Sunday, July 31, 2016

Midsummer Nuggets

Despite my lack of posting, life is happening I assure you.  Summer has been the best, just what we all needed to start to feel truly settled in our new home.  Just tonight as Louise was sweeping and I was wiping the table after dinner I ventured "Louise, does it feel more like home now?" "Oh yes mom!  I love it here. It feels just like home."  My heart couldn't be happier.

new socks! 5 year old style
cabin time!

 the tall board confirmed that I am STILL the shortest Rogers' girl, and that all the cousins have grown exponentially

 the beets have been so exciting!  I made my first batch of pickled beets too, so good.
Friends from Chicago who have a cabin in Minnesota made the stop for dinner on their way.  Such a treat!

 garden veggies and flowers and an embroidering girl
 reading time
 indoor playing on 100 degree days

the girls did my makeup ("Did you make me look beautiful?" Oh yes mama, very beautful, a clown.")
 By some stroke of incredible serendipity one of Ainsley's best friends from Oak Park's Uncle happens to live AROUND THE CORNER from us.  So a family visit for them became a friend visit.  Such joy.
pre-church snuggles
a terrible photo of our pastor's getting pies in the face at the carnival today because over 7500 school supplies were donated through VBS!

 A blissful hour reading a new book while Felix has the whole pool/yard etc. to himself.

July has been so busy!  Well, by being away having a blast at the cabin.  10 days over the 4th, another 4 with family.  I can't wait for another long weekend or two before school starts.

The Garden!!!  The garden has been my sanctuary this summer.  I was so anxious to leave it while we were up north.  Thankfully all is well and the bunnies only ate ALL of the peas and snap peas. Boo.  But really, it's been quite bountiful for a first go.  Tons of bush beans and zucchini, chard and beets and tomatoes.  The cucumbers are going wild just now and this past week I spotted the first tiny melons and pumpkins and squashes growing on vines.

The raspberries have been the biggest disappointment.  I think I over pruned this spring and most of the mature vines snapped and fell in a big rainstorm we had at the end of june. We enjoy a good handful a day, but that's it.  There are SO many plants growing for next years harvest and I'm going to do my research to get them primed for success.  I've been weeding the strawberry patch and  read I should cut  the plants back and mulch them for winter.  I guess raspberries do well with a heavy fall pruning too. Eek! I learned from a neighbor that the raspberries are as old as the house, planted in 1965.  I'm determined to keep them going!

(I wrote this about two weeks ago, so the first paragraph now trumps this one!)
The kids are so enjoying summer.  I'm learning in my old age to not overplan.  Their free time together is the most precious time they have.  I find myself missing our old neighborhood and friends the most right now.  I know how our summer would look in Oak Park.  Running into tons of friends just walking out the front door and walking up to the pool.  After dinner bike rides and walks around the block, heck, even just sitting in our backyard!  Louise was in tears tonight missing home.  All I could do is hug her and remind her that it took us so long to feel at home there too.  We'll get there!  AND in planning her birthday party here I already had to ask her to pare down the list because between school, dance, tball and neighbor/church friends it's a bit too much already!

As usual I'm so behind in crating.  Our quilt is sitting half done in the basement, Louise's summer dress and Felix's shorts have yet to make it to the pattern stage, embroidery dreams too.  I waffle between letting myself sink into the time I have with my children and so desperately wanting more productivity for myself.

A lot of that time with them has gone towards reading.  The girls (and boy!) and I have been devouring books this summer and that feels so good.  We read the BFG in anticipation of the movie coming out.  We may go see a matinee this week after VBS (though now it's only at far away theaters, boo!).  We are currently finishing up the Helen Keller book in the WHO Is/WAS? series. Can't wait to read more of those.  The girls are enthralled.  Ainsley is smitten with the Nate the Great Series and Louise continues to plug away towards her goal of reading a chapter book by the end of the summer (we classify chapter books as anything with chapters....Mr. Putter and Tabby books are our FAVORITE first chapters).

I have been having a blast reading from my mom's Fire tablet.  I actually ordered us our own on Prime Day for a mere $30 and have had a blast with it.  I just finished the Husband's Secret which was really thought provoking and am currently diving into The Light Between Oceans, an Australian island lighthouse romance tragedy drama, perfect for this stage of summer.

Ian has started telecommuting on Fridays which is so wonderful for us all.  He gets a day off from the hour commute and we get to see him for snippets all day, lunch, and earlier than normal in the evening.

I'm really trying to buckle down with our budget, so food has been simple and easy, usually inspired by what's ready in the garden.  Caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the garden, bread and bacon.  Grilled zucchini on the side of grilled things, baked sweet potatoes with pickled beets and cucumbers on the side.  Tonight it's pesto cream pasta, probably with more zucchini on the side.  I'm hoping to get a few more rows in before the calendar turns to keep the produce coming through the heat of September. I need to bunny proof first though!  They can squeeze through the fence as it is and love those tiny seedlings.

So summer life has been so good and full.  I'm really looking forward to August and that extra week we get now that we're here and the kids don't start school until after labor day.  Once VBS finishes tomorrow we have a wide open weekend to spend with family and friends, next week I've silently vowed to go to beaches as many days as the weather allows.  We need to hit the library to turn in sumer book reports and to restock for the coming weeks.  We haven't made nearly enough homemade ice cream and popsicles and smoothies. I must remedy that immediately.  And I really wanted to get the girls' rooms fully decorated and in order before they head back to school, which means some more sewing and crafting fun.

We can do it all I'm sure, knowing that the most important thing is to enjoy this time together.
Happy midsummer!