10 days left…

…of summer, that is.

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In ten days, we’ll have a kindergartner and a second grader (and in fourteen days, we’ll have another first year primary child at the Montessori school).  In ten days, we’ll be done with our long beach trips for the year, relegated to the humdrum of city life instead of carefree living, some of which we enjoyed on Amelia Island for a tiny bit of the summer.  Just ten more days.

I made what I thought was a valiant effort at maintaining my sanity this summer.  Perhaps it’s just because the boys are all getting older or perhaps it’s because I am getting older (and mellower), but this summer was the first that seemed to fly by since we’ve had two or more children.

What, exactly, did we do these past twelve weeks?

Jack, apparently, grew some hair.

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This hair earned Jack the nickname “Bird-Nest Head” this summer.  Little Dude can grow some curls.  Some girl is going to love this in about 15 years…

Theo turned three; Tucker perfected his bicycle riding; we lost a frog and two teeth.  Baseball camp was a hit, as was Vacation Bible School.  We caught fireflies and a virus that coated Theo’s mouth with ulcers (but, remarkably, his was the only illness we endured this summer–a first for us).  We got creative with Unexpecteds, and we became absolute masters–sort of–at sand castle building.

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IMG_5207That’s 2 levels, baby.

We took as many outdoor showers as we could.

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We spent long afternoons with good friends and family–just what you should do on lazy, hot days.

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Best of all, our three little brothers have all become the best of pals–though they still are not easy to photograph in a group.

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It has been a good summer…a very good summer.

But we are tired and ready for a change.  We are so ready for fall.  We’re so ready that we’ve already bought our first Halloween book of the season, breaking our already ridiculously pitiful record-start-date (that would be September 1st) for getting our Halloween on a bit too early.  I can’t wait for the predictability of the school day, for the crisp bite in the morning air, for Harvest scented candles, for long sleeved t-shirts and worn-in flannel pajamas, for pumpkins and scarecrows and–yes–gigantic, inflatable neon-green skulls to all come out in full force.

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This is one of T’s birthday gifts from this past year.  He was born in January.  You can get things like this for next to nothing at that time of year, in case you are wondering.  You know you want one.

 Get me to October.

But we are still climbing the ladder to that wonderful little slide down into our favorite time of year.  We have ten days left.  So we’re winding down our summer back where we kicked it off:  Amelia Island.

Ahhhh.  If you’ve not been here, start MapQuesting it and planning your trip.  It’s like wrapping a cloak of relaxation around you.

Last night after dinner, we went to our all-time favorite independent bookstore–one of the few remaining ones around.

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This place is spectacular.  The children’s book section is just magical:  so well planned, so well organized, so well stocked–with off-the-beaten-path delights.  We never walk out empty handed.  Like a book store should (and despite the “plus” part of its name), this place only sells books.  No cards, no games, no toys, no extras.  Just books.  And loads of them.

We got back in the car to head home after our visit there last night, and our oldest made my heart smile when he said, “Oh, Mama!  It smells just like a BOOK in here!”  If they made Books Plus scented candles, I’d buy the lot of them.  Best little store in Fernandina, without a doubt.  Rock on, little indy book store!  You are one of a dying breed.

Despite the heat and absolutely oppressive humidity, we are going to charge head-first into this week, Don Quixote style.

We’re not just jumping the shark; no way…we’re touching that sucker, too (at least some of us are going to readily attempt do it).

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We’re going to run into the waves, despite how big (or small) they are.

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We’re going to try to dig to China, because that’s what you’re supposed to do on a beach.

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I’m going to somehow try to slow down my children from growing up so quickly, at least for just a few short days.

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And we’re going to drink in all those last juicy bits that summertime has to offer.

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