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.