Tuesday, August 31, 2010

this time of year

These are a few things I know this time of year...

*I can't take the easy way out when it comes to our nightly routine, we all need a decent bedtime this first month.
*Mornings go much better when I get up, go for a run and choose music instead of the Today Show while everyone eats breakfast.
*The clock on my microwave is the only one that is in sync with the school clocks.
*Dinner together is a must right now, I get a feel for what the day was like and we laugh together... a lot. Right now, this is my favorite part of the day. There is a no phone zone in this house from 6 - 7PM every night.
*I have a list of things I like to get done on Sundays to make the week smooth. I feel better when that happens.
*My kids take a lot of food to school with them, I'm talking a lot of food.
*Taking the kids to the pool for an hour right after school is not so fun for me but does wonders for them.

I hope your school year gets off to a good start!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Really - a TRAIL run???

When I agreed to go with this group of women to run a 12K in San Francisco I had no idea it was a trail run. I've never done one of these, I don't think I'll even enjoy the view - I'll have to be watching out for roots and rocks and things! I am taking my camera and I'm really looking forward to spending some time taking pics and spending Saturday with a dear friend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

this place

tomatoes like candy
Originally uploaded by LeslieMc5
I love the feeling of home, I love walking in my house after a long trip and even after a day at work. There is a comfort, a familiar feel, kind of hard to explain don't you think? I have lived in this town long enough that the feeling of home reaches beyond the walls of my own house. There are things, seasonal things, that occur in this place that evoke that feeling for me. They come in small packages and they are often unexpected, not like the predictability I can count on in my own home.

I hope you find some little surprises in your days that make you feel at home this weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

after school today....

so when you don't drive the carpool anymore you spend some time doing a little feeling sorry for yourself and then you remember there is third child who is going to be ecstatic that we don't have carpool. so you load up two bikes and two apples, pick him up from school and go straight to the levee and celebrate!

no more carpool

no more carpool
Originally uploaded by LeslieMc5
There they go! Just like that the carpool days ended, the pep talks on the way to school ended, the reminders ended, the stories from and about friends ended. It was time, they are good to go....to 10th grade. For the record, she drove there and he'll drive home, today.

Hope your back to school is a big thumbs up!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

good times, good times

The last weekend of summer, last chance to cross things off the summer to do list. I had my fam over last night for a minute to win it party AND super epic rainbow cake! I highly recommend the minute to win it party and I moderately recommend making the rainbow cake. We started our party at 3:30 and finished around 8:30, there was a short break for pizza and cold beverages (root beer floats or straight up beer). It was big fun, really big fun! If you think you might want to have a party, shoot me an e-mail and I'll give you some tips on how we organized ours. (A lot of photos on this post - I couldn't pick just one and if you are in my family, believe me when I tell you I was kind, there are some good ones that I will keep in the vault!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

the third cup of coffee

I start my day with two cups of coffee, there are occasions that require the third cup and none of those occasions are ones that are very pleasant, except today. I got the 2:30 AM tap today, then one that startles you out of your skin for a moment until your body launches into kid with stomach flu mode. This was different, the 15 year old boy tapped me and whispered, "let's go", the 11 year old was standing next to him. We softly walked through the house, out into his car and we headed straight for the country road. We pulled off to the side and with our necks arched upward we waited, and once our eyes were adjusted to the darkness we watched in wonder - the meteors. On the drive there, the 11 year old boy asked what a meteor looked like, we told him we couldn't explain it, he would just know when he saw one. He saw one, "WOW - you're right, you can't explain it, you just have to see it". Some were but little specks, others were medium and then just as we were ready to head home there was a big one that was lit for several seconds. Under the breath of the oldest one I heard, "cool" - and with that we headed home, his head hanging out the window the whole way, looking up and still catching glimpses. My third cup of coffee was a welcome one.... this time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This was under our tree house today! The photos are the hive inverted, so picture the round part hanging down. I think it is really pretty, does it look like a wig to you? If you click on the middle pic you can see the bee - look at it on my flickr page to really see it. Do you know how sweat bees make their hives? i have been searching the internet and can't find out, i think the kids would love to know. Leave it in the comments if you have a link or if you know. thanks!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our shells.

Originally uploaded by LeslieMc5
There is a pine tree in our front yard and every morning we check to see how many more cicadas have left their shells clinging to the trunk. They are so loud right now that we can hear their song over the whirring of the fans, the AC and our own voices. I took this picture looking straight up the tree, you can see the other shells holding on tight above this one.

Funny thing these cicadas and this time of year - the kids are moving on to a new school year and leaving their shell, it is time, they have grown, they are ready. Their newly grown selves know it is time, yet their shells are holding on tight to the last of summer, clinging to home for these last few days, not quite ready to burst. The three of them collect these fragile shells off of the tree trunk, they keep them safe, they inspect every bit of them. And in my heart I collect my childrens shells from this summer, I keep them safe and I will inspect every bit of them during the first few weeks of school when it is too quiet around here. But right now, just like the cicadas, the "volume" is increasing and then decreasing and as the last week of summer slips away, the increasing is longer and louder each night. I am once again in awe of the connection we have to this great big world.

I was looking at this picture and noticed the spider... again. There must be a spider theme this summer - hmmmmm, what might that mean? (click on the photo to spy the spider)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We have lived in this house for 13 years, for the most part we have had the same neighbors. This week marks the beginning of tomato season and they will start arriving. Our first few have been delivered this week. There is never a note, a phone call or an e-mail to say who brought them, but I always know. I know who leaves them at the front door, who comes to the back, who leaves them on the deck table, by the garage, etc. There are a lot of things that make a neighborhood a community, this is one of those things.
by the way, thanks M.... for the peaches this year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August flowers??

The end of the season baseball party was last night, the family that hosted us has a beautiful garden. We were there last year and there were not nearly the blooms last August as there are this year, such good rain and cooler temps have made our summer blooms last. I took a couple of pics..... here you go!

Dinner Prayer

The twins were very small, maybe 18 months old, and we were in a Restoration Hardware store when I saw a little book filled with dinner prayers. I opened the book and the prayer that was on that page has been at our nightly dinner table for the past 14 years.

Thank you God for happy hearts
for rain and sunny weather.
Thank you God for this our food
and that we're all together.

Tonight one of my favorite things happened. The kids were all busy with friends and it was dinner time, of course all the friends were invited to stay and everyone was able. So we pulled up the extra chairs, set the extra place settings, cut the food into smaller portions, gathered around the table and we all said the prayer. That is when one of my favorite things happened... the prayer was loud, really loud, eight people speaking with confidence loud. Every child who is at our house on a regular basis knows that prayer and it makes them part of this family for that meal. The kids all smile the whole time we are saying it and you can tell it feels good to them, they are included here. So, the gathering, the cutting of portions, the dragging in new chairs and the cleaning up after dinner as a "family", those are all part of it, but the prayer, and the way they really emphasize the word ALL in the last sentence, that is what does it for me.