Sunday, September 10, 2017

Back-To-School - 2017-2018 School Year

The first week back to school for the 2017-2018 school year is complete.  
To be honest, the first week back to school is always a little tough.  No matter how much we prepare, there's still an adjustment to actually making the transition.  

All our dumplings, for the most part, had a great first week.  

Our Mollybug started 10th grade.  

I guess now that she is a sophmore in high school we're not really supposed to call her our Mollybug but ... oh well, ... it's my post ... I will if I want to!  LOL!!
Molly dove in to her first week with very full days right away ... school all day, volleyball practice/games until 8:00 - 8:30pm and then homework/studying with her bestie until 10:30 - 11:00pm.  Yikes!!  It's only the first week!!

Brynn started 6th Grade ... her first year as a Middle-School-er!!!
She actually had a really great week ... woke up excited each morning and came home in a good mood!!  This is a VERY welcome change!  I think it is going to make a tremendous difference for her and us this year with her being in her own school without an older or younger sibling being there too.  

Jonah and Rees had a pretty good week ... but I think they prefer summer vacation.  It's pretty sweet having all those days off of school but they're good boys ... they'll get back into the swing of things!

Rees is in 1st grade this year and Jonah is in 2nd grade.

It's really nice when teachers take photos during the school day ... we never had this when our big kids were in school!!

Well, here's to a great second week ... you all have a great week too, okay??

Monday, September 4, 2017

Outdoor / Camping Adventures

So, we L-O-V-E the outdoors and it's getting to be that time of year when we (well, certainly I) REALLY L-O-V-E it!!  
We try to go on a hike now and then and now is a great time to do it.  
It hasn't been too hot lately ... well, not all summer, really ... which is A-OK with me!
I think the weather we've had this summer has been great (even ALL the rain), though I know there are many who would disagree with me, especially those affected by the area flooding earlier this summer.  BUT seriously the terrible flooding we had in our southern part of the state WAS terrible, but NOTHING like what is happening in Texas these past few weeks.  

(Four little dumplings, all in a row ...)

It is so exciting to me when they are intrigued by nature!!

Of course, we have to take a few "selfies".  

And, to our benefit sometimes, the kids all enjoy taking a few photos too!

I just love all the wild things growing this time of year!

Last week we actually took a vacation!!  I think it was our first one since adopting the boys!!

Even our big boys came with us for a few of the days!  That was a HUGE treat because they have not been camping with us in about SEVEN years!  This time they actually wanted to come along ... it wasn't us making them!! CRAZY, I know!

This guy was enjoying sleeping in way past 3AM!!!

This little buddy enjoyed feeling and playing in the sand.

We had beautiful weather with even more beautiful sunsets ... awesome for photo taking!!

Sunset over Yellowstone Lake ... one of our favorite places!

One of our "must-do"'s if we are in the area is to go to New Glarus, ... it is considered to be Little Switzerland in Wisconsin.  The whole town is set in Swiss Style and is always nice to visit.  Check it out ... you know you want to!!

We decided to have lunch at Kennedy's Ice Cream Shop and they have this fun Cow you can sit on ...

Another traditional stop, which is also in New Glarus is the New Glarus Brewery.  We first went there because they are a customer of the company that Brian works for.  I was so impressed to watch the machinery in action!!  So, now, we go each time we are in the area!

Every time we go it has grown more and more.  They continue to add on and expand the area on their grounds.  It is a nice place to see and visit even if you aren't interested in BEER.
(these two photos are compliments of their website)

They have some very motivational signs in their building too!!

There are plenty of great photo spots.  I see this place becoming a great wedding photo spot!

While we were camping, we also did a lot of hiking!  
The weather was perfect for it!

Nature always provides LOTS of great photo spots!!
Isn't that just awesome of God??
It's all His beautiful canvas ... 

Another town we visited that is in the area is Shullsburg.  I definitely recommend a visit and we hope to return when we have more time!!  To me, it was a little hidden treasure that we stumbled upon and I wish it hadn't been so late in what was our last day.  
(photo courtesy of google search)

(photo courtesy of google search)

There are several lovely shops on Historic Water Street as well as places to eat, including the Shullsburg Creamery and Shop.  You can choose from a plethora of cheeses and sausages and various other treats and gifts.  There is a mining museum and historic memorial dedicated to the eight miners who lost their lives in what is considered the worst mining disaster in Wisconsin.  

And there was this little find ... that we had to quickly get to (meaning we had to forego all other options) before it closed.  This is Mary O'Leary's Cabins in rural Shullsburg (and by rural, that only means it's about 2-3 miles out from historic Water Street.

This was a great place ... right up our alley!

It's sort of like a museum, because it has so many treasures and relics of times past, but it is actually a place to shop for said items.  

Some of the items are quite pricy but ALL of the items are so lovely to look at.  

You can walk around outside the property too and enjoy the surroundings, find more treasures, and take great photos!

I understand they also have events and gatherings there, suitable for all ages!

It was a great visit and a great week away!! 
We are so thankful for the time we had together and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors as a family.

Next up: Back-to-School !!