Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer at Home

It is 85 degrees and muggy. I would have been outside anyway, as a child, well, maybe I would have been hiding and reading in the afternoon. As soon as my youngest finished the bacon-weaving in the previous photo, he scooted back into his fort, with the dog, to listen to a good audio book. In the dark.

The others are working, learning a new song on the piano, packing for college and "using the heat gun" for something again. 

When Mama Works Too Much

You get children who get really learning about bacon-weaving on Youtube videos. A mixed bag, but at least it did not require a trip to the hardware store,'s lunch!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When You Choose Learning

Or...where there is a will, there is a way. This is a good friend and client who is so inspiring to me, that I asked her if I could publish a couple of photos from our last training session.

Why are we conducting our session on the sidewalk in front of the house?
That is where we are, for real, after several aborted attempts at other venues that same day. She is an aspiring interpreter and I am helping her train, in English and in medical ethics for interpreters. She is a hard-working, studious, ambitious young woman. She has taken a bus for 2 hours to meet me to work on her English. She has found a way to work full-time and go to school and succeed at it, in a country that is not her own. The challenges have been many, and include a cute little baby who has become a very active toddler.

This is the adorable little pumpkin who, 5 minutes prior to this photo, was running amok in the library and giving fabulous renditions of his own screamo act all over the place.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Graduation Party That Finally Happened...

Duncan was always going to graduate, in fact, he officially did so back in March. Whether or not he would attend the ceremony or want a party, he waited to decide until really the very last minute. He did decide on both, and each event was a lot of fun, maybe especially because I did not stress about it for two months ahead of time...just a few intense days before the event. My gratitude to Duncan, for being a gracious, charming host, and to Kyle's mother, Wendy and his step-mother, Heidi, for planning the whole dang thing and just giving me jobs to do and a list of groceries to bring. We pulled it off; never would have happened without you! And I am so very grateful to my family who found out about this at the last minute and drove for hours to be there, thank you!!! To all who braved the sticky, humid heat to join us to celebrate, and to those who sent well wishes, thank you.  You make my world the beautiful place it is to be in. 

Here are a few snapshots of the day; in spite of the temps in the 90s, this picnic shelter overlooking a lovely park was a shady, breezy, comfortable haven. (Thank goodness!)

 The boys:

Why You Need to Camp

I have a love/hate relationship with camping, I'll admit it. I think many people do; there are bugs, the lavatories are far away and spartan, it can be hot, wet, cold, is outside, after all. I believe however, it is an essential part of life. There are experiences, pleasures and lessons that can only be had living outside, and camping, especially tent camping, is the simplest path to to outdoor living. 

In the photos from yesterday, you can see one small thing that happened to connect the children to the environment while living out of doors. The tiny bird was found while exploring, close by our campsite, and for 36 hours it became part of their world.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Camping 2016

Campsites are one of the things that America really does well. Our standard picnic table and firepit per site get my full endorsement. The midwest may seem short on spectacular scenery and architecture from the middle ages, but our camping grounds are the best. A few shots, between and during clouds:

 Taking turns cooking meals
 Exploring the banks of the creek across the way

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Camping Out...and Back In

Today's post comes to you from our local laundry mat, as the sleeping bags, pillows and towels go round and round in two separate dryers. But never fear; the intrepid camping father is hard at work, reorganizing the car so that we can hop back in and head back to our wet campsite. Never say die.

Yesterday was a fabulous first day of camp. We had lunch in a terrible fast-food place on the way there (we are between two trips, after all) and arrived to find every single site of our destination open for set-up. Nobody for miles around. Perfect.