we’re going to title this “how I spent my summer vacation”

Back to school in our neck of the woods is fast approaching…TWENTY TWO DAYS!!!! So is my sister’s wedding and so is Jodie’s move to Arizona (SOB!) But until then, we have twenty two days left to try to have as much fun as we can and as we can afford because my sister’s wedding and Jodie’s move to Arizona is just around the corner. Meanwhile, since the beginning of June, here is where I have been three afternoons a week.

Sitting in the “Faux-bucks” in my local Target sipping an iced green tea while I write, edit photos, pin stuff on Pinterest, tweet, enjoy a podcast…especially this one because I know Kristen and she and Liz totally rock…and generally try to restrain myself from leaving the Fauxbucks to wander the aisles of Target and buy all the things while Daniel is next door at our local Sylvan Learning Center. Twenty tutoring sessions in and while I admit it hurts paying that tuition, I am so thankful for spending my summer vacation this way…and I guess Daniel spending some of his summer vacation there too. Suddenly my son is enjoying learning a little bit. Perhaps he will never be as excited about reading and learning as his nerdy mommy has been, is and always will be. But after his session with his tutor, he tells me all about nouns and verbs and pronouns and synonyms and homophones and vocabulary words….

HE.

IS.

TELLING.

ME.

He is telling me so much more than the standard “okay”, “we did math”, ‘we had an assembly” answers. He is actually enjoying learning and he is telling me about it.

Worth it.

So absolutely, completely worth it.

Plus I’m spending quality time in my local Fauxbucks, sipping my iced green tea while I people watch, write, edit photos, pin, tweet and catch up on my girls from Spawned.

her reader

It’s a lazy summer afternoon. After an hour or so of swimming, it is quite satisfying to relax on the sofa and perhaps watch a movie…

Or watch the boys play a video game together.

That’s fine too because I’m quite satisfied to lie back on this sofa and maybe close my eyes for…

Mima, read to me.

I open my eyes and there is Fallon, holding out a picture book to me.

Mima, read to me.

She looks at me with those big blue-green eyes and red rose pouty lips waiting for me to take the book.

I can’t say no.

What kind of grandparent would I be to say no?

Sure, I’m tired. I’d much rather do nothing at all at this very moment but this three year old wants me to read to her. It’s literally a ten page picture book with maybe a three to five word sentence on each page. It won’t kill me. More importantly, she WANTS me to read to her. I can’t imagine any grandparent ever not wanting to read to their grandchild, especially when they ask you. Considering the fact that it wasn’t that long ago when her big sister was making the same request and now she is Miss Independent Reader Thank You Very Much, I know that I can not, must not refuse this request, this moment.

So I don’t. I take the book, pat the sofa next to me inviting her to have a seat and she does…in my lap….and together we, Fallon and her reader, enjoy a good book.

the Fourth’s top four

On the Fourth, my family circus celebrated Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in our own special way; which I like to imagine is exactly what Thomas Jefferson envisioned when he wrote down those words.

Why should pundits and politicians be the only ones who can know what our Founding Fathers were thinking some 239 years ago?

Am I right?!

Our family circus top four moments on the Fourth are:

Watching Independence Day as we do every year because it makes perfect sense to us to be sitting together and watching this movie. Next year is likely to be different because Independence Day Resurgence…thank you, Roland Emmerich!

Barbecue, swatting flies, trading stories and just generally enjoying the company of family and friends.

Number three is a two=parter because it is.

Prime viewing of our town’s fireworks show. Added bonus not getting stuck in traffic because we are in our neighbors’ backyard.

Lighting our own, although this year The Big Top’s fireworks show was greatly subdued, as was the rest of our neighborhood’s, because everything is brown and dying while we all do our part conserving water during this drought…all of us except that one neighbor on the corner who literally waters his lawn SIX TIMES DAILY!

But, hands down, the top moment of our Independence Day celebration was when this kid swam underwater the width of our neighbor’s pool for the very first time! Absolutely the very best moment!!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson

photo dump: triple digits edition

Dear East Coast, I’m sorry you are dealing with all that annoying wet stuff falling from the sky and saturating your neck of the woods. What is it that you call it? Oh, yeah, rain. I think I heard of rain before. I might have even seen it…then again, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps it’s just what I seen on the evening news. Meanwhile we are hot here in the Central Valley and pretty much everywhere on the West Coast. Very hot. Very dry, miserable hot with sticky clouds up above that only offer dry lightning strikes in the mountains because what’s one more raging wild fire right now?

Whatever!

We’re going over to Casa de Scarborough-Jacques because they have a pool and it’s hot…freaking, broiling hot.

Yeah, this will work. This will work out just fine.

At the end of the day the added bonus for Hollie and Ben…

…sleepy water babies.

too tall and other squad adventures

The perfect time to get away from the dusty triple digit temps that is the Central Valley is right now.

And in Santa Clara at California’s Great America, today was practically sweater weather. Kidding. But it was literally 20 degrees cooler than Manteca. So sorry work for not taking that call to come in and work extra.

This guy was literally counting down the days until we could play at California’s Great America.

So was Abby

And Abby’s BFF, Maci.

It was a great day enjoying all the food, all the drinks and all the rides in the park, courtesy of Bill’s company. Bonus, Daniel was more than tall enough to ride any ride of his choosing.

Well, almost any ride of his choosing.

One disappointment in a day filled with adventure for this squad?

We’ll take it!