Back to School Feast 2014.

The children begin school on Tuesday so it was time to hold our annual back to school feast. This is an evening we all look forward to and it was fun having the opportunity to share it with Pia. After everyone was seated (and quiet, which can be a feat) I pinned a little chalkboard tag to each of their shirts that had the number of the grade they will be entering this year written on with chalk. A little badge, if you will.

Oliver was so worried I was going to poke him with the safety pin.

Before we ate we also unveiled our new family theme for the year. Ryan and I think and pray about what we feel our children need before choosing our theme and this year, the inspiration came from this Mormon Message. Our children are each beginning a new stage. Oliver's in Kindergarten, Audrey's in first grade and will be gone all day, Owen is going into fourth grade without his two best buds, Abby is beginning seventh grade, Easton will be a freshman in high school (!!!) and Pia is not only starting out the year at a new school but in a completely foreign country. We wanted them all to know that our Heavenly Father is always there and they can pray to Him whenever they feel they need to. We want them to keep praying, when they're in need but also when they're feeling thankful. There are so many reasons to pray and we hope that this theme will help them strengthen the lines of communication between them and their Father in Heaven.

My plan is to get our theme printed up and framed so we see it often.

Do you celebrate the new school year with a back to school feast too? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Pia's Here!

After an unexpected night in Chicago, our foreign exchange student Pia made it safely to us. We were so relived to see her! We've been spending some time getting her settled in and signed up to participate in sports at her new school. A typical trip to the grocery store was made more interesting seeing everything through Pia's eyes. "Everything is so big!" she said. You should have seen the look on her face when I showed her the cold cereal aisle. She couldn't believe all of the choices! The children are determined to get Henry to say her name before the day is over. Now all he does is look at Pia with a little shy grin.

We've got a busy weekend ahead of us getting everything in place for school to begin on Tuesday. There are school supplies to buy and of course our annual back to school feast. I'm so excited to get this year underway. Summer has been lovely but it's no secret how much I love fall. Happy weekend, friends!

Summer Happenings.

Summer vacation is winding down around here. I always have good intentions of updating this space through summer but it just doesn't ever seem to happen. We're too occupied swimming, boating, lounging, doing jobs, working on house projects and taking little trips to sit down and really spend time writing. Combine that with the symptoms of early pregnancy and you've got yourself a recipe for tiredness. That's right, in case you missed the announcement last week, we're expecting a little one in early January and are just so happy about it. Babies are an incredible gift and I feel so thankful for the opportunity to be a mother to another sweet spirit.

We've also been busy getting things ready to pick up our exchange student tomorrow. Pia is coming from Germany and we can't wait to spend this school year with her. Pia's aunt Svenja lived for a year in this very house with Ryan's family when he was a boy so she already feels like family. We've been preparing for Pia for months and months, it's hard to believe that in just a few hours she'll be boarding her flight to come to the United States. All of the children are on pins and needles- they just can't wait to finally meet her!

I hope your summers have been happy. I've loved ours but to be completely honest, this is about the time of year I begin craving our routine. I'm sure in a few weeks I'll be day dreaming about these lazy days…isn't that the way it always goes?

Baby Girl Shower.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Kristin and I hosted a baby shower for our dear friend Lindsay. Lindsay is expecting her first baby girl and we were so excited to celebrate with her. 

Kristin filled her beautiful home with pastel colored flower arrangements and we made food that Lindsay has been craving throughout her pregnancy to share with friends. That carrot cake? You can find the recipe right here.
The honeycomb garland added such a fun pop of color to the party.

Lindsay is a person that notices little details so we added simple things like a perpetual calendar with baby girl's due date, the shower invitation and sweetly wrapped gifts around the room.

The invitation (which I'll share more about soon) and these little cards were created by Miranda of Hairpin Letterpress. The card says "And though she be but little, she is fierce" and was used for guests to write a special note to Lindsay and her babe. At the end of the shower we gave Lindsay one of these Moleskine accordion journals for the note cards to be mounted in. It was a happy morning spent celebrating one of my very favorite people and I just can't wait to meet her little lady.

all photos by Kristin Andelin

Family Hike.

For our Family Home Evening activity this week we took the kids on a hike up Badger Mountain. The temperatures lately have been so nice. It won't be long before it's too hot in the evenings for this kind of activity; we knew we better take advantage while we have the chance. I was so surprised by the children's good attitudes! We all had a great time and didn't hear a single complaint. The secret to our success? I'm not sure there really is a secret but making sure everyone had their own water bottle and had good blood sugar levels definitely didn't hurt.
I love doing these kinds of activities. It's so good to get into nature with the people you love. Enjoying the beauty of this wonderful earth and getting that heart pumping is good for the soul!
Have a happy weekend, friends. It's been so nice getting back into the swing of this blogging thing this this week. Thank you for popping in and for being so kind. xoxo