Friday, August 20, 2010

summer fun

Our backyard pool finally feels worth its while this summer. Jove can swim independently and it has been super hot so the pool is getting used almost every single day. Two of our neighbors have their grandsons with them almost every day and they come over to swim with Jove all the time. Miranda has made the leap from floating in a tube to swimming with the vest by herself.

We were supposed to go our good friends' house in Virginia this week but their kids are pretty sick so we had postpone our trip indefinitely (boo hoo). We were all very sad not to able to go and had a lot of open days on our calendar. Jove requested a trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania for the day. The park reminded me a lot of Cedar Point in Ohio but it had more stuff for kids and a water park area. Miranda rode a log plume ride and only moderately freaked out and Jove rode real roller coasters for the first time. I think he is braver than I am. This park will definitely be the one we go to for a few years.

This week Jupiter and I have started to have daily evening conversations about teaching matters. The wind down into the school year has begun. I am glad we are both teachers for so many reasons and being able to share the joy of the summer as a family is on the top of my list. We have so many ideas for extended summer trips for the future as the kids are older and able to do more things: next summer we will travel in the Dominican Republic, we want to go out West with the kids and I really want to do a multi-week trip to Australia and Indonesia. We still have some end of summer adventures planned for the next couple of weeks: Jove and Jupiter's backpacking trip, a week of nature summer camp for Jove and a trip to a Renaissance Faire. And, every evening I will be working on my lessons.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

always a michigander

Going to Michigan makes me feel nostalgic and sentimental, more this year than in past years... perhaps it is because my grandparents are aging and I wish I had more time with them, maybe it is because Michigan feels like a place I visit and grew up in, but one I will probably never live in again or maybe because so many people I love so much are there and I don't get to see them that much... for whatever reason, I feel more appreciative of my time there and sad to leave it behind.

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, but my parents are spending their summers in retirement on Lake Huron in a beautiful home. We spent a few days there swimming and playing on the beach, the kids (including me) rode a jet ski for the first time, I kayaked with Miranda (who, along with me, was relieved it was calmer than the jet ski), my mom (the Artist) did rock and T-shirt painting with the kids, we had a beach bonfire with fireworks, swung on the swing looking out over the water, went to town for ice cream and watched birds. It is a calming place: the water, the woods, being with family.

I want my kids to know and appreciate the natural beauty of Michigan like I do. As a kid, my parents took my brother and I to hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes near Traverse City. As a child, I felt like I was trekking through the desert. My dad hiked the arduous dunes with us down to Lake Michigan which was beautiful. Can anyone who has not seen the Great Lakes understand how majestic they are? I told Jove that I did the same hike when I was young and he said that he would bring his kids there one day.

We visited one of my oldest friend's parents who have watched me grow up and change since I was a teenager and now they get to see my children grow and change.

I feel loved: by my parents, my brother, my grandparents and my chosen extended family