Summer Relaxing, Monarchs, and a Garden Freebie

Hello Friends,

Well..... you can tell that it is getting time for Back to School because I woke up at 4:00 a.m. on a SATURDAY and have not been able to get back to sleep.... sigh..... too much on my mind and so much to do in this next month! I WAS going to post a picture of my BEFORE classroom, but it is 4:00 a.m. and I am still in my pj's! That will have to wait! Instead, I am joining Five for Friday (on a Saturday morning!) and sharing 5 very random thoughts.... :)

1.  We spent 5 days in Michigan last week. Sigh.... I love Michigan..... Being able to step out to this view everyday would be Heaven for me, I think!

2.  I purchased this beach cabana to take with us. I was so worried that I would stick out sitting under a tent on the beach. I should not have worried... beach cabanas were everywhere! Wow, what an awesome way to read and enjoy the beach! I could have stayed out there FOREVER!

3.  While in Michigan, we picked blueberries.... Yum!

4.  And now we are back in Illinois... home of corn and soybeans... I am blessed to live in a place where I can travel to some awesome places in four hours or less... Michigan, Chicago, St. Louis, the Mississippi River, Wisconsin, Indianapolis......and we do have beauty here.... Look at that sky!

5. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have gotten pretty "kooky" over starting a Monarch butterfly way station at school. I was pretty excited a few weeks ago to see that a female Monarch butterfly had found our garden. Unfortunately, the caterpillars did not survive... BUT, because I have a farmer husband and son, we were able to rescue a few eggs and caterpillars before our field was mowed into hay bales. I am now trying to raise them at home... I am hoping to transition them back to the garden when they get a little bigger. The plight of the Monarch is real and we need to do whatever we can to make sure that we do not lost this marvelous species! If there is any way that you can plant milkweed, do it!  This is the ONLY plant that the caterpillars eat... and milkweed has its beauty, too. It has glorious height and thick, dark green leaves.

There are 3 caterpillars and 3 eggs in this photo. They are so tiny and hard to find. I am thankful that I can do my small part in helping the Monarchs, but it is so important that the Monarchs become self-sustaining again. This can only be done if we stop destroying their food source....

 If you would like to share the garden and outside with your kiddos, here is a scavenger hunt you can do with your kiddos... It's a freebie! Enjoy!

And if you would like to go into more depth with the garden and outside, I revised my Garden resource.

Make sure to visit Doodle Bug Teaching for more Five for Friday stories!

Until next time, I think I am headed back to bed for a snooze before the sun comes up! :)