Odds & Ends::Early Summer Edition

1-IMG_4953-001Blogging has taken the backest of back burners so far this summer.  I find the longer I go without blogging, the less motivation I have to do it.  Consider this my effort to record a few early summer memories while trying to recapture attempting to recapture my love for blogging.  :-)

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  • The DLM celebrated his fourth birthday at the beginning of the month, but we had our family celebration a few days early because my sister and nephew left the night before his birthday on a missions trip to Honduras.   He requested a baseball cake, so I made a very simple one based on some ideas I saw online.  I used Ina Garten’s Beatty’s chocolate cake recipe and very sweet (too sweet!) buttercream frosting (I subbed milk for the cream).  I used prepared decorator’s gel for the sentiment and the ball’s stitching.  It wasn’t exactly a professional-looking cake, but he liked it, so I was happy with it.  (You can see my birthday cake repertoire here and here if you’re interested.)

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  • The girls have been spending time each week in 4H activities.  Both girls are participating in Chef 4H, and Louise is participating in Junior Master Gardener.   This club has two raised beds in the community garden, so we had to go by this week to weed and harvest any of the produce that was ready.  We got some green onions, some lettuce, parsley, and one little tomato. Louise had to weigh and record the produce in the record book.

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  • Lulu is getting ready to compete in the 4H regional congress in the Chef 4H category. On the agenda this week is practicing her presentation (preparing banana chocolate chip muffins while talking about it–like a cooking show) and making her apron to wear for her presentation.
  • We’re having a hard time finding time to read aloud together these days.  Oh, the girls are always reading–library reading programs and the Exodus Books reading program provide a lot of motivation.  Our schedule is just so loosey-goosey that I’m having a hard time being consistent with our read-aloud time.  We did finally finish The High King (review forthcoming soon, I hope!) and start The Four-Story Mistake, which I LOVE so far.  I’m also reading the Elmer and the Dragon to the DLM at his request.  :-)
  • The DLM has discovered books on CD!  Well, he’s always known about them because the girls listen to chapter books frequently, etc., but he has discovered short picture books, and he loves them!  (This alone gives me a teeny bit of confidence that I can embark on another year of home education with one working keep-the-DLM busy tool in my arsenal tool belt.)  His favorites are the Froggy books.  “Frrooggyy!!!!!!!!”
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Proof that she is my child: I used to walk around the block and read at the same time, too!
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Following sister’s example. . .
  • We’ve been doing a lot of walking the past few weeks.   The girls finally mastered the skill of riding their bicycles and are good enough at it to actually go for bike rides now.  It has been a mild summer so far (yes, I know it’s not really even summer yet, but this is Alabama, y’all. . .), so we’ve been able to walk comfortably during the day.  One reason it has been so mild is because it has been an unusually rainy few weeks.

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  • I’ve been reading a bit, but nothing that I’ve taken the time to blog.  I’ve read some devotional books, some parenting books, and I’ve tried to read a bit of kid lit by way of previewing some things for the girls.  I guess you could say I’m in something of a reading slump, especially if you consider the fact that I’m behind in reading for my own bookclub.
  • Honestly?  I just haven’t enjoyed the summer break too much so far.  I’m a tightly wound spring, and it takes me a long, long time to unwind.  This is why taking a long summer break seems so important to me, though honestly right now the thought of year-round school seems pretty appealing just so that we can HAVE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE.  I’m pathetic.  :-)  I have so many hopes/dreams/ideas of what I can accomplish while we’re not doing school, but all I really have time for is wrangling a very active Benny and keeping the grass out of the DLM’s sandbox-turned-swimmig pool.  Oh, that and breaking up a dozen or two fights a day.  :-)  Please tell me I’m not alone in finding the transition to summer difficult!

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  • Steady Eddie and I celebrate fifteen years of marriage next week! I’m sure this will be the high point of the summer. I’m so thankful that God put us together these many years ago. :-)

How’s summer treating you?

4 thoughts on “Odds & Ends::Early Summer Edition”

  1. HAPPY (early) 15th ANNIVERSARY!

    And I can’t believe that the DLM is 4 already. Wow!

    Not sure what to say re: your daily consistent routine. :D It WOULD be curious to hear if others have a hard time transitioning to summer. I always like routine, but then I like vacation breaks. We’re still working to adjust and find our new normal with our addition to the family so our routine (whatever it is) has been shot of late!

  2. I’m am so with you. Over the years, we have tried year round schooling, modified schedule in the summer, and a complete break in the summer. I HATE trying to get the kids bad on a schedule in fall after a three month break. I hate nagging them to do school work in the summer. And I don’t like never having a break from the schedule myself. SO I can sympathize, but I have no solutions.

    I would give you one bit of advice from farther down the road. Keep a read aloud schedule going daily for the entire family for as long as you can possibly do it. I wish I had made this an inviolable rule at my house.

  3. I find transitions tough too. And the lack of routine. As much as I enjoy the feeling of less-scheduled days, I also often end up feeling like I’m not getting anything done. We’ve had a hard time keeping up the reading-aloud as well, we’re doing it but it’s definitely not as consistent. No word of wisdom, just some empathy.

    And happy anniversary! We celebrate fourteen years in about a week!

  4. Don’t worry, we your dedicated readers will be always be here for you when you come back to us :).
    That garden is AMAZING!!! We just planted in the last couple of weeks here (May was just way too cold). I think I need to do a garden post this week, just so I can do another one in a month and compare.

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