Fall begins

And so it begins again. New backpacks, haircuts, tennis shoes for the girls, syllabi, committees, and students for me.

Here are a couple pics from the first couple days of school for R and M:

We also had our first apple picking adventure of the season in Michigan just now:

In other news, Madeline started to read about a week or so ago, and Becca tried out for the city’s Nutcracker performance. Madeline is making friends in kindergarten and she wants to join one of the swim teams in town.

I love this time of year. Michigan and northern Indiana really know how to do fall.



Here are a few pics from our trip to Denmark and Sweden last week. The trip was restorative, joyful and exciting.

The pics above show us standing before the entrance of the Tivoli Gardens in Copnehagen, a quick pose at Nyhavn, checking out a street festival in Malmo, Sweden, the kids on a ride again at Tivoli, and posing again in front of the famous Little Mermaid statue and again at Nyhavn. I still feel quite a high from travel. What a feeling – to not know what’s around the corner.



August 1! The official slide toward back to school has begun. Sadly.

Here’s a couple pics of the kids w/their friends, celebrating a friend’s bday and fishing behind our house (Jake releases them). Honestly, I could do without catching fish at all but Becca and Madeline have taken to fishing at camp. So be it.

In other news, we’ve all pretty much fallen in love with Camp Eberhardt this summer – in addition to fishing, the kids have loved lake swimming, canoeing and speed boating, archery, crafts, drama, and just generally being outside every day. They seem heartier. And full of bug bites.

Next week we travel and then – boom – school begins. Two kids in elementary school. Wowsers. I wonder if Madeline will tell everyone her name is Lulu at school, too – she did that all summer.


Do I think of the Elton John song, the Degas paintings? I do. So Becca is deciding that ballet is IT. Like, her thing. Soccer certainly was not her thing, not when she walked off the field to take a cookie break, ignoring the coach. Gymnastics she could take or leave. The violin teacher was not her cup of tea. She dropped out of her art class. But this is Becca’s thing. So be it.

We registered her in a half-day camp program last week so that she could try out a new ballet studio that specializes in ballet (vs modern dance, which is mostly what she had been doing). She loved it, totally met her crew, laughed on the stairs with all these other ballet girls. I had never seen Becca so in her element. Honestly, I was a bit bewildered by it all. But she wants to do it. Dance, perform, wear the shoes, walk the walk.

Madeline will take a class too, but she’s isn’t nearly as into it as Becca. She likes it for the costumes, the flowers at the end, the glitter. Becca loves it for the movement. Madeline’s alter ego is Water Girl, a super hero that has special swimming powers. She wants to join a swim team, but there just isn’t a swim team around for a five year old. Perhaps one day.

So these are my tiny dancers at ages 5 and 7:


A lovely student from Kurdistan, Sundes, stayed with us for a family host weekend as part of the summer program on women’s leadership, culture and history I teach in every year. We had a great time at Silver Beach, seeing a silly summer movie, and drawing and biking together. Sundes and I had some interesting long talks too, and I learned a lot more about Kurdistan and her town and upbringing. I didn’t take too many pics the whole time since we were so on the go, but here is one of Sundes with the girls:


We also went peach and cherry picking last Sunday here, so here are a couple pics of us outdoors in Michigan:

The kids are doing a half-day week long dance camp program this week too. It’s not much coverage for anyone to get any work done around here, but they’re loving it – and I feel like the photo below says a lot about their personalities:

tiny dancers



Daytrip to Chicago

We took them to a Gauguin exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute last Saturday, and then we all hung out for a bit in Millennium park and Maggie Daley playground. The kids still don’t last more than 30 minutes of real concentration in an art museum, but it’s fun anyway. Here are a couple pics from the day:

Also, I love when this little kid gets silly:


We also hung out for the fourth of July at our wonderful friend and neighbor’s home last night, and here’s an adorable pic of the kids w/the neighbor’s new puppy:


This coming weekend, we are hosting a student from Kurdistan – we can’t wait to meet her and get to know her more!

j, j, r and m

Spying on my children

I LOVE overhearing them play pretend. Jake does, too.

Here are some snippets from Madeline: “Friends! Friends, I need you to come up to the front of the class” (she totally uses Montessori language when she pretends to be teacher). “We need you to put on your listening ears. We’re taking a classroom picture.”

It’s TOO MUCH! They’re really into playing with dolls lately, creating elaborate scenarios for dolls like The Dolls Go Camping For The First Time and Encounter a Hungry Teddy Bear and The Dolls Go to Kdgn and The Dolls are Traveling and Don’t See Any Vegetarian Food. The horror, the horror.

They finished their week of four half days of camp at Fernwood, and I’m glad. It was too short. I have no images for this post, though they have been taking pics of their dolls – I’ll spare you posting these images. More soon.