Thursday, September 17, 2015

Barn Swallow

Our FCC connections give way to some of the most unique opportunities and our visit to Barn Swallow Farm is no exception.

We first met this family back in 2006 when we started the journey to Ella. They had two little boys and were in process for their first adoption, like us. Fast forward to 2015, now a family of seven and are now running the flower farm as a group effort. It was a delightful visit.

 Rosie showed off her mad flower-cutting skills. She is a beautiful girl.

They have chickens. The boys had fun showing off their chicken-grabbing hands, as well as their egg-gathering ones too.

Pumpkin and squash growing experts!
Joseph climbed the highest ladder to get the best hydrangea blooms. I've never seen them this big. EVER.

 We left that day with the most beautiful bouquet, fresh eggs and a few dozen mosquito bites. 

Totally worth all that itching...


Road Trip!

We managed to squeeze in a road trip before the summer escaped, and it was completely worth the wait. Reconnecting with our friends in Milwaukee was much needed soul food.

Ettan and Ella picked up right where they left off two years ago. Loki has grown into this gorgeous, smart, interesting young dude (he was that before...just taller now!). Ami and I were able to crash in comfy porch chairs and sip adult beverages smiling at each other and discussing all of life's big issues. Luke and Larry fit so well, too. It is such a rarity to meet and connect this well with people as you get older. None of us take that for granted.

Did I mention the cooking? Man, can Ami whip up some goodness. This trip, we were delighted to meet Ami's parents too.

What a surprise to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum. The exterior structure alone is worth the visit.

 We had ice cream.
We hit a most-excellent farmer's market.

 These two...
And we spent an afternoon on Lake Michigan splashing around.

It went too quickly. But we packed in so many wonderful memories in 72 hours and did it all with no air-conditioning in 90+ degree weather..all under one roof. Yay us for getting along!!!

 We can't wait for the next time. Oh the stories we would have if we all lived in the same city...


Monday, September 7, 2015

Teeth + Red Pandas + Shopping + Festival + Miss Hannigan = August

On their own, none of those things have a whole heck of a lot in common. But when you mesh them together it is what we accomplished in a few short days in early August. 

 She has become such a brave soul at the dentist and got another cavity free round of applause!

One of Ella's closest friends at school is Lil. She and Ella fit so well together and that girl's smile could light up a room. I gladly scooped her up for a day so that the girls could hang together.

We were delighted to check out the new red pandas at our zoo AND the new splash pad. Daddy-o even escaped from work to join us.

Our buddy Aubrey joined us mid-afternoon so that the girls could have fun with our zookeeper friend (another Aubry!). 

They learned all about training animals, big cats and red pandas.

School shopping is a rather predictable situation for us since Ella is in a uniform-wearing school. We still had fun getting a few new khaki, navy blue and red threads.

We fit in a festival so that Ella could gorge herself on an entire bag of cotton candy as all of our friends watched in amazement.
And then Roz came back from her long vacation...which meant two things: excitement about her return and trepidation about letting go of Miss Hannigan. That was the deal, you see. When they returned Miss H would be all set for her new life. So we did a lot more snuggling which didn't take much convincing for our kitten or our girl.

 Her 'last supper' with us. The tongue was an added bonus.
We did the transport crate free and wouldn't you know it but she didn't budge an inch from Ella's arms. It was like she knew.
Roz was so incredibly happy and so was Ella. She accepted the fact that if we couldn't keep her, having her at Roz's house was a really good alternative.
Thomas was bewildered. He searched for Miss Hannigan for several days.

Mavis, however, seemed to exhale a huge sigh of relief. I found this scene a few hours later. Mavis had earned her spot back!
Miss Hannigan has made her presence known at Roz's house and is having a blast with her big brother-dog, Henry. Even more than ever, we like going to their house. First order of business is always scooping up our foster girl and carting her around just like the good old days.