Friday, October 14, 2022



Do you remember 
The 21st night of September?

I do, I do, but barely because September was easily the craziest month we've had in a while. Or maybe I'm just blocking out how busy our June 2021 was? Anyways, September was....well, a lot. A lot of feelings about being back in the school building (you can read about that here), settling into our routine and schedule, realizing we have a high schooler with a social life that depends on us being chauffeurs, big events (that I planned for the Des Moines Children's Museum), plus our jobs, projects, and all the things. Thankfully we ended the month getting lost in the forest, The Superior National Forest to be exact, hiking, so that was pretty great (read about that here). Here's a look at some of our September happenings:

The dog was still getting used to having the minis gone at school all day. He still waits by the door every afternoon because he knows as soon as the youngest gets home, he gets fed!

The first event of September was rainy. It poured the entire OUTDOOR event, but people still showed up and it was awesome. My high schooler can now volunteer for Silver Cord hours, so he's working the events right along with me. 

I saw the apples and thumbprint seeds on TikTok. I'm not a huge fan of telling kids how to do their art, but occasionally I'll throw in a piece that tests listening skills, following directions, and counting. The number of thumbprint seeds they got to make was tied to how old the child was. Obviously, I had to help out the one year olds quite a bit, but the other kiddos did a great job.

Apple scented play dough. This batch was made with green apple conditioner (from Dollar Tree) + cornstarch.

I have three PSL lovers. We've made Saturday morning Starbucks trips a thing this season.

Painting with apples.

So spoiled by our oldest. He's taking a cooking class this year at school, so each week he makes us whatever he's made in class. On this day, it was spinach and red pepper omelets. They were sooo yummy!

During the pandemic, the minis did an in-depth study on Dia de los Muertos and now we celebrate it yearly. November 1st was nearly ruined last year when we couldn't secure marigolds for our ofrenda. They settled for carnations, but the middle mini was prepared this year. He planted an entire garden of marigolds, then he went out, cut a bouquet, and we froze it! All for our ofrenda in a few weeks. From what I've read online, the marigolds won't last long once they dethaw, but I've been assured by the minis that as long as we get pictures with them on the ofrenda, that will be just fine. We'll see how it all turns out.

My next event at the Museum featured puppies!! We partnered with a local rescue and they brought puppies up for adoption to play with. It was so much fun for the kids, the adults who snuggled puppies, and myself, who got to chat with everyone who visited that night. 

We decide to enjoy the Beaverdale Fall Festival this year. The youngest stayed back at grandma and grandpa's while the rest of us went to check things out....and we ended up at one of our favorite Beaverdale restaurants, Parlor. Hubs and I had a drink, the boys got their favorite pizza slices, I got my favorite apps. 

After the festival/eating pizza, we met my sister in law and niece at Iowa Orchard for apple picking. Zeus was thrilled to join us as well. We picked the best honeycrisp apples I've ever had! Plus, we got apple cider donuts and fresh apple cider.

We started the month taking a part the basement, cleaning, weeding through toys. It was a BIG job. We gave a lot of toys away for free, donated clothes, shoes, and furniture, and trashed even more. I feel lighter getting rid of stuff.

Pizza nights are the best. While we love to order a good pizza, we also love creating our own. On this night, I made a blackberry pizza and it was phenomenal. Everyone else made pepperoni and olive pizzas.

Our September theme at daycare was apples. On this day, the kids taste tested three different kinds of apples and rated them. Then they washed it down with apple cider from Iowa Orchard.

The first of the Halloween costumes arrived! The cat was not thrilled and the dog thought it was a life jacket, so he expects to go to the lake every time it's on!

Two nights a week the boys make dinner for the family. This night was grilled cheese and homemade fries.

The cat was really excited for cereal mornings.

Not part of Halloween, but part of the big clean out. I found all sorts of treasures...and made the dog model them. 

Summer weather continued well into September. We had sprinkler times and our garden has produced more than enough cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and butter lettuce. Our cucumbers didn't grow all summer, but we suddenly noticed them popping the second week of September! So crazy.

The daycare kids painted apple shapes with cinnamon scented paint and used twigs for their apple stems. They got in some fine motor skills practice by tracing leaf shapes and coloring their own. November will be our fall/leaves/harvest theme, so we'll learn about how different types trees and leaves and the life cycle of a leaf and tree.

Two kids in band this year. Our house is noisy on practice nights!

I spend plenty of evenings lately at the Museum throwing events or planning. On this night we created a maze using our movable walls. I truly have a wonderful time doing things like this.

We decorated for Halloween and celebrated with a Halloween themed cookie cake for afternoon snack one day. I'll admit, I was way more excited about this than any of the kids.

Some of our weeknights are so ridiculously busy that the minis eat dinner as soon as they come home from school because the rest of the night is spent running around.

September has been a month to get into a new routine. The littles miss the bigs (but are much more independent without them around), but at least they can count of Zeus, who often receives pets whenever he passes through the daycare area. Zeus makes sure to always be present at snack and meal times because the kids love to share their goodies with him.

We were up early one Saturday morning to run in a race that was a fundraiser for our public schools. Despite having planned on being a part of this race, the two youngest minis cried about being up and out of the house. I treated them to Starbucks beforehand, we ran/walked the race, and then walked around the Botanical Gardens. It was a peaceful way to spend our morning, even though we had to endure the complaints.

We took in the Latino Heritage Festival and stuffed ourselves with pupusas and birria ramen. All of it was excellent.

The oldest and I prepped for our fall hiking trip by hiking at Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park in Indianola, IA. The trails have varied terrain with hills, dirt, rocks, sand, bridges, etc. We always come to this park before heading to the mountains to hike. On this Sunday, we had the trails to ourselves minus two mountain bikes we encountered. It was peaceful and gave us gorgeous scenery.

Nap times are quiet around here. Even the dog and cat curl up on the couch and sleep along with the kids.

I happened to be on my way to the bathroom and looked out our front window. There were crows up and down our street, in every yard. I refer to it as my Hitchcock moment.

Apple scented shaving cream. I sprayed it into a bowl, colored it with food coloring and apple spice, and then put thin layers across the table for the kids to draw in. This is a great fine motor activities for the toddler and preschool crowds.

The Halloween themed treats are in full swing! These Fruity Pebbles treats thrilled the kids.

Another round of apple play dough. This was a salt dough base with apple spice and red food coloring.

Apple shapes colored with oil pastels.