Do you remember in the days before social media and the internet how you would come back to the school in the fall, ready to share with your friends about all the things you did over the summer? There was no Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat to document all the things you did and ate. You had a break from the rhythm of school to reset and recharge. I remember returning to college each year and being so excited to find my friends and talk about all the things. Email was becoming more common… but cell phones still weren’t the norm… people didn’t text all the time. Ah… those days are long gone.

I feel like I did that with this blog and the greater interwebs this summer. I took an unintentional break from blogging. I had actually intended to do more writing, more posting, more networking and connecting over the summer, but it did not happen… and I’m ok with that. Now I get to share with you all the things!

There was a cricket in my kitchen the other day. I was not all super homeschool mom who called the kids into observe and gently remove the cricket. I totally cried in my heart that my husband wasn’t home and I had to be the one to deal with it. It was perched, ever so steadily, just above my stove where a nice pot of mac and cheese was in the works. I got my broom and swept it from the ceiling where it proceeded to jump, leap, and bound around my kitchen. I wish I could say I opened the door and he tipped his hat to me as he went along his merry way. Instead, he met the business end of my shoe and that was that.

I used to despise summer with it’s oppressive heat. When I was pregnant with number 3, we moved to Orlando in my third trimester. It felt like hell… so hot and sticky. Air quality and temperature warnings keeping us inside with the curtains closed. The pools felt like bath water and offered no relief. When my daughter had cancer and we lived in Memphis for the summer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the oppresive heat was … well, oppressing. It seemed to magnify the suffering in which we were living.

But there is something about summer now that draws me out. I love it. I long for it. I am sad as we are entering the last couple of weeks before the routine of school and church and sports returns. I love the lazy days. I love the feel of the sun on my shoulders as I weed the garden. I soak it in. Our garden is producing, our chickens are laying. The children are active and freckled. The heat of the summer in the mountains is not so oppressive. It sinks with the sun in the evening and things cool down. Summer (in the mountains) has become my favorite time. There is a beauty in the slow of summer that doesn’t appear during the rest of the year.

Flowers bloom and I actually stop to notice them.

We spent our June playing in the pool and doing VBS at our church. We had our first ever middle school VBS. It was a learning experience and so much fun! July got busier than I expected. I blinked and it was over.

We visited St. Jude in Memphis for my daughter’s bi-annual scans and tests. We decided to take the whole family and use the time as a vacation. It was a weird vacation… because it was and it wasn’t. We weren’t there to have fun. We were there to complete a day and a half of doctor’s appointments. We were there to sit in waiting rooms, visit with doctors, and have bloodwork. However… St. Jude patients are given admission to several attractions around Memphis. While there, we visited the Bass Pro Shop and rode to the top of the pyramid structure that houses it to overlook the Mississippi river. We also visited the zoo. It was hot, but we were able to enjoy seeing some animals as well as awesome Lego structures that were on display. So…we vacationed in a paradoxical way.

We also got to celebrate that this little firecracker had clear scans and remains cancer free!

Our garden was gracious to us this year and has produced all kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables…. strawberries, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots. We’ve been gathering and chopping and canning. Our kitchen has been smelling green and fresh this summer!

I turned 40 and made myself a shirt. I am surprisingly okay with 40. I’m owning it… grey hair, creaky joints, and all. My husband says to enjoy this year while I’m just 40… because next year I will officially be “in my forties”… and that’s a whole different ball game!

We added four new chicks to our animal menagerie. Because… why not? They were in a bin marked “pullets” (female chicks)… but I have my suspicions that a rooster or two may have snuck in the box. Oi… Olive and Violet may end up being Oliver and Victor… and I’m not sure that will fly around these parts!!!

I hate puzzles. I really do. They bring up all kind of childhood trauma triggers and anxiety in me. I have never encouraged them with my children (I know, I know… what kind of homeschool mom am I???). Well… Little Miss Seven Year old has decided that she “loves puzzles” and “puzzles are my life!” How can I deny her sweet little problem solving self. Our living room now has a puzzle going at all times. Sometimes I sit and try to fit the pieces, but I really don’t last long. It has been beautiful though. All the kids and my husband will stop by the puzzle table at different times and enjoy some moments together.

Summer is coming to a close. The sun is setting earlier and earlier each evening, whispering the closing of the season. My announcement of the first day of school was met with mixed reviews. Some of the kids are excited and some are tolerating it. I, myself, have mixed reviews. I only have a few summers left with these children of mine. Each year, I watch them growing up into independance and getting closer to the day they will leave the nest. I suppose I want to cling to the magical moments of summer more and more as the years go by. But… time keeps moving. Fall is coming. All things school are starting up again. So… onto the next season!

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