Berries, Birthdays, Books, and More!

We managed to get a few walks in on hot summer days to pick berries, before these recent days of summer rains and thunderstorms set in. On these rainy nights, we joyfully listen to the sounds of the storms and enjoy date nights at home after the kids are in bed. For our evenings together, we have been enjoying reading aloud Madeline L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time” series (currently on “A Swiftly Tilting Planet“).

We’ve been enjoying fresh summer tomatoes from local farms, especially in my favorite Caprese Salad. The Kale, White Beans & Cheddar dish from the Whole Foods Market Cookbook has been a regular staple on our menu, too. (I purchased that cookbook on our honeymoon with a precious $20 gift from a friend right after it was published, and it has been a staple for me over the years!)

Our summer homeschooling typically consists of lots of read-alouds, which makes room for other activities in the fall. The Parables from Nature and missionary stories have been our favorites this month. Our dining room wall is filled with kids’ paintings hung up for display, and the floor is regularly covered with paper dolls!

I started coursework for my midwifery program this past week, and am looking forward to the days of learning ahead! (It was fun to see that one of my favorite “cultural” books off my bookshelf is on the required reading list for midwifery.) As nice as summer has been, I am eagerly anticipating cool fall days. I was eyeing discounted jeans and sweaters on Twice the other day. (If you purchase through my link, we each earn a $10 credit.)

I have a birthday cake to make today, since we will have a new 5-year-old in the house this weekend! He asked for a “doughnut cake,” so I will be making the fun gluten-free recipe out of “Baked Doughnuts for Everyone” with some blueberries mixed in. He really wanted sprinkles on top, and I finally tracked down some “healthy” ones on Vitacost without the chemical additives (along with a fabulous deal on liquid Castile soap to restock our bathroom!). He has also figured out that a new bicycle is in store… Daddy wasn’t too subtle about tracking one down on Craigslist! (Nana has helped us be sneaky about the helmet he wants, though; he is still afraid we have forgotten it!)

We made a big batch of homemade ice cream last night, but then realized our freezer was so full of summer berries that we didn’t have enough room to store it all! Oops! So, we enjoyed half the batch early last night, and managed to squeeze a container of the remainder into the freezer for our weekend celebration.

How are you savoring these summer days?

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