I always enjoy blogging in the summer. There is time to sit and think and write. Trying to gather my thoughts and deliver them in a clear way is always a challenge. In the summer, clear thinking can be especially difficult since our days are often free flowing and my house is full of kids. Lists are helpful to me in this endeavor so here goes:
Best Things About THIS Summer
1. I have been suffering with stomach pains, similar to gall bladder attacks (even though I had my gall bladder removed) for over a year now. Last Saturday, after a trip to the ER, the doctors finally figured out the problem. I had a stone in my bile duct that they removed yesterday. Alleluia! As a bonus side-effect I lost 30 pounds which I am vowing to keep off. There's always a silver lining.
2. I have been researching and developing an Ice Cream Camp for some time and finally got to try it out. I had 9 campers and it was a big success. We learned all about ice cream, exploring it through: geography (mapping the countries that contributed to the development), history (created a timeline of significant events), literature (read fiction books with an ice cream theme), poetry (read and responded to ice cream poems) and science (made ice cream in ziploc bags, learning about the effect of putting rock salt on ice). And that's only some of the things we did! Now I am working on a Candy Camp where we will learn the history of candy and do lots of fun experiments. Who doesn't want to explode a Peep in the microwave or watch the M float off of an M&M?! Can't wait until next summer.
3. Sam's high school quiz bowl team was invited to a tournament held at Disneyworld. I took him and our two other teenagers. I still remember the first time I went to Disney just before I started fourth grade. I took one look at the Contemporary Resort and thought- That's where the rich little girls stay. Well, I was a rich girl staying at the Contemporary this time. It was everything I hoped including a view of the castle from my room. Be still my heart! The sad fact is, it has spoiled me for ever staying anywhere else. The "Walkway to the Magic Kingdom" made visiting Mickey so easy every day that I don't think I can bear to wait in another long line to get on a bus ever again. Serious first world problems... I know.
4. I loved being back in the classroom this past year. Second grade is fabulous and I have the BEST co-worker. You know, the kind who can finish your sentences. The one who says- I was just thinking about that too! This summer it is nice to have the time to reflect on the things that went well and the things I want to improve. I am enjoying reading articles and taking time to look through pins on my teaching boards.
5. Speaking of Pinterest... I have vowed to make this a pin-free summer. Not a Pinterest-free summer. Here's the difference. I decided that I would not spend time on Pinterest mindlessly adding pins to boards which are already clogged with pins I haven't done or read or used. Instead, I would use the time this summer spent on Pinterest to actually read the articles, try the recipes, etc. So far, so good. I have concentrated on my teaching boards, reading articles pertaining to improvements for next year. I can't say I haven't pinned ANYTHING but it's only been a handful of pins.
6. I have gotten up at 6:30 nearly every day. This is HUGE for me. I love the early morning hours although sadly I like to freedom to stay up late that the summer affords. Considering the need to sleep (which I love but sometimes wish I could do without) it is hard to indulge in both. I have opted for the early hours this summer. It will help make the transition to my 5:30 wake-up time during the school year less painful and there is no arguing that the hours when you first get up are the most productive. I read this article which validates that point. I must confess that I haven't gotten around to writing every day. Only a few. But I am on the right path.
7. I bought Jesus Calling and have been starting my day by reading the reflection and looking up the bible verses to accompany it. It is a peaceful yet productive way to ease into the day with my cup of coffee. I used to pop open my computer and stare at the screen with bleary eyes. Email, Facebook and Pinterest, all have their place but it's not what I need to bombard my brain with first thing in the morning.
8. After a LONG college process Sam has finally made a decision. He will take a gap year and go to China to study Chinese and teach English. We are close to finding a program but nothing is set yet. It has been an exhausting, exhilarating experience. Mark, Sam and I have learned so much about ourselves and each other in the process. As painful as it has been at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. I know it has been an integral part of his growing up and figuring out what he wants to do. It also challenged me as a person in ways I didn't expect. Really, it deserves it's own post which I have already titled Broken Dreams. Maybe I'll write it one day.
I am thankful for what this summer has been so far and happy there is still a good bit left. With what's left, I plan to visit a friend in San Antonio and make not one but two beach trips. Life is good!
Hope you are having a great summer, too!