{ The First Day of Summer }

As much as I am a strong advocate for education, I must admit the day that school gets out, and summer break comes, I feel like I can breathe again. The strict schedule of the school year keeps us in line, but there is a part of me that just longs for the freedom that  summer brings. Our first day of summer was truly a breathe of fresh air. It’s one of those days that seemed to just flow effortlessly along, all the while creating these tiny little memories that made me smile inside. I kept thinking to myself, “This is what I love doing”. I love just being here, with my kids lingering about, playing whatever silly game they just made up, neighborhood kids drifting in and out without even knocking, dinner on the grill, a semi clean house…it was heaven.

Brianna has been hired to be my morning babysitter on some mornings so I can go to my stroller strong mom workout group without a stroller or kids this summer. It’s such a treat, and one I am happy to pay her for-lugging 70 extra pounds up the hill in a stroller in 90 degree weather is more of a workout that I really want. I went to my stroller class, then we switched out babysitters for Austin, and I took Brianna and a friend to get some last minute girls camp treats (they leave tomorrow).

We had lunch on cafeteria style lunch trays (because playing school when you don’t really have to go to school is way more fun), and Ryan happily went down for a nap as we sang our afternoon song. I say “Ryan, what time is it?” Then we both smile and say.. “The best time of the day!”..and Ryan smiles as says,”Go to bed time” Oh how I love naptime. He hugs me the whole way up the stairs, and pats my back as he says, “Good mommy”.

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I manage a shower before 4pm (nice), and then stand at the island eating lunch, and looking at a magazine. For a second, I look around and the house is pretty clean, laundry is going, the dishwasher’s running, the kids are happily playing games up in the playroom and watching a horse show, teenage girls are giggling out on the trampoline…it feels so calm. I actually have no one at the computer so I get on and find myself a new phone on ebay. My other one has been dropped too many times to count, and with a cracked screen, an auxiliary cord broke off in the headset outlet, part of a keyboard that won’t type, and the buttons on the side that don’t work…I was due. I put Austin to work to help me find the best case for such a phone destroyer as I am (okay, I have lots of little helpers).

Scott and I decide to make pumpkin treat bread to take to the new neighbors across the street. He loves to help me, and it’s nice that the whole house is quiet, and it’s just me and him in the kitchen. He licks out the bowl without any other competition, then quickly runs off the enjoy the company of his brothers and sisters he has missed the last 10 months.

I actually have time to sit at the computer and edit pictures and blog a bit. Part of my crew has made it down to the front room where they are playing card games. They are playing “Bull”, a game where they trick each other with what they have in their hand or something like that. Abby keeps giggling almost uncontrollably because she thinks it’s so funny when she has tricked someone. Not much of a poker face that one. It makes me smile and want to giggle a bit too.

Soon, the house is full again with neighbor kids, and the kitchen and backyard become the main hangouts. I quietly listen to passing conversations as I cut and chop for our dinner. I put the girls to work peeling corn for me, even the neighbor girl, who gladly helps and keeps the other kids on task. We don’t bat an eye at the fact that most the girls are still in their pajamas-it is summer after all, and brushing hair was just a suggestion for today-not a requirement. Oh, the freedom of summer.

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We have one of my favorite dinners, Quesadillas on the grill, with the best green sauce, and corn on the cob. Thanks Mike and Desirea for introducing it to us. It is our favorite. I think I could drink this stuff it is that good. Love it.

Here is the recipe:

  • Cut up grilled chicken breast
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
  • large burrito size tortillas
  • Las Palmas green chili enchilada sauce (medium)

Add add all ingredients to one half of tortilla and fold over. Spray outside of tortilla with olive oil, grilled until melted. Serve with green sauce.

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After dinner we make our way over to the new neighbors house to bring our homemade pumpkin bread. Okay, not that homemade, it was from a box, but I did actually bake it in my home. And it was made with lots of love-I think that counts. Ryan leaves some nice 2 year old slobber marks on their front door windows, checking out their inside, and rings the doorbell 3 or 4 times. Lucky for us they weren’t home. I wonder if they know what a great kid welcome they are getting. It makes me smile a little inside, partly because I have those same goober marks on my front windows, and it helps to remind me of the young in heart that reside in my home.

Our Family Home Evening consists of a life skill, and we all pile (and double buckle because we don’t all fit) into the van to teach Brianna how to drive. She turns 15 next week and can get her permit. She has begged us to get behind the wheel of the car.

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We all pretend to be a little scared, but I think only really she at first and I were.

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I let Aaron be in the front because that guy pretty much only comes with one setting in these situations-calm. Oh how I love that part of him.

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After we were done driving around the block several times, Brianna said, “Dad, I was surprised you were so calm.” to which he replied, “I was a little terrified on the inside” She did really good for her first time, and Aaron only gave her 3 tickets-a roll stop through a stop sign, semi reckless driving, and one I can’t remember now.

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We deliver our treat bread to the neighbors who have since come home, and have a nice chat with them. She is a retired school teacher, and is so nice and asks all the right questions to the semi-antsy kids. He works at a hospital in town, and they both don’t mind our dog who has already wandered into their yard to help them a time or two. We both vow a dinner sometime soon is in order, and with the summer upon us, it seems only natural as I already plan out the perfect BBQ in our backyard.

The night winds down, and even though I have vowed for earlier bedtimes, I sit at the computer too late and listen to Austin, Brooke, and Abby playing cards again in the front room. The giggles erupt (again), and I silently take a deep breathe to just take it all  in.The freedom, the fun, the belly laughs,… I just love summer.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Just perfect. Loved talking to you today!!