Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Heart Summer

Why do I heart summer?

I will admit, I do truly heart it BUT it isn't my favorite season. That would be fall. I love the weather of fall, going out for hikes, high school football games, colorful trees. I do love fall.

However, I do heart summer too, just not quite as much. Why you ask? (Just pretend you asked, just for me...)

  • No curling iron. It is a rare thing for me to use a curling iron in the summertime. I just brush and go, this summer more than most because my hair is too long to do anything with anyway. (It is driving me crazy)
  • Not setting the alarm. We have had to do it more this summer than usual due to camps and such, but still, most mornings it is not set. I wake up to the "preschooler" alarm...the one yelling over the monitor, "Get me up, Mom! I want out of here!" :)
  • Afternoon naps. I have a very wacky sleep schedule in the summertime. I stay up late, sleep in as much as I can, which is not as much as I want. Then take an afternoon nap. That night, I cannot sleep after the nap, so I stay up late again. It is a vicious cycle. I know, I know, I stay up late all year, but it is much worse in the summer. Love those afternoon naps though.
  • Checking e-mail and Facebook throughout the day. No, not all day. Tempting though. :) But at naptime, I usually catch up on Facebook posts which is better than the school year. When I catch up then it takes a REALLY long time. I much prefer doing it in small doses.
  • Trying out new recipes. I am not as likely to try out new recipes during the school year. I stick to my "tried and true" recipes. I am not complaining. I have a cookbook full of them. But it is fun in the summer to have a little more time to try something new. Our newest one is Lasagna in a Bun which I found in a magazine. Oh, yum. We had some tonight.
  • Leisurely lunches. Obviously during the school year, I have learned to eat very quickly. In the summer, I like to sit, read the paper or a magazine, and enjoy the taste of my food.
  • Trips to the beach. Even the oily ones.
  • Time to organize. Not much, mind you. With four kiddos, one being a very busy toddler, I take what I can get. But it is more than I have energy for during the school year.
  • Hanging out in my pj's until I am forced to get dressed. I love having Pajama Day any day. :)
  • Catching up on my magazine reading. During the school year, I only get snippets to read through a magazine. During the summer, I get to read more.
  • Speaking of reading, I read actual books during the summer, usually on vacation.
  • Lightning bugs. I love to watch them light up the evening sky. Brings back many memories from my childhood.
  • Meteor showers, especially in August. My oldest and I like to go out there and count how many "shooting stars" we see.
  • Fruit. I love the variety of fruit available this time of year. I eat a few things but our youngest can eat his weight in fruit. And I am pretty sure he does in the summertime.
  • Laid back schedules. We may just decide to go to the zoo one day (did last year) and just went. Love that flexibility.

I could go on and on, but I need to head to bed. So, tell me, what is something you heart about summer?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

So Much to Do...

Oh, I have SOOOO much to do.

My garage is a disaster.

My closet is overflowing with things. Things I don't need.

Our walls could seriously use a couple coats of paint.

My decorative ivy in the kitchen has dustbunnies on them.

I need to weed out the kids' DVD's.

The toy room needs to be organized. Again.

I want to update the girls' room. They have new bedding but we won't start using it until there is order.

The oldest's room needs a major overhaul too.

Poor Child 4 has scrapbooking materials in his closet. From the old days when I had time to scrapbook.

I need to clean the hard drive of my computer.

I want to make some picture books of recent getaways and vacations.

I have stacks of magazines that I need to go through. Most I just need to pull one piece of information from then they can go bye bye to the recycling bin.

The garage fridge needs a good scrubbing.

And the list goes on.

And on.

And on.

So much to do. So much to do.

So what I am doing today?

Heading to the river with the family. Nothing productive, just splashing in water, sliding down a waterslide, making memories together.

What are you doing today?

Thursday, July 22, 2010



That is approximately how many questions one of my dear children asked me Monday in about an 8 hour period (two of those hours were nap time, so technically six hours).


Yes, I counted. I wrote them all down.

And that was just ONE child.

Do you see now why I am mentally tired at the end of the day?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taking Care of the Temple

This summer, Lauren and I have been attending a mommy/daughter Bible study geared towards upper elementary girls and their moms. My oldest daughter has some chapter books that focus on things like beauty (what qualifies), friendship, self-esteem, etc. Then I have a book by James Dobson called "Bringing Up Girls" to read. Finally, we have some books to go through together which serve as discussion starters. We haven't done very well on the "together" books though we have had plenty of discussions just based on our books to read.

Anyway, a friend of ours told us about the study. And I thought it sounded like a neat way to spend a little time with my daughter and open up those lines of communication as she gets older. But I won't lie. It was a bit out of my comfort zone. Other than the friend who invited us, I didn't know anyone else. It is not our church sponsoring this, nor is it even in our town. I think I have mentioned, I am fairly introverted. Small talk terrifies me. So going once a week to this gathering of a lot of people I didn't know...well, I wouldn't do it for just anybody. But my daughter is not like me. She is more of a social butterfly. She has a slight shyness to her but she easily makes friends and is very confident in herself. So though part of me thought, "No way, Jose", the other part of me knew she would love this. I signed us up.

Of course, we have been in and out this summer, so we have been as many times as we have missed. But it has been a pretty good experience.

Oh, and just for the record, I did know at least one other person there.

Anyway, each week we gather together. The moms get together (in small groups based on age) and discuss our reading, while the girls do the same in their small groups based upon their reading. We also have guest speakers or fun activities. Finally, while the adults finish up the share time, the girls get to swim in a neighborhood swimming pool (there are moms out there).

This week our guest speakers were two college young ladies sharing a little about keeping our bodies healthy. They really emphasized that our bodies were created as a temple, and that we are to use them to glorify God. They took the emphasis off of the world's version of beauty, instead pointing out that we needed to accept who God made us to be. After all, God knows the number of hairs on our head. He designed each and every one of those hairs. Just like I would be crushed to have someone look at a masterpiece painting I had created and pick it apart, I am doing the same thing to God when I say, "Boy, I wish I were taller. And I want to have skin just like hers. What was God thinking giving me a nose like this?"

This is what the college girls were sharing with our daughters. And I was sitting and listening just like a little kid. You see, I have always been unhappy with the way God made me. I am too short, too chubby (yes, some of that is in my control), have this stringy blonde hair that is so fine, it won't even hold a comb, fair skin (a.k.a. VERY pale). I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Here I am listening to these college girls, realizing, "I am not appreciating the fact that God made me who I am." Then I realized that it will be very hard to pass that self-confidence on to my daughter when I am terribly guilty of picking myself apart. How can I teach her to appreciate who God made her to be (which I think is an incredible young woman!) when I don't do the same?

You just never know what you might learn at a Mommy/Daughter Bible Study...


Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Facts of Useless Information

Just to keep things light, and trust me, after the day I had, I need something light, I am going to share some random facts of useless information that will leave you wondering at the end, "What on earth is she sharing this for?" And that would be a rhetorical question because there is no answer. Or at least no good one. Feel free to share your own random fact of useless information in the comment section. Like I said, I just need something about the day (or now middle of the night) to be light...
  • I eat a Ghiradelli dark chocolate square with caramel every single day. Usually I have it for lunch but sometimes dinner. It is a rare day to miss one. Oh, and I like it to have been in the freezer for a while so it is really crunch. Two or three years ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of eating dark chocolate, but then I read several articles about how much better it was for your health, and I switched. Now I hardly ever touch milk chocolate. Of course, how can anything with caramel be bad? (taste wise, not health wise :)
  • I play Farmtown on Facebook. I hope that it never shows up on friends' updates or walls...I always say no to that. It just my little peace of escape every day. I have this sense of accomplishment when I have a harvest ready. Some days I need a sense of accomplishment. Most days.
  • I just started putting gas in my own vehicle in probably the last year. Before then, my dad usually did it or Mark (after we met). The only reason I do it now is because I forget sometimes to tell Mark, and the light comes on when I am running kids around.
  • I am wearing a bright pink bracelet (one of those rubber "cause" kind) to remind me to pray for our music teacher who I have mentioned before is having treatments for cancer. I have not taken it off since I put it on. Yes, I do wash it in the shower...on my arm. I figure she can't just take her cancer off, so I shouldn't just take the bracelet off when I feel like it.
  • No other job makes me feel more like a failure than parenting.
  • My ideal sleep schedule is to stay up until around 1, sleep in until 8 or 9, then take a short nap in the afternoon. Unfortunately not many people in the world, especially in education, are on my schedule.
  • I will eat many fruits, but I cannot stand watermelon (or any melon). To me, it tastes like lightly flavored water. And I will eat vegetables that are raw. I cannot think of any that I will eat cooked, unless you count potatoes which I don't.
  • I will come to a sudden stop to avoid hitting an animal, even a squirrel.
  • My spices on the Lazy Susan are alphabetized. The spices on the spice shelf are not. I don't know why.
  • I feel guilty throwing away anything that can be recycled. Our recycle box is usually about as full as our trashcan.
  • I used to watch just about any kind of movie. Now I cannot watch anything in the horror category nor most in the action/adventure. Those images haunt me long after the movie is done.
  • I have not read any of the Twilight series. Honestly I have no interest to.
  • I haven't shopped at a Wal-Mart in over 12 years. Don't have any interest in that either. :)
  • I cannot wear flip flops. I have tried. There are so many cool ones out there. But having anything between my toes like that is painful to me.
  • I recently made a list of places I would love to visit in my lifetime. There are at least 20 places on it. I think Australia is the furthest away.
  • I have never been to the Bahamas. That is on my list too.
  • My ears are pierced twice. I always have tiny diamond studs in the top. I rarely wear earrings in the original piercing unless I am dressing up.
  • I have long fingernails. I don't necessarily try to have them that way. They just grow until they either break or a few break and I cut the rest. You would think it is because I get so much calcium, but other than cheese and occasionally ice cream, not much dairy in my diet. I will not drink a cup of milk. Blech! (But my kids must drink it at least twice a day)
  • I love to watch Sesame Street. I am amazed at how much learning/teaching goes into each show.
  • I hardly ever use butter on bread. Given a choice, I will use olive oil/seasonings for dipping every single time.
  • I will not enter contests for products I don't believe in or use on occasion. I also won't enter if I really don't think I will like or use the reward/prize.

I could go on and on, but then what fun would that be? I have to save some element of surprise for you, right? :)

More later,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh, the Places I Want To Go

(Title is a take off of a Dr. Seuss book...I am a kindergarten teacher after all)

I have a confession. I really don't think you will be surprised. Are you ready to hear it? Really? You won't think less of me?

I have a restless heart.

I don't know where I got it. I don't think I had it growing up. I have always been very conservative, very much a "homebody", very "safe".

But somehow I got bitten. Bitten by the travel bug. And now I cannot get enough.

I know, I know. I have been on the go. I know that in my head. But in my heart, I am still restless.

I don't know if it is because I didn't wade in the ocean this year. Or maybe because our hiking has slowed for the summer which seems to help ease the restlessness. Maybe it is just because this summer has been a little off (shorter and not even that sunny/hot).

No matter what the cause, the symptoms are the same. I find myself reading with envy travel stories on FB. I dream of running away for a weekend. (I wouldn't really do it, but I like to dream :) I re-visit pictures of our vacation this summer and try to remember that rush of excitement. It is a restless heart.

I have a long list in my mind of where I want to go next. I love exploring new places, trying new restaurants, learning more about different places in our country.

Unfortunately, I don't have the bank account to support my restless heart. That, and Mark has to work and all. (And I will too in another month)

I am not complaining. I am not ungrateful. I am thankful for the travel we have done, like winning a couple trips (San Diego, San Francisco) and trips we have budgeted for (instead of say getting new vehicles or redoing the house). I really am.

Unfortunately, I think those experiences have just fed my heart.

It is restless.


More later,