Summer is in full swing here, as it probably is where you are too. I thought I'd give a bit of a pictorial walk-through of some of what characterizes summer time for our family here.
First and foremost, summer is a time to get out of the apartment. After the long, cold, snowy winter, we cherish the opportunity to just throw on some sandals or shoes and walk out the door - no 5-10 minute bundling up required! And even on hot days, the park and playgrounds near our apartment are great places to stroll and play in the shade.
Since going outside requires traversing our apartment building stairwell from the fourth floor down to street level, here is a shot of Chi and Si doing just that:
Once outside, we enjoy playing fetch with Kona (when we take her with us), playing some badminton (a badminton set was what the boys picked out to give me for Father's Day), kicking a ball, or simply strolling around. However, no matter what else we are doing, some time at a playground is always a winner too. Here are the gang hanging out at one playground nearby:
All that time outside means more frequent and necessary baths! The majority of the time we put all three boys in the tub at once. On this particular occasion, there were only two in, and Erin Joy (one of the AIM students here working with us) pitched in to help:
Ezra is a full-on crawler now, as well as clutter-maker, cord-puller, door-opener, and everything else that goes with his new mobility. With the summer heat, most of the time he sports only his diaper at home. Here he is spending some time with his puppy:
Summer also means fresh, local, in-season, and affordable produce. We buy most of our fresh food from a local open market year-round, but in the summer it really kicks into high gear. All kinds of people bring fresh stuff to sell -- from larger-scale growers to old ladies selling the extra from their garden in the village.
When certain seasonal items hit their in-season peak, and the market is flooded with large quantities of it at the lowest prices of the year, we tend to buy several kilograms of it to bring home and freeze, and ration for the rest of the year. So far this year we have done this with strawberries and cherries. In the next couple weeks it will be time for blueberries and raspberries as well. Here is a photo I took after one Saturday morning outing in which I went to both the open market and a grocery store. The red bucket was full of strawberries. I took this photo on the ground floor, about to lug it all up in several trips to the fourth floor:
Anyone want to come visit?