She walks away...
Mary listening to her teacher
Mary lining up to go in to school
My little girl started school today. She was so excited to start school and could hardly wait. She enjoyed the whole first week and is excited to go back next week for week number two. Anya, Stephen and I will miss her a lot but I think Mary will really enjoy herself. I am glad she is only going for three days a week though. After going round and round and round we picked a school and so far I feel we made the right decision. Her teacher did a wonderful job at helping the kids get used to school this week and has worked at communicating with us nervous parents as well. I was so thankful to see the e-mails she sent home and that she took the time to write a letter explaining how things worked in the classroom. Mary did great but Anya and I were sad to see Mary go. Grandma (my mom) came along to help and gave Anya two rocks which helped cheer Anya up a bit. Anya cried when Mary went into school and said “I want to just go tell her one thing. Who is going to play games with me.” It was sad but really sweet too. I feel so happy that they have such a close relationship.
Anya after Mary went into school with her rocks
Stephen just because he is cute
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We have been trying to buy more local foods. We joined a CSA and we get a basket of vegetables each week. Sometimes I have to get creative to use everything and I have been learning about different vegetables. We got the biggest head of lettuce I had ever seen one week.
Anya with lettuce
Pillowcase dresses 2
I am a novice seamstress, but I found a tutorial
on-line of how to make pillowcase dresses. I had made them before from fabric but this was my first attempt actually making them out of pillowcases. I had some pillowcases that were “reversible” and so I made some matching sun dresses for the girls.
Yesterday I experienced my first fourth of July in the midwest. It was great. We had a really fun day with the children. At one point Anya commented it was “the best day in the world”. We started out with the Ada parade, the kids got free face painting and were so excited that people threw candy at them. Then we went to the festivities on the village green. They had free rides and things for the kids. Also some arts and crafts. On our way to the parade we stopped to chat with a woman and she told us her home is always open if we needed anything for the kids.
Later we drove to another nearby town, East Grand Rapids and looked out on our beautiful Reeds lake, watched the boats and the girls got to jump in the blow up jump things as part of their fourth of July celebration. The weather was so beautiful and the family friendliness of the area never ceases to amaze me. We went to get ice cream at our favorite little soft serve place attached to a gas station.
Today we went out to swim at a lake near Rockford. Mary and Anya had a lot of fun and little Stephen stayed on shore and had fun with Daddy. I tried to swim a few laps out to the buoy and back but realized my triathlon days are a distant memory. However, I have hopes of getting fit again someday soon bit by bit and I did manage to swim three laps without drowning.
So maybe, western Michigan is not as “progressive” as some places. Maybe, some even think of it as a backward place. However, I think it really is a great place and a pretty laid back place. I think more companies should consider relocating to Grand Rapids as it has a great art scene, cheap housing costs, great neighborhoods and is a great place to live overall.
Since before we moved to Michigan my husband and I were calling it “the land of blueberries and strawberries”, so we had to go strawberry picking this year. On Thursday I went out picking with my youngest daughter Anya to Krupp’s farms here in Grand Rapids. My oldest and youngest chose to stay with Grandma. We picked for about 15 minutes and my three year old got restless but then we had fun at the petting zoo and getting ice cream. We had so much fun in fact that we all went back to pick and have fun the following day. My five year old had a little more patience for picking, I wore Stephen on my back in my Ergo baby carrier and Anya helped out too. Grandma came along as well to help out and get some Strawberries too. We did not pick too long but the strawberries were so dense that we got about half a flat. Stephen was happy as long as I kept passing him strawberries to eat, I would kind of wipe them off on my shirt to hopefully get at least some of the chemicals off. I was happy I wore an old shirt as the back was all speckled with red stains! I felt kind of proud of myself for being able to pick strawberries with a baby on my back.
After our return home, Mary had the idea that we should make a strawberry cake. I found this recipe, Whole Foods strawberry cake and stayed up late last night baking it and making the frosting. Then the girls and I finished decorating it this morning after they woke up.