Monday, June 15, 2015

Save Summer: No Kid Hungry

Only 1 in 7 children who rely on subsidized school lunches are reached through federal summer feeding programs. Those kids not reached are most likely skipping meals, or at the very least sharing food with siblings and eating food that is not nutritious enough for growing bodies.


You've most likely heard of my passion for Columbia, SC non-profit St. Lawrence Place before. {Full disclosure, I still work part-time for the agency, and blog for them here.} SLP provides support services, life skills, and transitional housing for families experiencing homelessness. An integral part of the services provided is the after-school and full-day summer program provided for children living at SLP and Family Shelter, the local emergency shelter.

The 10-week summer program serves breakfast and lunch, as well as two snacks a day for up to 35 children. These children otherwise may not have a nutritious meal each day during the summer. SLP is able to provide nutritious, homemade lunches each day through the kindness and generosity of volunteers and donors.

If you live in Columbia, SC, you can help feed these kids! You can send a donation to purchase food, you can prepare a meal off-site and deliver it on your designated day, or you can prepare a meal on-site at SLP. Check out this blog post for details.  Jones and I will be providing lunch for two days in July, and I am excited to teach him about the value of helping others.

Help No Kid Hungry: as Congress considers the reauthorization of Child Nutrition programs this year, we have the opportunity to improve the summer meals program so it helps low-income kids no matter where they live. Send a letter to Congress here, or you can sign up for our Summer Action Day on June 22nd!

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Nerdy Hobby

I've just entered week two of my work-free summer vacation and let me tell you, it really is all it's cracked up to be. Going back to teaching may have been the best decision I ever made.

Along with spending oodles of time with my 4 year old babe, I have so much free-time at night and I can stay up later because I don't have to be up at 6:15 AM, and it really is grand. (Sorry to all of you who are reading this and resenting the hell out of me right now.)  In addition to beginning no less than 4 books in the past 2 weeks, I have also started back with my favorite nerdy hobby: needlepoint.

I started cross-stitching when I was in middle school, and recently picked back up the needle-arts. The variety of patterns and kits these days is so much better than in the early nineties when most of what I could find was in the local craft store and most likely involved a teddy bear or a 'country kitchen' theme.

Etsy is a convenient place to find modern and "cool" needlepoint kits, and this SatsumaStreet cross stitch pattern is next on my list:
Pretty Little San Francisco via here

Target has some pretty cool new crafty-items, including this embroidery kit that I completed and framed for my mom for Mother's Day:

via here
They also have these kitschy little wooden boxes with a grid for cross-stitching on the top. I have bought several, and if you're in my family and have a birthday coming up soon, you can count on a trinket box with your initial on top, handmade by yours truly.

This one is for my soon-to-be-5-year-old nephew, Taylor:

And this one is for my brother-in-law, David:

Just yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Hey Natalie Jean, and she posted this: HNJ Needlepoint Club!  If you follow me on the Instagrams, you will be seeing periodic pics of my latest needlepoint creations. Feel free to join me in joining Natalie Jean's nerdy-needlepoint club! 

So, do you have any dorky hobbies you're willing to tell us about?

Monday, June 1, 2015

School's Out...for Summer!

Cue this song's chorus running through your head for the remainder of the day:

Since going  back to the classroom as a middle and high school teacher last August, the promise of a 10-week summer has kept me excited nearly daily. It's true that after over 10 years out of the classroom, I was seeking the thrill of imparting knowledge, as well as the challenge of "getting through" to those difficult students. (The more operose the better, in my opinion.)  But, really, if I'm being entirely honest, I was at least 50% going back to the classroom full-time so that I could have summers off with my babies.

Here's how we've spent the first few days of summer:
My fruity folks at Cottle Strawberry Farm.

The chunkiest little baby ever and her big cousin, Ben, lounging by my parents' pool. Flanked by dogs, of course.

This dreamy little surfer-dude peering through the rad doll house on the children's floor in the Richland County Main Library.

that Star Wars band-aid is so endearing, isn't it?
Jones and I signed up for the Richland Library Summer Reading Challenge today; I have such fond memories of participating when I was a kid. That end-of-summer reading medal was always hard-fought-for.

What are you up to this summer? So far I'm enjoying not having to give those obligatory "teacher's dirty looks..."