According to his calculations,
there are exactly 32 days until school begins.
I don’t have the heart to look at the calendar,
press finger from number to number,
do the math.
Unlike my soon-to-be-a middle schooler son,
I do not want school to begin.
{Let’s be honest, I never do.}
I am a very controlling mother.
I love sitting amidst the whirlwind of my children’s movement.
Soaking in a schedule-free season.
Thriving on carefree frivolty and wee one’s laughter.
Though I’m not looking forward to losing them to the schedule of school,
My children can’t wait.
{Here I admit how much I do smile o’er their passion for school.}
Reliquishing my reluctance for the impending date,
We decided last week to have a school dry run.
Wake up. Dress Up. Make lunches.
~Stop. Remix.~
Make REFRESHING lunches.
While piecing the meals together, I mentioned there’s no reason to toss the feelings and flavors of summer out in a return to our regular PB&J scheduleum, suggesting we try an untraditional, colorful, light approach to the brown bag routine. The green of kiwi’s, a touch of maple, the crunch of multi-grain chips combined to create a healthy, beautiful lunch.


The kids chopped and stirred, smiling from ear to ear.
“It’s so pretty, mom!” A First-Grader-To-Be squealed.
“It’s so yummy, mom!” The other said, swallowing heartily.
“Should we pack it up and walk up to school?” I asked.
Thrilled applause followed.
Brown bags in hand, we trudged the hill to the school.
Walked right up to the front door.
Right past the front door.
Right to the playground.
Where we played, and played, and played.
Apparently, there are 32 days until school starts.
And, I plan to savor every last one of them.

Sweet Kiwi Salsa with Mapled Almond Shovels
At our house, school lunches are typically packed in the hectic moments after dinner, or during the frenetic 15-minutes-’til-school-starts. That said, our ideal lunches are no-fuss items that can be put together quickly. Enter this fresh idea. Multigrain chips, almonds, and fruit come together in a well-balanced combination of carbs, protein, and kid-needed nutrients. In fact, did you know the kiwifruit is packed full of vitamin C? Not to mention the bright colors and unique design. Moms and kids everywhere are sure to be glad when this happily-hued nutritional delight is pulled from the lunch tote.
3 kiwi’s
1 mango
1/4 c. vidalia onion
1 t. cilantro
dash of salt
Peel kiwi and mango. Dice. Place in medium bowl. Finely chop onion and cilantro. Mix with fruit. Sprinkle a dash of salt atop. Serve with Mapled-Almond Shovels.
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
10 oz. multigrain tortilla chips
1/4 c. sliced almonds
In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup and cinnamon until boiling. Allow to boil one minute, then add sliced almonds and remove from heat. Spoon maple mixture over multigrain tortilla chips. Toss to coat. Spread chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 2 minutes, then stir. Continue to bake an additional 2 minutes, removing chips at the first sign of browning on edges. Allow to cool completely before packing in a plastic bag for school lunch.

A Kiwi Schoolyard Rhyme:
three grubs in a tub,
and who will eat them for tea?
The tui, the gecko, the plucky pukeko?
No, it’s the cheeky kiwi.


  1. Sophie says:

    Fresh and yummy for summer :). I think that picture at the top is one of my favorites to date — so cute!

  2. Camille says:

    Mmmm I absolutely LOVE Kiwi! The flavor, the texture, the arrangement of seeds in the fruit! And this snack looks delicious! Enjoy these next 32 days! (or is it 31?) :)

  3. mosey along says:

    Mmmmm. My daughter (and more importantly, me) will love this. Like you, I'm completely ambivalent about school starting – kindergarten starts the end of August – I'm already mourning the end of one era. (but the beginning of another, right?)

  4. Debby Kaye says:

    Oh, how I feel the same. Actually seeing the number 32 makes me want to boo-hoo. I dread the day when all 3 of my girls will be heading off to school, actually for the first time my twins will be heading off to kindergarten! It will be a sad, sad day when school returns!

    I love the lunch idea though and would love to see more of them! We are slowly preparing ourselves for the packing of 3 little lunches this year and I love healthy and easy ideas!

    You are always so inspiring…

  5. TERI REES WANG says:

    I dash of cayenne for me and it's a golden Pico de Gallo! So fresh and so fun. Thanks.

  6. Nathan and Bethany says:

    The best thing about kiwis? Watching someone whose never had one just take a bite, skin and all. That is what happened, John, right?

  7. Tracy Langgle says:

    I admit that I feel the very same way althought my going into 8th grader feels the same. We are in no hurry to return to school. Especially when it is such a struggle for him. He usually joins in the momentum of enthusiasm once it starts though and does enjoy many aspects of it. I am impressed by your dry run, we really need to do a couple of those. What a blessing that yoiu are able to be home with youir kids more.

  8. It's A Wonderful says:

    My baby is going to be a Senior in High School…the years fly, ladies. Hold on to your babies fast, the days of making brown bag lunches are numbered.

    And the kiwi looks scrumptious!

  9. Natalie says:

    I just recently started reading your blog and you've already got me to try things I haven't tried in all of my adult life (and I can't remember having them as a kid, either); Kiwi, Mango and multi grain tortilla chips.

    The results were delicious. I would have never thought to put these ingredients together but it really works well. I doubt I'll be able to get my soon to be kindergartener to shovel it in (the onions, the strange fruit!), but that's more for me!

  10. Phoenix says:

    this is such an awesome post!! I love your blog, it makes me smile (and my tummy growl.)

  11. Flu-Bird says:


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