Ah, Summer...how we love your long, slow days, basking in the sunshine or reading in the shade you offer us, playing in your cool, refreshing water, partaking of your abundant produce, spending nights with your star-filled skies, and so much more!
And yet, just when I think my heart truly belongs to Summer, along comes Autumn with its crispness and color and anticipation.
And then Winter brings us such joy and togetherness and the wonder of children and the safety of home.
And soon enough, Spring emerges through the frost and we begin the cycle all over again with the wonder of new life and the hope each blossom brings.
Ah, yes...the seasons in Utah really can't be beat.
As of late, we've been filling these Summer days with many good things--here is a sampling:
1-Backyard Baseball. Baseball, yes, and so much more! Our small backyard is the setting for so much Summertime joy. Sam loves playing baseball with the boys, and both boys are pretty good at smacking that ball! I wish for Little League, but maybe someday.
2-Biking. I've been trying to be an early morning person for years, but it just really isn't my forte. Getting up before 6:30 am is a big struggle...but finally, after setting failed goals time and time again, I got a friend from Church to go biking with me and that one little thing has tipped the balance in favor of that 5:30 alarm. Bonus: We get to enjoy beautiful sunrises as we ride down a gorgeous path--at one point the trees completely form a canopy over our heads and we get to ride through a tree-tunnel! The kids are also loving bike riding and Lincoln begs just about every day, "Bike-ide??"
3-Photography. We got a new DSLR camera for our birthdays/Christmas this year, and I've been spending more time than I probably ought to figuring out how to use it! I'm slowly getting more comfortable with the manual settings, and I hope someday soon I can begin to document our lives with beautiful photos.
4-Dressing Up. Namely, Talmage found his Halloween dragon costume from when he was 2 years old and crams himself into it on a regular basis, though the paws come up to his knees and elbows. He parades around the house in that silly ensemble for many waking hours!
5-At-Home Preschool. Another goal I've tried to accomplish but have struggled with is having a consistent (short and simple) preschool lesson with my older boys each day. Finally, I sat down and hacked out some themes and came up with a routine, purchased a pocket calendar to hang on the wall, bought a closet second-hand for $5 to organize all of my supplies, and gave it another whirl. And we've been pretty good about it this time around! The kids have loved it...they sing songs about the planets and the continents, they've enjoyed several fun art projects, we try to go on a weekly field trip, and changing that little pocket calendar is one of the highlights of their day! Here's hoping it sticks this time!
6-Reading. Sam and I have gotten drawn into some pretty great books lately that have kept us up far too late, and Talmage is really starting to take off and enjoy reading! I'll frequently find him tucked in a corner of the house with a book. He's reading his first chapter book and hopefully becoming a little bookworm like his parents!
7-Splash Pad Playing. In addition to swimming, we've been visiting different splash pads in our county. We went to one on Thursday that was more of a mini-water park than a splash pad! It had a big slide and a bridge and everything...pretty intense for the little kids. They didn't last long there, but they love the one in the picture below!
8-Talking. Lincoln is starting to talk up a storm these days. He mostly says just 1-2 words together, but every once in a while he'll surprise me with a full sentence like, "I wanna see!" or "There it is!" He also likes to get in my face and tell me adamantly, "Watch! Watch!" before he does something earth-shatteringly significant like stepping off the stairs with a little hop in his step.
9-"Helping." Just about every time I start to cook, I am quickly joined by three little helpers who love to take part. It makes the kitchen pretty full and usually creates a big mess and slows me way down, but the other day Sam helped me remember how important it is to show appreciation for their offers to help (even if they're self-centered for now) and encourage them to continue. So, if my kitchen is smattered with sticky handprints and dusted with flour, we'll call it a productive mess. :)
10-Dirt. Oh, so much dirt. Don't expect to find clean floors if you stop by. Mopping them seems almost a futile effort, because they are dirty again as soon as they dry and I lift the indoors ban and let the kids back in. In our house in Texas, I spent only a little time cleaning but it always looked clean, and in this house I spend a lot more time cleaning and it always looks dirty. I've definitely learned some things about paint and flooring and the like, and I've got some definite preferences! Dark wood floors and little kids don't seem to mix very well at our house. But all those dirty footprints are so worth the hours my kids spend outside! (They've got serious farmers' tans on their necks to prove those hours.)
Yes, Summer, we're glad you're here for a while!