Tag Archives: summer

Currently: AUGUST?!

Vacation might’ve caused this post to be a little late, but it’s here!

I cannot believe it’s already August! Where has this summer gone?! My firstborn starts kindergarten THIS MONTH and I am ridiculously crazy over it. I can’t decide if I want to jump for joy or lay in the bed and cry. Who knows what I will do! Anyway, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and Shea Lennon for this month’s currently. Link up and join us!

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Snacking (on) || Right this second? Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Usually? Something a little healthier! My recent selfish snack of choice is crackers with goat cheese and pepper jelly. WOW, y’all. Find yourself a good pepper jelly (mine is a local jalopeño jam – delightful!) and some goat cheese. My cracker of choice is Wheat Thins. YUM!

Anticipating || Two BIG things this month. First, as I mentioned, my oldest starts kindergarten at the end of the month! I am out of my mind about it. I know she’s ready and excited and as prepared as she can be… but still. Y’all may read about my tears when she goes… And the next big thing is the launch of my church’s new campus! We have a “soft” launch at the end of this month (including only the team that we’re sending) and a “public” launch at the end of September. We’ve got exactly a month to get used to our new space, work out all the kinks, and promo the campus to get the maximum amount of people aware. HEY-OOOOOO it is HAPPENING.

Borrowing || a new Bible study idea from one of my pastors. He suggested a translation of Isaiah by Alec Motyer, Isaiah by the Day. I’ve only just started, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Admiring || my family and how well we all get along. I’m on vacation with my hubby, his parents, his brothers, and their families. It’s SO FUN to all be together since usually we’re too busy to get together all at the same time. We’ve all got our own things going but we get along just fine when we are able to make time for it!

Purchasing || a new L.L. Bean bookbag for EK! It was my favorite part of school supply shopping… and the best part being that we didn’t really need them every year because those things wear like iron. Best investment ever – and I let her choose the pattern and her monogram style and color. She did a great job, I think! It gets here this week and I can’t wait to see it… although it’s going to make Kindergarten a little more real.

Well there you have it- my life currently. What’s going on in your world?

 5 Reasons Your Family Should Plant a Vegetable Garden 

More and more people are getting back into growing at least some of their food – and for good reason! Here are a few reasons I think this bandwagon is one worth jumping on.

1. You’ll appreciate your food more. When you’ve planted, weeded, pruned, watered, and generally been a caretaker for your plants, you appreciate the fruits of your labor so much more. You might start understanding why produce can be expensive but is much better for you when you’ve taken a part in growing some.img_1558

2. It fosters responsibility. When a family has a garden, there’s a job for everyone. It’s good to teach kids to get their hands in the dirt, and take responsibility for the work it takes to make a garden grow. It’s also a chore to put on their chore chart, or keep them occupied for a few more minutes each day once school is out.img_8339

3. Learning about it is fun! Getting outside with your family is always a good thing! Even if your garden is in a few pots on the front porch, it’s fun to see how they grow each day, what color the flowers are, and how long it takes for each different plant to grow. My kids have enjoyed learning to identify the plants we’re growing by leaf shape, smell, and what they look like once they’re producing the veggies.img_1766

4. It’s not as hard as you think it is. Sure, if you have a hundred plants to take care of, it can seem quite daunting. But if you start small, it’s not too hard to keep a tomato plant or two and some rosemary alive. Even if you forget to water or don’t pull all the weeds, they’re likely to still be fine. Choose something easy to begin with, even if it means you won’t have much fruit the first time. Tomatoes and peppers are some of the easiest things to grow, and often bear the most fruit.IMG_1888

5. It’s nice to know what you’re eating. You know what went into the work, whether or not you used fertilizer or weed/pest killer. You know exactly what what did or didn’t touch the plant. It’s reassuring to know where it came from, how freshly it was picked, and how well it was tended.img_0898

There really aren’t down sides to having a garden. You’re going on vacation for a week? Just have someone come and water a couple of times while you’re gone. You don’t know anything about gardening? Just take the first step of buying seedlings instead of seeds; they’re more durable, and the hardest part is over. It’s already June and you think you’ve missed the window? The plants might not get as big, but I say it’s not too late to start! Try it out! What have you got to lose?

Currently

Hey y’all! Thanks for bearing with me through a summer of travel, kids out of school, a few changes, and general laziness. School starts for my eldest two kiddos next week, and I fully expect to be back in my writing swing.

In the meantime, there are a few fun things I’ve been involved with that I haven’t had the chance to write about! There have been parties and celebrations, trips and concerts, yummy food and drinks, date nights and play dates. I’ll attempt to recap you a little on what we’ve currently been up to.

Discovering || the gender of our dear friends’ first baby! They hosted a little get-together to share with us whether the sweet babe would be a boy or a girl. We found out that (just like us and most of our close friends, oddly enough) their first baby will be a sweet girl! The mama-to-be Andrea baked cupcakes with pink icing inside, and let our kids all tear into them. It was ADORABLE.

the girls, celebrating adding one to our number!
EK and her buddies dancing

Celebrating || my best gal from college Lauren, as she prepares to welcome her first baby: a girl! Three other friends and I got together to put together a baby shower this past weekend, and it was SO fun. We held it in the same place on our college campus that they held my first baby shower, and one for another friend in our college roommate group. It’s a beautiful space to begin with, so we spend more of our efforts on food, games, etc. than we do on decorations. The crowning achievement for me of this particular shower was the favor. I had seen an Instagram post a while back about a favor that was a splitter of champagne. It had a homemade label with instructions to save the splitter till the baby arrived, then post a photo of a toast on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Since Lauren is a Prosecco lover (as am I), we bought Prosecco splitters, and my friend Andrea (yes, the other one having a baby girl!) made cute tags for them. EK helped me tie the tags on, and I was VERY pleased with the result! They were definitely a crowd pleaser.

i got macarons, but when the mama-to-be is a baker, she wants to contribute, too!
the Salem girls! (and Callie, class of 2038!)
 

Listening || to the Dixie Chicks! I listened to them during their height of popularity, and have tapered off listening to them recently. But when I saw that they were coming close by on their next tour, and on my friend Mary Katherine’s 30th birthday no less, I decided to go. I got together with some girlfriends, tailgated, and went to their concert. I was a little sad that I didn’t know more songs (they were mostly songs off their new album, which I didn’t know very well), and a little aghast at the blunt political statement they were making (I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised) since I just wanted to hear them play music. But all in all, I enjoyed myself! The tickets weren’t that expensive, so I won’t complain anymore.

i stayed that night with my gal pal from high school. love her!
the birthday girl and our photobomber. it was SO HOT that night. those hats were freebies at the venue, and they say, “No hate in our state.” oh dear.

Enjoying || the last few days of no routine. The kids and I went downtown for breakfast treats and to the park this morning. It won’t be long until we don’t have many morning dates, so I’m relishing that time with them.   

Eating || summer salsa and quesadillas! Between tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and local tomatillos, we have been tearing through salsa. Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, mild or hot… It’s one of our summer favorites, and I’ll be sad when the season is over. 

you know it’s good when it’s all gone!

Shopping || for Christmas! I know y’all think I’m crazy, but I love being the early bird and getting sales before other people are even thinking about Christmas. When I sat down to order our Halloween stuff (I am so excited!) I also got a few things for Christmas presents for the kiddos. Online shopping is the actual best!

Well, that’s a big update on my life- what have you been up to? Are you happy to have school back in session and slip into a routine?

Currently

How is it possible that summer is almost over? I can hardly believe that it’s halfway through August, and we are gearing up to get back in the schoolyear routine. I won’t lie – I love it. I love the routine, the schedule, the way my kids love school and the way it improves them to have it in their week. But before we get back into the swing of things, we’ve got a couple more weeks of being lazy, sweating, and relaxing. Here are a few things I’m currently up to…

Planning || my best friend’s baby shower! She’s due at the end of October, so I’m planning things with a few of our friends to celebrate her baby girl! I’m so excited! I’ll post about the shower after it happens – don’t want to ruin your surprise, Lauren!

Anticipating || Another friend’s gender reveal this weekend! I’ve never actually been to a gender reveal party, and the only “gender reveal” I did with any of my kids was let EK devour a cupcake with blue icing and post a photo on Facebook. So, needless to say, I’m excited to see what they choose to do! AND I can’t wait to start getting a few things for the baby, once I know the gender!

Stressing || about toddler life. J has proven more difficult (in some ways, at least) than EK was in regards to toddlerisms. For instance, he’s been doing this (disgusting) thing where he takes a bite of something, decides he doesn’t like it or want it, and just holds it in his mouth for a super long time. Like, up to half an hour. And it’s been different things… a bite of squash, a BBQ flavored potato chip, a spoonful of yogurt, a bite of okra. It’s not like it’s been spinach every single time or something. But it is GROSS and I’m over it. He also tantrums more often and more intensely than EK did. I’m certainly not giving in to it (like bribing him out of them), but it’s uncharted territory to figure out whether to just leave him in the living room floor, or move him to his room, or try to sit him in time out. He just goes belly-down and kicks his legs on the floor. Yikes.

Baking || a garden fresh squash bake! We had a few large squash from the garden, and I wanted a creative way to use them up. My big kids don’t really like squash, so I didn’t worry about choosing a recipe they would like. After scrolling through twenty or so recipes for “stuffed squash” of many varieties, I settled on making my own. I had read several with sausage, and several with a grain of some sort (quinoa, etc), so I stuck with sausage, and added grits, fresh tomatoes (also from the garden) and some pepper jack cheese I had in the fridge. It was delicious!


Well, that’s about it for our last little bit of summer here. What are you doing until school gets started again? Or has it already started for your family?!

Making Some Summer Plans

Summer for SAH parents can sometimes mean exhaustion and boredom (for the kids, too!) as your excitement for the weather withers and your gladness to have the kids out of school wanes. I know I started out two weeks ago with glorious plans of doing ALL THE THINGS and I have yet to do most of them. So I’m making a list… and hoping to complete some of these things! If you need ideas to freshen up your summer, check these out, and try to cross a few off in the next couple of weeks to spice things up! 


Visit parks! This includes (and goes beyond) playgrounds, splash pads, hiking, picnics, and even local events! My town has MANY playgrounds and greenways (walking/running/biking trails), and it’s just a short drive to other fun places to hike or picnic. Also, some parks have concerts, evening movies, kids’ events, or farmers markets!

Speaking of that, farmers markets should get its own section. We’ve recently started spending Saturday mornings at one of the farmers markets here (Cobblestone Market in Old Salem) and we’ve had a great time buying local produce and meat, eating fresh baked goods, getting locally roasted coffee, and locally pressed juice. Hubby’s also in love with a lady who pickles… and she pickles everything. She also makes hot sauces. I’m actually worried he’s going to leave me for her if I don’t start pickling, too.

Visit a pet store. My kids keep talking about puppies, so this is actually on my “do it soon” list. We aren’t going to get a dog right now, but what a better way to let them play with puppies? And it’s free! It’s also educational to be able to see different fish, reptiles, and rodents, all of whom your kids might not get to see up close very often.

Visit children’s museums, and science museums. Our town has a great one of each, and the next city over also has a great children’s museum. They often aren’t too expensive, or if you know you’re going to spend a lot of time there, it’s a great thing to invest in and get a membership to. My kids LOVE (and I mean that) our local children’s museum, and Monday mornings are members only, so it’s less crowded!

Start a neighborhood camp. This is an idea that I think my kids will enjoy in the next couple of years. Getting together with other parents who are home with their kids, and choosing a couple of mornings or afternoons to have big playdates with planned activities (think water balloons, picnics, organized games -if they’re old enough- or anything else you can do in a backyard. You could also backyard camp overnight, if you’re up for that sort of thing (and your kids are old enough).

Go swimming. This could be at a pool, lake, pond, stream, river, or sprinkler, etc. Kids LOVE being in the water, floating, splashing, wading, fishing, or anything else they can think of! Discover parks near you that have streams or ponds. Even if it seems small and dinky to you, it could still be amazing for your littles!

Do some baking or cooking and let the kids take the lead! Homemade popsicles (find a kit at your grocery store!), easy muffins (this can be a way to get some fruit or a veggie in them), homemade ice cream, or anything else that sounds like a good summer snack. I’m OCD when it comes to making unnecessary messes in the kitchen, so it can be hard to let them help (I’m the queen of not wanting their sticky hands in it) but they love it so much!

Play old-school games. My kids have recently discovered hopscotch. They’ve always loved sidewalk chalk, but they had a great time trying to get their feet in the right spot, and hop on one foot for longer than one second. Who says things like hula-hoops and jump ropes can’t be fun still?

Grow something! This one is my personal favorite, maybe because we have a large garden. But sometimes all you need is a tomato plant or strawberry bush to get a green thumb going in your little ones. I find that my kids like the plants you just look at, but they love the plants that yield food! That gives them a different sort of interest in growing things.

Currently

Hey, Monday! I can’t believe you’re here again… especially since you started with a bang before 7am – yikes! An early rising baby makes for an early morning workout, so I feel like I’ve had my entire day already and it’s just afternoon.

Anyway, I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy like I do every week. Join us! Comment with what you’re up to! I really do want to know. 

As for me, I’m…

Drinking || a fancy new drink that Hubby and I adapted from a old summer favorite. A salty dog, typically grapefruit juice and gin or vodka (I’m a gin gal) and a salted rim, is a wonderfully refreshing summer cocktail. I’ve never much cared about a salted rim, but I dig the gin and grapefruit juice combo. So this summer, to take it to the next level, Hubby and I have been muddling fresh basil (from our garden, so we have an endless supply) into the freshly-squeezed juice, and adding a little sparkling water for a nice bubbly finish. It needs a name; any suggestions?!

Watching || the blossoming friendship between my eldest two babes. They still henpeck each other and fight over toys, but they’re getting kinder and better at playing together. And I’m all over here like, “It’s happening! It’s finally happening! They’re friends!”

They really like making that face right now.

Enjoying || time where EK spent her weekend at the lake with her grandparents, and Hubby and I treated the boys on their own all weekend! EK had a blast with her grandparents and two of her girl cousins, and Hubby and I had a nice, easy time with the boys. An all-around success!

an obvious first stop: GELATO!

Celebrating || another baby boy in our friend group! I attended a sweet shower on Saturday, and also got some snuggles with my baby niece while I was at it!

Mourning || the senseless loss of lives in Orlando. I’ve been pointedly silent about it, because I just don’t have a constructive thing to say yet. But I will say this: love wins. When there is a tragedy like this, more hate is not the response. No, we can’t get back the fallen. But we can love their loved ones, and even harder, love the enemy. We don’t have to place blame or name any enemies to start loving on one and all. 

How do you feel?

What’s your summer shaping up to be?

Currently

Happy Monday! It might be late afternoon, but here’s a Currently update to let you know what’s going on in my world. I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy, so drop by her site and see what she’s up to, also! Now, here are a few things I’ve been up to…

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Cooking || spaghetti! It’s been a long time since I just made a big ol’ pot of my mom’s spaghetti sauce, and I was just craving it. We haven’t gotten any tomatoes from our garden just yet, but I used our basil and oregano fresh, and had a few fresh tomatoes in the house that needed to be used. The house smells so good right now that I know it’s only 4pm, but I want dinner!

Drinking || salty dogs, with fresh basil! Salty dogs are vodka or gin (I drink them with gin) and grapefruit juice. Hubby got a wild hair and asked for basil in his yesterday, so I muddled it in the juice, and WOW it was good. Definitely my new summer cocktail.

Enjoying || our pool membership! For our first summer with a membership, are pretty excited about it. The hours are limited right now since school is still in session, but we’ve still been twice already in the last week. Once it’s open weekday mornings, I have a feeling it’ll be a three or four day a week enjoyment!

Smelling || magnolia blossoms. The tree in our yard has a lot of blossoms on it, and they’re beautiful. When we took an after dinner stroll last night, I picked one for EK, and it was incredibly fragrant! I’d forgotten how potent they are, and how much I associate that smell with summer.

 Well, there’s a little about me. What are you up to currently?!