Home Sweet Home!

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Whew!!! Vacations are amazing!  I love spending days with my husband.  We just returned from our last trip of the summer.  I now have three days to whip this crew into shape before this momma returns to work!

My husband is an amazing man!  He spent the vast majority of our recent vacation doing things for the kids that he doesn’t normally do.  He changed diapers, poured cups of milk, fed Darling Daughter (not easy without a highchair!), played non stop, and put kids to bed.  However, he is now back at work!

Our normal routine is about to return.  In three days, I go back to teaching full time.  I am not sure my family is fully prepared for rushed dinners, laundry that has to wait until Saturdays, hours of Mommy grading papers instead of playing games together, and earlier bedtimes.  Yeah, I know!  I should have eased them back into those earlier bedtimes!

It is an odd feeling to see summer end and fall begin.  I have mixed feelings.  I adore spending extra time with my family, the freedom of not working full time, and all the fun summertime activities.  However, I also love fall.  I love fresh starts at work.  I love watching a new class of fifth graders settle in for an amazing year.  I love the food associated with fall.  (You know what I mean!  Baked cinnamon apples, soups, brown beans and cornbread!)  And then, of course, there is football!  We ALL love our football in this house!

So, today, I write with sadness as I say goodbye to another amazing summer.  But I also feel the excitement of returning to work, returning to routine, and welcoming fall into my home. 


Return to Routine

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I love summer.  I love the freedom, the sun, the ability to pack the kids and go wherever we want, and I love getting together with friends and family.  I especially love having so much time to spend with my kids.  I even see my husband more since I don’t go to bed as early, and we are all home together on his day off, Tuesdays!  The only thing that really bothers me is the lack of schedule!

Lately, the kids have been staying up later than usual, our meals are haphazard, I haven’t been working much at all, and I have spent far more time reading than cleaning or folding clothes.  While this has created a fun month or so for our family, I think the remainder of the summer is going to have to get back to a more normal routine.

I can’t help it!  I thrive on routine!  It drives my husband crazy, but I need a schedule.  When I make schedules, I need for everyone to stick to it!  Did I mention that it drives my husband crazy?

So….after more than a week without writing, several weeks without planned meals, and far too many days with cranky kids who need more regular sleep, it is back to the schedule we go!

Coming soon…. more inspirational women, lots of book reviews, guest writers, devotions, and more!


Idle Hands or Taking a Break

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“She watches over the affairs of her household     and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

Allow me to clear up a misconception about teachers.  We DO work during the summer.

I listened to several people explain their summer plans this week.   Most are busy with education related activities.  They are either teaching summer classes or they are taking classes themselves.  Some of us serve on committees that will meet over the summer.  All of us will take some time to rethink our curriculum, make changes, gather different resources, and gear up to try it a different way.  

My favorite comment was from a teacher who explained all of the work she was doing in June and August.  She is teaching classes most of her summer.  Then she got very serious, looked me dead in the eye, and said, “But July is mine!  Nothing but me, my kids, and our pool!”  

I thought about her comment.  She is right.  We work nonstop throughout the school year trying to make progress with the students.  We neglect our homes, our kids, our poor husbands, and ourselves.  July is ours!  We earned the right to take a break!

We will not be “eating the bread of idleness” this summer.  We will enjoy ourselves, our families, and the time we have earned to relax!


Managing a Household

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She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

I would love to begin this post by saying that I have this one all figured out.  However, I am far from it!  I flip through magazines, surf online, ask friends, and read library books all about how to manage a home without going crazy! I still don’t have a good enough answer.

There are many reasons to love my career as a teacher, but among the top few sits my summers.  I LOVE June and July!  They are amazing months when I can relax and enjoy my family.  Along with it, comes the need to reorganize my schedule.  That is my goal for this week!

Last summer I had a newborn.  I didn’t schedule anything but feedings and naps.  This year has to be different.

First of all, Superhero Son has to step up his preschool work.  Since he is now four, he will have scheduled time to work on preschool skills.  I won’t force this too much, and the activities are all fun.  He already loves his “work,” and he loves reading with me.  I just need to be more intentional with the skills I choose for him to work through each day.  I want this summer and next summer to really prepare him for kindergarten.

Secondly, Darling Daughter is trying to walk.  Very soon, I will have a young toddler and a four year old to entertain!  I need to plan and schedule fun days for us, so I don’t go crazy!

Thirdly, teachers do not EVER truly take the summers off.  I still have a lot of writing projects to work through this summer.  I have several days when I am working with curriculum supervisors for my school system.  I have three days I have to work in my classroom, and I need to rethink my reading and writing class structure to account for the increased difficulty we saw this year with our state tests.

Finally, this house is for sale!  We have to manage all of this AND keep this house “show-ready!”

I am not listing my summer plans here for you to read and think, “This girl has lost it!  She is crazy!  It won’t happen!”

The reality is that it can only happen if I get my life organized!  For those of you who know me well, you know organization is NOT my strong point!  If I sit and listen well enough, I can probably hear you laughing right now!

Here are my thoughts and ideas:

1.  Use Flylady for organization and cleaning.

2.  Use Cozi for scheduling.

3. Use 1+1+1=1  for preschool planning.  Superhero Son will work his way through the Raising Rock Stars preschool program.

As we move through summer, I will try not to bore you with all of the details.  However, I will use the Housekeeping category to post updates.

Wish me luck!


Around the Colvin Cottage: Are the Berries Ripe Yet?

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It is no secret that our family likes to eat!  My husband and I first bonded over all-you-can-eat spaghetti, our favorite family gatherings involve meals, I love to cook, and we are teaching our children the same.

One of Superhero’s favorite things to do in the summer is pick ripe berries.  I usually make something out of them: pancakes, cobblers, or just put them in smoothies.  This week has been especially warm, and Superhero Son desperately wants the berries to be ripe.

We took several walks this week and found blooms on the raspberries and blackberries.  He got all excited!  Then!  Yes, then! We stumbled upon the mulberry tree.  It is loaded!

The Mulberry Tree

The Mulberry Tree

Superhero Son is now anxiously awaiting the time when we walk to the tree and find ripe berries instead of green.

Since he was so bummed, we made black forest brownies.  They were yummy! Darling Daughter especially loved them.



Darling Daughter LOVES brownies!

Darling Daughter LOVES brownies!

We also had to relieve the heat somehow, so we pulled the crab pool and sprinkler out when my in-laws came over.  Now that June is here, school is almost out, and the temps are rising, BRING ON SUMMER!

I caught the kids off-guard with the photo.  They love their pool and sprinkler and didn't want to be disturbed.

I caught the kids off-guard with the photo. They love their pool and sprinkler and didn’t want to be disturbed.

What is your family up to this week?


A Bit Distracted: Watching the Rain Fall

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Springtime brings the terrible thunderstorms with it.  Usually we have hard winds accompanied by hard rains.  These storms can shred my hostas, rattle my windows, rip the blossoms off of the trees, and cause power outages.  Those really bum me out, especially when I have a book deadline approaching!

Tonight was different.  Instead of working on the manuscript of this book, I found myself staring out the french doors leading to my back deck.  The dark thunderclouds of the spring storm broke enough to see the sun setting behind the trees.  The winds died.  The torrential downpour turned into a gentle summer-like rain.  For a few moments I sat here, already in my pajamas, and enjoyed watching the rain fall.  Darling Daughter was already asleep, Superhero Son was watching Bubble Guppies, dinner was over, baths were finished, the laundry was caught up (sort of!), and I was distracted from my work by the rain.  So I just stopped and watched it fall.

Yeah, I know!  It sounds ridiculous, but I just needed some time to watch the rain fall.  I didn’t worry about the fifth grade trip tomorrow.  I didn’t spend my extra time folding clothes, mopping floors, or washing dishes.  I allowed my eyes to stray from the computer screen and my brain from the mountains of work.

I bet the Proverbs 31 woman took time to watch the rain fall.  She probably didn’t do it often.  She may not have told anyone about her quiet moments.  In fact, her “quiet moments” may have been similar to mine, filled with background noise.  However, I bet she savored them, treasured them, and used them to refuel her spirit!

Enjoy your quiet moments.  Take a few moments to just watch the rain fall.