos. Rae’s favorite project was a large scale Ninjago dragon.

Dolls and Barbies held most of their attention. I love watching them play so well together for hours upon hours.

We had a pizza picnic one afternoon at the park. They gave us pepperoni instead of cheese. Mae doesn’t eat meat…whomp whomp. But it was fun and we had fun conversations before they ran off and played.

We only made it to the pool once. I’m hoping we make it back a few more times before July ends.

We’re finding carrots in the most random places this year.

The last week of June brought the sun. We spent a little time outside. My favorite times were when it was not quite too hot and we could enjoy breakfast outside. We’d also read a book aloud – we began with Peter Pan and moved on to Little House in the Big Woods.

Miss Maybe donned a cone most of the month for sores on her leg and tail. She hated it. BUT! To cheer herself up, she dug herself a nice big pit under the porch and would often lay there for hours at a time. For the first time, she didn’t need us to accompany her outside!

Mae made a vegetarian wonton soup completely independently.

Of course, I watched her, but she didn’t need my help at all. Our 2019-2020 school year will involve many cooking lessons and I think both girls are ready for some harder recipes. It’s going to be a fun year!

Mae received a lovely letter from her overseas pen pal. She was SO SO happy!!

Her friend also sent along a treat – a fossil from Northern France.

I hope they can meet someday when they’re older.

Rae always goes through phases with favorite books. Right now, her favorites include an animal encyclopedia, Today by Julie Morstad, and the Pigeon/Elephant and Piggie books.

These photos were taken when we were taking our niece and nephew home. I sat in the back with Rae. We looked at books, but I spent most of the time resting my head in her lap while she stroked my hair in the hopes I would feel less car sick. She is such a sweetie!

The girls also developed a new love for Sumo wrestling, filled my phone with selfies, decided that they should be horseless cowless cowgirls, and gifted me even more gorgeous portraits of myself.

I hope your June was just as lovely – or better yet, even more lovely!

LATELY : : MAY 2019

I went into May with no plan of any sort. I even tossed out any schooling notions I had written out. We still held lessons, but they were thought up on the day of, after breakfast and chores, and usually completed after the freedom of play.

One of the big highlights involves my sister! She invited us to Six Flags for Mother’s Day! It was still very cold out, but boy did those kiddos have fun together! They even braved the cold water and experienced their first flume ride of the year (or ever in the case of my girls) before heading home!

^ Flip-flops and a beanie ^

We still have coats, hats, and wool socks out, as it has only been hot for one week, and I just don’t trust that sweatshirts won’t be needed again.

The can’t-make-up-it’s- mind kind of weather is what we’re used to and it encouraged our spontaneous mindset and helped us get creative with our daily doin’s.

The girls had friends over (when their moms needed a sitter- win-win!). I’m still in awe of how well our girls play. I had zero imagination as a kid (I think my brothers mocked any original thought I had and I became a follower – which suits me). Their daddy, however, is as creative as they come. I’m desperately trying to guide the girls into listening and including behavior, so they grow up giving and getting the encouragement Zack was (and is!) always given (his family encourages me every single time I see them, too! – and my brothers are incredibly nice to me now, haha).

They truly are wonderful sisters to one another. I’m of course holding my breath for the day that changes. But, maybe it won’t?

Well, that thought got away from me. Let’s move on, yeah?

Cattails turned into fairy wands.

We took many many walks and trips to playgrounds.

My mothers Day gifts! Zack said Mae spend her sweet time reading every card until she found one with just the right words. Ahhh.  Rae, no doubt, picked me out the pink hedgehog planter – with plant. Girl knows I love me some fresh foliage. (Also, Miss Maybe, always close beside me)

Mae’s finds ^. She’s very observant.

Tornado season has begun with a vengeance for some towns near us.

For us, so far, we’ve been able to enjoy some lovely storms and the vibrant sunsets and clear skies that follow.

The first hot day of the year happened on Zack’s first day of summer break! What are the odds? (It’s usually still too chilly to swim when the pools open) Miss Maybe, it turns out, is not a fan of the heat. Not her thing. Soon enough, fair-skinned-Rae might be parked inside next to her as Mae begs her to go out and play.

Critters! The girls are in Heaven!

I could do without the hornets, wasps, and mosquitos, but…

Rae presents me with an Avengers bandaid every time a mosquito bite presents itself! Woot! I don’t have the heart to tell her that it isn’t really a bandaid situation. – and I went through a box in three days. Ha! Dern pests.

We helped a friend out and watched her lovely kids for an hour a day for the last few weeks of school. Rocking a baby for an hour a day is so wonderful. She is such a happy girl. Their son calls me, “My Jade,” and is totally smitten with the girls (Rae in particular).

A post about watching G & A for a day is back here.

We took a small day trip to the Daniel Boone home today, as it was “Homeschool Day!” AND! Zack was able to go along with us! There will be another post later about our time there, but I will say, it was fun!

Zack begins a month of teaching summer school next week and our anniversary is on Sunday, so we are taking the girls for a fun couple days of swimming and camping this weekend to celebrate before life rushes us forward towards busier days.