Cool Teens

It was hotter than heck today and our first day of no school.

I have a few standards for the kids.

They can’t sleep all day and they can’t be in front of screens all day either.  They have to read and exercise and be helpful and do something active, creative and/or productive. They can choose, just as long as they aren’t lazy all day. I don’t want to be rigid and I want them to relax and slow down. I just don’t want them to be sloths. I expect them to contribute to the family and to enjoy their lives.

Today didn’t disappoint.  I loved their choices and just admired them.

My favorite part of the day was when their friends decided to come over and hang out all day. I love kids and I love them all at my house. I love their laughter and them just being.

They played board games and played with the kitties and watched sports and listened to music and laughed all day. Friends and siblings all hung out and filled my house with joy. I went to the store and bought them ice cream and fruit and helped serve them. I absolutely loved them being here and stayed out of their way.  I want them to come back and hang out every week. We have ten and a half weeks of summer break and today was the best beginning.

I didn’t take any pictures as I wanted to respect their space and privacy. My heart was full and I am content.

This was the best Monday in a long time! Happy summer days!!


Ice cream

Special guest writer! Charlie


Today my mom had to take my sister to the Orthodontist. When we got there, Nemo was playing in the waiting room. I don’t really like that movie, but today I did. I was talking to my mom when Nemo’s dad asked the other fish where the boat went.

I said, “Fish only have a memory span of 5 seconds,” so those fish won’t even remember that boats exist. Later I said, “Gosh fish sleep with there eyes open,” but in the movie the fish had their eyes closed. Those movie makers need to study ! I know more about fish than them!

Then we went to Safeway and went shopping for ice cream. Right now I’m thinking like my mom:  ice cream reminds me of happiness. I chose birthday cake! Yuuuuuuuuummmmmmm! I also picked Magic Shell and sugar cones because those are fun and my mom was fun today too. I was so Happy! Right when I went home, I had my ice cream and sugar cone! It was so creamy and cold and it was so yummy!

Then my sister did the ice bucket challenge for ALS! She got covered in cold water and I surprised her because I hid with another bucket of water and threw it on her from behind.

I laughed. P.S. I already did the ice bucket challenge and it wasn’t that cold.

Today was fun because my mom spoiled me and I got to tease my sister and even have ice cream.

Ice cream to all!!  And a very good birthday to my Opa today!!

from Charlie

Summer Nights

Why wait for school to end? We are celebrating summer right now.

No homework for the littles and a couple more finals for the big one. Charlie insisted I come outside to shoot some hoops with the entire family. I thought I was going to catch up with bills and paperwork but someone “needed” me and how could I resist his sweet little voice and demands? All 5 of us took a break to play together and I loved it. Juliana thought we should go get ice cream too, and her daddy is too sweet to say no. So guess where we are with everyone else in town?

YOLO!! Living it up. Loving it out.

I love summer.

Life is good.


Day 29: How did you Enjoy Your Family Today?

I’m not busy. 

Ya, right. I’m so busy that my head is spinning. I just ate dinner at 10:30 pm – does that say anything? I haven’t checked voicemail and haven’t really read email and just returned a text or two.  But that’s not really important.

I could go through the checklist again, but that’s kinda boring and not the point either. Plus – we are all busy – even the 2 year old and the 84 year old. We’re all busy with whatever we’re doing today otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. So what?

But what I really want to share and think about is how did you enjoy your family today? Did you slow down and if so, how? What did it look like? What did you do together?

You see – my friend suddenly lost her husband at the age of 48 this week and she has asked us to stop and enjoy our family, in honor of her husband.  She doesn’t want us to send flowers, but rather an email telling her what we did together. She wants all of us amazing families to spend some time appreciating one another and slowing down to enjoy the ride. I love that!  And she is my new mentor because I always have mentors in my life. And sure she is struggling with the biggest challenge of her life, but she’s reaching out to us and asking us to slow down and share our journey with her. Can you believe that?

So I did. 

I am.

Here I am.

I called my sister on the way to pick up the boys from camp. I am going to miss our daily chats. The little one made my day with her cheerful voice.

I stopped for ice cream with the boys on the way home from camp at Dairy Belle – CJ’s favorite place since he was little. I had one too because ice cream is good for you. Image

And at 5 pm tonight, while I was finally washing the dishes from dinner last night, J called from April’s to see if S & J could come over to play. Since I didn’t have to leave for 45 minutes, I said sure, of course, come on over. Once they got here and the kitchen was almost done, they asked if they could make snow cones. (REALLY??)  And I said sure, of course. We can make snow cones and clean up in  30 minutes, right? So I was a few minutes late – so what? Check out their faces and smiles!  


On my way home from my meeting, I made a call to a friend who shared AMAZING and heartfelt news. I’m so glad I called even though I’m “busy”.  

I also called my mama to thank her for the spaghetti sauce that we shared last night and that I was glad she was with me in spirit. And when I finished putting the kids to bed and sorting more baskets, I finally ate dinner: Left overs from my mama – the best comfort food on the planet!!  Thanks, Mama.


And thank you for the challenge to enjoy what we have and what we’re doing right now. I’m thinking of you (my mentor) and wishing you peace and grace.