For grammar geeks.

For your Saturday: this video is so much fun for grammar geeks, with references to Prince, the oxford comma, and my husband’s bete noire: there’s no “x” in espresso.

Happy watching, and have a great weekend!

An education-minded summer reading list.

summer reading list for moms sh

I know not all of you are parents, and even fewer are homeschoolers. But since we homeschool our kids, I’m over at Simple Homeschool today sharing a summer reading list for homeschooling parents.

(#3 and #4 are for everyone—whether you’re 17, 29, 46, whatever—and all of these books are worthwhile reads for parents, regardless of how they educate their children. Of course, I read #1—aimed squarely at homeschooling parents—when I was twenty-something, childless, and had no intention of homeschooling my kids. Ever. And look where it got me!)

From the post at Simple Homeschool:

For weary homeschooling parents, summer is a great time to rest, re-group, and remember why you chose to homeschool in the first place. I don’t know about you, but nothing kindles my enthusiasm for a subject more effectively than a good book.

Come July, my enthusiasm for homeschooling needs some kindling.

That’s why, every summer, I like to stock my bookshelves (and my beach bag) with books that remind we why we chose this homeschooling path, inspire me to do better, and encourage me for the upcoming school year.

I’ve found these 5 books extremely helpful at times when I needed to be reminded why we do what we do….

Read the rest at Simple Homeschool.

books took her places

P.S. While we’re talking good books, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist is $.99 right now for Kindle. Highly recommended. Get on that!


A Veronica Mars fangirl giveaway.

A Veronica Mars fangirl giveaway

Yesterday was my birthday, but today I’m the one doing the gifting.

If you hung around here on MMD last spring, you know I love Veronica Mars. I watched the series way back when, and again earlier this year. I loved the movie. I even read the book (one of the un-put-down-able titles I mentioned last week) and am eagerly anticipating book #2.

I thought the original series was very well done. The movie isn’t Great Film or anything, but it’s well worth watching for fans who loved the series.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line isn’t Great Literature, but it’s highly readable and lots of fun for fans of the series and the movie. (To fully appreciate the book, you need to watch the movie first. And don’t watch the movie without watching the series.)

It’s very easy to imagine The Thousand Dollar Tan Line being made into a movie of its own. (Which is probably the point. I hope someone takes the hint.)

Because I know one of you wants to read the book at the beach this summer (or by the pool, or in the backyard, or while the kids are napping, or while you’re up way too late past your bedtime), I’m giving away one paperback copy of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, plus a copy of Veronica Mars: the movie on DVD for good measure.

To enter, just leave a comment. (If you choose to gush about why you love Veronica Mars in said comment, so much the better.) 18 or older, U.S. only, giveaway ends Tuesday, July 15 at midnight.

If you’ve never seen the series, it’s on Amazon Prime. If you’re not a member, sign up for a free trial here, and see how many episodes you can squeeze into your free 30 days.

Good luck!

Survival mode, with popsicles.


This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Fruttare, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia

Even though we moved over a month ago, our house is still a wreck. We have yet-to-be-unpacked boxes in the entry, ridiculous stacks of books in the living room, and nothing on the walls.

We’re making progress, but it’s slow going.

Our backyard, however, is dreamy. It’s the best room in the house right now.



Despite the fact that we’re not quite settled in, we’ve hosted quite a few gatherings at our new place already. (Read: in the backyard.)

My kids have been especially eager to show their old friends (and their new ones—there are lots of kids on our new street!) their new home. And I want our home to be a place where kids feel welcome.


popsicles by the fish pond

In summertime, that means stocking up on paper cups and popsicles.

Since we might dispense a dozen popsicles in an afternoon, I’ve considered buying the cheap ones made from corn syrup and food dye at the grocery. (You know, the same ones I had as a kid.) But since we have food sensitivities at my house—and many of our friends’ kids do, too—I usually spring for the good stuff made with real fruit and less sugar.

(Besides, then I feel a lot less guilty when I snag one for myself. Which I usually do, because it’s been 90+ degrees around here already. Oy.)


Pointing out the new baby fish. I apparently need to brush up on my biology, because that baby fish surprised me. 

Last week we were running low on popsicles (gasp!) so the kids and I stopped at Kroger on the way home from the pool to stock up. We picked up a few packages of the new Fruttare fruit bars—mango and strawberry and milk—so we’d be ready for our next backyard gathering.


Mom! Wash my hands!

We may still be in survival mode around here, but at least our backyard is an inviting place to be. We’re making progress, slowly—and in the meantime, at least we have popsicles.

(If you need popsicles, there’s a special offer for the month of July: buy one Fruttare item and get a $4 music reward, while supplies last.)

What are your go-tos for entertaining kids (and kids at heart) in the summertime?