Monday, November 13, 2017
We kept the weekend of the 21st open for Charlie and Abbi's wedding in Michigan!  It was so fun to travel back up there so soon for another wedding.  This was a Friday night weekend corresponding nicely with a Friday 1/2 day of school for the kids.  The weather was perfection and we had a party bus.  Also perfection.

Brunch the following day included an impromptu baseball game!

Crazy kids


Charlie and Abbi Hess

Table #: trouble

Liv and Zac

The entertainment

Then we had a great Halloween weekend which included a surprise visit by my cousin Tam and her husband Kurt from Florida (to celebrate my cousin Laurie's 50th).  We had a party at a restaurant, followed by more gathering at Lavonne's, followed by brunch at my parent's, followed by dinner and a pumpkin carving contest at the Eggers'.  Soaked in every minute!
Lauren and Paige

Tami and Paige

BB guns.  Of course.

This and zip lining! Because it's not fun unless it's dangerous!

Hard working carvers

We were worried about Tami's carving plan at first.

Serious business.

The winner!

Of course, we did the normal Halloween as well.  I volunteered in Cole's class for a successful Halloween party and then Paige went to a party nearby.  Will went trick or treating with friends and I took Cole with friends.  A good time was had by all!
This is how high schoolers do Halloween

Weird, right?

Plenty to go around

Cole's costume!  :)

Lastly, towards the end of summer, Rich and the boys started their project refurbishing his late father's Cub Cadet tractor from the early 1970s.  They revealed it to Rich's mom on her birthday in early October.  Of course, before pictures would help, but it looks spectacular!

More in September

We are so thankful we decided to book a weekend in September just about an hour away for camping...because it ended up being our last camping trip.  Turns out, you don't have to go far away to enjoy the benefits of camping.  The Eggers joined us and my parents even came out for a cookout.

New addiction

September was also filled with a personal goal of mine - running a half marathon, and having events for the Park District Foundation of which I am a part.  It was not a boring month!

Filling In on Fall

I'm going to back track on fall a bit.  Obviously I'm late in updating.  I blame the weather.  You know, the weather that seemed to go from summer tank top weather to warm boots and gloves weather!

For example, Homecoming took place on a sweaty, humid 90+ degree late September day!  We weren't totally prepared for a gathering of a gazillion friends and parents before the dance, but it went smoothly!  Though some work, it reminded me that Paige has great friends that come with good parents and I'm happy to cater to that!

This one's my favorite

Subway to the rescue


Of course, there's more to Homecoming than the dance!  Because Paige was cheering for football, this involved us in the game, a parade, and of course, a cheer breakfast!
Friday Night 

Cheer Pool Party!


We were excited that despite thinking she wasn't going to, Paige tried out and made the competitive cheer team!  So...winter brings basketball games and weekends of competitions!

Will tried something new this fall, too!  He ran for the Jr. High cross country team.  He got better as the season went on and was particularly good at the kick at the end. 

Onto a New School Year

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
You guys.  This year I'm juggling three different schools.  (In case you can't picture it, that's 3 different bus routes, 3 different curriculum nights, 3 different school schedules and 3 different buildings to be involved in).  Some people have more than 3 kids.  They must be some sort of wizard to get it all done.

It has been a rather smooth transition into 9th, 7th and 4th grade!

The first weekend after classes began = sleeping in and FARM DAY!  We all took part again and Jamie brought the kids down to enjoy the day.

Just before that, we headed up to the Fox's for a quick visit while Paige was making her way home from NC.  This gave us an impromptu boat trip on the lakes.  The boys were feeling fulfilled!  They've been dying to get back out on the Fox boat!

Tail End of Summer

With planning a getaway becoming more like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with each person's schedules, we were SO glad that we signed on to the second half of the Eggers' trip in Cincinnati, OH.  Of course, the Eggers did have car trouble on the way out and we did  have car trouble as we left, which made things a little interesting, but it didn't cloud our good memories made at both King's Island and the Cincinnati zoo!
Petting a snake

Love this picture!

A little drizzle didn't interfere with our snacking plans!

"Each boat must have a person at least 14 years old."  Sarah lost this round of rock, paper, scissors. 

King's Island - beautiful weather, short lines, fun rides!

Renee and Cole

We all rode this full-family-drench ride!

One more camping trip planned for the season!

Just days later, Paige took a road trip to North Carolina to visit Aunt Beth, Uncle Mike, Uncle Jim and visiting cousin Katherine.  It was a great, special time!  Here are some of the correspondence pictures I received assuring me she was alive and well.

Here's to a future of more great experiences and travels!