Stitch Fix, swimming and summer

I’ve got a million things buzzing around in my brain these days, many of which never seem to make it to my blog. In some cases that’s probably good- I’d bore you to death! But there are some things you might be interested in.  I’m waiting for the shade-cloth to arrive to finish off our patio cover, and then I’ll be able to show you pictures of that.  I’m still trying to decide whether to stain those wicker chairs I thrifted last year.  I also want to make cushions for them.

4thOn my agenda for today–  stain the pool deck.  Years ago we found a used above-ground pool being sold by an older couple.  We were set to pay their price but when we trundled over with the whole clan to pick it up, they insisted on selling it for less than their asking price, which means we got a really nice pool for $300. And they were delighted their pool went to folks who would use it. Sweet, sweet people!

John built a deck next to the pool, under a tree that we’ve so much enjoyed.  It’s several years old now and has gone positively grey with age.  You can kind of see the grey in this picture from a couple summers ago.  Yesterday I borrowed my dad’s pressure washer, and one of our teenage boys spent an hour or two pressure-washing it.  There was good wood under all that grey!!  It looks just wonderful now.  So today we’ll stain it and give it a clear coat, and it should be good for a few more years.  I’ll show you some ‘after’ pictures of that soon too.
St-skirtStriped tank topA few of you asked what I picked from my last Stitch Fix package.  I went with the navy striped tank top and the houndstooth skirt.  I’ve already worn the skirt three times–I just love it. Once I paired it with a black ruffly sleeveless blouse and a coral shrug, once with a pink t-shirt, and another time with a purple t-shirt.

I’m on the hunt for a pair of bright sandals or pumps at a thrift store– maybe pink or turquoise?– because I think it’d be fun to wear the skirt with a matching top and shoes.  Also I’m keeping my eyes open for more bright solid color tanks and t-shirts, because they’re so useful for so many things. I try not to go too nuts over clothes, because I don’t want to spend too much.  But I’ve had a lot of fun putting together my Pinterest Style and Loveliness board over the last year or so.  You can click on the picture below if you want to see more.


This week I’m also thinking about how to arrange our summer schedule once school is done.  (Some kids are days from done—-hooray!– and some still have another month to finish up their math books.)  We always do better in the summer if we have at least a loose check-off list for each day, though in the summertime the time is much less structured. All of the teens will be working for other folks here and there during the week (yard work, painting, babysitting, mowing, etc) so we’ll need flex around all that coming and going.  Here’s how I’m thinking that list will probably look this summer.

The Daily Five

  • Garden 1 hour
  • Read 1 hour
  • Daily house clean-ups (30 min after lunch)
  • 20 minutes of movement (walking, biking, running)
  • Today’s Special 1 hour (before lunch)

Last summer we did a ‘daily thing’ that worked pretty well.  It varied the activities during the week, kept math going just a bit so kids didn’t forget so much, and let us fit in a few things that we sometimes don’t get around to during the school year. This year I think it will look like this:

Today’s Special

  • Monday-Math
  • Tuesday-Library/$1 Movie (alternate weeks)
  • Wednesday-Crafts
  • Thursday-Music/Swim Day
  • Friday-Spanish

Some of the activities are tied to a time of day, and some are more up to the kids.  I’ll probably let kids sleep til 10 if they want, and ask that they get everything done by dinnertime.  We’ll see how it all works, and if that amount of structure is enough to keep things rolling around here.

I’m so much looking forward to a slower pace!  May is always is SOOOO busy, and lately I’ve been scurrying around like a nutcase, sure I’m going to miss something important.  Is your May crazy too?  What are you looking forward to doing with your kids in the summer?


  1. Let me know when you go to the movies! Ranger and I might have to join you 🙂

  2. Do you have your youngest garden for an hour? I think my kids would consider that torture, although I like the idea (garden-work, not torturing my kids).
    Also – I have a hard time doing a craft that my oldest boy (11) doesn’t roll his eyes at. Do your older kids do crafts? May have to get some pinterest inspiration for that.

    I’m considering buying a few devotional-type books for kids and having that as part of our daily individual reading time. Praying in Color for Kids and My Path to Heaven are a few I’ve gifted lately that I’m considering.

    • Hi Alea,

      My kids do think it is torture, poor things. 🙂 The teens and I work more steadily than the younger two, but we are all out in the garden for an hour most days. One thing that helps when involving younger kids is switching it up– for example, I’ll have the younger girls do 20 min in one area of the garden, another 20 minutes toting the big kids’ weeds to the burn pile, and then the final 20 minutes picking raspberries or tomatoes. With the big kids, I sometimes assign zones. Once your area looks good, you can quit, whether that ends up being 30 minutes or 60. Seems to encourage efficient work.

      As far as arts and crafts, the parameters are pretty broad: anything with yarn, string, thread, pens, pencils, crayons, wood, nails, screws…basically I just want them to do something creative. Some are thrilled with this, and others need coaxing, ideas, library books with step by step stuff, etc. But getting to pick the craft themselves helps.

      The devotions sound interesting!


  3. My husband and I were just talking about this last night. We’re planning to do something similar . . . listing the expected duties (practice piano, put your dirty clothes down the clothes chute, take care of your dirty dishes after mealtime, etc.), and before they ask for the privilege of screen time, they have to check the list themselves. We want to have it be a no-reminder summer as much as possible!

    We will have library day, tennis/bike ride/swimming day, an outing day (nature centers, walking trail, other freebies), and we will also have random days for playing with friends, etc. If they want more than 30 min. of screen time, they need to do some form of exercise to “earn” it . . . my older kids are big readers, and their muscles will atrophy otherwise! My oldest also wants to eard money by mowing lawns, so he’s planning a strategy for that (but I don’t think he realizes how much time it’s going to take!). We will also have some math refresher work too.

    I agree that it’s good to have some kind of idea for weekdays — otherwise things don’t go as well for us!

    • I like the screen time limit, and the exercising to earn more. We may incorporate something along those lines too….

  4. I think the loose structure is a great idea! I hadn’t thought of scheduling our summer, but yet, wanted to still include math and reading and other fun things that seem hard to fit in during the school year. I am going to think about this and what our summer schedule might look like! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Bethany says:

    Thank you for posting your summer schedule. I wanted to maintain a routine but didn’t quite know how to do that if we’re not doing much school. This will help!

  6. When my two kids were younger, we had a checklist for summers that included math facts speed tests, spelling, working with money and some type of memorization skill. One summer we chose the periodic table elements, another summer we memorized a list of bones in the human body. One summer I paid the kids to learn to type from an instructional cd…best money I ever spent! My son just graduated from Arizona State University and my daughter will be a senior there in August. Hope you have a relaxed but productive summer!

  7. Love this idea! We’re finishing up our first year of homeschooling and will def keep up with math and do some reading. I like the idea of having a creative time too. I’m bad about letting them default to video games. Now to get the deck fixed up, the new pool liner in and we’ll be set for summer!

  8. My first Stitch Fix is in the mail!! I let them know that I heard about them from you. Hopefully, you get the credit for it.
    Letting you know so you can check on it and hopefully get more new clothes to enjoy!

    • Nancy, Yes! I was notified I got a credit but of course didn’t know who it was from! Thanks!!
      Hope you get some really cute stuff in your ‘fix’.


  1. […] Here’s what I ended up picking! […]