Thursday, September 07, 2017

Back to School 2017.

Fisher started fourth grade on Tuesday. It's ok. Two more years in elementary, though, doesn't seem like a lot. Here's what's great about Fisher. When asked, a few days before his first day, if he wanted something new to wear the first day, he looked at me funny. When I asked him what he was going to wear, he looked at me even funnier and told me, like I was daft, a tshirt and shorts. As in, what I wear every single day, Mom, until it's gotta switch to pants. I got him this lovely chess shirt from Target and we called it a good compromise.

Alla got to have an extra day off - 7th and 8th grade don't start til Wednesday - so she and I had a girls day. We got mani-pedis and had lunch out. Can't wait for next year's girls day!

Her summer ended, too, though, and Alla had her first day of seventh grade (I checked, it's right), which I find incredible.

Perhaps more incredible, though, is how she's just a couple inches shy of me, according to the doctor's office just last week. She will probably catch me by the end of seventh grade.

It was very important for Ron to get in the picture, too, with his very own sign.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. In our newspaper lately, the little blurb in the weather section has been lamenting the fact that July 4th is already behind us. Time is moving way too fast. Alla said to me this is the first summer that she feels it, too. For us, July 4th really only marks 1/3 of the summer, but goodness it is a big mark. It's a check in time, but also a panic time. Are we doing enough, are we doing nothing at all, what does everyone want to be doing, how should we spend our days.

2. I'd say in general, when we do nothing, everyone is happiest. I'm happiest when we go to Duluth and do nothing but sit on the shore and look for rocks. Must do that soon.

3. I got up to run yesterday and it was so hard, but when I got home it was only 68, and I was just drenched and done and Ron was aghast because it was, as I said, only 68. Maybe what got me through that scorcher was that some awesome person had scrawled all these inspiring chalk messages throughout my route, so that every quarter mile or so I had something like this is tough but so are you to keep me going. Thanks, person!

4. Last week I enjoyed reading Ginny Moon, which I recommend to everyone, and now I can't keep from thinking hard things are tedious and from saying well dang! when something doesn't go my way. Charming book.

5. Now I've just started Beyond the Bright Sea, which I have been waiting for since winter.

6. After a two week hiatus from baseball, Fisher has started extended season!

7. He has also started orchestra (violin) lessons this week.

8. Both kids passed their swim levels, and now Alla is on track to start the Instructor Aide program!

9. I have made a concerted effort to add to my summer wardrobe this year, but turns out that most of what I've been buying is either navy or navy and white stripes. So I'm no longer allowed to buy either.

10. I do not know why my son has to make such a pained face in every photograph.

11. As a bonus, I've included this photo of an orangutan. You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I thought May was busy, but summer has its own rhythm that is more hands-on, less things that the schools have scheduled and therefore caused me to add to my calendar. We are still busy, just a different busy, if that even matters.

2. Up until today, it has been pretty darn cool out. Yay for free air conditioning, and that 51 degree run this morning was mighty refreshing, but it's also nice to be able to sit outside without your hoodie up.

3. Finished reading Danny the Champion of the World to the kids - great read-aloud.

4. Also finished my own book, Posted, which I highly recommend. If my own middle schooler didn't have a ton of books on her list already, I'd hand it over.

5. I've become a [summer] morning runner. You will not find me as brave as Ron come winter, getting up and running in the dark AND cold. But while summer is here and I can run in 50 or 60 degrees instead of 70 or 80, I'm doing it. I am even going to hit my goal of 50 miles this month.

6. Summer = back to American Ninja Warrior!

7. Summer = back to the simplest ever cooking.

8. We have the sweetest little bunny in our backyard who comes and sits in the same spot right next to our (fenced) garden and naps. Alla thinks he might come while she's playing her violin.

9. Regular season baseball is now over for us. Fisher's team finished 4th for the regular season. The kid made a spectacular catch in their final playoff game, and now has to wait two weeks before extended season instructional league starts. He doesn't even care what anything is called or about, he just wants to play.

10. The kids have made a Monster Summer List, meaning there's no way we are going to do all of that stuff!

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.