Summer School


Summer school is in session!  We wrapped up our regular school year on June 5, and we took last week off completely.  We had long, lazy mornings.  We made pancakes.  We went swimming.  Basically, we had a little stay-cation, and yesterday, we got back to work–summer style.

(I saw the idea of the summer school bucket on a homeschooling blog, and now I can’t find the post!  So…if this looks familiar to you, please share the name of the blog in the comments.  I certainly want to give credit for this cute idea.)

In our summer school bucket, I included a new pencil for each student, a bunch of fun erasers from the Dollar Tree, a new notebook for each student, some math flash cards, and a new set of double-tipped markers.  I had the bucket and the summer school sign on the dining room table when everyone woke up.  It helped set the tone for our day and hopefully our whole summer.


For my little preschooler, I made this “Summer Fun Book.”  I’ve been collecting links on Pinterest for a few weeks, and I printed coloring pages and activities for Charlotte to enjoy while her brothers do their summer school lessons.

All of this makes me think of The Sound of Music.  Maybe you’ll remember the scene, too.  The housekeeper tells Maria, “The Von Traap children don’t play.  They march.”  Well, don’t worry!  We aren’t missing the joys of summer.  Our summer school is going to take 1 to 1.5 hours per morning, Monday through Thursday, and we have some projects (and books!) in progress for the afternoons.  We have a lot of fun things planned for the season.  I think I’ll do another post about our Summer Bucket List.  There is much fun to be had!

Summer Girl

Everything about this girl says summer.  Her pale blonde hair, her sky blue eyes, and her frequently bare feet remind me of a little sunshine elf.  Oh, but she’s a feisty one.  Quick to smile and quick to anger, too, I’m afraid.  I’m always seeking ways to understand her while still simply enjoying the very light of her presence.  She sure does shine.




Somehow Summer


Somehow, it’s summer already.  Somehow, spring slipped by, baseball season came to it’s dramatic end (champions!), and our family vacation came & went.  Now, somehow, we are in the midst of July.  Happy summer weeks are behind us, and about six more stand ahead–bursting with the promise of lightning bugs, cook-outs, popsicles, and trips to the pool.  Somehow, time continues to speed faster with each year, daring to beat it’s own impossible pace.  All we can do is snatch moments into our memories for safe keeping, hoarding them like precious stones.






Two, Five, Eight

Summer in our family means birthdays!  We start with me in mid-June, Charlotte at the end of the month, and J in July, and we end the stretch with F in late August.  Whew!

Charlotte turned two this year!  Amazing, funny, wonderful two.  Forget the so-called “terrible twos.”  I absolutely adore this incredible period of language development and emergence of her sweet, hilarious personality.  We began Charlotte’s day with Grandma Renee’s pancakes, and we wrapped it all up with blueberry banana cake from Soulemama.  (Click it!  It’s a great recipe!)  Aunt Kristy and Uncle Jake were able to celebrate with us.

J turned five this year!  Five feels like a very important milestone.  He becomes more articulate and ever-practical with each passing day.  We spent his actual birth enjoying a nearby park and getting totally soaked in the stream.  Then late in July, we had a combined party (Knights and Ladies theme) for our new two year old and five year old.  It was a lot of fun!

And finally, our big boy turned eight.  Eight?  Too big, simply too big.  We celebrated with a “planet party” of his own invention.  On his real birthday, we made a much anticipated trip to Red Lobster for his favorite food: shrimp!  My eight year old is growing in so many ways.  He seems taller and smarter and more inquisitive every day.  I can’t wait to see what this third grade year has in store for him.

Here are some images of our summer of birthdays.

Charlottepancake blueberrycakeDSC_0060Jfive

hatsandshoes swingstreamknightladycastlecake DSC_0201DSC_0206DSC_0225 DSC_0236DSC_0226

Looking Back: Berry Picking

Oh yes, oh yes!  Blueberry picking was a major event this summer.  It was certainly one of the highlights for me.  Charlotte stayed home with Papa Tim while Grandma Mary and I took the boys to the berry patch.  The crop was beautiful and the quiet of the farm was perfect.  We went on July 4th, and somehow, berry picking seemed like the perfect way to be in the All-American frame of mind.

Each row of berries is labeled with the specific variety.  We loaded up on lots of “Patriot” berries.  Seems perfect for Independence Day, doesn’t it?


This Special Summer

For the last eight weeks, we have been with our families and friends in our home state. These weeks have been full of so many happy moments. We took some special trips, did special activities, but the best part of the summer was just sharing in the simple, everyday habits and routines that make up life. It was nice to dry dishes with my mom, have cereal with my dad, go for a walk with my mom-in-law, and watch the kids be silly with Cory’s dad. Beautiful days. Memories made.  Ordinary magic.


Summer Has Come

So much to love in the summertime!  I have a must-do list that keeps on growing.  The season begins with the most important of musts:  eat watermelon!

My goodness, I love this little sunshine girl.  I simply cannot believe that her first birthday is only weeks away.  Watermelon is just one of many sweet discoveries in her future.



On Saturday, my six-year-old and I went for a big walk with Charlotte in her wrap.  The day was gorgeous but really hot.  Mid-90s, high humidity.  My silly boy insisted upon wearing long jeans and a long sleeved navy blue shirt along with his superhero cape (a favorite Christmas gift made by Aunt Kristy).  While I strongly recommended a cooler ensemble, the boy insisted that that this was his super suit.  Mama lost.

We watched the sailboats on the lake (see Sunday’s post).  We watched some really crazy squirrels run up and down the trees and chase each other through curtains of Spanish moss.  We marveled at the oak trees that don’t look at all like oak trees and produce tiny acorns.

We found the shells of fresh water clams.

After walking a bit, I sat in the shade while Charlotte napped and her busy brother chased butterflies (He caught one!) and practiced his superhero moves.  He threw himself into the air and let himself fall and tumble.  While I cringed at the inevitable impact, he never hesitated.  A few minutes of watching the jump-crash-roll left me finally able to relax and enjoy how unencumbered he was in those moments.  Lately, I’ve been feeling like I am constantly scolding and reminding.  Don’t jump on the couch.  Don’t leave your socks in the livingroom.  Don’t blow bubbles in your milk.  Don’t be so rough.  Don’t be so loud.  What a drag.  During our forty-five minute outing, I remembered why raising this little boy is so much fun.  He doesn’t worry that people raise their eyebrows at the cape.  He doesn’t mind that winter clothes leave him with fat drips of sweat coursing down his sweet cheeks.  In fact, as we strolled home, he proudly said, “I caught a sweat.  That’s good!”  He is not at all concerned that he’ll have bruises on his elbows and knees from all those carefree collisions with the ground.  He doesn’t think about the bug bites that will certainly come from flopping in the long grass and staying there looking up at the clouds.  I soaked in his joy, his freedom, his boyhood.  I made a promise to say “no” when it matters, and whenever possible, let him be.


Have a beautiful Sunday!

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” Exodus 34:21

Have a great Labor Day!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~John Lubbock