Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Alright, before Halloween is here already, I better put up some pictures of the kids' first day of school. Sixth and third, for the love.

2. Though apple season is upon us, we are actually swimming in tomatoes. This is the first year I've ever done anything but cherry tomatoes - one cherry, one Early Girl - and it has been quite the few weeks of constant harvesting and constant consuming. Two tomatoes at each meal isn't even quite cutting it.

3. With the kids back in school I am attempting to increase my running miles after the decline that comes every summer with the heat and kid activities. Fall is my [running] jam. Forget 90 degrees, tomorrow morning will barely be fifty. Love.

4. With the kids back in school I am back to menus - for breakfast and dinner. Menus are saving me.

5. Fisher is playing fall soccer. Still trying to figure out what's going to save me from that.

6. The remodel is done here! We are still living with quite a few bare walls and no nightstands, but these things are quite livable compared to the amount of drywall dust that was settling daily.

7. This weekend we took the kids to dinner and a movie - Brasa and Star Trek.

8. Lots of reading going on lately. Alla is pleased that there is considerably less math homework in sixth grade, so she is taking full advantage of those hours and reading many, many books. The new Raina Telgemeier came today, which she tore through, and she's in the middle of Paper Wishes. I am reading Love Warrior and Ms. Bixby's Last Day.

9. Ron took Fisher to soccer practice yesterday, so Alla and I took advantage of the free hour and went for a seven mile bike ride, which was so wonderful. My middle schooler, so far, is just lovely.

10. Today is September 13th, which marks four months until the big 4-0!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It's the 2nd of August, which means that Ron and I have officially been together for 19 years. 19 years today.

2. Tomorrow marks 14 years of marriage!

3. So excited that next week we will be heading to Hilton Head, where we will get to show the kids exactly where we got married.

4. August means baseball is over. Fisher is definitely not ready to let that go and is still out in the street hitting and pitching all afternoon, but as much as we love baseball, we were ready for a break. It was pretty cool to see him pitch during extended season, though, and know how much he is looking forward to a whole season of that next year.

5. What Alla does during games at fields with no playground: devour books, either actual books or audio.

6. Our July blog circle is live over at the photography website.

7. This is the last of four weeks in a row of swimming. Also ready to be done with that. And orchestra. Basically done with all commitments.

8. Seems so near the end of summer, but we don't go back to school until after Labor Day, thank goodness! So, lots left. Including vacation, and camp, and state fair, and lots more neighborhood happy hours and books to read.

9. Speaking of books, highly recommend I Will Always Write Back to both middle grade and up, as well as their parents! Such an inspiring read, eye-opening for children especially. This book does what books should do - expand our worlds.

10. I almost never change my profile or cover picture on facebook, but have done it a few times in the past two days, which means only that I am actually sitting down at my computer working on photos!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer is a whirlwind.

Summer is going by like it's a race to the first day of school, is it not?


I have been a mother now for eleven years, and yet I cannot figure out how to slow it down. It is in fact my biggest failing of the summer season, especially of the uniquely short Minnesota summer season.

Summer is all, What have you done? What are you checking off your list? Where have you been?

And I'm all, Not a lot. Maybe three items. And, Oooh! Oooh! I have a good answer for this one! Ohio!

We will get to the end of summer at some point in the very very distant future I am sure, and perhaps some of the boxes will be checked and we will have done more of the things, probably. And if not, then it is A-Okay because of Ohio, because my kids rocked a 12 hour day to make it there in one shot, and then back home in the same fashion. Because we got to spend four days with our dearest friends and their kids and our kids were dearest friends for those four days.

And I even got to be in a picture, thanks to my great husband, with my dears Catie (right) and Amy (left, obviously). Amy joined us from her epic road trip and we were so excited that our trips to Ohio managed to meet up on the very same day at Catie's house! Somewhere around the circles of friends there is another picture of the three of us from the reunion picnic of '09 but I have no idea where. Perhaps comparing isn't best anyhow?

Summer is a whirlwind from the moment the kids chuck their messy backpacks on the last day of school. So thankful for the camera's ability to freeze time with dear friends.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Welcome to Summer!

Thoughts on this Monday morning-first official day of summer vacation:

It is 9:35 am and my kids are still sleeping.

I am patiently waiting for them to wake up so I can shove some food in their mouths and head out for a run while it's still tolerable out there for me.

They must be tired from all the summer-ing this weekend.

I am so glad they are upstairs and not at school.

It's summer!!

Be slow, Summer.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Summer Reading Lists: Alla, entering 6th grade.

Image Map A cold this week has resulted in me staying in, actually getting some stuff done at home versus running to the gym, the garden store, Costco, and all the other errands that await me on another day. One of those BIG projects here has been getting the kids' summer reading lists ready for them, as school officially ends on Friday. Unofficially, this is just a fun week, practically garbage in terms of actual learning, so the kids get their lists early so they can start choosing what they'd like to start with!

Anne Frank // I Will Always Write Back // The Penderwicks on Gardam Street // Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom // Anne of Green Gables // Farmer Boy // The Underground Abductor // Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill // Moon Over Manifest // Samurai Rising // Wolf Hollow // Hour of the Bees // Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story // To Kill A Mockingbird // Where the Red Fern Grows

View Fisher's reading list here!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Summer Reading Lists: Fisher, entering 3rd grade.

Fisher was very excited to receive his summer reading list and immediately started looking at the library website to see which ones they have (he might have trouble at checkout, however, as he has racked up a nice fine). So far he seems most excited to read Battle in the Arctic Sea, but is starting with Winn-Dixie because that's the only one from his list that we own!

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales // Nine, Ten: A September 11th Story //  Into the Killing Seas // A Whole New Ballgame // Battle in the Arctic Sea // Brooklyn Bat Boy //  The Way Home Looks Now // Cakes in Space // The Great Fire // Middle School // Because of Winn-Dixie // Courage Has No Color //  Kinda Like Brothers // Samurai Rising // Heat

View Alla's reading list here!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It's May, so that means every household with school-age children across America is crazed. It is truly difficult to remember that just a few weeks ago we had literally no activities on the calendar, and now we are celebrating when we get one free night to eat dinner before nine. But these are not complaints. May is busy but perhaps the best month of the school year. Best weather, field trips, the end of testing, baseball, track, orchestra concert, birthdays, and a four day weekend.

2. It's May, so I've ordered summer math books for the kiddos. This is maybe the fifth summer we'll be using these, and I swear by them. They cover all the things they learned during the year in no more than 12-13 problems, ten minutes tops a few times a week and they are done. The books are called Summer Math Skills Sharpeners and that is exactly what they do. Highly recommend.

3. Speaking of summer, pretty soon I'm going to have to sit down and make summer reading lists for the kids! One of my favorite activities, and the kids look forward to receiving their lists. They are perfectly capable of choosing their own reading, of course, but summer is a great time to challenge and introduce them to books outside of their comfort zones and favorite genres.
4. Since summer is so very close, my days alone shall soon go on hiatus. Now I start thinking, what else do I  really want to do before summer starts? Shops I want to visit, paths I want to run on, hours I want to spend editing. Seems that before the Summer List is made, I should quickly make a Spring List, just for me, and start checking things off.

5. Track season is here, and baseball season is here. Often times I am picking up the track girl with the baseball boy already in uniform and heading straight to the field. Tonight, though, just track, so we let the kids play outside so much longer than normal dinner time. It was just so lovely, and they had all the little(r) kids in tow, all playing tag and laughing and I could see summer, how it will be here soon and they will all wake up [and do math and chores] and rush out there to greet the day and each other, and no matter the "things" we do to fill our days, they will probably remember the running around so much more.

6. Except. They cannot stop talking about going back to Fawn-doe-Rosa, a summer favorite, and earlier this year since we changed when we normally do swim lessons to coincide with orchestra lessons. Anyway. A friend reported seeing baby goats and a baby hedgehog, and that was it for them. They can't wait.

7. I am in the midst of Catherine Newman's lovely book, which is just so true and dear being in the middle season of parenting myself but not so far away that I can't remember two and five and in between. Trust me, if you are a parent, you will love it.

8. Looking to the week ahead, I am immensely excited for Fisher's baseball game tomorrow and Alla's track meet on Thursday. I love seeing them do these things they are good at and love.

9. Looking to the weekend ahead, Ron is turning 39 and we are going to a Twins game to hear Alla and the rest of the performing arts crew sing the National Anthem and  the Canadian National Anthem since we're playing the Blue Jays. Both of these things happen on Sunday.

10. My two-cent parenting advice for the day: when you get to bedtime prayers, sing them! My grandmother Nanny always said singing is praying twice, so even though my sung prayer tonight was much closer to Beavis and Butthead than Amazing Grace, it did the job. Amen.