I am hearing... The silence of the house when everyone's asleep.
Outside my window... the steamy heat still hangs on through the wee hours. It seems interminable and is really starting to get to me.
Around the house...Things are in pretty good shape but it's time to get into the school room and spruce things up for the fall. It's become a sort of collection area for things that don't have proper "homes" around the house.
In the yard... Everything is still growing but the flowers won't make it if I don't get out there and water more. The rain keeps going around us! This time of year, I start thinking of just letting them go. I know to expect myself to get lazy around August. Is it worth the sweat equity?
From the kitchen... We had an amazing dinner on Sunday, meant for our company whom we had to cancel when the kids got sick. So Jeff and I ate chopped salad, beef tips over basil mashed potatoes, corn pudding and buttered carrots, with rhubarb pie for dessert. It was a feast - we even had a glass of wine since the recipe included Merlot! We get to have the meal again as leftovers this week (sans the Merlot this time.) Otherwise we are on a sandwich kick - chicken salad, BLTs, pastrami, turkey, etc. Easy and cool, and the kitchen doesn't get overheated.
Cultivating beauty... I'm paying attention to my houseplants today. I have 3 philodendrons and a rubber tree, which are almost impossible to kill. I also have a basil plant by the kitchen sink. Having a few green, living things adds so much freshness and life to the house! I wish I had more of a green thumb so that I could branch out a little... but for now, I'm watering and trimming up the plants I have.
Living the liturgy... I must say that since I am not using a calendar daily for school, I'm out of touch with the feasts this month. I did note the feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, July 26, which is my sister's name day and a good day to pray for our grandparents! (These saints were Mary's parents, and grandparents to Jesus.) I am thinking ahead to something special we can do for the feast of the Assumption on August 15.
Learning notes... It's Summer Reading program time at the library. We have been going to at least one event there each week - last week it was a puppet show. The previous week was a Rain Forest Adventure. Each time, we leave with a big stack of books and videos. Currently, we are going through the video series "The Way Things Work" - learning about things like gears, electricity, etc. It's animated and kind of clever, so the kids love it and have watched each episode several times. I hope they are learning something!
The kids this week... Molly has been sick with a fever and a bad cough. She has been waking up at night crying, sometimes every 15 minutes. Benjamin also had a fever but no cough. Needless to say, we are staying home and feeling a bit stir crazy, and a little exhausted. We've made some weekend plans, so hopefully everyone will be better by then. My worst fear is that the healthy ones will come down with it later and we'll be doing this again next week!
Last weekend... Saturday morning I took the boys to the "Build and Grow Workshop" at Lowe's. It was a little more informal than I hoped, just a ton of kids hammering away at a very simple woodcraft (of which their parents did half the work) ...but the boys had fun. It was our first time, so they got work aprons, safety glasses, and a patch to sew on their aprons. We made a wooden "UFO" which was really a flying saucer, with a blinking red light. Next month, they are scheduled to make a bug box, which I think will be infinitely more useful. I hope that, down the road, I can find them some more advanced woodworking classes. Benjamin especially seems both fascinated and gifted in this area.
Saturday night, Jeff took the kids to the park and wore them out while I cleaned the house, in anticipation of our company who never came. It was nice, but a little frantic, seeing how much I could do before they got home. I would have rather put my feet up to read a book! But at least the house looked pretty good for Sunday. Before they got home I filled 60 water balloons and we had a family water fight out on the patio, to cool everyone off. Then baths and off to bed! Sunday, other than the great meal, was a let-down with the sick kids, canceled plans, etc.
Some plans for the week... Saturday, I should be getting together with my Mom and sister for some girl time - each July we go out to lunch to celebrate our name days (usually around the feast of St. Ann, for my sister.) Jeff will have some "guy-time" in the evening to hang out with a friend. Next week, if everyone is well, we will visit the library again, and perhaps have some friends over to play. It's also the 3rd anniversary of our twins going to heaven, so I plan to make a cake with the kids. I'm not sure if I can get down to the cemetery or not, but that would be a blessing if it works out.
I am thankful for... the telephone. It's been a lifeline this week as I had plenty of time to catch up with friends while rocking a feverish little one.
A picture to share... Benjamin building his UFO at Lowe's.