Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Day Vacay

Today was our first "real" day of summer vacation. The stakes are high on the first day, man. There's a delicate balance between having a little fun and setting the bar too high, because the last thing I need is a houseful of kid who expect Mama Day Camp for ten straight weeks.

Just to keep us all grounded in reality, our first official outing was taking Calvin to his math tutor.

The drive over was...somber. For some reason math tutoring just didn't top his summer vacation list. But...his tutor saved the day. I knew she would. They studied out on her glorious deck and he was all smiles 30 minutes later.

I rewarded him and everyone by taking them grocery shopping!

Again - not excited. Not even a tinge.

But there was produce to be bought. Which brings me to this: In a span of 7 hours this household has consumed: 2 heads of broccoli, 1 mango, 1 bag of cherries, 1 box of "gourmet" tomatoes, and half a bag of baby carrots.

We're going to have to start eating out more or we'll go broke.

We packed a lunch and rode bikes to the park across the way. In a cruel twist of fate, I was wearing my bell bottom jeans and they kept getting twisted in the chain, so I did what any savvy biker mom would do and hiked the bells up past my knobby knees. My kids are so lucky I'm theirs!

The Smalls were all raves over their turkey and cheese sandwiches. Amazed, even. We stayed for almost two hours and they played and behaved like a trio of cherubim, minus the extra eyes. And then they all went mad. Silas wielded a rogue plastic hanging basket hook, eerily resembling a cat of 3 tails. Calvin and Ruby fought to the pain over "the spinning thing", etc...

We packed it up and headed home for the dreaded QT, after which we all bounced back a little.

This was dinner, and it's my favorite thing in the entire universe, next to ataulfo mangoes. And salsa.

I like to call it JFlo's Magical Tomatoes because the recipe came from her.
Here's the recipe, copied exactly the way she sent it.

3 lrg tomatoes sliced thick
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 clove garlic minced (seriously?  throw the whole thing in)
2 T. chopped onion (I like red, because it's pretty)
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh basil

Arrange tomatoes in bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Pour over tomato and refrigerate several hours.

I add fresh mozz, as you know, but it's not in this orig. recipe.

Tomorrow I'm banking on more of the same, all the way around.
It's good to be Summering.

PS - Cory's first day was stellar! Thanks for the prayers.

Ever yours,


  1. I spy a picture of a cute kid in some serious hipster glasses... Is that perhaps Cory in his youth? Glad to hear his first day went well, and yours too!

    1. Isn't he the CUTEST in his nerdy glasses/3 piece suit get-up? hahahaha! Favorite photo.

  2. YAY for summering.
    Kaishon's first day of Summer vacation will be next Wednesday. I am trying to think of something spectacular to do. I like setting the bar high on the first day. I told the kids one fun adventure per week! We will see what we come up with. I love the kids so much. : ) I love yours too. I am on my way to kidnap them. Can you put some tomato salad out for me? Thanks.

  3. That pants hike is why I love you girl. The bell bottoms just sealed the deal:-) The girls get out next Fri. So Ready!

  4. Who is the cute boy with the glasses in the pic?

    I snorted when I read "and then I took them grocery shopping!"

    I think it's smart that you're aiming for middle ground. Had you all eaten snacks and then moved on to pixie sticks..the summer might be a bit stressful.

    That salad looks delicious. I wish I had more of a healthy tooth like you do!

    Sweet Dreams, Shiny!

  5. we're the same....I go grocery shopping, and two days later, it's almost all gone.

    we're also the same in that we both believe in the hiked up pants look, when necessary.

    I did it the other night while washing my car....kids rolled laughing. I got the feeling they were embarrassed, but I don't know why. We were the only ones in the driveway.
    Happy Summer...it's off to a great start!

  6. I have to tell myself that food is consumable so I don't get all crazy about the fact that what I just bought is gone, GONE I tell you! I wish I could tell you it gets better, but as a mama with a house full of boys, it doesn't. The bigger they get, the more they eat and that's just the way it is : ) You crack me up with your Mama Day Camp comment and your story about pulling your bell bottom jeans up over your knees - LOL!!! As soon as you mentioned the bike and the jeans, I knew there was going to be a chain disaster in there somewhere!

    In honor of my one word for the year, I'm planning to THRIVE through this summer, even if I do turn into a 10-week Day Camp mama : )

  7. We are already in the midst of Summer Vacay. On our first day I took the girls to IHOP for breakfast then to the movies to see The Croods.

  8. I love how you mentioned balancing those first few days of fun, but not too much excitement for summer break. I SO get that. :) We created a summer fun list that includes something as simple as buying shaved ice at the little shed next to the park to a nature scavenger hunt. Low energy items mixed with some activities that take a little more effort on my part is the key to our summer fun list.

    The item I'm most excited about is my daughter's 2nd annual lemonade stand to raise money for Cincinnati Children's. :) She decided last year to have a stand and whatever money she raised would be used to buy toys, crafts, movies, games, etc. for the kiddos at CCHMC (a place near and dear to our hearts). She raised $400!! Wowza! We were so impressed. So....she's decided to do it again this year. Can't wait!!

    1. I LOVE this! Calvin sees a doc at Cincinnati Children's. Did you know this???! Give your daughter a big high five from Calvin and his Mama!

    2. Yes, in fact I knew which doctor he was seeing just by how you described him in a past post. He is the same doc that my best friend's son sees (I put you in contact with her). Both of my kiddos are patients at CCHMC (for different medical issues). We LOVE Cincy! The lemonade stand is this Saturday and we are all so excited! I love her little heart and the fact that she knows so many other kiddos are hurting in the hospital and how a craft, toy or new book might be the bright spot in their day. I will certainly give her your big high five. :)

  9. "...fight to the pain" totally cracked me up. Have you tried crack broccoli? Or did I get that recipe from you? (the dangers of reading multiple blogs from bed in the morning). Won't curb the broccoli consumption issue at all. Find it here: http://pinterest.com/pin/69383650482032319/

    1. I just had crack broccoli for lunch. AND for dinner last night. :)

  10. i got a bit giddy at the mention of your grocery shopping trip. i know...but i thought maybe, just maybe, you'd dish on the receipt/ budget issue. i know.

  11. Too funny, love it, love your blog. We do amazing things too, like grocery shop and schoolwork during the summer...and also *gasp* chores! lol A friend did take the kids bowling today while I had chemo, so that was a super fun outing complete with McD's and a rousing game of Monopoly after. Tomorrow...chores and math. :) And the food! My husband brought home two big bunches of bananas and they were nearly gone in 2 days...a little inquiry brought to light some kids were gnoshing down 2-4 a day! Oi!

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  13. I request/demand a close up of that pic of Cory in that suit and glasses.

    Summer!!! I'm most excited about the food. Keep those recipes a-coming.

  14. oh i miss real produce
    now that i have this "bag" for lack of a better word
    i can no longer eat salads or anything healthy...boo
    and i love salads
    but on the flip side i get to eat all the processed white junk i want
    no bells and whistles here for summering yet either..but i am hopful
    for this weekend:)...lol