Saturday, August 18, 2018

the rest of July

We were invited back to our old neighborhood to have a community bbq with our good friends and neighbors and to celebrate Laura's ninth birthday with all of them. Although it rained a bit, the canopy tents provided good shelter and we ate each other's good food and chased kids around. I took a quick walk around the property checking to see what summer looked like this year on the little river.  It seemed a bit overgrown in several areas, especially where we were used to walking. I suppose we visited our side of the bank so often, the brush and weeds didn't get a chance to take over.
Our church had a week of kids camp and all three of my kids went everyday with the girls being campers and Seth a counselor. I packed lunches and snacks and did the drop-off and pick-up. A very sweet newlywed girl was assigned to care for Kate and the other camp leaders and volunteers worked so hard to give everyone a great week. I tried to make the best use of my at-home-alone time each day, including taking time to wrap Laura's birthday gifts several days early. Ever ambitious, I still had plenty of projects and reading that didn't get done, but that wasn't surprising given the list I made myself.
I did some late summer/early fall clothes shopping for all the kids(their pants keep getting shorter!) and saved most of the girls' stuff for Kate to open on Laura's birthday since her birthday isn't until December. Clothes are her very favorite and she was not disappointed, neither was Mama. A new doll outfit with easy-fitting boots also make Kate's day. Laura was very pleased when at last she opened the Lego Minecraft set she had asked for. 
In our house, we generally do what my Mom did for us, open a couple gifts in the morning and then the rest with the birthday cake after dinner. Not everything is a flashy toy, but I do try to follow the birthday lists they give while exercising my own ideas of what I want them to have. In between the gift openings, we had a pancake and sausage breakfast and then lunch and beach time with good friends who we hadn't seen since early June. The angel food cake that Laura asked for didn't happen since the box with my cake-baking pans is hiding somewhere in the house. So she settled for a mini store-bought chocolate cake and the promise to make the angel food cake later this summer.  I hope I don't run out of summer before I find the right box.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

more summer living


Because I use my camera almost everyday, the photos add up quickly and even though I'm choosy about what I post, I still had a lot of photos to share. So that means you get two quick posts in a row!

The kids and I go exploring during the day and then bring Shane to see all of our finds on the weekend. And of course, everything always goes just the way I planned it. Same for you, right?

We have a great community of friends from church and our homeschool activities, and I have been so grateful for all the ways we have been able to spend time together in various ways in recent weeks. Spring was a hectic and uncertain time for us and I also was determined to keep our lessons on track which resulted in less time for social visits. So by mid-June, I was ready to jump into hanging out with friends and family and done with lessons and house-planning stuff.  I only let myself unpack two boxes of my books so I've been reading some children's titles that I have found secondhand as a way of unwinding for summer. In our new town, we are part of a different library system so I have been waiting to get a new card and see what offerings they have. Since it is a much smaller library system, I may end up paying for access to our old library again. I love using the library for books that I may not read cover to cover, for recommended books that I want to know more about or for newly published books that may be only available in pricey hardcover. But for my kids' reading, they read books from our own collection that we keep adding to as we find good ones. They get wiped clean and then added into our Library Thing account to help us keep track of what we own.

One of my summer pleasures is making time for drawing and painting, especially nature finds. While I notice more details when I turn on my camera, nothing helps me really see like attempting to draw what is in front of me. I follow many artists, makers and illustrators on Instagram to inspire me and remind me to keep trying.
After searching long and hard for my art supplies, I found the box and dug out my watercolors and drawing pads. And while I still feel frustration with my lack of technique and ability, I see myself remembering more and seeing more which is very satisfying. Also my kids see me working on it, even while they play at the beach or front porch and I know that it's important for them to see me practice and together learn about what is around us.