Five For Friday

 I am so excited to be linking up with one of my favorite linky parties.  It has been TOO long since the last time I joined.  Click the picture above to join in on the fun.  Here is a run down of my life recently.

We finally did it.  We bought the car we said we would never own.  A minivan.  I swore I would never drive one because there were so many SUVs out there as alternatives.  And then I had two toddlers and a dog that needed to fit in a car.  Add our luggage and our camping gear and my little SUV was packed.  We knew we needed something bigger to give us a little more space and comfort.  My husband was still holding out that an SUV would work but you just couldn't beat the space and the convenience of the minivan.  I loved the idea of being able to push a button and the girls could climb in BY THEMSELVES.  No more lifting them up, while trying to balance the door so I don't hit the car next to me.  I made my first trip in it this week.  My mom and I headed to Pittsburgh with the girls for a quick trip to see my sister.  The space was nice, the dvd player was a nice distraction for the girls.  I think I'm going to love this van the more I get used to it and all of the features it has.  I just laugh that my very first new car is the car I swore I would never own.  Never say never, right?

 A few weeks ago we headed to Toronto.  We added another major league baseball stadium to our list.  Now we've checked out a whopping 4.  It is a slow process with little ones, that's for sure.  We also packed in the aquarium, CN Tower and Zoo.  Yet you ask my girls their favorite part and it was staying in a hotel.  Apparently we need to get out more if sleeping in a different bed excites them so much!!

 During the first full week of September, when schools around us were going for the year, we took a mini vacation to Mackinac Island.  You can read more about my love affair for Mackinac HERE.  It is our happy place and this trip didn't disappoint.  Lots of walking and exploring, bike riding, fudge eating, playing in the park, running around, shopping and lots of good food.  It was fun to try out a new hotel where the kids had their own room and space plus they got to eat free.  Bonus!!  We practically had the island to ourselves with all the Michigan kiddos back in school.

Horses, bikes, but no cars.

Picking up rocks seems to be a hobby lately, especially with the little one, M.

A view of the Mackinac Bridge from below as we were on the ferry to the island.  The bridge connects the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan.

With the start of the school year comes another year of teaching religious education to first graders at my church.  I've been working on some different things I want to try out this year with them such as brag tags (though I'm trying to think of another name for them like reward tags or STAR tags) and prayer books.  My mom teaches with me.  It is nice to have two adults in the room.  We had our first teacher meeting this week and I got my class list and schedule.  Now I have a week and a half to get the stuff prepped that I wanted to do all summer (why do I always wait??) before I start teaching every Wednesday night.

I've been working with my girls on some homeschool preschool activities.  I plan to blog about them in more detail soon.  We started with a color and shape unit.  It is generally pretty casual since I need to keep the little one engaged and entertained at the same time.  So we've been reading different books and working on a different activity each day.  Some days when we have other things going on we don't worry about "school" for that day.

We have been in Pittsburgh for the past two days without Daddy.  While it is nice to visit family, it is so hard to travel with the girls without Daddy's help.  We are all eager to get home and see him tonight.  Have a great weekend!