The Lost Summer?

I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since I wrote a post on my blog! This summer has totally gotten away from me. I had all these plans and a big to-do list for my store: finish my new unit for Where the Red Fern Grows, rework my Alien Text Talk product into task cards, and edit all the product descriptions in my TpT store with some clarifications and links. So, what I have I accomplished? Well, I've made some progress on my Where the Red Fern Grows unit, but it's not ready for publication quite yet. Other than that ZERO!

Why? Summer should be the perfect time to get caught up on all these things right? Wrong! The main thing that has taken priority over my to-do list is my kids!

I thought as they got older and more independent I'd have so much more time. Again, WRONG! I have become the number one (and lowest paid) taxi service in town! My oldest, Joey, is going on 15, he needs rides to baseball practice, baseball games, friend's houses, and Driver's Ed classes (AHHH!) Ally just turned 12, and she too is quite the social butterfly needing to meet friends all over and be taken to sleepover after sleepover! She also has gymnastics several times a week. My youngest, Sam, is 9 and at least he sticks a little closer to home. He was also in baseball and needs near daily rides (with a van full of neighborhood kids) to the local pool!

In between the taxi driving we have vacationed a little this summer. We started off leaving on the last day of school for an Alaskan cruise. I have never visited the Pacific Northwest, Canada, or any area with this type if landscape. It is so unbelievably beautiful coming from the flat plains and cornfields of Nebraska! We sailed out of Vancouver and visited Sitka, Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. It was just an incredible trip!
Vancouver from our verandah.
See Otter in Sitka
The whales in Sitka!
Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord.
Riding Skagway's White Pass Rail up the Chilkoot Pass to find our gold in the Klondike!

Panning for gold in Skagway!
The glacier fields from the float plane in Juneau.

Riding in a float plane over the glacier fields in Juneau.
The feeding of the bald eagles from the Aleutian Ballad in Ketchikan. This was phenomenal having them swooping all around. There were at least 50 or more!

Catching some crab on the Deadliest Catch's Aleutian Ballad in Ketchikan.

My "Alaskan Look"!

It was an amazing vacation. Great family time and we all learned and saw so much!

With TpT founder, Paul Edelman
After returning there was a lot of baseball and driving everyone everywhere for a good month until I got to escape to go to the Teachers Pay Teacher conference in Las Vegas! Even though I consider myself kind of a veteran seller, being at TpT since 2010, and selling my resources since 2003, I still learned so many valuable things, and of course added to my too log to-do list! I attended sessions conducted by Deanna Jump, DeeDee Wills, Rachel Lynette, Mel Dillard, and the TpT data guru, Ryan. The keynote speech by Paul, Deanna, and John Woo, were fantastic too. The best part of the day was meeting so many of the people that I have been conversing with in the TpT forums for all this time. To put a face to a name/logo was wonderful and I met many new people too!

Meeting TpT star, Deanna Jump!
Getting the promised hug from Paul!

View from our room on the 35th floor!

The TpT conference was on Friday, July 11th, so my husband made the trip with me to make it a long weekend. We enjoyed the dining, ambiance, and the pool at the conference hotel, The Palazzo. We also saw the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere which was fantastic!

Drove over to the Hoover Dam for a tour. Stopped on the way in Boulder, NV at The Coffee Cup restaurant that was featured in Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and had a great Bloody Mary with bacon!

The Hoover Dam

The stairs going up inside the Hoover Dam. Glad we were able to take the elevator!
The view from the Dam of the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge

As soon as we returned from Vegas we packed up and headed to Pickerel Lake, in northern South Dakota with my extended family. We had a great week of fishing, boating, swimming, sitting by the bonfire, and eating way too much!

My dogs, Katy and Hurley, keeping an eye on the bobbers for us.

Katy resting a bit on her bobber watching duty.
We're finally back and now there are less than 2 weeks until school starts! So I guess my "Summer To-Do" list now becomes my "Fall To-Do" list! Even though it hasn't been the most productive summer work-wise, it was a very productive summer for family bonding and lifetime experiences. I know which is more valuable in the grand scheme of things and I am so grateful for how fortunate I am to have these experiences and memories!

I promise to get the When the Red Fern Grows Novel Unit finished up soon and to start creating those Alien Text Talk Task Cards! Please "like" and watch my Facebook page or "follow" my TpT store for notice when they are released!

I hope you have been blessed to have a summer as "lost" and productive as mine! Enjoy your remaining days and happy back-to-school planning!


  1. This sounds like the best summer ever! Mine has been about the same, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Your kids will have these memories for a lifetime. There is nothing more valuable than that.


    1. So true Jamie! You were one of those wonderful people that I met at the conference! I wouldn't have the above conference pictures if not for you! ;)
      Thanks again!:)