Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kamryn has turned 9!

We celebrated Kamryn's 9th birthday this weekend with a costume party at our home. It was fun to come up with a simple, but enjoyable party for several 9 year old girls. Each girl came dressed up. We had everything from a S.W.A.T team member, to a bunny. Chris even got in on it (at my urging!) and was Venom from Spiderman and I found a Spartan cheerleader uniform. We had a lot of fun!

We started out with a scavenger hunt around our community. I took about 15 pictures of objects along our main path that they had to identify. This was a lot more fun (and a lot more difficult) than I had anticipated. It kept the girls busy and was a real highlight for some of them. Silly-bands were the grand prize!

Then we headed in for mask-making. We had each girl decorate her own mask with various stickers, jewels, feathers and glitter glue. They really got into it!

Next up, cake and presents! Kamryn was so thrilled with all her gifts and then we devoured the "mask" cake that my mom so graciously made for Kam. Yummy!

I can't believe my little girl is 9! I mean, I can remember MY 9th birthday. Am I old enough to have a 9 year old (yes, I am, but REALLY?). I'm so proud of her!

It was a great party, and probably one of our funnest at our home. We had simple an inexpensive decorations and made the activity and craft the main event. Lots of fun!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Highs

Our last couple of weeks have been busy getting back into the school routine. We are slowly finding our rhythm and discovering the homework load/busy-ness of Clovis schools. We walk to school every morning and really enjoy the time to talk and spend time with the girls. Chris gets to walk with us on Mondays and Fridays and we love doing it as a family. We also walk to school a couple of mornings with our neighbor friend, Lilly. Her brother Sean walks home with us because he is in afternoon Kindergarten.
Weekends are always fun around here in cohousing. There are a bunch of kids to play with. Last Saturday our house was filled with little people! We had my niece and nephew over, and neighbor kids filling the house with laughter and noise. Thankfully they all get along very well.
Here the kids got together for a rousing game of 'telephone'. Chris even got in on the fun! Thats what you get when you don't have a TV for entertainment!

Sammi finds her fun with the animals around the community. Here she is with Bebe. She loves this cat. It tolerates her.
I think I have mentioned this before, but the thing I love about cohousing, especially this cohousing community in Fresno, is the wonderful commitment to community that all our neighbors exhibit. The acceptance of our children is such a blessing to Chris and I and the kids have come to see our community neighbors as extended family.
This is George. I couldn't find Sammi the other afternoon and as I was frantically looking for her I heard George call out to me that he had her there on the porch. She had found her way over to his house and they were chatting and watching the birds. Nothing to worry about. She was in good hands. Thanks George! There are eyes watching our kids, everyone looking out for each other.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Loving Cohousing

I just love living in cohousing. Here is a glimpse of a morning here in our community:
I wake up to the sun shining through my windows and the geese flying overhead to rest in the ponding basin just behind our community. Getting the girls off to school, I visit with Heidi who has just come in from walking her dogs. Barbara is walking along the pathway and stops to visit aswell. Samantha is trailing behind me and decides to stop and say good morning to the dogs. The morning air is finally cool and we feel at ease taking our time and enjoying the fresh air.
Later in the morning Tessa hears that it is Ms. Pat's birthday and so runs inside to make her a card. She then runs to her house to deliver the gift and ends up playing and visiting with Pat and George (who are in their 60's) for some time. As I write this she is helping George with his chores around the community. The wonderful thing is that she is completely safe and is welcome in the home of others. Samantha has made friends with Jenny across the path. Jenny has a cat named Bebe and has become a special friend to Sammi. Jenny has welcomed Samantha into her home aswell and loves the freedom she has in 'visiting'.
I can't express the safety there is here in our community. The loving nature of all our neighbors and how they welcome our children into their lives. Through this, our girls are learning how to love others and create inter-generational relationships. I pinch this for real?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1st Day of School

The girls had their first day of school at Mountain View Elementary. It is a new school in a new district, so we are excited about all the changes. In our community there are several kids who will be attending this same school.

Lilly is a little girl here who is also starting in the 4th grade with Kamryn. Mtn. View is a new school for her as well. Kamryn is in 4th grade with Mr. Dritz.
Addi is in 2nd grade with Mrs. Washington.

Tessa is anxiously awaiting Kindergarten. :)
While the kids are at school, Tessa and I will be working on some Kindergarten activity books, and learning her basics so she is ready possibly in January to enter Kinder. We'll see.

Here is Sammi clowning around. It sure is quiet without Kamryn and Addi around.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Series

We had a great summer here at the Schultz household. Kamryn finished up a great swimming season, finishing off with a medal in her first showing at the Junior Olympics.

Addison lost a couple of teeth and made some new friends here at the cohousing community. She also turned 7 and went for her first canoe ride, which landed her in the middle of the lake!

Tessa also made some huge strides: she taught herself how to swim, and gained enough courage to go into sunday school without crying! (This was a much-needed improvement for Mommy!)

Samantha discovered her love for the pool as well this summer. She has also proved herself to be a very courageous little girl who loves to study animals. Not so much "touch" but will squat and study, with great focus and concentration. :)

Chris and I have loved being apart of the cohousing life here for the past 2 months. My mom and dad moved in at the beginning of August after a month long (and much needed) vacation in Nebraska. We have already adjusted back to living together once again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A New Beginning

July 2010 has been a huge month for us! Chris started a new job with The Well Community Church as the Campus Pastor for the North campus. Though it wasn't something we pursued, God has clearly shown us that this is where He wanted us to be at this time in our lives. We have been so blessed by this community so far! Chris has dove right in and is loving the relationships he is discovering along the way!
At the same time as starting the new job, we moved to a cohousing community in north Fresno. It is an intentional community where neighbors live closely, with the purpose of sharing lives and experiences. We enjoy common meals together weekly (ranging form 25-35 people in attendance) and have monthly community meetings. We are truly enjoying living out our values in this eco-friendly, green community. We feel like it is a real opportunity for us also to share our faith amongst a diverse group of people.
In August my parents, Henry & Eleanor, will be joining us in this 5brm condo. We are excited to have them here with us and for them to enjoy this peaceful atmosphere.
One thing I have been loving is that one of our neighbors, Rebecca and Bryan, have spent the last year planting an extensive organic garden. I've been going out the past few mornings and returning with a bounty of fresh veggies. Pictures will follow.