Summer Fun and Change on the Horizon

I always do this.  I start a project, or restart one, with every sort of good intention.  I think the biggest lesson I’m learning in life right now is simply to do what I can, when I can.  So, I’m not going to stress, or apologize, or back-blog the thousand and one small moments that I’ve taken note of since my last post in February.  There were some great (and not-so-great) moments.

Instead, I’m going to start here.  Start now.  Sitting in the early morning in a quiet house in southern California.  Months of planning, saving and anticipating our trip are finally unfolding into an amazing experience for our family.

We’re here visiting Uncle Luke and Aunt Ann, and hoped we’d get an early surprise ~ Baby Ewing’s arrival, but it seems she’s quiet comfortable and will make her debut in a few more weeks as scheduled!  Nonetheless, we’ve had clear sunny skies, relaxing afternoons, and magical days at Disney.  As we cross the half-way point of our vacation, we’re about to embark on a journey to Sea World which is sure to thrill everyone, especially my little marine biologist in the making.  He’s been talking about this ever since we Skyped with L and A back last summer! 🙂

As with any trip we’ve taken, we’ve done what we could to plan and prepare, both ourselves and the kids.  We’ve fully expected periodic meltdowns, and I suppose we’ve had a few.  But the bigger picture seems much brighter than I could have ever hoped for.  There have been belly laughs and wide-eyed awe, hand-holding and morning snuggles, unprompted pleases and thank-yous, and seeing the kids grow before my eyes has been one of the greatest parts of this trip for me.

Stay tuned for what’s sure to be a lengthy picture post indeed! 🙂

As for the change, it still seems so far away because we went right from school, to packing, to vacation and there hardly seems to have been time to really think about the upcoming fall.  And yet, it’s there, on the horizon.  This year, after much consideration, I’ll be taking the year off to spend focused on home and health.  I’m not sick, but given all the various ups and downs I’ve experienced with teaching, I truly felt that if I didn’t do something drastic and get my head back on straight, I wouldn’t last another year, let alone another 15 until retirement.

So, I’m going to read, write, pray, learn, cook, clean, organize, purge, budget, encourage, prepare, volunteer, counsel, and cherish the time I have this upcoming school year.  I welcome any advice and covet each prayer.

Best Shot Monday ~ Sweet Success

Tomato 2

It seemed like such a long wait, but last week we finally had some ripe tomatoes.  Calder has been eyeing them for weeks, and couldn’t wait to bite into one.  After slicing some up for B.L.T.s this week, I realized why he was so into them – they are crazy sweet!  Here’s hoping to a few more delicious caprese salads before it gets too cold around these parts!

I suppose tonight also marks the official “end” of summer since our first teacher workday is tomorrow.  I guess that means my late-night blogging bonanzas are coming to an abrupt halt!  I’m sure I’ll still have a few things to say here and there, so don’t go too far! 🙂

Best Shot(s) Monday – Let’s Go See the Animals, Mommy!

Our first zoo tripthis summer has become the beginning of what I’m sure will be several.  I foresee many zoo memberships and at least bi-weekly trips in the coming summers.  Garth and I often joke about the poor individual who screens our little man for kindergarten.  Sure, we know that as his parents we are completely biased and think he’s beyond genius, but still, when marmots and komodo dragons are among the animals he names on a whim…I think the whole entry into formal education will be really interesting! 🙂

During a routine grocery trip, I found a little flyer advertising a very reduced entry fee for the John Ball Zoo, so I made the mental note to make the trip.  The plans were set, we headed out with our packed lunch, even Grandma came along for the day.  When we rounded the corner and saw the insanity that was the line to park, as well as the admission line, I realized the grievous mistake of planning a trip on Kids Day! 

While we could scarcely maneuver through the crowds we did manage to see several exhibits – the penguins were among his favorite seeing that he’d recently been on a Happy Feet kick.  In the past couple of months since our visit one of the preferred post-dinner activities involves running to various corners of the house looking at the “animals.”  I absolutely adore the imagination he has, and the blossoming little personality of Miss Seneca.  I suppose it’s better late than never, so here are a few shots from our day at the zoo…
JB Zoo 6

JB Zoo 5

JB Zoo 4

JB Zoo 3

JB Zoo 1

JB Zoo 2