This May, Lydia turned seven.
Almost three months have snuck by because 1) I had some technical issues with the blog and computer, and 2) these (5!) kiddos keep me busy. But here’s an update on our Little Miss Lydia as a seven-year-old.
Lydia is spunky, energetic, sweet, fun, outgoing, enthusiastic, inquisitive, sensitive, persistent, and observant. She loves to do fun things, eat good food, and be with people all the time. She observes everything around her, picks up on others’ conversations, and asks a ton of questions. She learns quickly, eagerly tackles new projects, and loves looking forward to things.
Lydia is a people person. She loves activities where we get to be with people: church, Bible study, gymnastics lessons, open houses, camping trips, dinner dates, babysitters, and the list could go on. Once a week, Dan takes one kid out on a daddy-daughter or daddy-son date for some one-on-one time. Lydia loves it because it’s something to look forward to, she gets to be with Daddy, and she gets a treat.
Maybe this goes along with being a people person, but Lydia is extremely verbal. Last year we took a trip to Toledo and Lydia literally talked the whole way there. She told stories, sang songs, and occasionally asked a question, but didn’t usually wait for an answer. When she gets excited, she talks more (gets that from her mom). Lydia already knows a lot about the difference between being an introvert and extrovert (because we’re opposites) and she knows how to give me space when I need it. But, when I’m up for it, Lydia always appreciates doing one more thing together, hearing one more story, or getting one more (long) snuggle.
Lydia is a sponge. This year she’s taken off on her reading and will read anything she finds lying around. For a day or two after we visit the library, we can hardly get her to do anything other than devour every single book we brought home. Then she asks me to read them to her too. She loves to read to me and she loves when I read to her. She’s also been learning piano (via hoffmanacademy.com) and she does extra math practice for fun (via khanacademy.com). She asks tons of questions. In fact, I started keeping a list of her questions. Once a week, during school, we learn all about all the things she wants to know. My current list includes: windmills, food born illnesses, branches of the military, how to play chess, how bikes work, how toilets work, ants, state versus federal politics, and our family history. I don’t come up with these ideas. They really come straight out of her mouth.
Lydia is a ball of energy. Maybe that’s obvious from what I’ve written so far. Looking back over the past few paragraphs leaves me feeling tired (and she’s not even with me right now!). But Lydia is also incredibly sweet and forgiving. She hates to be separated from others physically or emotionally. Sending her to her room is torture, telling her she can’t go to an activity is worse, and having a broken relationship with someone is the worst of all. She has a strong, but soft heart, and it hurts her to see others sad.
It is amazing to look back at Lydia’s life, all the way back to her first days in the NICU, and see her personality shine through from Day One. God has given us a precious gift in this little seven-year-old, and we are looking forward to see where He takes her in the years ahead.
“What should I write in Paul’s birthday card this year?”, I asked Dan in the middle of our spring break vacation to Georgia.“Put something in there about his spunk and charisma”.Paul is spunky and charismatic, ferociously loyal and stubbornly independent. And he’s entered into the threes. And we’re enjoying them so far. 🙂
Lydia is a people watcher. She likes attention and praise, but she’ll watch what other people do and imitate them. Abby is a follower. She’ll sweetly follow just about anyone, anywhere, doing anything. Paul is his own man. He struts around like he’s in charge. He takes matters into his own hands. When he gets an idea in his head, nothing can stop him. He’s adorably independent and doesn’t care if anyone is leading or following.He’s also super cute. 😀He loves the colors orange and blue and he’s obsessed with baseball. He picks little items and obsesses over them for a while, bringing them in the car, to the dinner table, and even to bed. Some of his little obsessions over the past year have included: his little orange New Testament (which was really mine and I never offered it to him, but he declared it “My Bible” and was so persistent that no one bothered to fight him), a plastic toy crow bar, a parrot puppet, my kitchen tongs, a whisk, and Elijah’s long-abandoned pacifier. Despite all his independence, Paul gets overwhelmed the most easily out of our four children. In those moments, he sits on my lap, holds my hair in one hand, sucks his two favorite fingers, and periodically looks up and me and says, “Hi Mommy”. As soon as his basic needs are met (food, sleep, and some snuggles if things are getting to overwhelming) he’s back to his confident self.
It’s hard to capture Paul’s personality in just a few words. He’s so unique, friends with everybody, and acts very cool. He’s an endearing little trend-setter. He’s also surprisingly bright. I say surprisingly because Paul wasn’t very quick to start talking. He still doesn’t say a ton, but he picks up on things easily and often surprises us with what he knows. Often I’ll ask the girls to do a task or tell Paul we can do something fun (play baseball or go outside, usually) after we finish a chore. The girls are slower to help and often get distracted, but not Paul. Paul is all business helping set or clear the table, sweep, or put away groceries. In fact, he often jumps in just to be helpful without my asking or mentioning any incentive. And, though he’s still learning, his helping often is actually helpful, even doing things I’ve never taught or consciously shown him how to do.Last year we were struggling to get Paul to speak. We would ask questions, read stories, point at the pictures or facial features and ask him what they were. Nothing. Then, on some random day, he would start spouting off all these words we never knew he knew. He’s sharp, for sure, but doesn’t like to show off.Even though Paul is not the youngest, he often ends up being the one who gets his way. “Orange bowl”. “Music on”. “Watch baseball!”. “No, Abby! Off the field! Lydia, play baseball with me!”. He’s so confident, insistent, and cute, that once we understand what he wants, he usually gets it.Oh, and Paul loves music. He loves the singing at church and he loves instruments. If we let him, he likes to hang out up front when church is over by all the instruments. He latched on to Lydia’s toy drum from when she was a baby and it has become his. We got him a real box (cajon) drum for his birthday and he loves dragging it around the house to play while the girls dance, music plays in the computer, someone is singing, or we have a guest over playing a ukulele (which also fascinated him). So there’s a glimpse of our three-year-old in a nutshell. He’s really and endearing little boy everyone should get to know. We enjoy having him around immensely.Happy birthday Paul! We love you!
Last Friday our family got to enjoy one of our big events of the year: Fur Rendezvous. In addition to the first showing of Eljiah’s video, this year featured Dan’s first ever act in the show. (You can watch the other kids’ videos here and here.)
Below our the two Taylor acts from this year’s show. Enjoy!
I take a lot of pictures. This spring, as I was trying to figure out how to find time to get everything done that I needed to do, it occurred to me that I don’t do anything with the pictures I take. They sit on the computer and never get looked at or enjoyed. I don’t have time to regularly upload to Facebook, so nobody ever really sees them. I resolved to put my pictures to a little better use. One idea that I tried this week, was picking out favorite pictures from the whole year and putting together an end-of-the-year video we could watch as a family on New Year’s Eve to remember the highlights from the year behind us. We had a special time last night watching this video and then thanking God for the many blessings He gave us over the past year.
So, here’s our year: 2017, in pictures.
Christmas Moose here, wishing you all a lovely Christmas season, and ready to fill you in on the last year in my Happy Little Home.
First things first. For the first time in many years, the family got me out of my box ON-TIME. We had a wonderful day listening to Christmas music, eating leftover Thanksgiving food, and picking out a Christmas tree to deck our living room. For some reason, the family didn’t think to bring me along to pick out a tree. I’m not sure why as my moose-background qualifies me to be an excellent tree-picker-outer. Ah well. The family came home with Lydia’s top pick for a tree, and though they had a little trouble getting it up straight, it sure makes for a lovely view from the fireplace mantel. There seems to have been an extra amount of dancing this year, Christmas music filling our halls, and, now that the Little Ones have figured out how to turn on the Christmas lights, they are on all-day, everyday. Not that I mind. Now, I know you’re all happy to hear all about me, but I must move on.
Starting with the youngest…Elijah John is now one year old. He’s an adorable Little Calf and he is strong. He muscles his way around the living room, sneaks around the tree, and gets right over to the lights faster than you can say, “Antlers”. He’s pulling up now, babbling, giving hi-fives, and can handle being wrestled by his older sisters. He likes to put things into his mouth, but hasn’t choked on any pine needles yet. Oh! And he can climb! He started climbing the stairs this month, adding to Justine’s list of regular prayer requests for his safety. He’s cute and sweet and, though it’s a bit early to tell, I think he’s going to be one smart little kiddo.
Paul (two-years-old) is his own moose…I mean, man. He struts around like he owns the place and isn’t afraid to be different. While the girls follow in each other’s footsteps, Paul doesn’t mind marching to the beat of his own drum, asking for a different treat than everyone else, or walking around barefoot regardless of the weather. He always has a favorite toy he obsesses over for a few days: a wooden puppy, cloth book, toy car, football, or even a kitchen item (metal tongs, recently). He’ll carry the item around all day, sleep with it, bring it to the dinner table, and on any outings. He’s learning to talk more and more, and, now that Dad sits by him at dinner, he’s learning to stay in his chair without crying, even when he doesn’t like the food. He still loves his mommy and anyone who’s around much will see Paul sitting in Justine’s lap, sucking his fingers and holding his own or her hair for comfort.
Abigail (four-years-old) is the sweetheart of the family. She loves to be snuggled, gets sleepy more often, and likes to make people happy. She will share with her siblings and gets so happy when she gets to skip nap time to play with Lydia. When they play, Abby is the princess/bride/ballerina and Lydia is the one helping her get ready and presenting her to the family. Abby smiles shyly and lets Lydia be the spokesperson, but she loves to dress up. Abby is learning her letters this year and is working on memorizing her third Bible verse. Abby is slower to learn new things than Lydia, but when she learns them, she quickly becomes more independent. She has been known to clean the whole living room so she could have room to play, or find a blanket and snuggle up in the glider for hours when she isn’t feeling well. Abby is often humming and singing, especially the two Bible verses she already knows and affectionately calls, “my verse”. She has a fiery temper which she is slowly learning to control, but she also has a fiery love for life and fun and her smiles are always making everyone around her so happy. She is also the little fish in the family and loves all things water. Do not expect Abby to walk near a puddle without marching right over and stomping in it at least once.
Lydia turned six this year and started first grade. She learns incredibly quickly, which is good, as the school day is often interrupted by diaper changes and nap times. She is learning to pay attention to God’s voice and obey. Lydia’s appetite for playing (especially with her Daddy) is insatiable. She loves being read to and doing fun activities. Lydia is always asking, “Can today be a fun day?”. Some days the family goes out (without me) and visits a museum or walks downtown somewhere, eats out, and calls it a fun day, though I can’t imagine any family truly having that good of a time without their Christmas Moose. Lydia thinks every day should be a fun day. Every meal should be special. And there should always be dessert. After Elijah started trying to choke on everything, her school prizes were removed from the house (choke-ables, the family calls them) and she is now rewarded by earning enough “points” for her work to watch an episode of Mister Rogers with her siblings. I can’t say I mind. The kiddos gather together and Elijah crawls laps around them while they all sit mesmerized for half an hour listening to the show, then they spend the next week acting it out over and over again. It’s pretty cute. Lydia never outgrew the “why-stage” and can ask a million questions without taking a breath. She is strong-willed and independent, but still loves to feel close to her parents and even her siblings, and can’t stand going to bed without being on good terms with everyone (and saying goodnight and giving hugs and kisses all around…twice).
The year has been full of ups and downs for Justine. January started off with a newborn. February found the family falling into a nice groove, but then March turned everything upside down. It was a rough end-of-winter with not enough sunshine, sleep, or health in the home. Springtime brought sunshine and led off an epic summer full of happy family memories. Fall was a process of getting back into routines and fighting for more sleep. Why these babies don’t sleep is a mystery to me. Moose calves just don’t have that problem, I guess. Justine has been embracing simplicity this year, and especially this winter, reevaluating her to-do list and canceling item and item that aren’t actually necessary. She’s setting aside computer or phone time to engage the kiddos and tackle the few items she has left to-do this year. I must say, it’s a heart-warming sight to see her sitting in her favorite chair each morning with the Christmas lights on and a mug of hot tea or coffee. Her Bible is kept on my mantle lately (where the Little People can’t hurt it) and each day after reading, her thoughts, burdens, to-dos, and worries are laid out before the Lord then left for Him take care of. The highlights of her year (beside becoming a tri-athlete) have been prioritizing her family and letting a lot of other things go, growing in closeness and unity with Dan, and seeing God work in the hearts of her children in some big and little ways.
This fall Dan celebrated his first anniversary working on the autonomous car for GM. After months of the family praying that he wouldn’t have to drive so far to work, with no obvious answer in sight, his boss suddenly gave him an immense increase in freedom to work closer to home in addition to one day at home each week. Unlike any moose dads I’ve known, Dan is an incredibly involved father. He tucks the kids in each night, chats with them about their day, answers their questions and prays for them. He leads family Bible-time each night, reading the Bible and asking or answering related questions. He asks the kids about their days, takes them outside to sled and build snowmen, and stays up-to-date on what their learning in school. He has been realizing more and more how important it is to invest in the family and let other things go, especially as he observes and hears from older dads in his office who haven’t done so and regret it now. Dan plans the best fun days, treats his children with love and attention, and showers Justine with love in all five languages.
It’s been a delightful season in this warm home, and along with the Taylor family, I wish you a beautiful Christmas celebration in the coming days and the happiest of New Years.
Mister C. Moose
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Elijah’s first birthday. Although I’ve shared plenty of pictures on here of our Sweet Boy, I wanted to spend this post sharing a little about who our Elijah is.
We call him Lij, Big, Elijah, and sometimes Sweet Boy. He has always been a mellow baby, and very content. When I was pregnant, he didn’t kick or move around very much compared to any of his siblings. He’s always happy to do his own thing: crawl around, eat anything he can find (more on that later), or play with anyone. I think he’s going to grow up to be a relatively quiet boy and eventually become the kind of person who, once he does open his mouth, has very wise words come out.
He’s also very strong. I’ll probably always remember turning around one morning, as I was preparing breakfast, to see one of our children (who shall remain nameless) standing on Elijah’s back. Just standing there like he was a step stool. I yelped, scolded, and got that kid off of Elijah as fast as I could, but Elijah just lay there mid army-crawl, looking up at me with an expression that said, “What’s the big deal?” He was fine, though the child on his back weighed more than twice as much as he did.
Elijah is happy to play with anyone who shows him interest. Abby will frequently entertain him while I’m in the kitchen. She’ll hug him, “tickle” him, and wrestle him, and he’s happy just to have the attention. Just about anyone we let pick him up will find a sweet, smily baby, who is, again, happy to interact no matter who you are. But when Elijah gets tired, he wants Mom. He’ll start crying if he sees me enter the room and he’ll army crawl quickly over to my feet. Just like his siblings, he’ll pop some fingers in his mouth (he prefers the pointer and middle finger of his left hand) grab on to my hair or his own, and become quiet and content once more.
But, Elijah LOVES his daddy. There’s a Frank Sinatra song called “I Only Have Eyes for You”, and, though I don’t actually know the whole song, that one line from the title pops into my head just about every time Lij spots Dan across a room. He’ll stare at him for so long until Dan finally comes over, gives him some attention and hold him. (Abby was the same way.) “Mom’s great when I’m tired, but there’s nobody like Dad!”
As far as food goes, Elijah has recently started to eat a lot. For months we couldn’t get him to eat solid food. Baby food of any flavor makes him gag. He won’t touch bananas. Avocado won’t stay down, and even if it could, we can’t get him to put it in his mouth anymore. The only toothless-friendly food Elijah likes are sweet potatoes, and he loves sweet potatoes. Of course, my one baby to skip the purees is also the slowest to get teeth. The day his molars come in will be a happy day, because Elijah will pretty much only eat what we’re eating. And he’ll only eat it if he gets to feed it to himself.
As we approached the one-year mark, Dan and I were DONE getting up at night, but Elijah wasn’t. We tried roughly a million approaches to get him to sleep better: night weaning, feeding right before bed, waking up to feed right before I went to bed, moving him out of our room, letting him cry, waking him up at preplanned times during the night to eat, and always, always, we just prayed that he’d stop getting us up. Finally, when the weather really got cold, we had to move him into Paul’s room because the room he was sleeping in didn’t have heat. Paul handled the transition surprisingly well (but he did keep asking for us to put Elijah in his crib with him, and could not understand why they had to sleep in separate beds. He also likes to give Elijah things to sleep with: blankets, stuffed animals, wooden tools, toy cars, books…). I gave up on “making” Elijah sleep through the night, and we all survived. Now we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as he sleeps through the night more and more frequently (four out of the last six nights, not that I’m counting).
We feel truly blessed to have Elijah in our family. Every child is different. Every personality is unique. Elijah is our strong, quiet, content, friendly baby with only one major flaw. He. Eats. Everything. I know all babies do this. I know I have three others and I can’t watch him as closely as I did the others. But it’s not just that. This boy has a gift. He can find things even if we just picked everything up. He’ll sneak (yes, sneak!) things into his mouth and then hold very still whenever you look at him so you can’t tell he’s chewing (gumming?) it. Rocks, dirt, leaves, small toys, day-old food, pieces of carpet he tore out himself. This summer, the day before we went on a short beach-trip, Elijah got his hands on a small giraffe eraser. Lydia was the first to notice him coughing and ran to tell Mommy (Way to go Lids!). I quickly realized the problem was beyond me and sent her to get Dan, who was, thankfully, working from home that day. He came down and did everything you’re <em<supposed to do. But when Elijah started gasping for air and coughing up mucus and blood, we called 9-1-1.
After a long wait, the paramedics came, repeated everything Dan had already done, and reported to us that Elijah would need to take an ambulance to the hospital where he would probably need surgery. I pulled the mom card (what if he needs to eat?) to get to be the one to go with him, even though Dan wanted to go. Dan graciously stayed home with the rest of the kids and I made a scary trip to Mott’s Children’s Hospital. Lij had missed his nap and fell asleep in the ambulance, which was actually a very good thing, but made for a scary ride. As I was trying to pray, I remembered some words from earlier that week, that an Elder had prayed for Elijah during his baby dedication, “We do pray for his protection. We pray that the Evil One would not be permitted to harm him.” Those words encouraged me. If our elder has been led to pray that only a few days before, and if we had faithfully shared how God had answered our prayers in Elijah’s life, to tell that God really does hear and answer our prayers, surely God wouldn’t intend on taking him from us now.
I prayed that Elijah would cough up the toy he was choking on, and back at home, Lydia was frantically praying the same thing (and that we could still go on our beach trip) with Dan and the rest of the kids. Elijah did cough up the toy just two minutes before the ER team was planning to call in their back-up surgery team (because the first team was busy). After coughing it up, Lij started grabbing all of the medical equipment, trying to pop it into his mouth too, which gave the team a good laugh and caused no one to give me a hard time. Clearly this was a baby who never stops putting things in his mouth. (And yes, we did get to go on our beach trip.)
God has been kind to us in giving us Elijah, and in protecting that Little Stinker beyond what we can do ourselves. When Elijah was born, I had always thought of him as a special gift. Elijah means: the Lord is Yahweh. John, named after Dan’s Grampa, means: Yahweh is gracious. Grace. Gift. Elijah John, you are indeed a special gift to our family. We wouldn’t trade you for anything. There’s no on like you. You remind us, sometimes daily, that God does answer prayer in big and small ways. He has protected you already when we thought we might lose you twice. Happy first birthday, my Sweet Boy. And, please, please, give us a less eventful second year!
Today our family has the privilege of celebrating Elijah’s first birthday! First birthdays are always exciting, but this one holds special significance to us because twice in his short life, we thought we might lose Eljiah. If you haven’t heard it yet, here is the story behind Elijah’s name, shared at his baby dedication a couple of months ago.
We’re into our third month of school, leaves are falling, and the air is definitely chilly, but I wanted to share some of the memories we created this summer. I’ve been meaning to write this for months, but with four Little Ones…well, you know.
At the beginning of every summer, our church ladies get together at Hidden Lake Gardens for a retreat. I’ve made it a family tradition to bring along one daughter each year for some one-on-one Mommy-daughter time. This year was Lydia’s turn and she was absolutely thrilled about going. The theme was “Transformation” with butterflies tied into everything from the activities to the decorations to the talks. There were caterpillars and butterflies adorning the tables at lunch and, at the end of the day, we released butterflies on the top of a hill. Lydia had a blast.
Our family made one more visit to the Toledo Zoo before our membership ran out and we let the kids ride one of the carousels. Growing up, my own parents often took “carousel pictures”, so here’s to carrying on that tradition.
The first week in July we spent up North, visiting family and enjoying the Cherry Festival and Traverse City beauty. We squeezed in lots of visits, two beach days, a day at the Cherry Festival, and cherry picking. We had planned on staying in a cabin near town, but the cabin was too musty, and, since Dan is particularly sensitive to mold, we made an emergency call to my parents and decided to haul our Little Crew over there. That turned out to be great because we got extra family time and we were even closer to everyone we wanted to visit and everything we wanted to do. It was fun, but exhaustingly fun.
One night, my parents took the three big kids and Dan and I got to go on a free VIP Cherry Festival date.
My sister and her family came too. 🙂
The girls looked so sweet all tuckered out from the fun.
One of my favorite moments from the trip was relaxing under a cherry tree after a morning of picking cherries. We had packed a lunch, and we just rested there eating our picnic and enjoying some time together.
Ever since last year’s family Christmas photo attempt, I’ve taken to a new philosophy: capturing life as it really is. Tears and all. (Some say you can’t have too much fun. You can. This is what it looks like.)
Papa entertained the kids for a few minutes while Dan and I unloaded the car.
A couple more visits…
Our kids love the children’s parade because…candy. For once-a-year tourists, they’re getting pretty good at snagging the candy. Even Paul caught on this year.
Toward the end of our trip we realized that the kids really only wanted to go to the beach. We tried to squeeze in a little more time there on our last day.
And then it was time to head home. The next day was our Church Picnic followed by a busy week of Camp Tikva (our version of Vacation Bible School).
Every year the kids learn a large Bible Memory passage set to music. Those who learn it and can recite it for their counselors get a prize. Lydia was so excited to get her prize on the very last day.
Once we recovered from the craziness of having a week of vacation followed by Camp Tikva, I gave Dan his first-ever day off. We sent him out of the house to have a day alone to read and pray and bike and think. The kids and I had a tea party lunch and played games.
Lydia lost her first tooth. And then her second.
And I raced in a triathlon. This was actually what made this summer so epic for me. Every other summer since Dan and I got married has had its share of difficulty (pregnancy, NICU stays, temporary living situations, working crazy hours, etc.) so this summer felt epic to me. With Dan’s help and support (and weekly babysitting help from Dan’s mom), I trained four days a week to be able to complete a sprint triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike ride, 2 mile trail run). I could write a whole post on this, but I just don’t have time. In short, it was SO FUN but also so hard. I definitely would like to do another one someday, but I think Dan’s going to have to do one first. I was by no means near the front of the pack, but I didn’t come in last place either, so that was good enough for me. The goal was to get back in shape and have fun and both of those goals were accomplished.
After the race we spent a day at our church camping trip. Then we stopped for ice cream on the way home. Best ice cream stop of the summer.
Since our kids so desperately wanted more beach time in Traverse City, and since I feel like they’re deprived not living ten minutes from the beach (like I did), we planned a sort of last-minute beach trip to the West Side of the state.
We found a family-friendly bed-and-breakfast and had a wonderful stay. Getting to eat breakfast, play in the pool, then go to the beach definitely brought smiles (and good sleep) to all of our kids.
Shortly after our beach trip, we embarked on a long-awaited vacation in Pittsburgh. What’s in Pittsburgh? That’s what everyone would ask us, and we honestly didn’t know. We knew we wanted to visit a big city, just our family, and our first pick was Boston. We decided Boston was too far away to drive with these kiddos, so we looked at a map and picked something within driving distance.
On our way down (and back) we stopped at Brandywine Falls in Ohio. It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the falls, perfect for the short break we needed.
We fell in love with Pittsburgh. The amazing city views, welcoming old neighborhoods, incredibly hilly winding roads, three rivers, a million bridges, and tons of fun things to do. We visited a science museum, children’s museum, parks, play grounds, unique restaurants, and a natural history museum. We stayed at an old apartment building that had been renovated and converted into hotel suites. One of my favorite parts of this trip was waking up in the morning, eating a casual breakfast together, taking our time getting ready for the day, and talking about the fun we had planned.
We also took the kids to a Pirate’s game, starting with batting practice. The evening turned out to be WAY too much fun for our family to handle, but batting practice sure was fun. Each of the kids got a baseball while the Cubs were practicing.
We took an inclined railroad up Mount Washington and ate at an Italian restaurant with a beautiful view. And we took a few now-classic “take it like it is” family pictures.
And then there were more museums…
Our last day there we made it to the River Walk, something I had on my list of things to do. When we got to the “water steps” we had to hustle to keep the kids from jumping right in (which would have been a lot of fun if the weather had been warmer!)
And so wrapped up our epic summer. We gradually have made our transition into fall and are currently enjoying the school year, colorful leaves, and lots of apples and pumpkins.