Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birthday...

For reasons unknown to all but her, my two-year-old daughter has been singing the "happy birthday song" to her daddy for a month. Won't she be excited to know when she wakes up Monday morning that she can finally celebrate this long-anticipated special day??

I can hear it now... "Iss daddy happy birthday??" (pitch rising with each word, ending with a screech) And she will sing to him all day long... :)

We just spent a few days visiting my mother, brothers, and grandma-in-law in Baton Rouge. Enjoyed seeing one brother's new house and playing golf with the other. The kids like to beat Grandma at Uno. We were treated to an old-fashioned gully-washer of a summer storm one afternoon. The thunder and lightening were simultaneous, and we were pretty sure a few lightning strikes hit nearby. Maggie awoke from her nap in terror, coming to find us in tears, and the dog barked back at every thunderbolt. But the lights (and A/C) never went out! We felt we came out of that storm pretty well.

And the highlight of the visit: Mike the Tiger. I took these pics during our visit to his habitat on the LSU campus. He put on quite a show for us.

More vacation updates to come...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Reading
Yesterday I took my kids to the local library to stock up on books for our upcoming vacation. Some of my favorite memories consist of watching the scenery rush by in my peripheral vision as I concentrated on the book in front of me. I used to pack grocery bags--the paper kind--full of books when we'd set of on a road trip. My children seem to be following in my footsteps.

Nate chose at least 9 chapter books, including an old Sherlock Holmes. Jack stocked up on picture books, and Maggie even chose a few for the road. They just kept piling them up... Thanks to a recent trip to Half-Price Books, I have a small collection of Christian fiction stored up, waiting for me to have extended leisure time. Summer at home with three kids doesn't quite fit that descriptions, so I've had to wait til vacation. Can't wait!

My choices this time around were greatly influenced by the selection sent to me by the Christy Award panel. As a judge this year for the romance category, I discovered several "new" authors that I really enjoyed. I've been on the lookout for some of their newer books, even some sequels that were promoted. Some authors I'll be reading: Susan May Warren, Deeanne Gist, Linda Windsor, Diann Mills, Deborah Raney, Denise Hunter.

And should you find any leisure time, what will you be reading?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A'Picking We Will Go

Summer is officially here at the Mathews house. While Daddy continues to work--wrapping up a school year takes a few weeks--the kids and I celebrated Nate's first day of no school with a small adventure. We packed up the van with an igloo full of drinks and picnic lunch supplies, plus the kids, and headed up to Sadler, TX, a small community between Sherman and Gainesville. We were going berry picking!

One of the benefits of living on the far edge of civilization (you know, we do have a cornfield behind our yard) is that such berry farms aren't as far away from us as from our friends in the city :). We arrived at Bailey's Berry Farm by 9 am and picked blackberries (blueberries aren't quite ripe). Nate was the prize picker...he scouted bushes ahead of me and picked the hard-to-reach ones for the little guys. They each carried a small tin pail, which they would fill and then dump into my gallon bucket. The hot sun wore them out after an hour or so, but we gathered our bucketful.

We were home before 11, so we saved the picnic lunch for a park near Daddy's school. The kids ate, played on the swings and slides, and picked pecans from the ground. If the wind hadn't threatened to blow us away, we'd probably still be there.

Fun kickoff to summertime!