May Little Things

I know it's almost August, but I just wanted to put these May memories into words.  After all, May was a pretty eventful month for our family.

Since school wound down for me, I was able to get some time in the kids' classrooms.  Laina was especially fun to watch.  This is her with my sunglasses, the first pair I allowed her to borrow and she proceeded to lose...I'm on my third pair this summer.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice...

We watched Cole play a lot of spring soccer.  He has grown so much through the season.  I'm a bit bummed that he won't be playing in the fall, opting for football instead.  But man, has it been fun to watch him grow a love for this game.

Maurah and Hayden worked hard on their first project fair.  I did not know how big of a deal this was until we got the instructions for their projects!  Wow!  Each project is "graded" by AP high school students and the girls both got rave reviews.  I'm so proud of these ladies and all of their hard work!

Maurah's project was about Rosa Parks.  Her ultimate goal was to find out how Ms. Parks became such a courageous woman.  What was it that made her so strong?  You can be sure it made my heart so glad when Maurah read that it was her faith and her belief that we're ALL made in the image of God.  We had just watched the Disney movie on Ruby Bridges over spring break, so these discussions of integration and racial reconciliation had been on our hearts since then.  This is such a crucial time in our history, and it has been so amazing to see our kids process some of these issues.  What a great, new hero for Maurah to have in her life.

Hayden's project was about justice in another realm - why aren't dandelions considered flowers when they're so pretty?  She found out some pretty interesting facts about dandelions and just how useful those things are.  They're not only great for flower crowns and bracelets, but Native Americans found them to be incredible for medicines as well as a tasty main course meal! 

The days getting longer mean our shadows do too.  Laina and I loved the evening light.

We hosted our lifegroup and the girls proceeded to show their friends their sleeping bag ramp.  Racing down the stairs in sleeping bags and sheets can provide hours of fun!

We were the hosts for Laina's monthly book club and we made flower crowns to go with the book, "Bloom with Mi" by our friend Amy Kavelaris.  Maurah and Hayden graciously helped make the prototypes.  They turned out so sweet!

The end of the semester means my friend, Katie, and I get to celebrate!!  Date nights like this with her are one of my favorite new traditions.  We went to Matzatlan for a tasty Mexican dinner and then we headed to the Paint Bar in Delafield to try our hand at contemporary cork painting.  It was just the two of us in the class and we had SO much fun!  My art skills are even less than stellar, but what I lacked in artistry, we made up for in fun!

 Here are our crowns in action!  These girls are just precious.  I'm so thankful my friend, Caitlyn, came up with this idea!  It's been such a gift to Laina and to me!

 As we're going through so many changes in our lives right now, I was encouraged by this quote.  Mother Theresa for the win - always.

We had our last service as Westbrook Church where Scott and Kara honored Mike and Jan Franz for starting Westbrook all those years ago.

And another shot of people who were there from the very beginning.

We celebrated Westbrook's 33rd Anniversary with a huge party after church.  I can never find our kids at these events because they're always off with friends, but I did snag this photo of Laina enjoying the huge slip and slide. 

And I enjoyed these ladies - mentors and friends beyond what words can describe.  Our last Sunday with Kara - tears flood my eyes as I write that almost two months after that fact.  When we're so sad, it means we had something so great, right?  Yep - definitely a lot of greatness I got to be with in this pic.


We love this girl and are going to miss her so much!

Gosh, I love this place and what it has meant to our family these last five years.  And this is not photoshopped, but God showing off, as He's done so much in this place.

Beautiful lilacs from our hugely overgrown bush.  So much beauty, even though it's such a short time.

I found this on my phone. Our sweet neighbor girl was the victim of an outdoor makeover - and apparently then she was being held for ransom by a lily leaf.  It's so funny what these kids come up with!

We shocked the Grabendikes with a surprise party put on by our church.  Maurah is chilling with Chloe and Lindsay - two girls I'm so thankful she has in her life!

 Lindsay stayed with us for a couple of days while she was in town.  We went out for lunch and then realized that Maurah and Hayden were on their field trip at the knitting store across the street!  We promptly scooted over there to see what they were up to with their Knitting Club.

As we were heading back to the restaurant, I got a call from school that Laina's eyes were really bothering her.  We just haven't been able to figure this out for her.  So - we changed our lunch plans and brought her with us!  These two have been buddies from the very beginning - they make my heart melt!

We celebrated my birthday, and there never was a more perfect way for me to feel loved.  Lindsay and I drove to Pewaukee to have lunch and Lacey met up with us there once she got out of work.  The girls treated me to lunch, and then to getting our nails done.  We then came back to this little beachfront cafe where we had coffee, treats, and amazing conversation.  Really, all day was filled with amazing conversation that was challenging, encouraging, and just all around beautiful.  I'm so lucky to have these two girls in my life!

We came home from our time together and I quickly changed my clothes to head out with Jake and the kids, having no idea where he was taking us.  We ended up at the Thirsty Duck, which has mini-bowling and the most amazing bar food.  It was a BLAST!  The perfect kind of fun our family enjoys together!!

We returned home to Lacey and Lindsay having cleaned our entire house, mopping and all, and a relaxing Pandora station playing with candles lit.  The kids were so excited, they kept asking Lindsay if it was "time."  They ran into the office where Lindsay played and the kids sang a song they wrote for me.  Tears were flowing!  Beyond blessed and totally don't deserve their kindness.  Love their hearts.

Maurah and Hayden made the most beautiful fairy houses for one of their seminars!  What creativity!

 We ended May with a much needed Memorial Weekend spent quietly and together.  We went to Lake Michigan and had some great family time.

These are the very best days.  May was a rollercoaster of emotion, but we always come back to thankfulness for health, togetherness and these four right here.  They keep us going and lift our spirits.  Couldn't love them more.

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