Monday, September 29, 2014

100 happy days: day 15

Coffee with my dear 'tea friend' on a sunny fall afternoon.  Happy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

100 happy days: day 14

Last Allegan antique market of the season!  See you in April!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

100 happy days: day 13

Sometimes it's hard to really listen well.  The month of September has been so busy that I often end a day not sure I really took the time to listen to each kiddo and the stories they have to tell about their days.  Today we had a wonderful day, and had just finished picking apples in Fennville when we went over to have donuts and cider.  I loved this moment because I was really looking at Abby and listening to her story.  Sophie had my camera and I had no idea she was taking this shot.  She captured a moment that filled my heart.  Happy. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

100 happy days: day 12

 A homemade pumpkin spice Cafe Miel.  Thankful for fresh starts each morning.  Happy. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

100 happy days: day 11

You are never too little to love, nor are you ever too big to cuddle up and read a children's book.  When the kids were in Kindergarten I would snuggle up with each one separately and read a book after the got off the bus.  It gave them special time one on one time to snuggle and even interrupt the story to tell stories of their own from the day.  Because our afterschool time has been crazy this year and we are still trying to get in a groove, today I started the individual snuggle time with a  book.  The kids giggled a little at the choice of books I had prepared, but no one hesitated to climb in the chair and listen.  Happy. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

100 happy days: day 10

Tom and I went for a walk around the block after dinner tonight.  It is the rare night off from football practice, so we were enjoying the 'free-time'.  When we got back, Tom stepped on the porch first and exclaimed, "Look at your kids!".  This is how we found them (as I looked in the window).  For some reason they were sitting snug as three bugs in a rug reading old yearbooks and class memory books...together.  I love that they have shared memories of their school years.  I love that they sit hip to hip on the couch.  I love them.  Happy. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

100 happy days: day 9

Lunch with Tom in Grand Haven.  I missed my regular Tuesday lunch buddy, but 2nd choice was still wonderful.  We laughed.  We enjoyed the sunshine.  We talked.  During this busy season this does not happen as much as it should.  Happy. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

100 happy days: day 8

A really nice card from a very thoughtful student on a sunny fall morning.  Happy. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

100 happy days: day 7

I love my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl.  I love it because I use it almost daily to make food for my family, or even with my family.  I love to think about all of the memories that have been whipped up in this bowl over the years, before it even came to be in my house.  This morning it was used to make banana whole wheat pancakes (with a few chocolate chips) for the girls before they sang in church.  Notice Sophie's new spatula as well.  Baking for my girls in my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl.  Happy. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

100 happy days: day 6

Girls day!!  Lunch of leftovers by candlelight.   Starbucks, an estate sale, and 2 hours at the library.  Our FAVORITE dinner at Thai Palace.  Chocolate malts, popcorn and 'The Little Princess' in our nest in the basement.  Even an amazing rainbow on the drive home.  Quality time together with no rush, no homework, no 'what's next on the list' was priceless.  My heart is full.  Happy. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

100 happy days: day 5

The kiddos have been going to school early 4 days a week this year, so Tom is driving them.  That leaves only Friday for me to walk them to the bus as I have done since they started 1st grade.  I love that my 5th graders still want me to walk them.  I loved standing there with them in the chilly fall air this morning as they laughed and goofed around (and snuggled me to keep me warm....without my jacket!).  I love that they still wave at me as the bus pulls away.  Happy. 

100 happy days: day 4

Often when we see a beautiful 'sun view' the kids will say, "Look mom, God is shining his grace on us"  This was a fabulous thought as I drove to work this morning.  Happy. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

100 happy days: day 3

Comfy, soft slippers after a long day in 'dress shoes.' Happy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

100 happy days: day 2

Amazing tea with a beautiful friend in the afternoon.  Happy. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

100 days of Happy: Day 1

Today I am starting 100 happy days.  I came across this challenge while waiting for Noah to get his haircut last week.  After finishing the 'photo a day' over the summer, I think this will be a worthy challenge starting the fall and back to school.  I try to find time each day to notice things I am thankful for.  Things that make me happy.  I am still recording my 1000 gifts (3000+), but this will allow me to be conscious of snapping a pic of something that makes me happy each day. 

Knowing this was starting today, I took a few pictures of things that made me happy.  But, I decided that the happiest moment of the day (so far) was right after the kids got home from school.  They have been doing about 2 hours of homework a night since 5th grade started, adding in football practice and choir and it isn't leaving much down time.  I have come to cherish the short 'forced' down time right after school.  We snuggle up under fuzzy blankets and watch a short cooking show together.  I rotate to each kiddo for some good hugs.  Today I was also enjoying a green tea chai that I created the recipe for yesterday!  When the kids walk in the door after school, and we make the time to sit, to gather close, everything clicks together in my world.  Happy. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The first day of 5th grade

This last year of elementary school I wish you laughter.  I pray that you will embrace your childhood, and be silly.  Play on the tire swing and play baseball and play and play and play.  I wish that you will gather knowledge and learn not only from textbooks and teachers but from your classmates and the books you read for fun and from people you only meet in passing and places you visit.  I hope that you will grow and mature, and still sit on my lap and snuggle with me in the morning and at night.  I love how you still wave at me as the bus pulls away in the morning.  I pray that you will have wonderful friends who cherish you for the individuals that you are, who appreciate your uniqueness, your sense of style, your sense of humor.  I hope that you will be the role models, the oldest in the school, set the tone, set an example of faith and kindness.  I pray that you will do activities that you love and that nurture the things you enjoy and I also pray that we keep dinner time special and join each night around the table.  I pray that we have time to make pancakes and grill and try new recipes.  I pray that we grow as a family.  We learn together.  We laugh together.  I pray for you everyday because I love you and I know 5th grade is going to be amazing. And I pray for you because I miss you when you aren't at home.    

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday September 1

It's a wrap.  Summer of 2014, it was amazing.  This afternoon during a trip to Captain Sundae we talked about our favorite moments.  We talked about cousin time, New York, Climbing the fire tower (conquering a fear), and really everything (well some things more than others....not the Pneumonia or dad being gone).  For me it was the small moments, lunch together everyday, snuggling up at a random 2:00 in the afternoon, morning snuggles in my bed, and pancakes...we made a lot of pancakes this summer (all from scratch and many different recipes).  As all the summers have gone this far, it went too fast.  It seems like we were just unloading backpacks and today we loaded them back up (maybe that's because Noah just cleaned his out this afternoon before re-loading it).  We packed in a lot of memories.  A lot of fun.  A lot of laughter to bring us through the long days of school.  As I say every year, I do not do a happy dance on the first day of school.  I cry.  Big sad tears.  The best days are the days that we are home together.  But, tomorrow starts 5th grade.  The last year of elementary school.  New things to experience, to learn and to love.  I pray that we keep the treasures from this summer tucked closely to our hearts as we start up the busy.  I pray that we can carry a little bit of summer over in to our fall.   A little of the slow.  A lot of the laughter.  Maybe even a few pancakes.  Ready or not, 5th grade here we come. 

Sunday August 31

Today we enjoyed a wonderful morning at the Allegan Antique Market with my mom and dad.  We did a lot of hunting for treasure and had a great time!  The afternoon was full of final back to school preparations before a wonderful dinner.

Saturday August 30

Today was toasted marshmallow day!  We decided yesterday that it would mean a toasted marshmallow at each meal.  Noah made s'more pancakes for breakfast (from scratch) and we put a toasted marshmallow on top.  At lunch we enjoyed a toasted marshmallow over the stove.  Mid afternoon the girls decided we needed to make homemade marshmallows for dinner, so we did.  They were the perfect way to top off a great day!