Monday, August 24, 2009

Simple Summer Survey

This entire post has been brought to you courtesy of a great idea from Laura of Catholic Teacher Musings.

You may certainly feel free to thank her for this break in the monotony over here. I know I do.

Catholic Teacher Musings
Simple Summer Survey....

Summer is coming to a close and the time has come to reflect
and to

Instead of a lengthy essay, like the ones you did back in school, fill
in short answers to complete the question-

(Fill in as many as you can.)

What I did with my summer vacation.....

A book that you read and would recommend to others......

Oh, there are two that jump right out at me. First is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It is so, so heartwarmingly good that you should seriously do yourself a FAVOR and read it.

The second is The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. This one is creeptastically good in the way that only a gothic novel can be good. It's not a horror story -- it's a mystery that will give you neck tingles as you are dying to turn the page. I bet it would be even better on chilly autumn nights.

A project you completed.......

Does successfully potty-training Sally count? I am inclined to think it does.

A project you intended to complete but you did not.....
How about a whole list of projects that I intended to complete?

The biggest project we wanted to do was paint the front door a beautiful, welcoming, deep red color, but finding that perfect red can be so tricky, and I think I wimped out a little.

We're giving it another go this fall.

A great outing you had with friends......

Well, the sad truth is that I didn't get out to too many specific places with my friends this summer, but I did have lots of nice, impromptu visits and hang-out time with them. Sometimes that's just as good.

A new food/drink discovery...

Tasty Kake Peanut Butter Kandy Kake ice cream. For anyone familiar with the Tasty Kake brand, and this particular product, this ice cream tastes exactly like it.

Heaven on a spoon. And I don't even like peanut butter ice cream!

A new purchase....

Other than a new tent for our backyard camping expeditions, we haven't bought anything other than food and summer clothes.

I have, however, lusted in my heart for a new van. There is nothing wrong with ours, and we will be driving it into the ground, but sometimes, when I see the odometer closing in on 141,000 miles, I just get a hankering for something new and shiny.

A new attitude you adopted about something or someone....

I cannot be all things to all the people I know, and I also cannot be in two places at one time. I have to concentrate on what's right in front of me.

I know this sounds absurdly vague, but in my head it is making sense to me.

A favorite trip you took....

THE BEACH! I am what some might call a beach person.
Carolina Beach, North Carolina was great, and it was even better to be there with my family.

A favor or act of kindness someone did for you.....

I know this sounds very simple, but a friend of mine did me a favor the other week that was one of the best favors I've had in a while.

We ran into each other at the mall, I with my four and she with her two. She knew I was there trying to get school shoes and some birthday gifts, so she offered to take some kids off my hands so that I could concentrate on getting what I needed for each child.
When I was done with one child and I needed another, she would switch off with me. She just walked my other children around the mall until I called her and said I was ready.
I am used to spending almost all of my time with my four kids, and I am used to doing almost every errand with all of them, so my first reaction was to refuse her offer of help.
I am so glad I accepted, because I ended up being finished much faster than I would have had I dragged every child to every store I needed to visit.
Those simple favors, perfectly timed, are heavenly.

An accomplishment of any kind.....

I tried to be a "yes" mom this summer, and I think I did better than I thought I would. We've played hard and we've had a great time.

What will you miss most about summer?

The lazy mornings, and the long twilighty evenings with no obligations looming in the morning.

What are three things you are looking forward to this fall?

1. The weather. Nothing beats that first crisp chill that steals into the air in the fall.

2. Putting the heavier comforter on the bed and curling up with a book.

3. Not wearing a bathing suit.

Favorite summer photos....

Posting will be sparse this week, my friends, but I think you may have grown accustomed to that in the past few weeks.

This is the kids' last full week of summer vacation, and we still have a few things left on the TO DO list, as well a few more fun things in the pipeline.

Plus, Fiver turns seven this week and I have to figure out how to make a pirate ship/train cake. I'm hoping to steer him towards an ice cream cake that I can buy at the store.

Wish me luck.


  1. re: cake: why not buy a train and a pirate ship and put them on top of a 9 x 13 cake you baked and iced? Had to do that this weekend when Curly Sue insisted on a Dora saves the snow princess cake. Couldn't think of how to make that. Went looking for toys. Saw a Dora in a blue dress. Worked for us.

    Re: door paint. I want to do that as well. Since my house is all, you know, BROWN on the outside. Having painted my bedroom red (took 11 coats, including 2 coats of tinted primer-I wish I were kidding), my advice is go right for the really high quality paint (Not from one of those big box home centers-think benjamin moore or sherwin williams)because it is thicker. To get the red color, it takes a lot of pigment and if the paint isn't super thick to start, the paint gets watered down by the pigment and does not cover well. And you will need more of it than you think it will. We went thru 4 gallons to do this 10x13 room. Love it though.

  2. Those summer pictures are darling!

  3. This is a great list! And I love that sand castle!

    Head over to my blog and search pirate ship for a cake that I made my son almost two years ago. Not as hard as it looked and very impressive...I can't help you with the train part though!

    Enjoy your last week of summer vacation...mine start school today!

  4. Anonymous6:00 AM

    Happy Birthday, Fiver!

    Aimee- you are such a good mom. That list just reeks of good momness!

    My front doors are red. My first house, it took 3 tries before finding the perfect red. The second house, got it on the first try. Sherman Williams has these color coordination paint chips that shows you which red goes with your house depending on your house color (Ours is a light gray). Very helpful for me.

  5. Great list! Love the sand castle! Can't help with the paint--my husband is the resident decorator around here, pretty much if it looks good, he did it!

    Enjoy your last week of summer--I must admit, I am a little jealous you are still enjoying yours!

  6. What a great blessing at the mall! That is amazing!

  7. Do you know how much I love you for doing this.
    (In fact, A Mother Load!)
    I have to read the Potato Peel book now because you are the 3rd person to tell me it's good.
    Red...I painted my kitchen wall red. I cried because it was so frustrating....streaky etc.
    I love all of your autumn "likes" too.
    Thank you for being a sport!

  8. Boy, we have to get that Fiver and Little Brother together. They are just 2 peas in a pod, I tell you...

    I made a train for Little Brother. Real easy. Get some mini loaf pans. Bake your cake in those. Use mini oreos for the wheels, a mini ice-cream cone for the steam thingy on the locomotive (don't you love when I use technical terms like "steam thingy"?) and black licorice for the train track. Lay it out on a long board (just cover with plastic wrap so it's sanitary). You can use different colors on each car. Decorate with all kinds of fun stuff like mini pretzels, candies, etc. "Checkerboard" pretzels are good too. I've got a picture someplace from when I made one of these for Little Brother. Emailing it!


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