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Summer officially started last Thursday at 11:00. Our home now houses a 2nd grader and a 6th grader. Sixth grade means a move to the middle school. A certain 11 year old is pretty excited about that fact. Her parents are a little more nervous, but at the same time confident she'll do great.

Our summer schedule is filling up quickly. Summer looks a little different for us this year as the girls and I will be spending a couple days each week hanging out at the house of one of Lexi's classmates while his parents are at work. The girls were a bit concerned about how that would cut into our pool time, but I assured them we'd still have plenty of days to splash around in the sun. Plus, a little summertime employment means a less stressed family budget, and that's a good thing.

We're doing our best to make good on our doing plan for the summer. So far we have a family weekend to Omaha for visiting the zoo, a quick solo trip to KC to enjoy time with a friend and see Mumford & Sons, a trip west to see family while attending my 20th high school reunion, and an end of the summer wedding trip planned. We're also excited that Uncle Jason will be in Iowa to visit for a bit at the end of July. I'm training to do some 5K events with a lovely group of lady friends throughout the summer. (I use the term training somewhat loosely here as I have yet to put together any regular workout schedule thanks to an early summer cold, and our goal is simply to participate, not to clock world record pace times.) We'd also love to get the tents out for some weekend camping this summer, but first it seems we need to get past the Iowa rainy season.

At least the rain is good for the gardens. In addition to plantings around our house, and plans to make new raised beds this summer for next summer's garden season, we are part of 2 group gardens this summer. Apparently one of us has a hard time saying no to opportunities that requiring digging in the the dirt.

I'm sure come August we will be amazed at how quickly these lazy days of summer have passed. I do hope, when it comes time to ready school supplies and backpacks, we will be able to say summer 2013 was well spent. As for now I'm going to grab a second cup of coffee and enjoy the sound of Brea reading to our new summertime buddy on this cool, rainy, mid-week, school free day of June.



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.