So it is turning out to be an early summer for us on the Peninsula. It’s mid May and we already have hit 70+ degrees and have ran our sprinkler! Pretty wonderful to feel the warmth return and watch the leaves unfurl overnight! It’s magical 🙂 Everything looks dull and desolate and then you wake up and everything is green and so alive!
We only have today and a couple more days before school is out for Riley. She has mixed feelings about summer break… she is excited to be done for a while and then she is really sad about the friends she has made that have outgrown the school and are going to move on to the jr. high next year. She has become pretty fond of this one older girl that rides the bus with her every day. She first met her in kindergarten on the bus and it was nice knowing someone was looking out for her like a big sister <3 I think the jr. high kids might ride the same bus but they may be on the earlier bus with the high school kids. So we’ll just have to wait and see I suppose.
I hope that we can make summer play-dates with her friends though. Most of the summer flies by with everyone making the most of the sun filled months. Fishing, hiking, beach days and road trips. We spend most of ours going out to the national park that is a short drive from our home. It has lots of beach accesses and free outhouse bathrooms to use which is a far cry from squatting in the woods haha Especially with mosquitoes nibbling away at you in the woods 😉
I have hopes to make a few things happen this year though. I want to go to Seward and walk the Exit Glacier trail, as well as visit Alyeska in Girdwood to do the free trails too. A good halfway point for our family that lives in Anchorage ( a good 3 hours from my home driving 60-65 mph too!). There is an animal conservation near the Girdwood area that is pretty amazing to stop by too. It takes care of injured wild animals like lynx, bears, and more. A great rival to the Anchorage zoo in my opinion 🙂
There is also a wonderful botanical garden in Anchorage that I have been to a couple times. They plant tons of different flowers, trees, and herbs! So fun to see and walk through. They also sell some of the plants by the entrance. Great place to find some unique plants for the garden or potted plants for a porch. So far my favorites are chocolate mint and foxgloves. One day I hope to have a real garden but I don’t have much of a green thumb haha
We also love to read over the summer. We try to do a book that Riley would not be able to do on her own yet, something we can read as a family and learn together. We look up all the words we don’t immediately know the definition of, or the ones we cannot pronounce. Then when we finish it up we see if we can rent or borrow a film adaptation of the book. It is a great way to finish it up and also to teach Riley that movies are often fairly different from the book plots. That reading a book is best if you really want to get the most out of the plot. One day she will have to read and write reports and I really hope she will not be the kid who thinks renting the film will suffice!
In years past we have read The Wind in The Willows, The Secret Garden, The Magician’s Nephew, King of The Wind, The B.F.G., Mary Poppins, Winnie The Pooh, and many others. I started off home-schooled and was involved in a group called Battle of The Books. I really loved a great many of the books we read and debated. I have tried to keep or re-purchase many of the titles we went over so that I can read them again but with Riley. She is not old enough for all of them yet, but this summer we are reading The Cay. My 5-6th grade teacher read it aloud to the class each year and did Timothy’s voice perfectly! He spent time growing up in Africa and had great stories of his own too.
On the side I am reading The Heavenly Man. I read out chapter two to Riley yesterday and then followed up by reading Psalms 119 as the last testimony in chapter two very much made me recall Psalms 119:105. I think it was a good use of our Sunday morning since we missed church (I have been sick with a cold).
But with summer reading on the mind I have been trying to compile a list of lifetime must read books… would LOVE to hear what books you would put on the list too. Some of the books I recall were just fun reads and some were unforgettable and very influential… then some I did not really enjoy but were essential reads because they taught me things in a way that stuck with me so far in life.
I hope that everyone will enjoy their summer days and nights though. There is a time and season for all things under the sun <3