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Summer time, and the living is easy

Ahh, Summer. The Carols say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but teachers know better. It's summer. With Christmas vacation a close second. That last month of school is always a little bit killer. I mean, it's one thing to remind a kid to put his snack in his cubby in October, but when it's May and the kid is still wandering 'round the classroom with a Ziplog bag of Goldfish in his mouth like a lost pup, a teacher begins to doubt herself. "Clearly, I'm not making a difference here," I think, "Perhaps, I ought to contact his mother and let her know that Graydon's brain is full, and he does not need to attend school these last few weeks, he is done, Teacher Appreciation Starbucks gift card be damned!" The kids know the end is at hand, too, and they start acting crazy. My boss says this is nonsense, that the children are merely feeding off of us. I disagree. I had to tell Sophie R. "Please don't touch me with your turkey. If you need me, use your words." There is no way my anticipation for summer is creating some sort of deli meat love tap vacuum.

But God and the Earth's rotation are faithful. It is summer.

If I were the best sort of blogger now is when I would tell you that after 4 months on a life-changing Paleo diet I am currently lying on the sands of some gorgeous beach, in a bikini, feeling better than I ever have, it's not a diet, but a lifestyle, and the glories of a non-bloated existence (always with the bloating).

The truth is more like this:

But don't you worry, Gentle Readers, summer is when teachers totally redefine themselves. Sure, I'm holding an industrial sized bag of popcorn from Costco now, but it's non GMO, so you can see I'm clearly headed in the right direction.

Considering I'm only in my 2nd week, I've accomplished a great deal.

#1 - I've cleared my desk. Now I have a place to rest my feet whilst I eat popcorn. Cluttered desks and counters really bother me. So you would think that I am constantly tidying away detritus, but no, my clutter threshold is actually quite high. It's only when I'm feeling sort of crazed that I realize I'm surrounded by chaos, of course I can't think straight, these flat surfaces must be cleared IMMEDIATELY! And because it's summer, I've created in my Special Notebook a daily schedule that allows me to add a check mark (in a bright summery color) next to the category "Clear Counters" and "Clear Desk." Oh, Lord, please let this stick.

#2 - I've completed our 2016 family photo album. Seriously, y'all, this is a major feat. I used to, a long, long time ago, scrapbook. I still remember standing outside of that scrapbook store with my mother, looking in and not understanding what I was seeing, but knowing that I liked all that paper. My mom's last words before we went in were, "I don't think this is a good idea." It was when I had my first child that I no longer had time or money to scrapbook. So, I bought photo albums and ordered photos from Shutterfly. These albums are immense, and they take up huge amounts of bookshelf space. And then I discovered these photo album books you can make on Shutterfly and Snapfish, and any other photo website you like. Slim volumes that can hold any number of photos. It's like scrapbooking on a computer, so it takes a lot of time, but it looks nice. Well, I was just psyching myself up to get this project done, when I noticed that Shutterfly now offers a service whereupon one of their folks creates an album for you. For an extra $9.99, an actual person will sift through your photos, in the order you give them, take out doubles or blurred pics and arrange them in a photo album with cute embellishments. Then you can go back and add lines of text denoting the event and people involved, etc. For $9.99!!!! Boom, it's the first week of summer, and I'm done! My album contains over 250 photos, and I didn't have to choose a layout or a background. Just gather and send. If you do this, and you find some part of the process confusing, just call, and the nice folks at Shutterfly will walk you through it.

#3 - I adore lists, and once again, I've gotten my children on the Summer List bandwagon. Behold:

My boys' Summer List!

It's even color coded! One color is for Older, the other for Younger, and a third color to denote something they both want. So far, we've been to Baskin-Robbins because on the 31st of the month, scoops are $1.50, (you're welcome! That was our dinner when my husband was travelling this week), lunched at Smashburger and had 2 friends over.

The rest of my self improvement is coming. I can feel it. I will totally stop eating popcorn, lose 7 lbs. and stop bloating by Labor Day.

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