Monday, September 28, 2015

September stuff

Can you believe that September is almost over?! The first month of school is always a quick one for us as we get accustomed to the schedule and the activities and the homework after a laid-back summer. I'm back in my get-up early routine which looks a little different these days without my beloved cup of hot coffee first thing (I've replaced it with a big glass of water and hot green tea). I get up early to try and have some time to myself to wake up and prepare for the day, but I'm convinced that my sweet girl has a "mama's up" sixth sense and most mornings joins me within five minutes of my sitting down with my Bible. While this can be a little frustrating, I always give her a big smile and a hug before settling her down beside me to sit quietly and wake up herself. We just ordered this clock for her and are hoping that the color change will help her know when it's time to go back to sleep (like when she wakes up at 5 and comes in and tells me she's ready to go downstairs) and when it's time to get up (we'll be setting it for 7!). Cross your fingers for us!

We've had some good days over this first month of the school year (with a few more to go - heading to the Fair tonight if the weather cooperates and celebrating Will's birthday on Wednesday) and I thought I'd share some photos here if you'd like to see.

 Annabel was sick on her first and second days of school this year, but by day 3 she was ready and excited to check out her new school. We hated to leave her old preschool but so far things are going great at her new one. She was so proud of her new backpack and matching lunchbox!

 Tommy's having a great baseball season this fall and is enjoying getting out on the field with his buddies and his dad. Love watching him play!

 Speaking of baseball, Annabel and I saw this amazing sunset on the way home from a game last week. Like Dani said in her Insta-Wednesday post, fall has the best sunsets.

 Annabel had her first-ever ballet class a couple weeks ago and she did not stop smiling through the entire thing. She loved every single second of it and although I never imagined myself as one, the minute I saw her in that adorable outfit was the same minute I willingly declared myself a "dance mom." (And by "dance mom" I mean the calm, relaxed, not-crazy kind. Come on, you've seen the commercials.)

 I brought out my soup pots for the coming chilly weather and have been enjoying the fruits of my simmering labor ever since. I've been cooking a whole chicken once a week and then boiling the bones for bone broth (great for a healthy gut!), which I then use in my favorite soups like that kale, sausage and white bean stew pictured above.

 I made these coconut-crusted chicken tenders last week and was pretty skeptical about whether or not my family would eat them. Turns out that with a little ketchup, they're exactly like chicken nuggets! Everyone ate them and asked for more. Win!

 Annabel and I squeezed in a little ice cream date one day last week in between picking her up from school and then getting Tommy out early for his yearly physical. She and Tommy LOVE cotton candy ice cream. I think it's the most disgusting ice cream flavor ever. Ick.

 Another fall sky. The best.

 I've been making a ton of guacamole lately, which makes Annabel really happy. She could eat it with a spoon and has been known to do just that on the rare occasion that we pick up dinner from Chipotle - she loves to eat it out of those little cups! The other day I asked her which she liked better: my guacamole or Chipotle's. She said mine! Love that girl.

 I made these granola bars on Saturday afternoon and they're really good! I added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and shredded coconut to the entire batch, then split the mixture in half and added chocolate chips to one and dried cherries to the second. While both versions are good, next time I think I'll use almond butter instead of peanut butter in the cherry version. Give them a try!

Tommy's been really into playing around on all of our instruments lately. On Saturday morning we had a concert of piano, then drums, then mandolin and finally guitar echoing throughout our house. From our upstairs hallway, I snapped this quick photo of him singing a hilarious song about Will and strumming along on guitar.

That's what we've been up to the past few weeks. Looking forward to the fair and celebrating Will before welcoming one of my very favorite months. Happy Monday!

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