Summer Wrap-up

Summer is dead and gone. School starts Monday and while I am looking forward to it (the old Staples commercial is ringing in my head) I am a little sad about it too. Looking back, I think it's been the best summer yet with the kids. They have become so independent, and so strong.

At the beginning of the summer, I shared a brief list of summer plans. We accomplished almost all of the items on our list. Next year, I hope the list is even longer. Here is a recap of what we did (and didn't) do.

1. More time at the beach. We did a pretty good job with this one. I can say this with some confidence since as I type we are at the beach. This year my kids "graduated" from the bay to the ocean. Once you have experienced the ocean (or as my kids call it "strong water") there is no turning back.

2. Make a good ceviche. Okay, big fail. For the life of me I can't figure out why this one is where I fell short. It seemed so easy.

3. Day camp in the woods. 

Oh yes. It was muddy, and therefore good.

4. Time in the garden. Despite some tomato blight, we had a pretty

good crop. Some things, like the pineapple tomatillos, did very well.

Maybe a little too well.

We also managed to clear out a huge area in the front of our property

where we planted a three sisters' garden. It was a little too far into

the season, but still early enough to qualify as a success. But

the best part was watching my daughter's enthusiasm for gardening

explode. She is already planning next year's garden and a honestly

don't know how she will survive the winter. Now the younger two are following big sister's lead and carving out their own gardens.

5. Horseback riding lessons, for my 10 year old. We started lessons at J-Mar Stables. The twins draw pictures with me and play with the dog while we wait. I like what I'm seeing after just a few lessons. Not that I care if she can ride a horse or not, just that I see a quiet confidence in the way she takes charge. I like that.

6. Day trips here and there and everywhere with the kids. Larriland Farms, Brookside Gardens, Artscape, the National Aquarium, CALs Miniature Trains, Shaw Orchards, tubing down Gunpowder Falls River, a visit to see a long lost friend. A fine list, if you ask me.

7. Swimming lessons for all. Thanks to a reader's suggestion (hey, I really do listen to you guys) we went to MAC for lessons. I'm very happy with the teachers, and the super-clean facility. The kids are not all sink-proof. In all honesty, we have a looong way to go for the twins, so we will probably continue next year, but we've made some progress.

If you had a favorite summer accomplishment, I would love to hear it.