Summer Vacation Coming in with a Bang

May 29, 2018

Wow! Memorial Day finished with quite a bang for those of us in Clear Lake. Seriously, what a storm! I’m currently sitting on my front porch feeling grateful that there’s still enough daylight to see and thankful my computer happened to be fully charged (that never happens) because the power is out, and I’ve got things to get done. It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the first “official” day of summer. I’m not sure if it was the strange winter we had, or just that my mind was occupied with so many things this past school year, but I am in denial that the school year has ended. Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. I love having my kids around more. I love the warm temperatures. I truly do enjoy the summer season more than any other season. 

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So that didn’t go quite like I had hoped. Shortly after I started typing last night, I received word that the power was not going to be coming on anytime soon. Worst news ever for a grocery store owner. Thankfully, my landlord helped me get a generator hooked up, and we were able to get everything moved into our large fridge to be sure there wouldn't be any food safety concerns. Finally, around 9PM, the power did come back on and we got everything moved back into its rightful place. I stuck around to monitor the fridge temps until 11:00, but by that point my brain was fried and I decided it would be best to take a pause and just redo “Monday” and all its tasks and responsibilities on Tuesday. The blog, the orders, and the emails I needed to get sent are better late than never, right?

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So back to that summer vacation conversation…I was saying how much I love summer.  However, despite being a big fan, summer is also a lot of work. The kids aren’t in school from 8-3, so arrangements have to be made in order for me to work. And childcare isn’t cheap either. Plus, there’s more mess from all the sand, dirt and other fun things that come along with summer. More mess means more cleaning and more laundry. And the hardest part for me is the constant hunger. It’s as if my children turn into ravenous animals when they’re at home all day. Literally, within 5 minutes of finishing a meal, one (or all) of my darlings is asking what he or she can eat. We have a rule at our house that you can only snack if you’ve eaten your meal. The problem is in the summer they have eaten all their breakfast, all their first lunch, all their second lunch, and they’re still not full. Since I don’t like my kids eating sugar other than fruit, I try to keep plenty of fresh berries, apples, and dried fruit on hand. And I really dislike having them eat a bunch of empty carbs, so I try to encourage them to have raw veggies for snacks. But after they’ve eaten their way through a good deal of (not cheap) organic produce, I resort to more filling and inexpensive options like popcorn. Trail mix is another snack I like to keep on hand, but even that can become a pricey snack when three little kids are gobbling it up by the cup. So I guess I haven’t really figured out the best solution to bottomless pit syndrome. However, a few additional snacks I plan to keep in the fridge or cupboard are string cheese, olives, meat sticks, Larabars, applesauce, sweet potato chips, tortilla chips and salsa, yogurt and granola, nut butters (for eating with apples), homemade muffins, and guacamole. What are some of your go to summer snacks? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Another important part of summer for our family is serving with Share Life’s free summer lunch program (Kids’ Cafe). Kids’ Cafe began in 2016 and is a free lunch program that lasts for 10 weeks in the summer to help alleviate food insecurity for families in the Clear Lake School District. This summer we have 54 families (142 kids) signed up to participate. The Share Life team will be putting together and delivering food boxes with Monday through Friday lunch for those 142 children, beginning June 4th. At Simply Nourished, we love being able to purchase food on their behalf and sell it to the program at our wholesale cost with zero mark up. This allows the program to gain access to organic, healthier options that might not otherwise be possible for the summer lunch program. Kids’ Cafe is privately funded by individual donors, local organizations, faith communities and local businesses, so Share Life relies on the support of people just like you to make this program possible. Additionally, all of its operations are currently facilitated by a volunteer team. If you would like to get involved through a monetary donation or by donating your time, please visit www.sharelifeclearlake.com and click “Get Involved.” We look forward to serving alongside some of you this summer. 

 

If you're looking for summer lunch options for yourself or your own kiddos, Lauryn's Lunchbox is also up and running (as a grab-n-go) at Simply Nourished. Open Tuesday through Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-4. Stop in and grab a bite sometime soon. Happy Summer Vacation!

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