No, No, No--Not in August!

"No, no, no--not in August!" This phrase is a French joke between my husband and me. It stems from a conversation we had with a French friend when we were visiting France to attend a wedding several years ago. Our friend stated that French teachers would never return to work in August. They'd choose to go on strike rather than work in August, which is essentially national vacation month in France. (The French receive a minimum of four weeks of paid leave annually, and the majority of the French take a month for vacation in either July or August--usually the latter.)

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Family Vacation: Aquariums, Sand, & Sushi

We're back from the coast, mes amis, but in a week we'll head to Central Oregon for another getaway. Lest you think I'm vaunting our vacation time (the benefit of a teacher's schedule), I admit I'd be content to stay home the rest of the summer. Home provides rhythm and reading and the resources I'd like to use for planning my daughter's homeschool curriculum. But carpe diem--time away from home is beneficial in unexpected ways.

We visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium this past weekend, partly so my son could use his free ticket from our library's summer reading program.

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When Camping Isn't Roughing It: Tips for A Fun Family Experience

Friends, I just booked two nights of tent camping at a lakeside campground on Mt. Hood, so this will be our third summer in a row with a camping trip. I have many friends who simply stopped camping when they had children--after all, they didn't camp much before children, and the early years of parenting can seem rough enough. But honestly, if you haven't camped in a while, or if you haven't yet gone camping as a family, you ought to know what you're missing.

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