Tag Archives: summertime

Summer (In)Sanity

Posted On July 22, 2015| 3 Replies



the time of year when parents realize just how grossly underpaid teachers actually are!





Keeping it all together for 12 weeks is enough to break even the toughest of tough. Morning chats with the Big Guy upstairs help. I start my summer days praying for patience and the ability to keep my evil thoughts IN my head. My sweet babies do not need to hear that I would rather bale hay than stand in line for the Tahitian Twister water slide for the 20th time. So I smile my happy mama smile and say “yes” to the damn water slide. I pack lunches because I cannot stomach spending $9 on a burnt cheeseburger and yes, I pack bananas and yes, you will eat them! I will not, but you will. Hi, my name is Mandy and I have a fear of bananas (and carrots).

Check out this made-just-for-me notepad that I found in Idaho…..



I seriously cannot wait to use it! I love sending notes to school on notepads like this one! You can buy your own here. I am so in love with her stuff. The cards crack me up!

Ok, so this week marks the 9th week of summer for my team. We have about 3 weeks left. Which makes me kinda sick to my stomach. The bucket list is slowly (very slowly) getting completed. We are going to have to put things in high gear to get through the list! And to be perfectly honest, while I am sad about summer ending, I am a little giddy about getting my life back come August 12th! My Julie The Cruise Director uniform is wearing thin and I have run out of reasons why I am making them READ and complete a bridging workbook. My latest reason is simply because I don’t want them to be the dumbest kid in their new class. That usually silences the little cherubs for a few minutes. Here’s a look at the workbook I MAKE them complete:


It’s awesome. The pages are colorful and it cycles trough Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies and Fitness. There are also flashcards and stickers! The stickers don’t do much for Boy Wonder, but Sunshine is highly motivated by them. You would think that ‘Workbook Time’ would be a time for me to have some alone time. It’s not. I sit between my two budding scholars and respond “You know this” every time they proclaim in their whiniest voice, “I can’t do this one!” Ah, summertime! Bonus: they are on sale now! Buy here. Your kids will thank you 😉


Here’s Boy Wonder working hard….the deer antlers were sending him the answers! Yes, I made them do pages in Idaho!

I also make them read. I know, worst mom ever. Boy Wonder informed me that there were no books that interested him. Being the mother of superhero can be daunting. I graciously took the burden off of him and chose all of his required books for the summer. He is now enjoying Superfudge by Judy Blume. Sunshine on the other hand had to be reeled-in at the library! I think she wanted to test the 50 book limit rule! She’s a reading machine. I love this about her, but I am beginning to nod off as Mr. Putter’s adventures with his cat, Tabby have lost their pizazz! Another reason teachers are grossly underpaid!

My summer cocktails, tennis with the girls and commiserating with Doc have helped. The constant rain here in Central Ohio has made me lose my cool on more than one occasion, but the sun was out today, YAY! We trekked to the pool, even though, GASP, there might not be any friends there. Since when is your sibling not your friend? Try growing up on 10 acres, no neighbors, no cell phone, three TV channels and two brothers!

After I was subjected to the ‘Sunscreen Dance’ once again….I am sure you have seen me following my kids as they squirm and dance while I am spraying them. Yes, I use  the spray. I know it doesn’t work as well as the lotions, but I pick my battles people! After 2 minutes of telling them to stand still, the sunscreen application was complete. I got settled in my lounge chair and within mere minutes both kids were at my feet staring at me. The water was cold. Wah!

What else have I endured in these past 9 weeks of summertime????

Two lice scares. When my kids hear me say, “grab the comb and come here” they answer with, “do I have the bugs?” Thankfully they have just been scares. God bless the mamas who have dealt with the actual bugs! The silver lining is that all of our bedding, blankets, etc. have been washed and sanitized a couple of times! My washing machine is sure to crap out on me at any moment now.

Speaking of the washing machine. It had to be a man that deemed it appropriate for baseball pants to be WHITE! WTH? I have spent a small fortune on OxiClean but must admit I bask in the “Oohs” and “Ahhs” I hear from Boy Wonder when he notices I got ALL of the stains out! I cannot tell you how many times I have washed that uniform this summer. Add in Sunshine’s softball uniform, her leo’s for gymnastics and the swim team suits….did I mention that my washing machine must hate me?


I love that he always finds me behind my lens and gives me a little grin.


One of the gazillion leo’s I have washed this summer….

Let’s talk swim caps. Good Gawd! I will only put them on my children at the pool. In front of others. This way they can not scream out in pain as if I am intentionally pulling all of their hair out. If they continue this swimming gig, I see buzz-cuts in our future.


Might have been a little low and tight on this particular night! It will make her a better person, I’m sure.

My vocabulary has diminished as well. It seems I can only utter certain phrases each day:

Put your bike away.

Close the door.

Did you feed the dog?

Don’t forget to pack your snack.

What do you mean you left  your snack at home?

Close the door.

Ask your dad.

Get your face out of your phone.

Wet suits and towels belong in the laundry room.

Yes, you have to shower.

Close the door.

But let’s be honest. I will miss it all when they are back in school. My house is loud and crazy from the moment their little eyes open. We laugh. We argue. We dance. We play. The frozen treats are dwindling and we have started shopping for ‘school clothes’. These last three weeks will go too quickly. We have one last trip to enjoy, a 10th birthday to celebrate and a few more nights of staying up too late.

It’s 6pm. Boy Wonder is at baseball tryouts, Sunshine is giggling with some friends, Jagger is snoozing at my feet. I should probably start dinner. Perhaps I will close the door and pick up the wet towels on my way to the kitchen.

Live Creatively,



Summer Bucket List

Posted On June 4, 2015| Leave a reply

“Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind….”

Now that I have transported you back to the summer of 1991 with DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, let’s talk summertime 2015!


Me and the Mr. sneaking out for ice cream while the kids are still in school….we will miss our Wednesdays!

My summer started two weeks ago. According to the school district I call home, summertime should begin May 21st. Before you all gasp in disgust, let me be clear that this same district believes our sweet days of summer should come to an end on August 12th! I will be packing lunches and checking teeth while you and your’s are still splashing in the pool!

Here are my loves excited for their last day of 4th and 1st grade:


They were a hideous mix of colors so I made them look timeless in black & white!

To be honest, even if summer break began on July 4th, I would still be caught off guard. Every year around mid-March I get grand ideas to get my act together EARLY and actually be ready for my offspring to be around 24/7. Never happens. This year was no different. The only thing we had completed before all hell broke loose was our ‘Summer Bucket List’. Thanks to a 45 minute car ride in early May and a husband who likes to use these extended times to TALK, the list was created. As in year’s past we had to help a little. A Maroon Five concert was requested by Noah. Since they are touring in Europe over the next few months that was scratched. Natalie is a bit more realistic….she shouted out; “pet store” and “kinsale”. Kinsale is the club we belong to. Easy. Peasy. A few suggestions from old ma and pa and our SBL was complete. It helps that at the beginning of a new year we sit and make a list of things we’d like to do and places we’d like to visit. Our list hangs in the Mud Room all year. Several items from this list transferred to our SBL!


I use a bucket (duh) and clothespins for our SBL. When we complete an activity, the pin gets dropped into the bucket. Again, easy. I use the bucket every year and actually several pins get used over and over too. Here it is:

Summer Bucket List

We are 14 days in and have 3 pins in the bucket already! Score! We never drop all the pins in the bucket and that’s ok. Some bucket list items carry over into the first few months of school and some never get completed. A little disappointment builds character, right?

Summer Bucket List

I spend a few hours with our list, our calendar and a glass of wine.

Summer Bucket List

I try to lump a few things together. For instance, at the camp out (in our backyard) we can have the paint fight, followed by the water balloon fight and serve breakfast at midnight! Outings that involve tickets need to be booked or at least penciled in or else I forget about them until the final week of summer and then we are screwed! Which leads to more mama guilt. Not fun for anyone!

I found these fun ways to create Summer Bucket Lists…too cute! If you make a SBL, post a picture of it in the comments please!

images-2 Unknown images images-1

Fingers crossed for a ‘Bucket Worthy’ summer!

“Sitting with your friends cause y’all reminisce
About the days growing up and the first person you kiss
And as I think back makes me wonder how
The smell from a grill could spark up nostalgia…

There’s an air of love and of happiness
And this is the Fresh Prince’s new defintion’ of summer madness”

Live Creatively,



School Is OUT!

Posted On June 1, 2015| 1 Reply


Yep, another school year is in the books. I am still waiting for my medal for surviving umpteen spelling tests, 98 packed lunches, a dozen or so morning ‘disagreements’, at least 7 missed buses, forgotten homework…someone please send me my medal!

School ends on such a high note. It takes a talented parent to ease the kids off their high and lower their expectations for the next couple months. Not every day will be spent partying, singing, winning trophies and bellying up to buffets of sugary foods.

Here is a glimpse of how Team Mathis spent the final week of education:

1st Grade Musical: DSC_1599 DSC_1628

Baby Girl had a speaking part. She practiced for weeks and said she would forever be famous after her gig! Love. Her.


Choir Concert:DSC_1848 DSC_1843

We continue to work on Big Bro’s self esteem and ability to express himself musically!



Crazy Hair Soccer Game: IMG_7881

You can feel the love she has for her coach, right?


Winning The Tournament:IMG_7895

Swept the tourney….5 wins, 2 shut-outs and 3 goals for my favorite player!


Bridging to Brownies:DSC_1923

Saying a silent prayer she is done with this…. ironing those patches is not on my list of things I do well. Grrr.


The second to last day is Field Day. It a bliss-filled day for my elementary kiddos. Bounce houses, water guns, face painting, tug-of-war…you name it and the school will provide it. The kids can barely get off the bus they are so exhausted.

DSC_1904 DSC_1863

The last day must be celebrated with a classroom party….because Field Day the day before wasn’t enough of a party. I will say that these parties are kept short and sweet. This year we did a Cereal Bar for Noah’s class and a Sundae Bar for Nat’s. Big hit!

DSC_1962     DSC_1966

And since I live among over-achievers (myself included!) we lovingly attack our kids as they step off the bus. They are met with sprays of water to the face, silly string to the hair and lots of screams.


Noah has learned to ditch his backpack early!

Of course the kids grab the water blasters and silly string and turn on the adults and each other….happens every year.

11270243_10205595819027278_9055968309852043504_o 11141723_10205595824467414_8236114186455491483_o

Did I mention we were over-achievers? This year, my neighbor M had the brilliant idea to surprise the kids with a DUNK TANK! Every child should have a dunk tank on their last day of school, right? Of course! The kids were stoked! It was surprisingly cheap too….only $14 per family. Sold.


Yep, that’s one of Nat’s best buds helping her get wet!


Such a good sport!

DSC_2047 DSC_2054

He was heckling his friends, so he kind of deserved this:


Ohio weather was not kind to us on this last day of school. It was C.O.L.D. Several of the boys disappeared for a bit. I found them out front. They had taken the hose and filled a baby pool with warm water…..hello instant hot tub!


These boys are gonna be trouble in college!

Here’s hoping your summer break is joyous for you and your kids!

Live Creatively,