Return to Routine


September is my favorite time of year, and not just because of our wedding anniversary and oldest child’s birthday. September is that beautiful time of year when the weather is still nice but the flocks of schoolchildren are suddenly gone from our favorite playgrounds and field trip locations. Almost every year, we take a vacation (or stay-cation) during Labor Day week and fill it with everything from parks and zoos to beaches and indoor water parks. It’s a magical time of year, going from the crowds of people trying to eke out every last drop of summer fun at the end of August to gloriously empty destinations. We try to cram in as many outings and field trips as we can before winter sets in and school field trips begin taking over. And my poor children who have usually done schoolwork all summer finally get a real “vacation” to make me look like Mom of the Year again! Especially with it’s usually capped off by a birthday celebration for the firstborn.

Hit me up with your fun “back to school” traditions at this time of year! Special breakfast? Field trips? First day of school pictures?

The M Word

Not “Mom-mom-mom-mama-mama-mommy-mom,” the OTHER M Word.


We resisted the Minecraft trend for quite a while, actually, under the guise of “you don’t need something else to be obsessed with, kthxbye.” In the end, we caved. It really isn’t THAT annoying and I occasionally make them build me something out of a history book. My youngest is 8 and really wants to PLAY, while my almost-11 year old has been done with toys for a while now, and done with the dolls that her sister adores for even longer. Minecraft is one thing they will play together and usually pretty cooperatively. They even build some pretty cool stuff. I’ve gotten into the (regretful) habit of letting them play a lot this summer because it’s “summer break” and we didn’t sign up for any camps. They have to get schoolwork done first but on the days we’re not running around like crazy people trying to fit in summer fun, well. They like to Skype or FaceTime with friends while playing together and that’s got to be better than talking to strangers in AOL chat rooms like when I was a kid, right? Or at least about the same as when we used to play Doom with friends and family over our dial-up modems–in Minecraft, they’re not trying to murder each other, so that seems like a win. Plenty of people out there incorporate Minecraft into their homeschool curriculum and I salute them, because I can only tolerate it as long as I don’t have to actively think about it.

But . . . so help me, if I have to keep listening to not only them actually playing it, but talking about it hours later . . . all I can say is thank heavens there are only two weeks left of “summer break” before we go on vacation for a week and then get started into our regular fall schedule, which means waaaaaaay less Minecraft! Hurrah!