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The Soundtrack of Summer...

Lexi has recently become a country music listener. As a result, we've all started listening to more country both at home and in the car. While our home music collection boasts a large amount of country, southern rock, and folk music, generally the tuner on the car radio (and our most played Pandora stations around the house) are pop/rock based.

Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers...all familiar names from my childhood. Growing up we had this HUGE old console stereo. It had a tuner, it played 8-tracks, but in our house it was a stack of vinyl that most often provided the beat. My Mom would load up the turntable, crank the volume and we would dance around cleaning or cooking or working on the task of the day. I loved the deep, rich sound that old wooden box provided. It's the same reason Scott and I still own the, by modern standards, huge stereo we bought the winter before we married. I'm a sucker for the big base its sub-woofer cranks out.

The comforting familiarity of county twang makes the perfect soundtrack for summer. We are fully settled into the ease of summer now that the weather has consulted the calendar and turned the heat up a few notches. I love our summer life. It's not just the more relaxed schedule and hours spent by the pool. I feel most authentically ME during the summer. Whether it's tending to the yard, or digging in the dirt of my gardens, or spending time on the bike trail, or sitting atop my new equine buddy Ranger as we chat our way through the trees by the lake, or simply hanging with friends, the summer sunlight and the ability to do it ALL outside feed my soul. Summer means no longer are work and play defined as separate activities. It's all just daily summer life. Summer often makes me think of my grandpas and their lives as farmers. They worked (or in the case of my Grandpa Hall, still WORKS) hard, but I think they worked hard because their work was also their play. Summer apparently speaks to my farm-girl roots.

So many of our summer days have been lived to a country beat over the years. Summers that involved windows down drives across Nebraska, or through Kansas, with a tent and sleeping bags stashed in the back of our vehicle. A summer spent dancing in the dirt of a rodeo arena as newly weds. Summers spent on the sand volleyball courts drinking terrible, but cheap, beer. The summer spent waiting, hotly waiting, for Lexi to arrive and make us a family of 3. My summers of RAGBRAI. There is a country tune playing in the back ground of almost everyone of those memories.

Country music + summer = a life I'm so blessed to be living.



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.