Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quite Simply

We are finding ourselves in the midst of a heat wave that doesn't seem to want to end! Most of the time, the children seem oblivious to the oppressive heat and humidity, but this mama is having a hard time enjoying being outdoors. But life goes on and so we are filling our days with the simple pleasures that the lazy days of summer bring.

old tree stumps provide endless entertainment
cowboys who musn't lasso their mamas "unless their mama is a cow"

enjoying the rhythmic pleasure of snapping ends off of green beans

filling, dumping, filling,'s work for a toddler

water play in the sink

creating a memory with my own daughter that I also shared with my mom as a child

loving the endless amount of kitchen help

I am trying to enjoy these last weeks of summer knowing that it will still be a while before the wind shifts and there is a crispness in the air. But there is still a little part of me that is wishing fall would come just a little bit sooner ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bringing Summer In

We are quickly approaching the middle of summer already! Where oh where does the time go? The kids and I have been enjoying many hours of outdoor play (when it isn't too hot). One of our favorite things to do is to check on the summer flower garden which is in full bloom right now! It is so nice to cut fresh flowers to bring inside and display around the house.

Zinnias of many colors

almost all of our dwarf sunflowers have bloomed and the bees are loving them!

the wildflower mix (I wish I knew the name of everything, but there are 5 different types of flowers)

We have always loved to collect bits of nature to display inside our home. This is our nature shelf that is hung in our school room (not my choice in paint color!). On it you will find various nests, empty egg shells, nuts of all kinds, geodes and other stones, seashells, feathers from many many birds, butterfly wings, dried blossoms and a bleached turtle shell to name a few. I try to keep it fairly tidy and will replace things as needed, but for the most part, this is how it looks.

Parker wanted me to take the picture above. The vase is a mason jar that he glued tissue paper to. It was a project he did all by himself and he was very proud of it. He likes to cut his own fresh flowers for it. In front is "his" nest...a nest he found and wanted to keep.

This is the view from my kitchen window, above the sink. It also changes with the seasons. Can you see the sunflower garden in the pot in the lower right corner? Those are Parker's sunflowers and the other morning, two goldfinches were eating from the blossoms! How can you not enjoy doing dishes when you have that to entertain you?!

In addition to our nature shelf, we also have a seasonal shelf. I used to keep it on top of one of the toy shelves in the playroom, but Chloe decided it made a great play area for her as well. So I relocated it to the mantle in the livingroom.

I really like it in there as we spend a good portion of our day while inside on that side of the house. It contains both handmade and nature made items and lots of little bud vases for our flowers.

And right now, this is what our centerpiece looks like. The two sunflower candles I purchased years ago at Stone Mountain. I think Blake was 2? I just burned them for the first time last summer! I love them so much and I didn't want to burn them at all, but I think I can make them last by replacing the center with beeswax. That is Parker's vase in the middle...I just moved it there so we could enjoy his flowers more now that we aren't in the school room much this time of year ;-)

We have been having a wonderful summer so far with lots more activities to look forward to. And I know before long, summer will be saying goodbye and we will be welcoming in a new season.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Into the fields

This morning we ventured into the blueberry fields to gather as many blueberries as we could. It is one of our favorite summertime activities and something we all look forward to! We usually begin reading Blueberries for Sal in the weeks leading up to picking season. Today as we were picking, you could hear the boys chanting "kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!".

Parker was excited to show me the biggest blueberries ever!

My summer baby and her wild hair, happy in all her blueberry picking glory.

Jacob was pretty ambitious and filled the bottom of his bucket fairly quickly.

Kenna on the other hand was very grateful we were picking all those blueberries for her to eat!

But she did manage to pick some of her own.

In one spot, two of the bushes intertwined with each other forming this little house. Inside were some of the biggest blueberries!

We at least managed to pick more than Kenna could eat.

Near the end of what the boys could handle. Being summer in the south, it was hot AND humid and that always doesn't make for such a great time spent outdoors. The boys did better than I expected, but they still got pretty crabby. I managed to finish picking the gallon while they had a picnic lunch and played with their friends. I really wanted to pick another gallon, but soon gave up that idea as I was dripping with sweat myself. In the years past, we have picked in the evenings to take advantage of the cooler temps with the setting sun. I think we will stick to that plan for the future :-) Mmm, now to make the gallon last through the weekend...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It was a good weekend

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating the 4th. This was the first 4th of July celebrated at home in a really long time and certainly our first time since moving to NC. And it was a good one! Despite the humidity and heat, we spent most of our time outside soaking up the sun. There were lots of games of tag, football, bike and scooter races, bubble blowing, bird watching, toad catching, flower picking and good eating! Exactly how a summer weekend should be spent.
Of course there was also firework watching~

sparkler lighting~

and rainbow spotting~

I hope your 4th was just as lovely!