Fall 2019

This Fall was busier than I ever expected it to be. Our schedule quickly filled up with school, soccer, and all the other Fall events. Fall has come and gone, but I still wanted to do a quick recap because I love looking back at the different stages of our life.  
CORA started first grade and we experienced the busyness of full day school for the first time. I knew we'd be busy, but I didn't realize that we'd be losing so much time together. Cora is out of the house until basically 4 and then we only have a couple of hours together before an early-ish bedtime. We still have to complete homework and prep her things for the following day, so it feels like we barely get to spend any time together. On the plus side, Cora loves school! She is making so many friends and she has so much enthusiasm for learning. I always find her practicing her writing or spouting off different things she learned at school. One of her favorite subjects (which is new this year) is Spanish. She is constantly practicing... which in turn is motivating me to learn Spanish.

I was able to join Cora's class for a trip to Gorman Heritage Farm. We both learned a lot during the tour and I enjoyed meeting all of her new friends. It is always fun to watch her in her element.

Another exciting new thing we participated in this Fall was soccer! Cora joined her first soccer team and I got to help coach. Cora improved so much over the year and loved making new friends on the team. I spent most of my coaching time tying all the shoelaces and reminding the kids to keep their hands to themselves.  

IDA started preschool this year! I was a little nervous because she is young for her class and this is her first year at school, but she really seems to be killing it. Ida always asks me when she gets to go to school and excitedly chatters about her teachers and classmates. Her school offers a bonus music class once a week and then they perform at church after each session. Ida loves the class... the performance not so much.

In October, the girls took an African drumming class. The instructor would share a lot of background information about different beats, what country they came from, when they would be used, and different types of drums. It was very informative and the girls enjoyed the class. 
We spent a lot of time enjoying Halloween activities in our community. The girls and I attended a couple of Trunk-or-Treat events, so by the time Halloween actually came they were kind of over it. We only went out for about 45 minutes before Cora asked to go home and told me she didn't really want candy. When we got home, both girls had a snack and put themselves to bed... then the following day they were both sick, which explains the lack of enthusiasm.

We filled a lot of our free time with fall walks around the neighborhood (or home from school), playing in the backyard, reading, community festivals, hanging with the family, picking pumpkins, making haunted halloween houses, and playing lots of Uno. Fall was good to us this year!


Walks With Ida : Graffiti Tunnel

A couple weeks ago, Ida and I went back to our old neighborhood for a doctor visit. Whenever we make our way over to that part of town, I like to try and enjoy one of our favorite restaurants or visit a favorite park. I figured Ida would enjoy visiting our favorite graffiti tunnel.  Right when we walked  up, she excitedly yelled "Art!" and couldn't wait to get down there and check it out. We had a great little date with my girl Ida looking at the art and picking out our favorite spots.

Here are some posts from a previous trip to the graffiti tunnel with Cora and inspiration pictures.


Vegetable Garden : Growth and Veggies

The summer growing season is over and we cleaned out our garden and I thought I'd reflect back on this season.  Last time I shared about our garden, we built two more beds and started a bunch of seeds. Almost everything we planted this year seemed to do really well... which I'm sure was mostly just luck.  I tried to take a step back and water less, but we were also really busy this summer so I let the garden do it's thang.

Once the veggies started growing (late June?) we started harvesting them on a fairly regular basis. I liked to try and walk around the garden at least every other day to get some outdoor time and take a peek at the garden progress. I would harvest anything that looked mostly ripe so we could wash and eat (or share) that week.

I was out front one day and saw that our tree had something that looked like fruit. I shared a picture on Instagram and asked whether I should eat it (I tried it before I even got any feedback). One of my friends said it looked kind of like a Cherry Plum and they used to eat them out of their yard all of the time.  Well my taste-test didn't poison me, so we picked more and the girls loved them! Not sure if we'll have these plums every year (according to the internet, they need to be pollinated and I don't see a similar tree close to us), but we enjoyed it for this year.

This year was really fun because the girls were really into helping. The girls both loved to water the plants, spot baby veggies, harvest, and help carry our veggies in/wash them. We spent a lot of afternoons having our afternoon snacks next to the garden, which made that little spot of our yard that much more special.

This year, we started growing sunflowers. I purchased this variety pack of sunflowers (affiliate link) and it was fun to watch them grow and see what we would get. I originally planned to plant them all along our fence, but it turns out there were a lot of bricks, rocks, and broken glass along the fence so clearing it out was a much bigger project than I anticipated. I only planted sunflowers along one little section of our fence so we could get a feel for how to grow them. We got a range of colors and sizes and the girls loved checking out the flowers when we were back there.

Overall, I would say this was a very successful garden season. We got a lot of veggies, enjoyed the process, and learned a lot.  We're already looking forward to next year with some plans to build some paths between the garden beds, come up with some structure for the vining plants to grow on, and hopefully clear more space along the fence.

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