Friday, June 29, 2012

{This Moment}

{This Moment} - A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. We wish you a most magical of weekends!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Lake Trip Of The Season

Last week with the summer heat having arrived with the Summer Solstice we decided it was a fine time to seek some relief at the lake in town.  We packed the car up with all the key things required for a beach trip and headed out in search of the relief that can only come from being near water.  As soon as we pulled into our parking spot the girls began to squeal.  Clearly, all the memories from last year and the fun they had at the lake came rushing back to them!  We hiked up the hill, pulling our trusty wagon behind us until we finally reached the sand.  Once the perfect spot was located the girls wasted no time getting into the water.  It was a gorgeous day at the lake and while there were a fair amount of people there it was by no means too crowded.  The water was warm, the skies were blue and the smiles on our faces were huge.  Life is good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Solstice Strawberries

One week ago we celebrated the Summer Solstice by going strawberry picking.  Mother Nature blessed us with a very hot first day of summer so the girls and I headed out to one of the local berry patches first thing in the morning so that we could get our berry picking done before the heat really set in.  The girls were absolutely amazing berry pickers this year and our hard work paid off in the form of lots of delicious strawberry jam (eleven jam jars worth to be exact)!  While we would have liked to have picked (and canned) more, those eleven jam jars will surely be a lovely reminder of this most gorgeous Summer Solstice day during our cold New England winter months.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our Summer Manifesto

We had such a great time coming up with our Summer Manifesto and will be making one for each season from now on!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Reading Program

Hi Friends!  For those who have been wondering where we have been for the last week I just wanted to let everyone know we've been having difficulties with the computer I use to blog.  Thankfully, our friend (and computer guru, Paul) had recently spent some time sprucing up our old Mac laptops and while they surely don't run fast (they are almost 10 years old, after all) something is better than nothing!  Needless to say, I have 400 pictures to go through and blog about!  I will do my best to get caught up and share all the fun filled things we've been up to!  And now, without further adieu, I give you today's blogpost...

You know it's summer when the library summer reading program begins!  And while the girls are not yet to the point where they are reading on their own we still have a great time signing up and seeing how many books we can read in one summer.  This year's theme is Dream Big.  The kids who are part of the program will be building ladders to reach to the moon and stars.  For each book read a rung will be added to the ladder.  As you can imagine the girls are super excited to help reach the moon and stars!

We started with filling out their Dream Big Sheets which get to be included in the Dream Big Book. 
We also chose a rubber ducky to take home and bring on adventures with us for a week.  Think Flat Stanley but with a rubber ducky instead.  There are a whole bunch of Library Ducks to choose from.  The first one to accompany us this summer was Indiana Duck (chosen by Grace). 
We took Indiana Duck to Old Sturbridge Village on Sunday.  The girls loved showing him around!

Friday, June 22, 2012

{This Moment}

{This Moment} - A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. We wish you a simply sweet weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grace And Emma Go To A Party

Any week that kicks off with a birthday party is bound to be a truly fabulous week!  
Happy 5th birthday, friends! May this be your best trip around the sun yet! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In Celebration Of Fathers

My Daddy and I in 1978.
David and his girls in 2011.  
Hard at work (with a little help from the Ponies, 2012).

"On this day we would like to acknowledge and honor all the fathers who understand the importance of their presence in a child's life. Who know that it is more than "providing" for the child. it is about being present to the everyday joys and struggles. It is about loving your children for who they are, dreaming of what they will be and accepting that the role is to guide not control. When a child has that love from a father, the world is a better place. Thank you to all the wonderful fathers we know." 
-As found on the toLabor Facebook page (toLabor is the organization I became a doula through).  

On this Father's Day I would like to take time to honor all the amazing, hands-on Dads that we are fortunate to count among our friends, but most importantly I would like to take a moment to honor my Dad and David.  Two men who are quietly strong and our biggest champions.  For without these two men life as I know it would not have been possible. It is due to their hard work and dedication to their families that we are able to live these amazing lives.  Just like the quote above says it's about being present and guiding the children to reach their ultimate potential.  And really, that sums up my Dad and David beautifully.

To David: I am so honored to get to be your wife, best friend, mother of your children and your all around partner in crime.  Thank you for all the diapers you have changed, boo-boos you have bandaged, babies (and toddlers!) you have worn, tears you have dried, mani-pedis you have given and jokes you have told.  Thank you for all the meals you have made, the dishes you have done, the stories you have read, the games you have played, the adventures you have taken and the Legos you have built.  Thank you for the laughter, love and friendship and thank you for embracing each of my ideas no matter how crunchy they are!  I am easily the luckiest girl on Earth!  XOXO

Friday, June 15, 2012

{This Moment} "Yay, Crickets!"

{This Moment} - A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. We wish you a joy-filled weekend!  And to all those Papas out there we wish you a very happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beginnings Are Scary, Endings are Sad, But It's The Middle That Counts

Today was the last day of Crickets for Emma.  For those that have been reading along with our many adventures, you may remember that in September Em headed to preschool (or "camp" as it was initially called, later to be referred to simply as "Crickets").  I blogged about her first day here.  Originally we had planned to send her again next year but after much discussion (in the wake of Dave switching jobs) we ultimately decided that this would be her one and only year of Crickets. It was a very hard decision as we all felt a wonderful connection with this amazing community.  No one was phased that we were homeschoolers, in fact, on more than one occasion people said how much they loved that we were homeschooling.  And as luck would have it we were not the only homeschool family who had a child at Crickets!  Everything about this program is what (pre)school should be.  The staff is incredible.  Their days are incredible.  The amount of time spent outside.  The embracing of teachable moments.  The interactions with animals.  The multi-age group.  I could go on forever but I won't. I will leave it simply as this: In the wake of the less than stellar experience that was Grace's preschool experience this program is what we all needed!

In order to thank the amazing teachers we came up with the idea that flower pots should be painted and flowers planted. It seemed only fitting that we give the staff of a nature based preschool flower pots and flowers!  It was truly a family affair as we all had a hand in creating these gifts. 

Once the pots were dry it was time to plant the flowers.  Dave picked some flowers up on his way home from work and then Emma got to choose which plant went to which teacher. 
Which brings us to today.  After lunch we gathered everything we needed to bring with us and headed to Crickets.  As I drove out for the final drop off of the year I found myself getting really sad.  I reflected on all the amazingness that was this experience and found myself wishing that this was not the absolute last day of what was such an incredible journey.  We arrived and Emma handed each of her teachers their plants.  I wish that I had an extra pair of hands so that I could have taken pictures in addition to coordinating the gift giving, but it was not to be.  Just imagine how sweet Em looked carrying each of these plants to her beloved teachers. It is a memory that I will carry with me always.  After the gifts were given Grace and I hung around for a little bit to chat and play.  
Finally we had to pry ourselves away.  Before I hopped into the drivers seat I turned and looked back to see what had become such a familiar scene:
Grace and I then headed out to have a Grace and Mama adventure together. Ice cream was on the menu and a little bit of shopping too.  After all our fun was had we headed back to Crickets to pick Em up.  We arrived a little early and as luck would have it the Crickets closing circle was going to be held outside! I was so happy that we got to be there for their final circle. It was very special and I was way more emotional about it than I expected to be.  This is where wearing my "Jackie Kennedy" size sunglasses truly comes in handy! Mama shed more than her fair share of tears while watching the final moments of the Crickets time together. 
"Wait! Mommy needs to take a picture!"
It was such a truly spectacular day! The perfect ending to the perfect experience!  I am so eternally grateful that Em had the chance to be a Cricket, and David and I have said on more than one occasion how much we wish that Grace could have been there too.  A special thank you to Paula, Mary and Rina for making this experience so much more wonderful than we ever could have imagined!  You three will forever hold a very special place in our hearts.