I discovered something that I thought was pretty cool this summer. I can donate our fresh garden produce to the local food pantry. This is so great for all of those extra zucchini that I have been getting but can’t use up fast enough. And I’ve found that I just don’t use enough zucchini to justify freezing it.
Last year our church planted a garden and they donated everything they grew to the food pantry. I don’t know why it took me a whole year to make that connection.
So if you have a bunch of zucchinis that you are considering leaving on someone’s front porch during the night or putting in their car when they aren’t looking – you can stop sneaking around and take your abundance of beautiful squash to the local food pantry too!
Or any other extra produce you might have…
I have spent a lot of time at our city pool this summer. Which is funny considering that we only went once, maybe twice, last summer and never before that.
At the end of June, Hannah had her first swim class, which consisted of lessons Monday through Thursday for 2 weeks. Hannah was a little uncomfortable in the water at first, but she really started to enjoy it by the end. Didn’t quite get the courage to jump off the diving board yet.
Then Samantha got to take swim lessons too; her and Daddy did the Parent/ Child course that is offered for small children in the evenings – also for 2 weeks. Samantha loved having her first school-type activity. Finally she was the star of the hour and Hannah was watching her. Samantha was really proud that she had her “swimming lessons,” and she loved sharing it with Daddy. Samantha wasn’t afraid of the diving board and would even ask to be dunked!
Then we decided to send Hannah to another round of swim lessons. She had gotten the opportunity a couple of times to try the diving board with Samantha’s class, and she seemed a whole lot braver this time around. I’m so glad that we did the second class. Now Hannah loves the water. She had a little scare in the deep end, but she still jumped off the High Dive all by herself. Amazing!
Finally, one more lesson – well half a lesson. I don’t swim myself, so I decided to try out these swim lessons and see if they can help a 27 year old Mom. I took 4 private lessons and I certainly haven’t mastered swimming, but now I have a much firmer grasp on how to tread water, do the front crawl, back stroke, and breast stroke. And I even jumped off the diving board! Even I didn’t think it was possible, but I did it! I still won’t be able to rescue my kids from drowning, but maybe now I won’t have to worry about them trying to rescue me.
This summer has been very busy. Despite not having a “real” vacation, we have done lots of things to keep busy. This past weekend we dropped the oldest 2 kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and traveled all the way to Kansas City to see the newest member of Ben’s family, Oliver, who is still in the hospital there. Ben’s sister and her husband joined us for the journey. It was nice to get away for a couple days. First we made a stop in Des Moines to visit my niece, Armina. Then we headed south to Kansas City. The drive through Missouri was a little too exciting though; someone compared it to being in the Wizard of Oz movie (they must have meant the very first part with the tornado). But despite all the wind, lightening, questionable looking clouds, and the overturned semi truck, we made it to our hotel safely. Saturday we got to visit Amy, Chip and Oliver, do some shopping, and eat at a great Italian restaurant. Ben got to try out a GPS gadget that he had borrowed for the trip. The GPS was really nice to have on a long trip to a city that we are not familiar with.
Our return to Iowa to pick up Hannah and Samantha (and to regular parenting duties) was made interesting by finding energetic Hannah sleeping on the couch at Sherrie and Kenny’s house. When she woke up after about 3 hours she threw up in the kitchen sink. It was a long drive home with a sick child, but thankfully she slept more and wasn’t really complaining much. We were happy to be sleeping in our own beds, and Mom was only up with the sick girl a couple of times during the night.