The Author

My photo
I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Ah, how much I enjoy summer.  I cannot believe July is here already (and that my summer break is almost half over)!  We've had a wonderful time making the most of summer the past few weeks. Here is some of what we have filled our time with...


Every summer, I spend a few days with my cousin in Phoenix. Our kids are the same age, so they always have a great time together.  Tracy always comes up with all kinds of fun adventures for us, and the kids love even just hanging out in the pool.   Usually, I go on my own when Marc is busy with youth group stuff,  but this time, he wanted to come. This time, since it was sort of our family vacation for the year too, we stretched it out stopping at Knotts Berry Farm and Palm Springs on the way there.  Wonderful family time.  I really enjoyed just being with my kids and getting to know them again. 

Tiana and her friends playing in the backyard
Mostly, we have been just appreciating the life that we pay so much money for to live here.  We've been having friends over for play dates and going to the beach and other stuff like that. We took the kids to Medieval Times last night. I was kind of worried that it wasn't going to work for Tiana, like that she wouldn't sit still long enough, but she actually LOVED it.  The vegetarian meal was better than I thought it was going to be. When we went to leave, Tiana started crying and didn't want to go.  It was adorable.

Tiana with my mom and my niece at the beach.  It was totally overcast, but way hot.

Movie in the park. Tiana was so excited and ran around nonstop until the movie started, then pretty promptly crashed and fell asleep. 

Backyard Update
I also spent a lot of time this summer updating my backyard with help from Pinterest.  I just got into Pinterest this past year and have used it mostly for collecting recipes and whatnot, but when I started looking at backyard ideas... oh man... HOOKED.  I thoroughly enjoyed looking at other people's ideas for inspiration for my own backyard and collecting the ideas in one spot.  Suddenly, Pinterest seems genius.  Here are some of my own "pin-spired" updates:
After deciding that vegetable gardening is apparently not my think (although I wish it was), I decided to take apart my cinder block square foot gardens and turn them into this bench, inspired by ideas I saw on Pinterest.  The cushions were on clearance at Big Lots (I tried to find some secondhand, but couldn't), which made this an amazingly cheap project. It's a very comfy place and has become one of my favorite spots to chill and talk on the phone with my mom. 

I made Vinny this backyard Tic Tac Toe game out of stone tiles and rocks that we painted. He loves it. Makes a cute play space out of the corner of our backyard. 
I also bought solar twinkle lights for our fence and hung up mirrors and bought a sail shade for the side yard to make it a better place for the kids to play, and we even got a sandbox for free!  My backyard is really becoming an oasis for my family, which is exactly what I had wanted.  I still have some other projects in mind too -- I want to fix up our Little Tikes picnic table with an idea I saw on Pinterest to paint it and cover it with shelf paper. I bought paint to match the cushions on my bench so I can try to tie the entire backyard together with a theme color.  :-)

Vinny's Busy Summer
So, this summer, to help Vinny stay in a structured routine, I bit the bullet and paid for a four week intense performing arts camp that concludes in a production of Beauty and the Beast. He LOVES camp so much that he declined our offer for him to skip the day after Fourth of July and come to Knott's Berry Farm with us.

It is costing us a lot in gas to bring him there and back (it's like 25 miles away) each day, and I miss having him around during the day, but I am glad that he is so happy and having such a good summer. Last summer, it seemed like he just fell apart emotionally without the structure of school, so this has been a much better solution.

      Next week is his last week of camp and they are putting on four performances of the musical, and he is really excited. After the last performance there is a big cast party (late Saturday night), which is going to be interesting because he has to get up the next day and go to church and then leave for summer camp in the mountains.

      Yes, Vinny is going away to camp too this summer.  It is a trip to me to think that he is going away for a week by himself.  Many of my friends have commented that he seems very young for this. Well, yes, he kind of is, but I think it is healthy and fine and good for him. He went last year with Marc and really liked the camp, and so he feels like it is a familiar place that he loves and is excited to go to.  Every LRCC counselor I have ever met has been nothing but warm and loving, so I know that they will care for Vinny and make him feel special.

     In France, even preschool children go on overnight trips. I guess I kind of buy into some of the "Bringing up Bebe" stuff (not all of it -- I don't think infants should be pushed towards independence, but I like the rest of it).  I don't


No comments:

Post a Comment