Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation Blues

A vacation is a beautiful thing until you get home.  Dirty laundry times 10, cranky kids and (a few) dead garden plants are what you get when you return.  Oh, and a lot of wonderful photos. 
Surfer Boy

We absolutely loved the OBX and would vacation there again in a heartbeat!

Handsome Husband and Teenage Boy

We stopped in Richmond, VA to visit my stepbrother, Sean, and walk through VCU-one of Teenage Boy's college choices for soccer.  We had lunch at a very earthy place right off campus,  821 Cafe, which served a well-rounded vegan, veggie and meat-menu.

Cousin with Groovy Girl on Roanoke Island boat

What I miss about vacation:  my in-laws, watching the pelicans skim the water, dolphin sightings, watching the sand crabs scurry, walking in the sand, collecting seashells, hot tubbing,  kids giggling as they chased the waves, cooking meals together, touring Roanoke Island and cocktail hour-appetizers included!

Owens' Restaurant Anniversary Celebration (me, Teenage Boy and Writer Girl)

I've been in school meetings since our return but one day soon my laundry will be done, the house will return to normal and summer will flow forward.

I hope everyone has an amazing journey this summer-one that will bring you umpteen piles of laundry equaling the number of smiles!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme over at  Beth Fish Reads.  Pop over and see what she's talking about.
This week I've been on the North Carolina coast (the Outer Banks) and I've done a fair amount of reading (5 books) but only a minimal amount of cooking as we've shared kitchen duties and handsome husband and I only had one night to cook.  We made a variation of fish tacos after visiting a local fish market.  Oooh, I loved picking out fresh caught fish and after thinking about mahi-mahi we choose sheepshead at the recomendation of the fish guy.  We also bought a pound of fresh prawns, deveined them, sauteed them in butter and white wine and gobbled them up for an appetizer.

Another night we headed into town and on a friend's recommendation and ate at Owens' Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills.  It was a culinary delight.  The calamari appetizer was yummy as was the bottle of white wine  we shared and toasted with to celebrate my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.    I had the  grouper and shrimp special with delicious sea breeze mashed potatoes!  All ten family members loved their  meals, except Teenage Boy who deemed his clam linguine a little too "saucy." He didn't leave unhappy though and I would recommend this excellent restaurant to anyone traveling to the Outer Banks.

One morning I made these banana pancakes thanks to Janssen at Everyday Reading-they were a huge hit.  Thank you Janssen for sharing this recipe.

Our vacation is winding down (only one more day-aaaggg),  we've had a great time and I'll be sad, sad to leave the beach behind.  I did read several fantastic books on this trip and one of them was... Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker.

I adore this little book and will recommend it to everyone this year.  One chapter in particular whispered "weekend cooking post"-Recipe for Sleep.  It's dear.  Harold Sylvester George Klein is the smallest Klein boy surrounded by three older brothers, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and an exhausted but nurturing mother.  Little Klein's mother worries and doesn't like him to be out on his own-she's keeping him her baby as her last little one.  (I can relate)  LeRoy, a stray dog with his own sweet character voice in the book, finds the Klein boys and loves the smell of them.  Everybody should read this book.

Recipe for Sleep is one of the sweetest chapters I've ever read in a book.  Little Klein is having trouble sleeping while his older brothers are gone and he's plagued by nightmares and worry.  He begs Mother Klein to let LeRoy sleep with him but she resists.  Instead she reads to him, sings to him, tells him stories but nothing much works.

"Would you read to me about cake?" called Little Klein from the bedroom one night. 
Mother Klein shrugged.  "What do you mean?" she called back.
"I mean, will you read to me about cake? You know, crack an egg, one cup of flour, like that."
Mother pondered.
Though he was small for his age, Little Klein had the appetite of one of the Bigs.  He was transfixed by the magic with which water and heat turned crisp dry oats into warm mush for breakfast and the way an unappetizing lump of raw eggs and flour and cocoa could turn into a cake with the texture of a spring meadow.  Even the power of butter to fuse two pieces of bread together delighted Little Klein.
"Well, excitement is in the mind of the beholder," said Mother Klein.  She pulled her worn cookbook off the shelf and opened it.  "It's worth a try."
"What kind of cake?" she asked.
"Chocolate," said Little Klein, snuggling down into his blanket.  (199-120)

Charming and beyond.  This chapter's close connection to comfort food make me think Ysvisaker probably is no stranger to the kitchen!  Mother Klein goes on to read recipe after recipe to Little Klein.

What a great book!!
Click for Anne Ylvisaker  website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Get Your Latest News Here....Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum

I snatched this one up from the new books display shelf at my local library.  The cover was appealing and the blurb convinced me to check it and bring it home.  I wanted to read it before we left town but Cutting For Stone took a loooong time to finish so I decided to brought it along and finished it in DC.

Amelia, her mother and her mother's friend, Estelle arrive in San Francisco from Boston by boat.  They arrive broke and in need of shelter and food.  Estelle and Amelia's mother plan to open a dress shop and have brought trunks of fabric but have spent too much money on the trip.  They've taken a chance on this trip to build a new life for themselves; to find a home where women can exist on their own so it comes as no surprise that strong-willed Amelia sets her heart on sellling newspapers even after repeatedly being told it's not a job for young ladies. 

She cuts her hair and begs her mother to sew her boy's clothes in order to join up with a gang of enterprising young men.  Her desire to write the news for the local paper sends her to the flagship flight of a hot air balloon where she assists and takes the ride of her life, making everyone think she and her companion are dead.  She brings home money, has adventures and struggles with her identity both as a "boy" and as a fatherless daughter.  She breaks ground in a new land and follows her dream, which make her a powerful character, perfect for young readers.

My thoughts:

I think this one will appeal to its intended audience more than adults.  Ketchum spells out all the complicated questions Amelia has and a young audience will appreciate this help.  Everything under the sun occurs to Amelia and this overwhelmed me as a reader. The fire, kidnapping, looting, a street fight and money stolen seemed a lot for one book. Someone mentions getting shanghai'd on the docks...she gets shanghai'd by two sailors.

Trapped in a runaway hot air balloon and her struggle to get home seemed enough of an added adventure to focus on. After her ballooning experience while she is stuck in the mountains was enjoyable as she learned about panning for gold. The story did push the envelope on women's rights, racism and pioneer struggles.  I enjoyed the idea of the subtle same sex relationship between Estelle and Sophie and that Amelia eventually concluded having Estelle in her life was just about as good as having a father but in general the book left me feeling a little flat.

In a Nutshell:
Author's website:  Liza Ketchum
Genre: Historical Fiction
Time Period: 1851 (Gold Rush, California)
Audience: elementary (4-6)
Pages: 317

Other reviews:
Kiss the Book

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation Reading

Groovy Girl and her 9-yr-old cousin
We played on the beach early this morning.  One of the many great things about the Outer Banks beach is it is not crowded!  You don't have to fight for space to set your chair down or wade through rows of people to get to the water.  I sat in a beach chair while Groovy Girl and her cousin ran in and out of the ocean, hundreds of times, laughing each time.  After chasing the waves back and forth they took to collecting shells and showing me each and every one.  When they were younger we always had to be right there next to them but now that they are 8 and 9 I can sit in the chair and read and still keep and eye on them.  Pure mama joy.  I did romp with them in the waves for a bit but after that my main job was to exclaim every time they brought a new shell to my chair for inspection.  (oh, yes that one is very smooth, striped, pink, etc.)

My husband's side of the family are very intellectual and love to read.  I did a fair amount of reading on the trip to DC and have been able to keep reading while here.  We visited two bookstores; one in Adams Morgan area of DC and one at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.  I picked up a used book at each of these lovely stores and I hear there is a great indie bookstore here, which we plan to seek out and find in the next few days.

I finished Cutting For Stone (I was almost done with this before we left Chicago) by Abraham Verghese,  Little Klein by Anna Ylvisaker-great little book, Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum  and am more than half way through Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, which was a used hardcover ($6!)  I found in Adams Morgan!  Yeah, love those kind of finds-it was on my summer reading list already.  I started Summer Affair by Elin Hildebrand but set it aside until I finish Before I Fall.  Every single person (except for the 8/9 year-olds) read this afternoon as a storm whipped up and kept us from playing by the beach.  When not reading we tend to play games together; Guesstures, Scattegories, Password, Mexican Train, etc.

I remember the first time I went on vacation with my soon-to-be-husband's family years ago...I remember how relaxed it made me; like I belonged. 

What does your family do when they spend time together?

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year and we plan to be up for most of it.  Starting the day with fresh doughnuts from Duck.  Yum!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beach Baby

This is where we spent Father's Day for half the day. 

We spotted dolphins and pelicans so far.
It was windy and beautiful.
My father-in-law and his two sons, Brett and Greg

Tomorrow I want the sun to be out and the wind to be gone. Please.

I miss my dad but I've not focused on that today as it makes me weepy sad.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Heidi Swanson

Things happen in interesting ways, don't you think.  I had a meeting at Barnes and Noble just a few days before we left town for DC.  I called my husband to tell him the meeting was over and we were on our way to see him and he said...

"There was a cookbook I heard about on NPR and I thought it would be great to bring to my mom."  Really.  My ears perked.  My interest piqued.

"What's the name of the book, honey, I'd be happy to take a quick peek."
"Super Natural Every Day, I think-something like that by someone Swanson...[he stops a minute and looks at his note] Heidi Swanson-yes, that's it."

And just like that Heidi Swanson came into my life.  Many of you probably already know of her-this is her second cookbook and she runs the blog, 101 cookbooks

I've perused the cookbook a bit (lie) and am now suffering from cookbook envy.  I want my own.

In her introduction (19 pages long) she talks about her neighborhood, her love of cooking, pantry staples and why she chooses the ingredients she does.  I liked this paragraph in particular because it takes back that word "natural" to what it should mean, not what it's become (a fake word for not really natural).

"Some of you might be confused by the term "natural foods."  It is used in many different contexts, and it means different thiings to different people.  By "natural foods," I mean ingredients that are straight from the plant or animal.  Or that are made with as little processing and as few added flavorings, stabilizers, and preservatives as possible, keeping nutrients and original flavors intact." (3)

Natual Cooking Every Day is divided into 7 sections after the introduction; Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, Treats, and Accompaniments.  Easily I found several in each category that I would like to try and while I'm still "with the book" I may copy a few down into my google docs cookbook. 

Top Ten Recipes:

1.Baked Oatmeal (oats, huckleberries, walnuts)
2. Ravioli Salad (Black olives and pepitas)
3. White Bean Spread (rosemary and toasted almonds)
4. Little Quinoa Patties (goat cheese, herbs)
5. Chickpea Stew (saffron, yogurt, garlic)
6. Weeknight Curry (Tofu, coconut milk, seasonal vegetables)
7. Cauliflower Soup (aged cheddar and mustard croutons)
8. Cucumber Cooler (honey, fresh lime, cucumber)
9. Macaroon Tart (white whole wheat flour, blackberries, coconut pistachios)
10.Whole Grain Mustard (using a mortar and pestle)

Oh, so many more to share but this is it for today.  I'm hungry-how 'bout you?
This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads; Weekend Cooking meme.  Click to her to play along or just read what she has to write about.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Abraham Verghese's Cutting For Stone

When my book club chose Cutting For Stone I was interested in the Ethiopian setting.  Something about this east African country has always been a bit of a mystery for me.  As I child I spent time in a large Midwest hospital and my two young female roommates were from Ethiopia.  We didn't speak the same language but we smiled a lot and shared toys together.  One was younger than me and one older and I often wondered where their lives took them after they flew back to Ethiopia so this book had extra appeal in transporting me to Addis Ababa in the first half of the book.

Verghese's story revolves around Marion and Shiva, born from a young Indian nun and a surgeon she meets on her journey from India to Africa.  Through circumstances Sister Mary Joseph Praise flees her original post of Aden and remembers Thomas Stone and Missing Hospital, she makes her way to Addis Ababa.  There they quickly become a symbiotic operating team as nurse and doctor, working together for 12 years.

Sister Mary Joseph Praise dies during childbirth and Stone, filled with grief,  leaves Missing hospital never to return.  Hema, another doctor at Missing and close to both Stone and Sister Mary Joseph Praise, takes the twins under her wing immediately after their unusual birth.  Marion and Shiva, raised at Missing by Hema and her companion, Ghosh, grow up immersed in medicine and follow the path of not only their adoptive parents but their birth parents as well.  Their story twines around the political climate of Ethiopia as Haile Selassie as ruler is deposed and other more cruel leaders take his place. During the Eritrean revolt Marion, due to unforseeable events,  leaves Ethiopia for the United States. 

My Thoughts:  The first pages impressed me with Vergheses's fluid language.  Actually I had to look up a few words while reading.  It took time to find interest in the characters and the beginning seemed slow.   Sister Mary Joseph Praise's compassion for nursing and humanity carry the story and even though she dies during childbirth she drives the remainder of the story.  Thomas Stone, on the other, hand, did not impress me until later in the book when you hear his experiences as a child and you get a deeper look at what made him tick.  Marion and Shiva seem to follow the same path as Marion is  more compassionate and Shiva, blunt and factual.  I loved Matron and Ghosh and thought Marion and Shiva were blessed to have such unique and loving parents.  The stars just align that way sometimes.

First lines:
"After eight monthes spent in the obscurity of our mother's womb, my brother Shiva, and I came into the world in the late afternoon of the twentieth of September in the year of grace 1954.  We took our first breaths at an elevation of eight thousand feet in the thin air of Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia." (3)
and my favorite sentence:
"Outside, the rain had scrubbed the sky free of stars; the black night leaked through the shutters into the house and under my blindfold." (259)
In a nutshell:

Title: Cutting For Stone
Author: Dr. Abraham Verghese
Publication date:  2009
Pages: a whooping 658 but the acknowledgements after are worth reading.
Genre: Historical Fiction (1947-)
Topics: dictatorships, human rights, third world heath concerns, women's rights, poverty and the medical field
Five Stars
Purchase at an indiebook store near you by clicking here...Cutting For Stone

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sweet Baltimore

Enjoying the sunny backyard of friends in Hobart, IN
After a day and a half staying with friends near Chicago we boarded a plane at Midway and flew to Baltimore to spend time with my gracious in-laws.  Usually when we fly to Baltimore we drive the hour to Silver Spring without stopping but this time my husband was determined to visit two places; Lexington Market and Edgar Allen Poe's grave.  Luckily both places are downtown Baltimore and within a few blocks of each other. 

Lunch Time Stop

Teenage Boy with his Soft Shell Crab Sub

Adult Cold Brew with my Crab  Cake
Handsome Husband with Poe

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Cooking; Quinoa Salad with Fennel-Yes, Fennel.

Fragrant Fennel Bulb

I googled quinoa the other day looking for a recipe idea and this is what I found:

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Gouda

by Anne Thomas

1-1/2 cups quinoa, preferably red

Sea salt

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed

1 large red onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

4 oz. arugula, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

4 oz. aged Gouda, finely diced (about 1 cup)

3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 large, crisp apple, such as Fuji or Pink Lady, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup finely diced fennel

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3 Tbs. sherry vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, rinse the quinoa with water, rubbing it between your fingers for about 10 seconds. Drain and transfer it to a 3-quart pot. Add 2-1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. sea salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender but still delicately crunchy, about 15 minutes.

Drain the quinoa and return it to the pot. Cover and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes; then fluff it with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa cooks, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and brown around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onions until the vinegar cooks away, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese, celery, apple, walnuts, fennel, and cranberries.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil with the sherry vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix it in. Let rest a moment; then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if the salad seems dry.


I meant to make it for a church picnic but found in my dry storage jar cupboard-No Quinoa...No Quinoa!  I did have two different types of couscous but that wouldn't do so instead of running to the grocery store at 8:30 on a Saturday night I made something else. 

I made the salad on first official day off from teaching.  The salad combined many of my favorite flavors such as Gouda, apples and arugula.  What was unexpected was the fennel.  I've never, ever made a recipe with fennel in it!  I loved cutting into it though as I am a HUGE fan of black jelly beans and that sort of dark licorice smell wafted up at me, I took a nibble and it hinted of it.  Wow.  My first fennel foray.  Anybody else out there been afraid of fennel?  Or is it something you use frequently? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rearranging the furniture; Looking for Picture Perfect

There was a time when I loved changing the furniture around in my apartment or my room at home.  It was great to find new ways for the furniture to fit.  I still do it some but not as much.  I think our furniture now is heavier and we have these big old radiators that take up entire walls, making it difficult to move things where I'd like.

When I'm in a cleaning mood sometimes it hits the blog as well.  I've played with backgrounds before and never feel satisfied-good thing they are easy to remove.  I know what I want and wish I knew enough to make it myself but I don't.  I want something simple with a natural look-one tree, one lone flower without a barn background or lots of ribbon added on.  I've picked this new one because I like the color green and I do like the one flower but I don't like the heavy brown shading and leather-looking strap running down the page. 

Visiting other blogs I marvel at their beautiful backgrounds that seem to match exactly what their blog stands for.  Why can't I find one to fit mine.  I like my header but wish I could stretch it out more, make it feel that space better.  Oh, my maybe I just need to clean my house and not the blog but it is fun to try on new "outfits" so let me know what you think or where to find the perfect peaceful reader background!

Other tidying needs to be done like I really need a new picture of Groovy Girl-as of last Friday she's a 4th grader and certainly doesn't want her picture up there holding a baby doll, even IF she still plays with her babies on a daily basis.
It SOUNDS like I could be bored but I'm not; just rethinking, reworking and dreaming a little.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Reading; Boredom Begone

While everyone else has shared their amazing BEA books and bling I have a different kind of exciting box of books-the box of books I cart home every summer to read.  I have a little contest at school in which students are challenged, prodded, and cajoled into reading books I've bragged about.  It works on a few.  Books have points and if they get a certain amount of points then they are invited to a frolicking fun pizza party in the library.  There's prizes.  And pizza.  This year there was even mini ice cream cones! 

Each summer I have to read a few more books to keep ahead-I'm not really vying for the points but I have to have new ones to rave about.  I swear the box gets heavier every year and each year I pray that I actually get them all read.  

What's in the box, you say...
From my school library shelves:

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Wishworks, Inc. by Stephanie Tolan
Storm Runners by Roland Smith
The Great Wall of Lucy Lu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz (after loving The Night Fairy by her I have to read this one)
Grip of the Shadow Plague (Book 3-Fablehaven) by Brandon Mull (I'm anxious to continue this series)
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (I plan to pick up #2 and #3 half way through the summer 'cuz I think I'll like these)
Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes (someone told me it isn't age-approriate for our library...)
Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy
Sabatotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix (just to finish this series up)

I also have to read Swindle by Gordon Korman this summer for a reading committee and I have books to read for Iowa Children's Choice nominations.  Egads.  Can it be done?

Which one most interests you on my list?

I spent many of my summers with my grandmother, Lavera, while I was growing
up and she always told me only a fool gets bored!  I'm no fool, Grandma!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend Cooking ; Experimenting with Zero Waste

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Anyone with a food-related post can join in.  Stop by her blog to see all the details, find other food-related posts and read about her exciting trip to Book Expo America from a food perspective!

How many of you have heard of Bea Johnson?  I hadn't until my husband showed me this article with video (I cannot get the video to share so click the article to get to the video) at Huffington Post over Spring Break.  It inspired me and got me thinking.  How could I bring less waste into our home? 

We already get the smallest garbage container from the city which makes my husband extremely happy.  He gets an insane amount of pleasure from the fact that we barely fill it up while others in the neighborhood tend to overflow their already huge receptacles.  So we know we're on the right track in reducing how much waste we do have but after watching Bea's video and reading her blog I knew I could stick my toes in and give it a try.  Here's what I've done so far...

pasta, brown rice, tamari sauce and Celtic sea salt

I liked her jars with nice snap tight closure but I already had big ball jars with tight fitting lids so I opted to use those.  I did buy one new jar from Target to replace a really old container for brown rice.  For a couple of weeks now I've slowly added more and more products to my bulk buying and I bring my jars with me.  I've only shopped at my local organic market with my jars because they weigh them for me.  I'm unclear yet on whether our more mainstream grocery store will do this (asking would be the first step...Ha) but they do at least have a bulk buying area.  I've yet to make a meat purchase with a jar in my hand but we do buy fish on occassion and I don't see why they wouldn't let me take my "catch" home in a Ball jar.

I've purchased all new grains coming into the house this way.  Quinoa, barley, my favorite Israeli couscous and of course, rice.  As soon as my current economy-size bottle of hand soap is gone I plan to buy this in bulk as well.  I guess it is a challenge too not bring home a wasteful container but to purchase more in bulk as well.  Now that I'm done with school for the summer (hip, hip, hooraaaah) I plan to experiment more with what I can find locally but for now I feel like I've started something and it feels good and simple.  I liked Bea's cotton bags and need to find something similar or attempt to make it.

How many people buy in bulk these days?  Is this a change you could make?
Check out Bea's blog to find many more helpful hints...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

School is Out; the Good and the Bad.

(photo courtesy of Mark Lilly's travel blog)
Our fifth grade students are now 6th graders and won't be back next year. (Sob)  Over the summer they will grow by leaps and bounds, ready to enter middle school and they will search for book clubs!  Hurrah.  Most of our other students will be back in the Fall, ready to learn more, ready to check-out more books.  I worry about many of them over the summer.  A few live in households where they will take a vacation, go to the pool, have play dates with friends and have good old summertime fun.  Those are not the kids I worry about.  Many of our kids have parents who are less-than-involved who will park their kids in front of a television set and go about their business, not caring exactly what parked child is watching or playing.

While I haven't been to their homes I do listen when they talk and they tell me about movies (starring Freddy and other gruesome things that slash in the night) that I've never watched or dream of letting my own kids watch and the same with video games.  I worry that these unwatched kids will not get enough food to eat or anyone to greet them in the morning, giving them the kind affirmations that many of our teachers do everyday.  Many don't have bicycles to tool around on or shorts and t-shirts that fit.  It all makes me weary.  I know many of them won't have learning opportunities over the summer like my own children will and I wish I could bring many of them home.  They don't have library cards, (sob) which means they won't know the joy of weekly visits to the library just to show off how many books they read all week!

When we played with sidewalk chalk at school I was amazed at how many kids don't have this creative and inexpensive tool at home.  I wanted to package some up and give it away.  I didn't get it done but I did give away a lot of books to students.  I hope they have healthy food to eat over the summer but my second hope is that someone will take the time to read to them sometime during the week. 

Thanks for listening to my rambles as I begin my summer, happy, but pensive about the grumpy faces I see everyday who rely on a teacher to cheer them up.