Sunday, June 5, 2011

School's Out for Summer!!!!!

I feel like I am one of those lucky people who is fortunate enough to say I picked the right career path. Like all jobs, there are ups and downs to teaching, but I could never see myself doing anything else. Summertime is when I am 100% confident of this choice. I look forward to summer vacation just as much as my students and children do, and on those last few days of school when my class shares their summer plans, I am transported to my backyard and my own wish list of things to do, projects to finish, and places to go. Being out of school gives me time to do things that I so enjoy that get pushed to the side for lesson planning, paper grading, and teacher tasks. It's hard to imagine getting excited about trimming hedges, staining decks, and cleaning out closets. But I am so thankful to have the time, not to mention energy, to accomplish these tasks. During the school year, my job, which blesses me, also consumes me, my weekends, and eats away at family time, which is why I could write a sonnet for summer and how I adore thee.

Pictured above is my backyard getaway, one of my best summer destinations. The newest addition is the swing my sweet husband built for me this spring. This is one of my favorite places on Earth. It is here that we roast marshmallows over the fire pit spring, summer, and fall. This is place where I have my morning coffee and listen with wonder to God's creatures awaking, and at night watch lightening bugs and am serenaded by frogs. Where I hear the laughter of my daughters echo off the hills, the roar of the second hand go cart we restored for them as they zip across the field, the bounce of basketballs. The place where I see my mother cross the yard to bring the girls a treat and come sit a spell, and although he's no longer with us in body, this is the place where I feel my daddy's presence, and can hear the echo of his great laugh. This is the place my friends gather in the summer for pool parties, where the grown ups look forward to it as much as the kids. Like my career choice, I cannot imagine myself living any place else on earth. My retreat is not fancy, but simple, a reflection of me and small town life.

This retreat is also an ideal place for some summer reading, another thing that I feel I have the luxury of doing in the months of June and July. I just finished two wonderful reads I highly recommend. The first one is House Rules by Jodi Picoult. A heart-wrenching tale of a single mother and her two sons, one who has Asberger's and the other who suffers because of the attention that is given to his brother. As with most of her books, have a box of Kleenex nearby. The other book is one of the 2011-2012 Bluegrass Books titled Ratfink, which follows the life of a 5th grader who deals with bullies, being an underachiever, and his grandfather's autism. My daughter's and I are reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and some of the Judy Moody books in preparation of seeing the movie versions in June and July. I want them to see that the book is always better than the movie. So what are you reading? I'd love to hear from you and add your recommendations to my summer reading list.

I will close with the wish that you are happy, peaceful, and content where you are and with the job you have, and hope you have a retreat that you can visit. Here's one of my favorite summer recipes for you to enjoy in that special place.

Turtle Cake
2 boxes ice-cream sandwiches
12 oz. jar caramel topping
Chopped nuts
12 oz. jar hot fudge sauce
Small Cool Whip
Optional topping-more nuts,cherries, berries, mini chocolate chips.
Line cake pan with one layer of ice-cream sandwiches. Pour jar of caramel topping over sandwiches and then sprinkle with nuts. (I skip the nuts because my girls don't like them) Add another layer of ice-cream sandwiches. Top with cool whip and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Freeze for 1-2 hrs. When ready to serve, sit on counter a few minutes to thaw. Warm hot fudge sauce and pour over the top.
WARNING: Yummy, but not bathing suit friendly.

Happy Summer Wishes,


  1. Love the vision of both "summer" and "home" you've shared with us. It's nice to have those "places" - be it a field, swing, book, or idea - that remind us how fortunate we are to have such seemingly "ordinary," but in actuality, quite wonderful, "everydays." Love your blog! Happy summer!

  2. As everyone else I love your sitting area, the swing is a must. The new KY monthly magazine lists 5 things every KY home should have and an outside swing is #1. Lindsey has ours at her house that I had for about 25 years. I can relate to your blog and so happy to hear a teacher say they had chosen the right career path. I am going back now to read all your past blogs. Thanks for reminding all of us.