1) Well we had a few birthdays! July 18 Mary turned 1, August 1 Kateri turned 3, and September 23 Ruth turned 5! Due to many events, trips and pure logistics, I decided to wait and have 1 party for all 3 girls in September. We dubbed it ‘The Blondies’ Birthday!’. I made 1 cake and had each girl choose a color for the 3 layers and it was GREAT. Lucy made party games including a scavenger/treasure hunt and a Blondies Trivia that was super fun. (ie Which Blondie does not like strawberries? Which Blondie had the quickest labor? Which Blondie could ride on 2 wheels before she was 3?) Ruth and Kateri loved the festivities and didn’t care that it was not right on their birthdays, and Mary couldn’t have cared less about any of it! Win!
2) We rounded out our summer with our 2nd camping trip of the year (I had really hoped for more, but alas, it was a great summer!) We ventured to Backbone State Park where we have camped in years past. We have an annual family picnic there on Labor Day weekend that coordinates nicely with camping. We enjoyed all the joys and memories of camping and only got rained on for a few hours :-\ We played in the creek, visited the spring, ate good food, hiked great trails, saw the world’s largest strawberry and did a little fishing. I have some big camping dreams for next summer involving the great American roadtrip, but, we will see 🙂
3) Everyone went back to school! Well…..not me. 19 years was enough for me-HA!. But anyways, as you can see, Lucy got contacts that she occasionally wears, Ruth and Kateri occasionally wear shoes when we leave the house, and my son is tall enough that I cannot see over his head any longer and he is growing a mullet that he knows my strong feelings on. Jeremiah-3rd year Principal, Gabriel-6th grade, Lucy-5th, Amelia-2nd, Ruth-4 year old preschool, Kateri and Mary are just along for the ride 🙂 This is Gabriel’s last year at this school, next year he will proceed on out of the Bennett nest. I’m contemplating having Kateri start part time preschool at semester, one of the many reasons is to be able to say that 5 of my kids went to school at once, in the same building. Good reason, no?! 😉
4) In August we road tripped to Milwaukee, WI for my cousin’s wedding. By the way, did you know Milwaukee is a really cool place? We didn’t have a lot of time to see the sights, but we did squeeze in a jaunt over the the shoreline of Lake Michigan and let me tell you there was no swimming going on for us…it was cold water! We stayed in a giant Airbnb house with some of our fun family, attended a very diverse Catholic Mass then made our way over to our first Jewish wedding ceremony, ate A LOT of great food, didn’t break anything and danced, danced, danced with all the kids which was super fun. I swear, the girls do wear shoes sometimes…..
5) Other things I immensely enjoyed this summer, including, but not limited to: +Visiting our favorite Seminarian in northern Chicago for family weekend at Mundelein Seminary. +Rekindling my love for playing the trumpet. Lucy wanted to play my trumpet for 5th grade band, so I took it in and got ‘er all cleaned and shined up. I’ve been able to sight read easy songs and hope to join the community band next spring with Gabriel on the tenor sax! +We picked a ton of Concord grapes late this summer and Gabriel made it his mission to independently make grape juice and grape fruit leather. Proud, I am. +We’ve reinstated ‘Nana Tuesdays’. We’ve visited parks, the Figge Art Museum, shops, libraries and the like and treasure the time. +I blame my brother Mitch for the fact that I am now a mountain biking junkie. His bike may cost 10x as much as mine, but I severely enjoy the time on my bike, time with my brother, and time outdoors, of course! +And one of the loveliest summer pictures I’ve taken, right there, overlooking God’s country in Iowa 🙂