Little Joys Everywhere

I was clearing out the weeds along our side walkway the other day, and I discovered these two rogue oregano plants! Gotta love delicious herbs that pop up out of nowhere.

The pumpkin and hyacinth bean vine tangle has begun! I love love love this part of my yard. It makes me so very happy.

I gathered a few items together to bring to my new classroom last week. I planned on measuring and thinking about arrangements, but the cleaning crew was mid-clean process on it, so all we got was a brief in-and-out look. When I saw this sign outside the door…I swear my heart skipped a beat.

That’s me! I’M MS. NOVAK! The Art Teacher! Woohoooooo!!!!!!

So here’s a very empty look at my room.

Professor Novak at the whiteboard

Along with 8th grade art, I’ll also be teaching a straight-up ceramics class everyday. I’m pumped to have access to an electric and kick-wheel. The boys enjoyed trying out the kick-wheel.

They even acted out forming the clay. Attakids!

We’ve been trying to get out in the backyard in the mornings to enjoy the cool and shade. The other day, Henry wanted to turn their marble contraption pieces into a mini waterslide.

It turned out to be a lovely way to enjoy a hot morning

We went for a walk on Monday evening, and passed by the PoeTree…like a free little library but with poems passersby can add. We each thought of a sentence in our heads and then put them all together.

The first line was me, then Joe, then Charlie, then Henry.

I have no idea what’s going on in this next photo. I love it, though. Through the pandemic, these guys have really become awesome buds. They disappear into stories together and are oblivious of the world for a good hour at a time.

Sunday, we asked Joe to bring us somewhere cool. He did some research and came up with this place:

Willow Falls near Hudson, Wisconsin.

I can’t believe I had no idea this was 45 minutes away.

The water near the rocks was icy cold, but the stuff rushing from the falls was sun-warmed and felt wonderful.

Joe and Henry trudged fearlessly to the middle, while Charlie and I took our time and very slow steps.

Look at this tall kid! Nearly in fourth grade. Man.

The boys crawled behind the falls, while I basked directly beneath them, enjoying a natural shower


We had a late patio lunch in Hudson, so when it came time for dinner we didn’t really need much. I made us mango parfaits, and I will definitely be repeating that in the future. Beautiful, delicious and surprisingly filling.

This week, the boys are signed up for VBS through my parents’ Des Moines church. My mom suggested it, since it’s on the internet this year anyway, and I enjoyed it as a kid. It’s great timing, since we’re getting to the point in the summer where there’s some boredom setting in.

I’m letting them figure it all out on their own. Yesterday they did it while I was at the dentist!

This was their craft the first day–railroad tracks. Charlie’s is quite precise and just like the example (with little personal touches, like an added signpost and fishy in the water)

Henry wanted to do his a little differently, and wanted the tracks to look old and broken down.

He enjoyed it so much that he pulled out a long line of old computer paper to build additional track as wide as our dining room.

I love seeing how different my two kids approach the world. Isn’t it wonderful how many different ways of being there are?

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