Thanksgiving 2016

It is always fun to experience Thanksgiving through the eyes of a Non-American.

Giulia helped with the turkey…and then treated us to homemade tiramisu (our favorite dessert!!) and then we ate and ate and ate and ate.



First Snow of the Season

Winters in Michigan are a funny thing.  The temperature drops to 50 degrees in October and we suddenly all run out and buy boots, jeans, hats and mittens.  The temperature raises to 40 degrees in March and we put on our flip flops and skip out for ice cream cones. Then there is the snow.  You dread it, you moan about it, you hope and pray it never comes and then the first fat fluffy flake falls and you run outside and play in it.  You want to hate it, you KNOW you will hate it in a month, but that first day of snow is pure magic and joy.

Christmas Marketing

Before Americans can even go out trick-or-treating on Halloween night, all the shops (especially Target, ahem) are already full on marketing Christmas.  What do you get when you have Target, Christmas, and shelves and shelves of chocolate?  Giulia Heaven.  These are her 3 favorite things in one tidy little place.  The Christmas countdown began on Nov. 1st.  “I just love Christmas!” is our new house motto.

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016, otherwise known as the week we all let our mischievous and dark sides emerge and troll the neighborhood scaring little kids and adults alike while gruesomely begging for cheap candy.  If you have never experienced Halloween in a different country, or through the eyes of a foreign student visiting the U.S.,  I highly recommend it.  I’m not sure which party will be most entertained…

Weekend in Chicago

We spent a sunny, gorgeous and warm weekend in Chicago for Aidan’s 18th birthday.  Aidan, Giulia and I spent most our time wandering around the shops and sights at Grant Park and Millennium Park and a fabulous long afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago.  India and Cameron spent the weekend at the Museum of Science and Brookfield Zoo with our friends. I have been slow to warm up to Chicago and now that we are preparing to move away from the midwest I have fallen in love with the city.

Apple Picking at Sietsema Orchards

Every autumn we drive through the beautiful fiery foliage on long windy and hilly roads to stop by Sietsema Orchards for an afternoon.  With paper bags in hand we pick sweet crispy apples off the trees, test-tasting as we go.  I go on tip-toe to reach the highest apples on the tree  warmed by the sun while Cameron ducks between branches to get the hidden treasures. This year we ventured in the corn maze where we quickly got separated and spent too much time trying to find Cameron, just to turn around and do it again.  We then pick up a glass jug of fresh apple cider and a dozen fresh pumpkin spice donuts and sit inside at the farmhouse table to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of our labor.

September 2016

So October is threatening to end and I don’t even know where September went!  The first month of school is such a flurry of activity, registrations, schedule changes, football games, parades, spirit week, new jobs, ArtPrize, homework and sleep deprivation.  We squeezed out a few last trips to Lake Michigan and then hit the ground running, take a look!


Weekly Friday night football games and Spirit Week leading up to Homecoming makes for a very colorfully costumed Giulia.  Throw in some traditional Michigan apple-picking and we nearly have her transformed into a classic American.


First Day of School

First day as a senior, first day as a freshman, first day of 4th grade and also first day of American school for one of us!

We are all a bit anxious about the start of the school year and reluctant to let go of summer.  Last night after returning from the beach we were freshly showered and relaxing on the couch, I looked around and said “So what’s the plan guys?”  I think it is hilarious that all 4 kids knew that my actual question was “what’s the ESCAPE plan?”  Simultaneously I heard:

India “I call dibs on hiding in the biggest closet.”

Aidan “Canada!”

Giulia “Let’s all go to Italy and find a village with no school.”

Cameron “Get the keys, warm up the get away car!”

Sigh.  I will miss all this while they are at school.  It’s been such a perfect summer.

EGRHS first day class of 2017

Giulia in american school

Cameron going to fourth grade at Breton

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