Summer's really picking up for us around here with lots going on all the time. Here's the summary:
1. We joined the YWCA as a family and it's already transformed our way of life. Dan and I get our own time at the gym, we can take the kids swimming at the awesome (warm) leisure pool with fountains and slides and classes like yoga are included and offered weekly. Let's see how long we can keep this up...
2. We can because we can. It's that time of the year. There are 10lbs of beets and 30lbs of peaches sitting in my kitchen right now waiting to be canned and I just froze 4 pints of homemade (fresh from the garden) heirloom tomato spaghetti sauce. These cherry/grape tomatoes went into the oven for a slow dry on low heat and came out as something that is best described as "tomato candy," though that doesn't sound very appetizing, I know. I put the dried tomatoes in the freezer too, but it was hard to keep our hands out of them, especially hot from the oven. We have a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes this year, so I expect many more batches of drying going on.
(This is the harvest from one day. ONE DAY. Some of those are the delectable sungolds too. They are so tasty.)
(I think I could quite possibly live on oven-dried cherry tomatoes...delicious...)
3. My kids are growing so much you wouldn't recognize them. Seriously. Dan often declares that they've grown and look different just in the time he spent at work by day. It's astounding.
(Omi: Another kid loves the tile box game! She can't get enough of this toy and loves putting the tiles in the slots. We knew you'd be so proud.)
4. Even though Jackson has a brand new Big Boy Bike with pedals (and no training wheels), he's still my little boy. He may think he doesn't need a nap, but the comfy living room chair is often hard to resist in the late afternoon (which is a relief for Mom, let me tell you...).
(He's just a little too big for his Skuut but still a little too little for the pedal bike, so he's sort of in no-boy's-land as far as bikes go for a bit. Hoping he can master the pedaling and grow an inch very soon so he can just take off. The Skuut secured his balancing ability but now he's re-learning it on the new bike. Practice, practice, practice!)
5. Still knitting, still working on the wedding shawl, though I forced a break with it this week. I had a little run-in with the yarn store clerk who was convinced that I was knitting the edging all wrong and it came *this*close* to breaking me (after knitting 41,480 stitches on the thing over a 3-month time period, I was a little, er, invested in the project). Joyce the Knitting Guru saved me by being home when my nervous voice came across her phone and welcoming me into her home for a knitting CPR session. It seems to have worked, though the self-imposed break is still in effect.
(Yes, yes, I'm fully aware that the wedding is in just 41 days... and for the record, I WAS NOT WRONG, so there.)
6. I'm knitting a yoga mat bag for a distraction in the meantime. Everyone needs a variegated, worsted, open lace yoga mat bag knit from stash, right?
7. Joyce the Knitting Guru joined me for teaching sock knitting at my aunt's church craft club last night. After getting beyond casting on, giving all of our brains a good workout helping a left-handed knitter, and getting over the hurdle of the purl stitch, I think the students may have gotten it. The cuff, that is. We didn't even come close to the heels! (Though Kelley rocked it with the toe-up baby sock in bright turquoise acrylic all the way to the heel. Gold star!)
8. The Renaissance Festival is on now, the State Fair begins this week, and our calendar is filling up with preschool, music classes, soccer for Jackson and other "fall" type things. Where did the summer go and why do I only really start to embrace it when it's almost over? (That never happens with winter...)
9. I have way too much fun on Twitter these days and am fully embracing being sucked in by social networking media. It's fun, folks. Tweet, tweet!
10. A tornado hit our city last week, completely out of the blue--even for the weather people. No injuries, but lots and lots of big old trees were ripped from the ground and lots of folks have damage to their homes. It touched down just 10 blocks from our house and then bounced up and landed again in downtown Minneapolis to do a little damage there before moving on. (DOWN.TOWN. I grew up thinking that tornadoes don't hit downtowns...) Our home and property came out completely unscathed, but we know plenty of friends and friends-of-friends who were not so lucky. This was just an F-ZERO tornado too. I'd hate to see what an F-1 or F-2 would look like barreling through Minneapolis. Tornadoes are freaky, freaky things.