I hope your summer is starting off well ... here in beautiful Oregon we are welcoming temps in the nineties and beautiful cloudless skies this week. We have a full schedule planned around this glorious weather : strawberry picking, swimming at the river, long evening walks and trips to the pool to name a few.
A few weeks ago Sam and I slipped out of town for a few days, leaving our older children at home to hold down the fort. We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary at a beach house we found online in Neskowin, Oregon ... we took the two littlest munchkins and had such a relaxing time for five days with nothing to do but enjoy each others' company.
Oh, and eat lots of yummy food :)
While I love vacation, something about being away makes settling back into our routine all the sweeter. Morning chores and homeschooling and afternoon naps, baking and playing and evening meals together and bedtime stories ... all the ordinary things seem so much nicer when we come home.
|donuts made for National Donut Day by our resident baker, Abigail|
|what chocolate chips ??|
|surrounded by babies and grand babies - can't ask for anything better|
|adorable fox snuggly by The Hill on Etsy|
Our kids have just a week or two of schoolwork left to do before we wrap things up for the summer. I remember things being the same way when I was a child in public school - those last few weeks of school seem to draaaaag by. It's like we lose steam, even though we know the train has to actually pull into the station before we get off and RUN into summer.
Yesterday I gave us all a day off to go strawberry picking - I declared it our end-of-the-year field trip day, because that's the kind of thing you get to do when you are the school principal, teacher, and bus driver all rolled into one.
Other things you get to do when you are a homeschooler : stay up late for impromptu campfires in the backyard and start school at nine thirty the next morning. In your jammies. With s'mores still on your fingers if you feel like it.
By the way, did you read that Michelle Obama would like to encourage all Americans to ditch their beloved s'mores for her healthier version of this national treat ?
^^^ That's Hayden, roasting his yogurt over our fire pit ... just before Kenzie tops it with strawberries (instead of chocolate) and slides it between two graham crackers . Tastes EXACTLY like a s'more- only healthier !
|now THIS is a great way to eat strawberries. in my humble opinion.|
We are anxiously awaiting her suggestion for how to improve another American treat - The Funnel Cake .
I actually just learned how to make these at home ... maybe next week the First Lady will tweet some improved version, substituting pureed cauliflower for pancake mix and shredded carrots for topping, but for now we are indulging ourselves on the fattening, starchy, gluten-loaded goodness above.
Hallelujah and pass the pancake syrup.
Okay, all snarkiness aside (we really don't live on pure sugar alone at The Rice Ranch, but photos of salads and carrot sticks just aren't as appealing as Funnel Cake and donuts. Hope y'all don't report me to The Health Czar.) ... where was I ?? Oh yes, all snarkiness aside ...
|Hayden, admiring his big sister's sweet kicks from Hello Moccs|
... I have a serous item I need to mention.
My friend Katrina Morris emailed me asking me to share a video with you all on YouTube. I don't have enough words to describe Katrina's dedication to the cause of the forgotten orphans in Russia.
Perhaps, if we are going to give time and attention to weighty (no pun intended) matters like unhealthy national treats, we could give equal attention to the issue of abandoned and forgotten children ... children who did nothing to deserve their fate, other than arrive in life with an extra chromosome.
Children like my Lily.
I'm asking Lily's readers to take just two minutes and fifty-two seconds of your time, to watch To The Moon and Back on Youtube. And when you're done watching that, perhaps you could take 30 more seconds to "like" this page on Facebook.
Thank you ahead of time for joining with me to remember children like Natasha, who are still waiting for a family to love them and bring them home.
Please pray for these precious children - pray that God would move mountains for them, and pray that Russian families would consider rescuing their own children from the future of life in an institution.
Because every child deserves the love of a family.