Monday, May 25, 2015


We're home!!
Our trip was fantastic and in a few days I'll get going on blogging about our adventures.
In the's some cute kids jumping around for your entertainment!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Note from a Teacher

We are preparing for a week long vacation in the middle of the end of the year school preparation.

Ivan will unfortunately miss a weekend away with his fellow 8th graders, but given the option to stay behind or go on vacation...he chose to come with us!  
(he didn't really get the option - and I don't think there would have been any hard decisions)

He graduates from middle school on 5 June and each year the kids elect someone who will be the speaker for their graduation.

I got this email from one of his teachers today and had to share.

Good morning Michelle,
I am sure Ivan already talked to you, but I wanted to as well.  Ivan's classmates voted him the student speaker for their graduation with 17 votes.  In my four years of planning graduation, there has never been such a clear majority.  The students gave really good reasons for their votes, and I just thought it was really wonderful that when his classmates think of what it means to be respectful, responsible, excellent, loving and faithful, they think of Ivan.  His teachers and you certainly knew this about Ivan, but coming from his peers I think is especially meaningful.  I can't wait for his speech- the English teacher in me is really glad he is also a strong writer. :)

Enjoy your trip!

So proud to call him ours!!

There was no "Week in Pictures" last week and there won't be any the next as I'm spending time getting things ready to go!

But I'll have some great pictures to share when we return and things get back to "normal"...if there ever is such a thing!

Easter 2015

How do these holidays come around SO fast!
Easter in particular is odd because some years its early in March and others it comes in April.

This year Hannah was away in Europe for spring break and so, when she came home on Saturday, the day before Easter, I worried that she might be sad we had started eggs without her.
She doesn't hunt, but still likes to dye.
But then I figured that with all the jet lag...she might not care at all!
She came home and went to bed and slept for about 12 - 14 hours straight.

So...on Saturday, Jenelle and Ivan dyed eggs.
This year we chose to try food coloring and I think we are sticking with this method.
 The colors came out so vibrant! 
I have always loved Paas egg dying kits.
They remind me of coloring eggs as a child.
But in the last several years, its hard to find a basic dye kit...there's tie dye, sparkles, marbling effect, etc. etc.!
And we've tried a few and they just don't live up to their hype!

Ivan is stoked to be coloring eggs!


Because of our early spring, we had lots of flowers for them to use preparing the Easter Nests that evening.

Someone was snoozing hard behind these blinds and oblivious to the whole thing!
But Ivan and Jenelle were sweet enough to make a basket for her!

Jenelle's nest!

Hannah's nest!

And Ivan's nest!

Meet the artists!!
And always...a helper!

Next morning...evidence of the very predictable Easter bunny!
Awww...stuffed animals haven't been showing up for quite some time.
Easter bunny must have been feeling sentimental.

And this year had a twist!
As they were hunting eggs, Ivan somehow came across a special hat that apparently had treats for mom and dad!
He seemed to know just where to look for it!
 It was so cute!
 (inspected and approved by Pounce!)

And so...all but one of the eggs were found (and it was found later that day thank goodness!)...Hannah woke up from her jet lag coma...dinner was served and dessert was eaten!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Week in Pictures: 26 April - 2 May

4/26 - Ivan and his friend Riley are making a homemade lava lamp for their science fair project this year.  Every year that the kids participate in science fairs, I am grateful for a husband who knows what the heck is going on with this stuff!!

4/27 - Venison burgers for dinner!

4/28 - Waiting (and waiting) for Hannah to try some clothes on at Target.  Ivan trusted me to choose a new pair of swim trunks for him.  I choose well.

4/28 - Working on my selfie game while waiting for Hannah to get finished with tennis.

4/30 - Our dogwood finally did some really nice blooming this year.

5/1 - Ivan's last jog-a-thon!  I'll do a separate post on it soon.  I just can't believe we only have two more!  ***Thank you for your donations!***

5/2 - And a very exciting picture of the car wash.  Just barely got a photo in on Saturday so...