Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Here we are, at the tail-end of summer, squeezing out every last drop, having all the fun.
2. Some days I think if I hear that front door open and close one more time I'm going to go completely insane. And then I remember that this time next week no one's going to open and close that door all day.
3. 'Round these parts, school starts the day after Labor Day. As it should be.
4. We recently spent a lovely week up north. 'Up north' loosely means north of the Twin Cities. We were approximately two and a half hours north in Breezy Point, which is a lovely little resort with all the amenities right there. It was our third summer there, and perhaps our best.
5. The kids "fished" daily, with nets, catching many.

6. I am letting my hair turn to straw.

7. This boy finally learned to pump! And he is pumped!

8. A week from tomorrow we are finally getting started on our bathroom renovation. If you've been to our house, you know how exciting this is!

9. I could no longer live where there aren't summer storms. They are just amazing...the lightning and thunder and hail and the hunt for rainbows. One evening we got a brilliant storm and as soon as the lightning stopped, all the neighborhood kids took to the street. Such happiness!

10. This is how I feel about the end of August, the end of summer:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Summer. Busy but lazy. Perfect.

2. Alla has just finished From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and then Wonderstruck. I think she is wonderstruck! Seriously, Mr. Selznick, when will you be writing another book??

3. The kids are 75% and 80% through their Mama-made summer reading program.

4. Alla has discovered The Parent Trap, which I loved. She's on her second viewing in two days. We'll definitely have to watch the original soon.

5. This weekend we celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary, and seventeen years together!

6. This is our last week of summer sports. I always look forward to the sideline time watching them play, and visiting friends. But then I'm ready to get our MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday evenings back. Maybe go for an after dinner bike ride.

7. Summer has been perfect weather-wise. Cooler than most prefer, probably, meaning warm days but cool enough to keep the a/c off. Fewer beach/water park days, but less sweltering. Good trade-off I think. We seized a rare hot day this weekend, and hit the water park, where both kids did a lot of sliding, Fisher climbed, and Alla rocked the wave pool.

8. The neighborhood kids have a renewed love of chalk this summer, literally filling the street with the fruits of their drawing contests. We're almost wishing for rain just to give them a clean slate. Otherwise, we'll have to start taking over other blocks.

9. Alla has been taking a knitting class at the library. This new hobby is definitely a summer highlight for her.

10. We are headed up to Breezy Point in August, where the kids will climb the fire tower and fish off a dock with nets. See? Summer = simple.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I've thought about doing a Ten for the past few weeks, but usually by the time I think of it, it's really not even close to still being Tuesday, or even Wednesday for that matter. Summer can be wonderfully lazy.

2. We have our second round of newly-hatched robin babies, so clearly summer is not lazy time for those guys.

3. Lazy summer means to me that we are gathered around the table while the breezes blow in through the screen, book pages fluttering, feeling slow. This is today.

4. The perfect summer dessert is a grilled peach drizzled with honey, homemade whipped cream generously heaped on the side. Must get more peaches.

5. We had a lovely Fourth, starting with a morning canoe on Silver Lake, and ending with taking the kids to see fireworks for the first time. Alla said they were "too pretty for words." Agreed.

6. We of course had our Ron Killins fireworks show at home first, though.

7. Alla started orchestra yesterday, and seems just perfectly suited to this responsibility. I hope that she'll continue to be excited to learn as the days (and years) wear on.

8. Ron and I are nearly done binge-watching the first five seasons of Sons of Anarchy and starting to feel the panic of it ending! At least we haven't watched season 2 of Orange is the New Black yet. Whew.

9. I started the new JoJo Moyes book yesterday and am feeling that this is a perfect summer read.

10. With that, we're off to the library for summer reading prizes, and then the Farmer's Market for (hopefully) something for dinner. These kids sure eat a lot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Here we are in the second week of summer. The sun is hot, the day is bright. Truly the best days of the year.

2. Our first two weeks are full of swimming lessons in the morning.

3. Kids are busy being kids. Our true summer day is sandwiched between swim in the morning and sports in the evening. The down time is lazy and feels like summer should. A little bit of learning, a little bit of helping out around the house, and a lot of playing outside, Rainbow Looming, and even cross-stitching.

4. Lots of rain. The garden is growing!

5. It's been six summers now that we've done at least one summer (evening) sport, and by now I could have written a book on summer meals, yet every summer I wonder what's for dinner and when we're going to eat it.

6. On today's to-do list: make a 2014 block party flyer!

7. The kids and I finished reading Hoot after lunch today! How amazing is it to finish a book outside under the umbrella!

8. A sports update: Alla is playing soccer again, and Fisher has added baseball to his roster. It is great fun to watch both of them play.

9. This year for summer reading I made each of the kids a list of 20 books and if they read any ten, they can choose their own reward. They still have time to read things they have in mind, but are also being exposed to things they might not pick up otherwise. Case in point: on Fisher's list was Diary of a Wimpy kid, which we'd been suggesting for awhile but he didn't seem interested in. Well, he read that one first and now wants to read the whole series!

10. We have been taking advantage of our drive time to and from swimming by listening to our first audio book of the summer - Escape, which is about the life of Houdini. I would say the kids are interested in his 'tricks,' and Alla wants to find out how he died, but other than that it's reading pretty dry, so I'm looking forward to listening to something a little more energetic next!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Good Job, Honey.

I'm calling this a win! Mother's Day photos with everyone looking at the camera, genuine smiles, everyone in focus. Best Mother's Day gift ever.

Hope you all had a lovely day, too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We have a robin's nest! They built it one day last week, but we got nervous when we didn't see them around much of Saturday or Sunday. Then Mama Robin sat in it all day yesterday, and sure enough, a perfect blue egg!

2. Alla had her Reading Hall of Fame ceremony last night. The kids record their reading minutes each month, and if they reach the goal for their grade in seven of eight months they receive a medal at a special ceremony in May. Alla is an old pro, and Fisher will have his first ceremony tomorrow night!

3. This is the start of what is a busy May for families all over the country, I suspect, with schools cramming in ceremonies and field trips and sports starting up.
4. Fisher, in fact, will have his first field trip tomorrow!
5. Since all this activity is leading up to summer vacation, I'm wondering just when summer might actually arrive? The kids would love to get the summer box out, with all the warm weather clothes, but I keep telling them we need warm weather for that.
6. Same goes for planting. I'd really like to plant more than peas and radishes. I'd really like to put in some new perennials and fill up my planters and deck containers with colorful annuals. But who wants to be out gardening in 50 degrees?
7. Somehow, though, the weather on Saturday mornings hasn't been half bad. Fisher has his tennis lesson then, and it's been relatively lovely to sit out and watch him, even it's from under a blanket.
8. Tonight's dinner - Crockpot Pinto Beans. Family favorite.
9. The kids and I went to Barnes and Noble to spend their birthday gift cards this weekend. Alla found Maleficent and is just giddy to see the movie.
10. I am nearly done reading The False Prince for the second time around and eager to get onto the next two books in the trilogy but also picked up Year of No Sugar at the library, and have a week to read that. Such good things to read lately!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Yesterday was the first day I thought, Spring has sprung.

2. I am absolutely eager to start planting stuff. Flowers! Veggies! Herbs! Baskets! Bring on the color!

3. Yesterday was also Cinco de Mayo, which in our house means carnitas, homemade salsa and guacamole, slaw to go on top of your carnitas tacos, and margaritas! I squeezed a lot of limes yesterday.

4. Relishing reading The False Prince again!

5. Alla has taken on another role at school: walk patrol. (This to me means getting her there earlier and picking her up later, and trying to keep Fisher occupied for those 10 minutes on either side of the day, both times that he'd rather just be outside at home playing with friends.)

6. Yesterday I did what Ron has coined the "Mother's Triathlon." Run 4 miles, bike 4 miles, work in the garden.

7. The tree pollen is trying to beat me down, but so far my lemon, lavender and peppermint are getting the job done. I'm sneezing like crazy but this year not scratching my eyes out, so we'll call that a win.

8. Today we planted peas and radishes. Does anyone know of anything good to do with radishes?

9. I start out the day with a list and ambition, but by the time the kids are in bed, all of that is gone and it's all I can do to keep my eyes open on the couch. Here's to a good night's sleep and more ambition tomorrow, since my lists don't seem to get any shorter!

10. Greatly looking forward to Mother's Day this weekend!