Bugs and Toads

E. is at theater camp all week, and after we drop her off in the morning, M. and I have the day to ourselves. Yesterday, after running a few errands, lunch, and a nap, we spent the afternoon outside. Obviously I’m biased, but I feel M. is possibly the best absolute kind of little boy….

Our Week (Thus Far)

True to my predictions this past Tuesday, this week has been far quieter, and thank goodness for that, than previous weeks. We’ve had swim lessons, walks in the woods, and swimming, swimming, swimming galore, particularly earlier in the week, when the heat and humidity was just about unbearable. None of us took off our bathing suits…

Strawberry Days, Pizza Nights

Some summer days are just perfect. Everything seems to come together in such a way that you can’t imagine being more content or possibly enjoying any other season or time with your family. To have two such days in a row is a true gift. This weekend we had such incredible weather and fun –…

Bedtime

It’s our first night of summer vacation and our last at home for a few days as we’re off on another camping trip. After baths and a change into jammies, the littles and I found ourselves back outside with the intention (or, at least, I had the intention) of reading our bedtime stories out on…

A Bug On A Shoe

In education and parenting you often hear the phrase, “teachable moments.” Often, it’s in response to some sort of event or particular behavior, but sometimes, at least here, a teachable moment crops up when you have an unexpected visitor. Just yesterday I purchased two little sketchbooks for less than $2 a piece and told E. and…

School Skippers

Sometimes it’s one of those days. The kind of day where everyone, especially Mama, wakes up cranky. It was crummy, rainy morning, and as we dragged ourselves about to get ready for the day, it occurred to me that I just wasn’t going to send E. to school this morning. Work has pretty much ground…

In Which We Go Camping, Part IV

Our last full day of camping was a rainy one, the kind where you just know you won’t be seeing the sun and nothing ever quite gets dry. After two absolutely glorious and warm sunny days, though, we were able to except the exceptional dreariness and found ways to entertain ourselves. Our little ones turned…

In Which We Camp, Part I

We have returned! And we are exhausted, sunburnt, maybe a little bit cranky, but above all, filled to the brim with peace and joy. As we were leaving our campsite today, my husband and I were discussing our next camping trip and where we thought we’d like to go. While we have a lot of…

And Away We Go!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! It has been tradition these past four years for my husband and I to pack up our children, drive several hours north, nearly to the Canadian border, and join my husband’s father, step-mom, and their grandson for an extra-long weekend of camping. Though I’m currently sitting comfortably in…

The Sweetest Gift

In our town there is group of nomadic boys who peddle on trick bikes, oversized baseball caps shadowing their eyes. They’re a collective of 7 or 8 ten to twelve year olds, mostly scrawny and unkempt, foul-mouthed and loud. I went to school with their brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and in a couple…

Fresh Air Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away

It was warm and sunny this morning. As I was getting myself and the kids ready for the day I kept looking out the windows, wishing for more time to play outside. It occurred to me as I finished up my breakfast, that the fact we only had fifteen minutes or so before we had…

Disaster Averted…Barely

Today was one of those days. There was a bad mood I couldn’t shake. The kids were cranky, vacillating between overtired and hangry, with seemingly little in between. We grumpily tramped into the woods, my hope being we’d all feel better after digging around in the dirt, climbing around on rocks and fallen trees, and…