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summer update…

it has been both a slow and busy summer.  max attended a week-long dinosaur camp at a local science museum called, GWiz.  he loved it!  the teachers all agreed that he could easily teach the class for them. i think he enjoyed being in “the know” about how to pronounce all the different scientific names, knowing whether they were discussing a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, and in general just sharing information that he is passionate about to a group of his peers.

max & bella are both growing like weeds.  there was approximately three months between visits to the pediatrician and within that span of time they both gained height and weight!

we’ve spent a lot of time with friends, too.  this summer will go down in history as being the first year max has spent the night at a friend’s house and had a friend stay the night with us.  an old highschool friend of mine, actually not just any highschool friend but my old teen BFF, recently moved back into town with her husband and two children.  her and i still share a connection and our families instantly blended well together.  we have had many days and evenings in their company just laughing, hanging out, watching movies, eating food, and going on outings. their close friendship [both in proximity and spirit] has been a welcomed change from being isolated in this small town where nobody wants to live [including us].

a friend of mine, T, and her two girls are living with us for a little while.  they are in transition between careers and homes and hal and i were more than happy to have their company during this time.  T’s daughters are two and seven years old.  our home is filled with love, laughter, and a real sense communal living these days!  after 6pm, when we are all home, the energy is high and exciting. after 9pm [or so], after the kids get into bed, the energy is low and chill.  some day, when i look back on this time in our lives, i am going to remember fondly all this goodness filling our home and feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

for an extra few dollars on our last visit to the tampa zoo, we bought a yearly pass.  we’ve only gone once this summer, but i’m sure we’ll make it at least one more time before school starts and then more often during the cooler months. this zoo is so large we have yet to walk through all of it!

i decided to wait to start planting in my garden until august.  so now i have to till/turn the land again!  but that’s okay, i’ve got plenty of hands to help me this time around.

the weather is oppressively hot here, making it just miserable to be outside for any length of time unless there is water to jump into.  max and bella do not like going outside during the afternoon unless i take them somewhere [playground, beach, pool].  the slow parts of our summer are both relaxing and dull.  the kids are still young enough, and their temperaments are as such, that they have not started complaining of boredom.   instead they do different activities to entertain themselves [surprisingly it’s not always the TV they turn to!]. i feel extremely lucky that max and bella get along as well as they do and hope their closeness lasts a lifetime.  i like that i don’t constantly have to “keep them busy” by scheduling every day with activities.  i love that they find creative ways on their own to keep busy. for me, taking a break from my schooling and not having anything else to focus on is sometimes rough. if there are too many days in a row that we don’t leave the house or have company, mama goes a bit stir-crazy. lucky for us those days have been far and few between. and thank the stars for the internetz keeping me informed and updated on worldly happenings!

for the most part i am enjoying the slow times and fun time equally.  i have only the rest of this summer and next year to enjoy these long lazy summer daze before i hit the ground running with full-time school.  max is going into kindergarten in august [OMG, less than a month!] and is very excited about it.  i’m taking two classes, both at night, starting in august. bella will be home during the day with me as we are forgoing preschool this year to save a little money [VPK will be free for bella staring August of 2011]. hal is still an awesome librarian and holds down one full-time job at a public library and one part-time job at a private college library to support his little family. his days off from work consist of spending time with his family, resting, and swimming in my in-law’s pool.

all in all, life is good. hope that all is well in your world!

This blog is turning into a motivational tool for me to keep moving forward with our garden.  I have BIG visions for this back yard, but it helps to keep the bigger visions in check with the slow do-it-myself progress. I’m already a bit surprised at the higher than anticipated start-up cost of such a small gardening space. Who would have thunkit that dirt cost a pretty-penny???  I was surprised, but not discouraged.

Slowly but surely…

We have all four beds dug up!  I’m looking for cheap-cheap boarders for each bed, maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will have some leftover bricks they don’t need.  The one thing I have on my side is time.  This is a no-pressure, no-rush project because once I get the start-up stuff done, it’s all down hill — smooth sailing — from there.  Just plant, water, weed occasionally, and wait.

Max and Bella are very eager for something to start growing…


One becomes two…

with just a little bit of help…

It is encouraging to see the progress!  Once I get the beds dug up, I can put the weed barrier down, the soil in, the strings to divide each space, a boarder around each square… and then we can start planting.

Max and I talked a lot today about what it will be like to make salads from our backyard.  How exciting!

Spring is here! Yay!

Back to the daily grind!  Or rather, back to getting up early to take the kids to pre-school.  Other than that, the only grind going on around here is the grinding I’m doing to the Earth.  More on that in a second.  First, I want to say that Easter Sunday was a lovely day.  Max & Bella were surprised by the gifts The Bunny left for them.  Instead of weaved baskets, Bella got a purse and Max a treasure box, both filled with their favorite treats {but not too many}.

During the afternoon, we went to the movies and saw, How To Train Your Dragon.  It was a good kids movie that Hal and I enjoyed as much as Max and Bella.  After the movie we came home to color our eggs.

Then, we went over to my in-law’s house for a little while.  It was a busy day, but we weren’t rushing around or stressing about our plans.  The ease in our schedule made it a perfect Easter Sunday.

I am all about low stress, can you tell?

Now about that grinding.  I believe everyone who reads this blog already knows that I have an auto immune disorder that causes chronic pain and fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis.   What you may not know is that the onset of this disease put my plans to start a garden on hold, plans that have been on hold for the last seven years!  Well, I took those plans off of the ON HOLD UNTIL I NO LONGER EXPERIENCE THE PAIN OF RA shelf, and placed them on my DO RIGHT NOW list.  I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer, not for the pain to disappear or to start a garden.  So, just a little bit at a time, the kids and I are working on our vegetable garden together.

4′ X 4′ beds…

What I’m doing is known as “square foot gardening.”  The kids are helping when and where they can and when they aren’t, they’re just hanging around outside and doing their own thing.

OH, in case you noticed, we did not do an egg hunt on Sunday.  We decided Max and Bella had enough candy for one day so moved the egg hunt to Monday night.  This of-course, suited the kid’s just fine.

Science Is Real

Max showed me the neatest thing the other day, his Nature Drawer…

I knew he had a Nature Jar, where he would put all the cool and worthy stuff he’d find, but it was news to me that he converted his Jar into a Drawer.  I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a shadow box of similar size to transfer this collection into.  I bet he would love to label everything, too!

Spring break has been pretty quiet and slow around here.  I’m doing that crazy Spring Cleaning thing during the day and while I’m busy with that lot of work, Max and Bella are playing outside in our back yard.

I give my mom credit for not fussing with my day-to-day schedule when I was the age my kids are now. She really taught me the value of being with myself. I think it is important for Max and Bella to find ways to entertain and amuse themselves, to enjoy the slowness of life, to create forts and worlds out of sticks and trees, to be able to sit quietly outside with nothing but the sound of Earth and their own consciousness keeping them company.  They always find something to do with their hands.

There is no running them around from activity to activity.  No fussing with a busy schedule.  No stress.  Just a simple life with each other and sometimes, with friends.

Happy Spring Break!

LOVE THIS WEATHER!

Today, there was yard work to be done…

monkeying around to go about…

a garden to prep {it’s taking us too long to actually plant something, but we’ll get there}…

a new swing to enjoy…

smiles abound…


and many sweet moments to be found…

I know I can’t freeze time, but these photos sure help.

This week, thus far…

This week, I had so much cleaning to do…

How on Earth it gets this way, I will never know! Whether it’s laundry or cleaning, if its something I can get done downstairs, the kids go outside. This week, they were in charge of emptying our Earth Boxes…

They did a fine job of it, as you can see.  All the while, I was rearranging furniture, cleaning, and [secretly] donating old toys so that our downstairs living room now looks like this…

Just in case you are wondering, almost all of our furniture was found at thrift stores, on Craigslist, or gifted to us.  This room is my little decorating pet project.  And it’s a constant work in progress.

I also set the porch up for Spring and Summer sitting…

Yippie!  For a productive Spring break!

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