There is a predictable cycle to our summers. It is a good one but I get terribly nostalgic about it while it is still going on that it messes with my mind and my heart. I have a running checklist of all the things we are supposed to do. Play in the little paddling pool, blow bubbles, make fruit pops, go out to gather each day's harvest every morning, family baseball games. I never want to not be doing these things and I know there will come a day when we won't. Maybe because the children outgrow them or because blackberry season is over or because the little *$&%$ mockingbirds get to the blueberries before the children awake.
The best remedy I've found for this is to keep moving forward, even when it hurts. I'm adding things instead of just repeating what we've already done. We are growing watermelons for the first time. We are attending more daily Masses. I am planning to start sewing a winter coat in a bottle green velvet for my two year old. And Halloween costumes! I'm going to start planning our next school year!
So, a few good things!
Sidewalk Chalk Paint - our concrete is bumpy and not well suited for chalk art. This worked well and rinsed clean. I used a very random combination of cornstarch, water, and the food coloring brand, "Americolor".
Narnia - Reading this to my boy who likes it much better than his sister did/does. She prefers Tolkien. I had her listen to the podcasts available from The Tolkien Professor and she really enjoyed them. I'm so grateful for these because, and I say this sheepishly, literature with symbolism and stuff isn't my strong point. When asked, I can assume Aslan is supposed to be a Christ figure or something but that's about as far as I can reach. It's embarassing, especially as I'm preceded by more intellectual sisters, but I'm mature enough to admit it now. I'm listening in when I can because admitting that you aren't naturally inclined to be good at something doesn't give you a free pass to stay that way.
Summer Food - Nancy's Chopped Salad. I made this for Father's Day. I made it as a pasta salad, replacing pasta for the lettuce for a heartier, more man pleasing meal. It was probably the best pasta salad we've had. Definitely make again. Definitely a good picnic idea.
My son just became an altar server. I didn't know if my husband, a convert who didn't grow up with any knowledge of altar servers or what they do, would be at all moved by the experience. But Sunday, Father's Day, was my son's second Mass and I saw my husband fidget in his seat and strain to see what was going on on and turn excitedly to me, "He brought out the water! He gave the water to the priest!" And then surreptitiously high five my daughter with a big, glowing smile. "Awesome. That was awesome. He did so well." He was as proud as if his little boy had just hit a home run.
On to the day! I have zinnias to plant and books to sort and patterns to find. All the best to you, friends!