Posts in Family
Off To See The Wizard

Our kids love Halloween. I’m not sure why, but it probably has something to do with getting all dressed up, and of course, the candy. As parents we’re not quite as big of fans, mostly because it’s a lot of work for 4 bags of candy we don’t really need. Although it’s worth it because of how much they love it.


I guess you could say, if you’re going to do the whole “get all dressed up for Halloween” thing, you gotta do it right. We are definitely all about the “themed” costumes, and this year the theme was The Wizard of Oz!

I happen to think the kids pulled it off quite well, but I might be biased! Either way, we had an absolutely beautiful night for trick-or-treating. We’ve had some pretty rainy and cold Halloweens over the last few years, so it was nice not to have to layer winter coats under their costumes!


We usually walk through the neighborhood Jason grew up in, and where his parents still live. There are a lot of family friends who love to see the kids come by, and the kids of course love the candy. It’s a good neighborhood to trick-or-treat in because there are a lot of kids walking through the sidewalks, and a lot of families participate.

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? We’d love to hear about how you celebrated! Leave us a comment below!


I do believe in spooks.
I do believe in spooks.
I do! I do! I do! I do!

Fall is Here!

We love fall, and pretty much everything that goes with it. Fall is cool breezes, cooler nights, hot apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters and falling leaves. Michigan in the fall is one of the most beautiful places on earth, especially as we get closer to October and the leaves turn from dark green, to brilliant shades of red and orange and yellow and bronze. If you’ve never driven through northern Michigan (especially the famous tunnel of trees) this time of year, you are missing out on one of most scenic drives in America!


Our kids love fall too. It means Saturdays full of soccer games and college football. It means playing in the woods, and raking the leaves (followed of course by jumping in them!). It seems like once school starts back up, everything just falls into a rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, we love summer, but fall means a new kind of adventure!


And then there’s the food and drink like hot apple cider, and pumpkin pie, and pumpkin scones. Of course there’s our favorite: apple crisp and vanilla ice cream. We might have to do a post on that soon, just so we can make one to enjoy!


I think one of the other things we love about fall so much is that it means the holidays are right around the corner, and that means celebrating family and faith. Fall is sort of like a countdown, or an introduction to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it starts to get us in the mood for what’s to come, without being quite as cold and dark out! I guess there’s a lot of reasons we love fall, now that I think about it. Whatever the reason, we’re glad it’s finally here!

What’s your favorite thing about fall?


I loved autumn, the season of the year
that God seemed to have put there
just for the beauty of it.

Fall, FamilyJason Aten
An Afternoon Together

I've written about it a few times, so it's probably no surprise to you that our family enjoys a little adventure.  It's not all that uncommon for us to tell our four children to load up in the car, "we're going on an adventure." 

The best thing about an adventure is that sometimes it's a road trip up north, sometimes a weekend at an outdoor music festival, and sometimes it's an afternoon spent not that far from home.  This is one of those.


Last week, our kiddos had a half day of school their first day, which means we had time for a half day of adventure!  You can't travel super far in a half day, but fortunately, there's plenty of great places around here to explore and create memories with our little people (which is really what it's all about).  The best part is - as you can see - all we packed were their personalities!

We decided to head over to the campus of Michigan State University, and start with some of the best ice cream you've ever had at the MSU Dairy Store!


MSU also happens to have some of the best places to explore, including the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden.  You could spend an entire afternoon here.  Trust me, we did!


There are a lot of ways to create memories and share an adventure, and most of them don't require a lot of money, planning, or travel.  In fact, the most important ingredient in a family adventure is time.  Together.  

We know very well that there'll be day that will come far too soon, and these four little people will be off on their own adventures.  We'll be thrilled for them, of course, but for now, we're so thankful to get to share as many adventures as we can!


The memories we make
with our families is everything

Back To School

Well, it's official.  Summer break is officially over.  This morning our three oldest kiddos started school, and our little guy starts on Wednesday.  It's hard to believe it's already here, but sure enough, this morning our 1st, 3rd and 5th graders got on the bus and off they went!  Even though this day comes every year, it's hard not to stop and think about how fast time is racing by as they get older.


At the same time, there's something nice about getting back into a somewhat normal rhythm around here.  It always takes a little time to readjust, and the days fill up quickly, but having a schedule again can be actually be a bit of a welcome change from the adventures of summer.


We've definitely been preparing for this day for a few weeks now, getting backpacks loaded up, school supplies crossed off the list, and visiting open houses to check out new classrooms and teachers.  I think we're all as ready as can be, and we're super blessed that our kiddos love school as much as they do!  


We sent them off this morning with our annual first day of school photos, and are looking forward to them coming home so we can hear all about new friends, new grades and new adventures!

What are your back to school traditions?  How do you get ready for a new school year?



You’re off to great places,
today is your day.
Your mountain is waiting,
so get on your way.
— Dr. Seuss