Friday, June 09, 2017

First Day/Last Day 2017.

Well, here we are. First day of summer, so I'm reflecting for a bit on how nine months changes my wonderful kiddos, who are upstairs with me today instead of at school!

One thing is for sure, that girl of mine is a tall drink of water!

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Summer Reading Lists 2017!

Without further ado, let the summer reading begin!

A couple notes:

1. These are very customized to my own kids. Fisher likes non fiction so his list his heavy on that, with a couple of great fiction reads in there to give him something he wouldn't necessarily pick up on his own. Alla prefers fiction, so I've challenged her in that area, as well as sprinkled in a little non-fiction.

2. I keep a list all year long, of new releases, things that I've seen reviewed on Goodreads, etc., that I know my kids will like but might not have time to read during the school year. Some of the titles have summer release dates and therefore won't be available yet. Some of them I have on request at the library as they just came out last month. Others have been out and we can easily get them from the library. We already have a stack from each list for each kids to start on.

3. Reading is not optional in our house, but that said, the enthusiasm we show toward books has made it such that the kids love to read and don't argue about making it part of each day. For sure making these lists is fun for me, but also they ask for them each year, so they are invested.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Kids' Summer Reading Lists are done! Check back on our last day of school this Thursday. Alla has started on this one, which was previously on a list for Fisher. She is the last in our family to read it, and the second one is coming out this summer.

2. After suffering through yet another very chilly baseball game just one week ago today, the switch was flipped and we are now experiencing joyful summer weather! In fact we had to turn on the A/C for a brief spell this weekend when the thermometer hit 90.

3. Counting today, kids have three days of school left! Joy!

4. Alla played her last concert of sixth grade last week. I cannot believe the growth from third to sixth grade.

5. We finally have a garden planted! Of course I waited until Sunday to do it, and although I got the plants in before the sun hit, by the end of the day they looked terribly wilted. I spent all day worrying about them and watered several times. Fingers crossed for you, spinach.

6. I finally finished Unbroken, and was so happy to move on to Loving v. Virginia, Real Friends, and now Piecing Me Together. All recommended!

7. Fisher hit an IN THE PARK HOMERUN last night.

8. We are thoroughly enjoying the summer show Beat Shazam, but also wondering where is American Ninja Warrior, our familiar summer Friday night fun?

9. Since we are in that busy time of year when we have activities several evenings a week, I hope my family is not going to grow tired of crockpot chicken. If you are not familiar, it is like this: put chicken breasts in crockpot. Sprinkle with some sort of favorite seasoning. Put a spoonful of salsa on each. Turn on crock pot - low 6-7 hours, high 3-4. We eat on brown rice with beans, cheese, veggies.

10. I know for sure they will not grow tired of the three-ingredient cookie: 2 mashed bananas, 1 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup chocolate chips. 350 oven, 15 minutes. The secret is to sprinkle sea salt over the top right when they come out of the oven. Perfect.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Alla and the bunny.

This girl can find any creature great or small and get it to love her and she will love it fiercely in an instant. On Friday she rescued a bunny from a neighbor's garage and I've never held a baby bunny this small! It made no attempt to hop out of our hands and hardly hopped even when she found a safe place for it to go. She has a big heart for special little ones - furry and not.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. So, there you have it. Ron is 40. I'm sure that's very old to someone, but as someone who's been 40 for a few months now, it feels just about the same.

2. I am in desperate need of some new running shoes. The most recent pair gives me painful tingles in the feet after about two miles, so I've resorted to the older pair that probably has 700 miles on them. Not good either way.

3. So I'll add "go to running store" to my endless list of things I must get to before school lets out but that there currently doesn't seem to be enough time to do.

4. After Memorial Day the kids will have only 8 school days left! Very hard to believe the unofficial start to summer is upon us.

5. Especially since Sunday night we sat through one of the coldest baseball games in Little League history. Multiple layers were worn and coats were pulled out of storage. The players had fun and won their game.

6. Best way to warm up after said freezing cold baseball game? Hot toddy.

7. I am oh so near the end of Unbroken, and getting so excited to get to start a new book soon! What will it be?!

8. With the improving weather, the kids may yet get a chance to bike to school.

9. My daughter is currently outside crafting a fishing pole so she can go fishing with the loveliest 5 year old boy. One of her greatest qualities is her big kind heart.

10. My newest favorite picture of the kids!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It is 80 degrees here, no joke. And in 48 hours I'll be back in my fleece. I love you, Minnesota.

2. Costco has messed with my morning coffee again, and hopefully for the last time. I have once again brought home a half gallon of whipping cream instead of half and half. Who on earth needs an entire half gallon of whipping cream?

3. I am getting closer to having summer book lists ready!

4. On Saturday morning the kids woke up and brought me A Night Divided in bed and we finished it! Really excellent read aloud, and tonight we can start a new book!

5. Yesterday on my run I started listening to Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, which is truly excellent so far, but I can't recommend unless you'll promise to listen to it. His voice, and all of the languages he speaks, absolutely requires listening.

6. We are down to two more days of school this week, and then three, 4-day weeks.

7. Saturday night Ron and I are getting a date night! (Too bad the weather isn't going to be bright and sunny!)

8. Date nights sometimes mean celebrations and this one is in celebration of Ron's 40th! Yay we'll be the same age.

9. At the beginning of the school year I put some money in Alla's school lunch account in case she wants a few extras during the year. She rations it, and the money is usually gone by the end of the year. This was the first year I put any in Fisher's. Since he can't have school lunch anyway, I've never bothered. But this year I thought he might like a carton of milk here and there. The kid hasn't touched that money all year, and I'm beginning to wonder if it'll still be there in 9 years when he graduates from high school.

10. It feels like this today, so I'm going out to enjoy what's left of it!

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Guys, we have made it.

It's Mother's Day weekend.

Are you kicking up your feet yet? I'm not gonna lie, I like to take as much of the weekend as I can. Ron always travels the week before Mother's Day, so as a rule I am always earning my stripes this week. Taking both kids to events, finding friends (thank you!) to get one where she needs to go so I can take the other, watching three baseball games in four days, cooking dinner to eat at 5:00 so we can leave at 5:10, then getting another meal in them at 9:00 pm when we're home. Two months ago there was nothing on my calendar. I was eating bonbons. Now? We are sprinting through the week. Thank you, May. (Just kidding there, I don't like bonbons.)

On top of all that, I've been up til 12:30 every night this week checking blood sugars. Thank you, diabetes and baseball. So all of the above, plus less than six hours of sleep each night. Do any of you know me? Less than six hours of sleep is not my favorite. I don't know if I get Mom of the Year this year, but I am doing my best on less than six hours of sleep each night.

I am over the moon about this weekend. It's going to be 80 degrees. There are zero events we have to be at tomorrow. I might get to read my book. I might get to put flowers in the pots in our front yard. I might get to sleep in. I hope my kids come downstairs to snuggle me. I hope they bring our book. Maybe we will finish it!

I am so lucky that my own Mom lives close enough to celebrate the day with me! As my kids get older, I am baffled by the juggling she had to do raising us. My brother and I did completely separate activities, and never attended the same school! But we did all the things. She made sure of it.

I love being a mom, and often write about the little things being the big things, and take pictures of the day to day.

I also really love Mother's Day, because it's beautiful out and I genuinely feel celebrated and appreciated - thank you, Ron.

Get in the picture with your kids this weekend. But also, kick up your feet. Read a whole book. Plant a garden. Or don't. Do what you want, this ONE day of the year.

Happy Mother's Day!