Monday, June 22, 2015

Currently: Reading, Crocheting & Enjoying Snowballs

We have arrived to my favorite season of the year! Sure, the spring breezes and rain showers are nice, and fall crispy cool air is refreshing relief from the heat of summer, and a daily excuse for hot chocolate is great in the winter but give me the season of soaking in the sun, sipping on iced sweet tea, long days of nothing, a pile of books to read, and ice cream.

The longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice, officially begins summer.  I celebrated with an ice-cold, delicious Baltimore snowball (chocolate covered strawberry, if you were wondering.) I have been derelict in my parenting duties and my kids were under the mistaken belief that the concoction of ice and watery flavor sold on the truck that comes to school picnics was a “good” snowball. I had to rectify that. It only took one sugary flavorful spoonful of a real snowball to make them (well, three out of four) converts.

Borrowing on the idea of The Longest Day, the AlzheimersAssociation used this day to increase awareness this disease, and fundraising for research of and support for those suffering from it and their caregivers.  Participants in the day were encouraged to pick an activity to participate in all day, to “symbolize the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers.”  I chose to crochet, one of my favorite hobbies and since handcrafts are reported to help stimulate the brain, I thought was a good fit.  Continuing in the idea of charity, I made hats for women going through chemotherapy who may lose their hair. I made three during the day, taking my yarn to the kids’ swim meet, stitching in between making dinner, and while hanging out with the family celebrating Father’s Day. They were so easy, I’m thinking of making some more. Any ideas of where to donate them to – leave in the comments.

In book-nerd fashion, I have anticipated the opening of the new library in my area.  I know – it’s going to have books just like all the other ones, but I’ve still got going to check it out on my list of things to do. And I heard they have a coffee shop!

On a related note, we have signed up for the National PTA Family Reading Challenge. This new initiative encourages families to read together. Okay - we do have a fun, vested interest in the program – we were one of the families selected to be in the “Inspiration” videos. My daughter and I talk about family reading traditions.  We’ve signed up for the summer challenge because I love reading and think its very important for children to not only be literate but to enjoy reading for their own entertainment and education.  I’ve mentioned many times on here about getting kids reading, especially in the summer so their minds don’t turn to mush in the sun.  As the kids get older, the reading together thing gets harder, it doesn’t seem as cool, but in a previous post, I shared some ideas.  Another note on the family challenge –(and my kids favorite part) there’s prizes from Amazon and Kindle.

I’m making good progress in my tidying and decluttering effort. As recommended in the book I’m using as my guide for now, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’m committing huge chunks of time – cleaning out the kids’ closets and drawers for now. We packed up bags to donate to the local clothes exchange and another pile of bags of trash. At the same time, a friend was looking for donations of old t-shirts and yarn for a summer camp – yay!! We had a pile of all those logo/camp/event t-shirts that I didn’t know what to do with and I had a bag of yarn scraps. Perfect.  I love when I can donate my old things, it seems like such a waste to throw them away. The house is feeling so much lighter, now.

Here’s to summer! Pass the sweet tea and share how you are starting off your summer!

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