I’m in my afternoon perch, with a cup of, well, I was going to say, “fresh-squeezed lemonade”
but it’s been a few days since the “squeezed” part. So, with an ice-cold glad of homemade lemonade.
Nothing beats a cold glass of lemonade in the middle of these blazing summer days!

Every afternoon, I am presented with a dilemna:
do I rest while the girls rest or do I use that precious bit of quiet time for something else?
I’m not a napper, but almost every morning when I smilingly greet the day groggily roll out of bed,
I think to myself, “I’m still sooo tired. Today, for sure, I will take a nap.”

And what do you know, but when both girls are either resting or in their quiet time hour,
that little bit of quietness seems soooo precious that I just can’t bear to loose it on sleep.

So sometimes I clean, just so the toilet won’t have an extra set of hands [without gloves] trying clean its interior.
Or sometimes I read, which happened more frequently in the winter than it does now.
Or sometimes, oftentimes, it’s just time of day to catch up with emails and online things,
because the girls don’t like when I’m on the computer very much during their waking time.

So what feels like a great dilemna in the morning is usually not even a question by after lunch.
Today is a such similar day.

Welcome to some rest and quiet, my house beckons me.
And I respond in the affirmative.

taste of summer 30

We’ve been having a full but rather restful summer.
With family out of state, most summers we make an extended trip up north
and other weekend trips scattered around.
This summer, with planning to go to Colorado for three months this fall, we’re sitting low.

That doesn’t really mean we’re not doing anything,
because we’re still finding plenty to do, but it definitely makes our summer feel much less busy.
Ben has been working a few side jobs, which take some evenings and Saturdays,
trying to save up a little bit because the not-working-for-three-months this fall.

And the girls and I have been having a lot of good times together.
With the intense heat, we’ve been staying indoors more than I like to be,
but I’m the first one to want to get back in the air conditioning when we are brave enough to step outside!
We have a little kiddie pool, and all four of our little family has been known to get in it at one time. :)
That’s desperate, but hey, it’s water, and it has great cooling effects!

The girls were enrolled in the Summer Reading Program at the library, which went on for 6 weeks,
so that felt like a big chunk of time that we set apart for that.
A library day once a week, rather than our normal bi-monthly, and extra reading time every day.

Zoe is a big reader – not that she reads herself,
though she tries to convince herself and us that she indeed can,
but the child does not tire of being read to.
My voice would grow hoarse before she’d say she’s had enough, and it has.

Olivia, with the Energizer-Bunny personality,
is just growing into the books that actually have more than 5 words on the page.
It’s taken her a long time to settle down enough to enjoy it,
but my scholar-heart is rejoicing that she is showing signs of improvement. :)

 I read over 80 books to Zoe during those 6 weeks,
which really is that not much when broken down by week,
but it felt like we were reading all the time.  Which she loved.
And which I was a little relieved to have it over with. :)

But in the end she won a small art set, which she was so pleased with she couldn’t stop smiling.
She’s never painted before. Ever. Crayons, almost daily.
But this was a first, and it was an instant hit. She did so well.
I drew a basic house outline and she took it from there.
I was in the same room but she worked alone for two hours.

painting.

taste of summer 27 taste of summer 26 taste of summer 25

she added the clouds and sunshine and chose all the colors. i was so proud of her!

taste of summer 24 taste of summer 23

imaginations
with daddy’s socks and little dollies.

taste of summer 29

picking blueberries.

taste of summer 22taste of summer 20

little hands with little buckets. little buckets that are always emptied after two little “ping” sounds of blueberries.

taste of summer 18taste of summer 21

little mouths that turned blue.

taste of summer 19

little girl that got herself dressed in sunday frock finery to pick blueberries.

taste of summer 16taste of summer 17

little girl who is always an
early riser.

taste of summer 15

friendship.
precious even in little children.

taste of summer 14

french braids
for two-year olds.
[and whose mother bribed her with charlie & lola vidoes while hair was being combed]

taste of summer 12

watermelon.

taste of summer 11 taste of summer 8 taste of summer 9

i think we can each eat a whole melon. :)

taste of summer 10

a extra good day of
couponing.

taste of summer 7

strawberry smoothies.

taste of summer 6

homemade soft pretzels.

taste of summer 3 taste of summer 2

shish kebobs.
i can’t get enough of them!
[follow the link to get the recipe!]

taste of summer 1

little olivia
growing up.

taste of summer 5

potty-training.

which has gone FAR better than expectations. sigh of relief!

laundry.
hung outside.

taste of summer 4

mr. turtle
for a pet.

turtle 1

little sister is not so gentle.
“here, let me help you stick your head out.”

turtle1

baby bunny
rescued and nursed to health.

April, 2011 079

April, 2011 080

picnics
by the river.

Picnic by the River 032

we thought it was going to be a date, but not after all…
and it was scorching hot and lots of bugs, so the pictures were better than reality. :)

Picnic by the River 028

summertime in a bucket.
[grandma’s house on corn day]

Corn Day @ Yoders 037

“Alas! if the principles of contentment are not within us,
the height of station and worldly grandeur will as soon add a cubit to a man’s stature as to his happiness.

[Laurence Sterne]


and that’s a small taste of our summer so far!

~clarita

22 thoughts on “A Taste of Summer

  1. FOREVERLANE

    Oh, I love this post!! The pictures of little girls and all things summer are just so beautiful and precious! Claudia is here with me looking at the pictures and since she is a tenderhearted, animal-lover, she was tickled pink with the little turtle and bunny. She let out a giggle when she saw the bunny and then wanted to see all of the pictures all over again! :) The watermelon pictures are my favorite, I think . . . Yah for couponing . . . and since Claudia is here beside me moaning about wanting to see the turtle again and Sophia is grabbing madly at the keys, I will wrap this up. Gotta go clean up the kitchen anyway. Love you lots! And since we’re home so much these days, I think it’s rediculous that I haven’t called you more. Sure is high time for a good chat. Pull out a good movie and entertain those kids, so we can talk, right? ;)

  2. mytoesareblue

    ohhh what a glorious post. ohhh fresh made lemondade..sounds lovely. i wish that we could make sun tea here that actually tasted like we were in the south (something different about being IN the south and drinking it!) love the eating of the watermelon as well…we can’t eat the whole thing before it goes bad but i bought a 1/4 and we loved it.

  3. inanorchard

    I loved this post Clarita!! Your photos look like they came out of a magazine! The pictures of the girls picking blue berries were my favorite. And your girls… oh it makes me want to have another baby so Eliza could have a sister (there’s a 50/50 chance!). We love Charlie and Lola at our house too.

    I just wanted you to know how much your sweet comment on my last post meant to me! It was truly the encouragement my discouraged heart needed to hear. I just love your heart Clarita, you are a blessing to me :)

  4. appalolly

    Totally loved this post. Your sense of contentment comes oozes out, even through my computer screen.

    I am extremely impressed with Zoe’s painting skills. And the time and effort she put into that.  Awesome!

    Also, 80 books in 6 weeks is a lot…even if they are kids’ books. My kids LOVE to be read to as well, and thankfully I really like to read to them too. Just doesn’t happen nearly often enough.  I need to make it more of a priority again!

    And…about your kind comment yesterday on my blog regarding the “servant’s heart” thing. I was humbled to realize that something I wrote had an impact in a real way in someone else’s life.  But even more humbled to realize how I wrote that and then how often I myself don’t live it out.  Ouch.  But thanks for your comment. That meant a lot to me.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. justcallmeM

    So glad you’re having a good summer, even if the travel is being postponed until this fall. I guess some of us are making up for you. :) Love all the lovely pictures! Zoe looks so intent on her painting. What a neat reward for the reading project. :) And Charlie and Lola! Christy introduced me to them and they are just too cute! :)

  6. dreamstillcometrue

    This quite possibly may be my most favorite post you’ve ever done. :) The babies get cuter every day and your little family summer looks like ever and ever so much fun. Save a few picnics and strawberry smoothies for our return home, ok? We’re headed south immediately.

  7. lifeisadance

    @FOREVERLANE – yes, let’s pull out a good Charlie and Lola or something to entertain so we can talk. :) next week?

    @Cestovatelka – thank you so much!

    @inanorchard – you are too kind ~ but thank you! and yes,  i hope eliza can one day have a little sister. it’s just too fun to see little girls playing together [even if they’re best of enemies sometimes too :)].

    @seekinHISwisdom – thank you! because sometimes i think i always do waaaay too many pictures. ;(

    @justcallmeM – i think charlie and lola are just as fun for adults to watch as for the kids. :) maybe even more so, because we get all the little quirky things! and thanks to your 50mm lens you sold me! i love it!

    @dreamstillcometrue – oh honey. you’re making me so homesick for you……

  8. fruitloops115

    i love this post. your photography is so beautiful and summery. I think you captured the essence of your summer
    wistful sigh about the pottytraining. it is just not. happening. we try, we really do. She? not so much. congrats on getting that accomplished.
    french braids are a favorite of mine around here these days. such a cool, and practical way to keep little girls hair up out of their face all day long. love them. Abbi’s getting preatty good at sitting too.

  9. smilesbymiles

    Oh, I love these pictures!!! I love, love summer time and I love the way you pulled out all the delightful things about it! I’ve been thinking about doing a similar post only mine is about as full of boys and dirt as yours is of beautiful little girls! :)

  10. lifeisadance

    @smilesbymiles – oh, i’d love to see a summer post by you! i love how people can blog about similar things, and yet they are each so unique because of their own families and lives and worlds! you make me want little boys. :)

    @fruitloops115 – thank you! and i’ll take any photography tips you care to pass along. :) i wish you luck on the potty training…! that can be so discouraging! i think it makes a huge difference that olivia sees big sister go, and she wants to be just like big sis. my first time around with zoe was not nearly so successful, so i know the feelings of “will this ever sink in?!”

    @redladybug18 – @down_onthefarm – i wish you a lovely day as well! and despite the heat, well, i’m a wimp and have been staying inside so much. i’m going to turn pasty white, i’m afraid. :)

  11. mlt10202002

    i was very, very impressed by zoe’s painting. that is worthy of framing. a precious keepsake from talented, sweet little girl on a hot summer day! and i was equally impressed by your reading to them! that is alot of reading!

  12. twofus_1

    When I had first seen this post, I knew I needed to show Zachary. I just remembered, and told him I want to show him a few pictures of Zoe. He said, “Oh, I would love to see them. Zoe is my BEST friend. She is the cutest child in the WHOLE world!” :) I love the pictures!!

  13. lifeisadance

    @twofus_1 – That is ADORABLE. I just told Linda yesterday that you and her give me hope for my [one day] boys.  Truly truly. I think the world of Zachary. :) And I love the picture of the two of them that I posted. They do look just a little bit snuggly. :)

  14. Elizabethmarie_1

    How did I miss this super sweet post! I love the pictures and the picnic (we haven’t gone on ONE yet this summer! =( and the painting….all so cute.

    We signed up for the reading program at the library…and the terrible Mom I am…I thought we had an extra week and we missed the last reading session. There was a lego set Sam was hoping to win.  I felt so bad we missed it.

    I am jealous of your quiet time hour. We do it in the winter, not so much in the summer but it has changed since my kids are getting older. I used to LOVE that time in the afternoon.  Everyone used to fall asleep and the house would be silent. Now they all go to their corner and read books….but no one falls asleep and the whole hour has a different feel. Not bad, just different. I don’t feel alone! lol. It’s ok…I just sometimes miss feeling alone sometimes. =)

    So you’re going to be in Colorado for three whole months???  Wow!!!  That will be fun.
    I’m sure you will get that snow you are always hoping for!!! ;)

    Well, Happy Tuesday to you.
    Love your blog Clarita!

  15. lifeisadance

    @Elizabethmarie_1 – Awww, comments from you always make my day!! And about the quiet hour… since that post, we’ve been weaning Olivia from her pacifier, and quiet time is suddenly not so quiet. :{ Half the afternoon is spent wrestling the child to sleep!! Soo, that’s one advantage you’ve got over me! :) Happy Tuesday to you too! ♥

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