Monday, October 26, 2009

Another year, another pumpkin patch!

Although this is by far our favorite time of year, it's bittersweet to think it's here already! When I downloaded this year's photos, I got caught up in looking at previous years' trips to the pumpkin patch. Where did my babies go? Now I have a young lady, a little girl, and a tiny man who likes to say "but, Mooooom!" over and over. I am so thankful to God for all these years of blessings and family memories that I will cherish forever. This year was no exception. We visited Russell Farms this year. While a little pricey, you get what you pay for. There are so many things to do there we couldn't even do it all. The putt putt course will have to wait till next year!
As a fun comparison, I posted some pics from pumpkin patches past. Feast your eyes on my rapidly growing children.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple Pickin' is the best!

This was one of the best times we've ever had apple picking. Eric decided the night before that the time to strike was NOW before our favorite place, Tuttles, got too picked over. So we set off with our little pickers in tow and had the perfect morning. It was crisp but not cold and beautifully sunny. The trees had a BUMPER crop this year too! Ian's favorite part again this year was being on wagon duty. No one else was allowed to TOUCH the wagon because he had it under control. Megan, as always, enjoyed the animals most. They always seem to be drawn to her. It's truly amazing to witness. Claire was really into the corn maze (or maize, he he). She kept saying "One more time! I can do it faster!". Daddy has a new love affair with honeycrisp apples and I got my apple butter, so the whole family was happy! Oh how I LOVE fall!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to School 2009

That was, for real, the FASTEST summer ever! I mean, looking back, we did a LOT. Florida, Zoo, museum, splash parks, playdates, the list goes on and on. But come on...August 12th?!! I firmly believe that no school should start before the state fair! It's just too darn early. It's so unfair that someone else gets to spend all day with my girls now. That should be me! But, they love it and are learning so much already, so I need to get over myself. At least I still have have my little buddy Ian! He's so fun and this is a blessed opportunity to get to have all this one on one with him. He misses his sisters during the day, but he's asking for them a little less each day.
Their first day of school was fun, starting with breakfast with our neighbors. We set up out in our neighbor's driveway and all the parents brought some yummies to share. The kids loved sitting together and talking about what they were excited for that day. One neighbor even brought Starbucks for all the parents (God Bless you, Lori!). As luck would have it, we even had butterflies that we had been watching since caterpillars and we released them that morning. Too cool.
Of course, the big excitement of the day is the bus. Ahhh, the glorious bus and all it's orangish-yellow splendor. I'm happy to report we have a MUCH nicer driver this year, which makes me feel so much better. I was seriously struggling with the idea of putting not one, but TWO of my babies on a bus for a stranger to drive off with. Eric, my sainted husband, chose to work from home that day so he could help my crying, overly emotional self home from the bus stop. Having my neighbor friends there helped too. When I was crying the hardest right after they drove off, my empathetic neighbor, Shaun, took a picture. While I'll have to delete it and he deserves a beating at some point, it did make me laugh. So, I need to focus on the fact that they are healthy, happy, smart girls that love going to school. Thank you , God, for COUNTLESS blessings, including my children that love to learn and spend their day away from Mommy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Claire Victoria Strauss-Age 6

Wow. Six years. I mean, really? She's my BABY girl. I've always thought of Megan as a big girl, but not Claire. Megan was always a little more grown up than her age, so seeing her grow up has been easier for me. But Claire will always be the chubby cheeked, wide eyed, drooling baby in my mind. From the time of her painless, effortless delivery, she was a perfect baby. Slept and ate well, rarely cried, easy to smile. Everyone always got a smile out of her and that always made me so proud. I know how good it makes me feel to get a smile out of a baby and I always loved that she did that for so many people. While she has grown far less agreeable and we joke that her looks are what keeps her living, I can't help but cry as I type out how much I adore this child that God has gifted to Eric and me. I can't fathom why I get to be her mother. As testy as she can be, that's how sweet and loving she is. Sometimes she truly can't stop herself from hugging and kissing you. She actually panics if she leaves someone she loves and thinks she might have forgotten to hug, kiss, and tell them she loves them. Thank you, God, for trusting me to be her mother. I hope I'm doing your will for her everyday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

Well, for the first time in three years, Eric was engineering a race on the fourth. This used to be a regular occurrence, but he's been home for the last three years' 4ths. So, while sad and missing Daddy, we made the most of a rainy holiday. First, we spent the day at the Children's Museum with our friends Kristin and Molly. This was so fun. The girls, as well as Ian actually, love being with Molly. Mommy loves being with Kristin, so everyone wins with this combo! After the museum (and some gift shop memorabilia) we headed to our house. The eight dollar combo pack of fireworks were just right for four kids seven and under. The girls loved the sparklers and Ian favored the "snakes" that grow. He was calling them snake poop and then laughing hysterically at himself. I was pretty entertained by it too, honestly! The evening wrapped up with a movie and popcorn in Tiff and Eric's room. The girls did great sleeping all together in the girls' bedroom floor. All in all, great and exhausting holiday!

On a side note, Mommy was THRILLED that it was picture with Star Wars characters day!!! I dragged the kids from guy to guy. Whoo-hoo!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taking my zoo to the animals

Ok, so I know everyone HATES cool weather in summer, but I LOVE it! Last week in Indiana, it was unseasonably cold...high 60's, low 70's. It was heaven. We spent a ton of time outside. One of the best days was at the zoo. Summer at the zoo isn't always pleasant. There's only a couple places to cool off and heated animal poo isn't my favorite air freshener. This day, however, was perfect. They weren't even burnt out and begging to go as usual when it was time to go. Another treat was that Daddy was able to join us before he left for a race, which is always nice. We saw it all and slept well that afternoon!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ian's future in landscaping

This boy loves to mow. More than that, he loves to do what Daddy does. So, as one can imagine, the fact that this task combines both elements makes it his favorite thing currently. Eric has even gotten to where he looks forward to mowing because Ian's interest is so darn cute. First, Eric mows a random curvy path in the yard that Ian uses. I think it really makes him feel like HE'S cutting the grass. Then , he follows Eric up and down the rows he mows. He is diligent and rarely, is ever, looses interest until the entire yard is done. The new element he has added is trimming. Eric doesn't let Ian in the yard while he's doing this, but he watches from the window. He then goes outside with his bubble blower that looks like a leaf blower, and does the "timmin'". Put that altogether with Ian in plaid bermudas, black vans, and a big belly, and you've got yourself a bloggable memory.

Fishers Freedom Fest

Ahh, festivals. This is where Eric and I could NOT be more different. I live for Saturdays with booths full of crap I don't need, mullets, and funnel cakes. Eric, on the other hand, dislikes festivals so much that his personality changes while we're at them. He becomes surly, irritable, and edgy. Seeing as we can't miss out, for the kids' sake of course, I tolerate this behavior so we can participate in the small town wonder that is...A FESTIVAL!

This particular day was very busy. Megan had a birthday party to attend and Ian had a date with his beloved nite-nite, so Claire and I ventured off on the tandem bike alone. We had a wonderful time bike riding to "downtown" Fishers where we played at the playground, had ice cream, and watched the parade. Luckily, Eric with Ian and Megan in tow (quite trailer) were able to join us shortly after the parade began. The kids and I thought it was great, and Eric lived.