Friday, September 25, 2015

Camping! And moving!

 We have been buuuuuusy! When we looked at the calendar at the end of August for this month, we felt really overwhelmed. But here we are....the day before moving day and we are still alive! But first, last weekend we went camping! Ben took his very first earned vacation day last Thursday and we took our long awaited camping trip, which had to be rescheduled because of all the rain this summer.

The boys got to sleep in their very own tent this time. They begged to be allowed to set it up themselves so we let them! They did a really good job:)

The end result! It's a very cozy tent, made for 2 to sleep side by side with little extra room so as they grow, we will probably have to upgrade. They were so proud of themselves!

My mom and Derek upgraded to a tent with a sunscreened porch:) They also had a hammock, which was a big hit!

Nothing in the world like a good campfire and s'mores!

We didn't go too far from home but it felt like another place! There was a nice trail to hike so we went on a long walk on Friday.

My stepdad loves to take pictures for possible paintings so I snapped him snapping pictures:)

Samuel with his walking stick! We all found good walking sticks for the weekend:)

Eliana and her daddy!

Love, love this pictures!!

We brought along the kids' nature journals and had them write observations about flowers, bugs and other things like these deer tracks. Camping is definitely educational!

Everyone hiking. We went with my mom, stepdad, my brother in law and niece. It was a fun crew!

Everyone admiring the scenery!

Eliana is such good buddies with her cousin Evy. They had the best time together!!

The boys were helping to blow up the swimming pool for the girls. It was pretty warm on Friday so it was perfect to cool off for a bit. Can you guess who's legs and who's arms those are?? (hint; it's a trick question!)

Derek took this gorgeous picture!

And here's Ben fully enjoying his brief vacation:) He took a nice long nap on Friday!

We only stayed 2 days so that we could still have a weekend, too. It was a short and sweet trip! We felt good about our camping skills this time:) Ben and I invested in a double sleeping bag which made sleeping SO much better! Now we don't have to drag along sheets, blankets, etc and be huddled shivering all night. Definitely recommend one!
We came back from camping and our whole week has been spent trying to balance school (more on that another time) and getting ready for moving this weekend. It has been CRAZY. As a matter of fact, I have to scram and finish getting ready for our moving help to come in the morning. Ah! Can't wait! This is going to be a fun place to live!!

Pictures coming soon! (a.k.a. after the internet is installed, which won't be for another week and a half:)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


 We were not able to get our kids in sports much in Chicago, other than a few little classes through the Y. We were determined to change that this year! Zakkai, as you know, is now in Tae Kwon Do and he goes 2x's a week and is doing really well! He is currently a gold belt and will be testing at the beginning of October to become a green belt! I will be sure to post pictures:)

Eliana just got to start her very own, much-desired "sport" (as she calls it) last week! She is finally taking ballet! She is in a 4/5 year old ballet/tap combo class. She has her second class tomorrow and she is SOOOO excited! It's pretty much all she talks about.

Pretty in pink! Love that soft little belly:) Mr Z had one at this age, too and now he's a skinny as a beanpole!

She walked right in a sat down. I got to watch through a window the whole time and could not stop smiling:)

Practicing at the barre with her tap shoes!

She learned curtsying, walking on tip-toes, balancing, stretching and some tapping. It was just plain old the cutest thing I've ever seen! I can assure you that I will be posting more on this!

Samuel just started fall ball (baseball) a couple weeks ago and last Thursday was their first game. His new team are the "Green Dragons." Samuel wasn't thrilled about the new team name (change is hard for him!) but after the game, he was feeling much better about it!

His batting has improved a lot since he first started in April!

He even got to pitch for one of the innings! He says he wants to pitch or play first base so he and Ben have been working hard. His current coach (Ben is an assistant again) is letting all the kids try different positions for a few weeks and then will place them where they fit best. It seems like it will be much better than his last team, where favorites were definitely played and the same three kids got the best positions all season.

Samuel pitched SO well! He threw more strikes than any of the other pitchers and was named 'Most Effective Pitcher' of the night! He was very proud and so were we:)

They did lose the game but you wouldn't have known it from these kids' faces! They got some great hits and catches in and were proud of their hard work. Go Green Dragons!