Our back yard is a complete disaster. The people who lived here before us did some landscaping, but for the most part, it’s just a wild plot of land that has different kinds of grass in random patches along with weeds and whatever else happens to grow in our dry, clay soil. We do leave part of it wild and let the grass and weeds grow tall as a sort of “meadowland” (as they call it) for the kids, which they love. I also have a raised-bed garden and they have a little one beside it in one small area as well. But the rest of it we’ve kind of tried to tame into a lawn of some kind. Sort of. We’ve spread grass seed a few times over the last four years, but haven’t had much luck in that department because it’s just so dry and hot here in the summer. I covet the lush lawns I grew up with in the midwest where lawn care, in comparison, was pretty effortless. This year we’re trying a mix of clover and drought-resistant grass seed and I also joined the Arbor Day Foundation who sent me a nice little free package of ten baby Douglas Fir trees. We planted them in random spots around the yard, thinking they’d probably not survive knowing our history with growing things in our yard. But here we are, a week later, and they’re still alive! It’s a small miracle, friends.
Now on to the links!
Reading Books About the “Black Struggle” to My Kids I have often struggled with some of the terms and references used in the books we read for school as so many of them are older and present outdated (at best) ideas about race. I’m still trying to navigate this issue as I want to raise kids who are sensitive to racial inequality and oppression, but I often feel lost as to how to do that well. This post offers a helpful perspective on which books to include and how to read them.
5 Ways to Play Without Buying Toys “…you can put your credit cards away. Because kids don’t need toys to play. In fact, most kids (including my own) spend less time than you think engaging with toys. Don’t get me wrong–they are still busy little bodies. But when you have fewer toys, you will see the creativity and innovation abound. But the play doesn’t revolve around toys and a ‘playroom’.”
Summer Reading Habit Tracker Brandy released her latest mother culture/habit tracker (plus three student reading trackers!) into the wild! I definitely plan to catch up on some reading this summer as I’ve fallen far behind in my goals for the year over the last few months.
15 Amazing Air Dry Clay Art Projects for Kids I especially love the nature prints and the hand dishes.
Considering homeschool? 5 things I wish I knew before I began. The CDC guidelines for re-opening schools again in the fall came out a few weeks ago and some of them are concerning. If you have friends who are or you yourself are considering homeschooling, this article (and website!) is a great place to start.
From the blog…
Free Printable Calendar! I’ve offered this free, printable calendar the last two years and I finally got around to updating it for the coming school year. 🙂
(2018) Frugal Summer Activities for Families Though some of these may now be a little more challenging with COVID-19 restrictions, but I know of many places that are adapting to this challenge. For instance, our library is now offering their summer reading program online!
(2012) No-Spend Month….Sort of. I was actually just thinking of doing another one of these the other day. I started reading “A Small Notebook” blog by Rachel Meeks not long after I became a mother and decided I also needed to completely change everything about my life. I loved her experimental approach to saving money and living in a small space (we had a 1200-sq ft, 2-bedroom condo at the time), and her advice seemed so practical. I especially loved her no-spend-month challenges and attempted to do them at least once or twice a year. Aside from keeping on on her blog, I also communicated with her a few times when I was working on an ebook bundle sale back in 2013 and I was so sad to hear that she passed away at the age of 41 last year from cancer.
Have a lovely weekend!