An Afternoon With The Girls

I’ve been in Hawaii a week today, but before I left Bellevue last week, I had the chance to spend part of the afternoon with some very smart, very literate young ladies who attend Seattle’s French-American School together.  I’d met one of the moms at a fundraiser back in April (at least I think it was April….) and she invited me to join the mother-daughter bookclub for an afternoon discussion of books, writing tips, and insights into the writing life.

The girls shared with me some of their favorite authors (Rick Riordan and JK Rowling) and I shared some of mine from when I was little (Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder).  Most of the girls had read the Little House on the Prairie series when they were younger but none had read Louisa May Alcott yet. 





The mom hosting the tea had actually surfed with Ty during Spring Break which really made it a small world.  And the mom who’d invited me, Laura, made the most yummy orange pound cake and I had to have the recipe.  Yum.

I love the idea of a mother-daughter bookclub, but then again, I love everything about girls and how we turn into women.  Our world is complicated and the more we can support each other, the better.

I know it’s been a long time since I last posted but it was hectic with the end of the year activities and then packing for Hawaii for the summer, but I’m back now with a little office set up in the corner of my bedroom (my window overlooks the ocean!) so you’ll be hearing from me more regularly. 

But to help me catch up with what you’ve been doing, please share with me your summer plans, or how you’ve spent the last two weeks, and you’ll be entered for my Afternoon with the Girls prize, which includes Kona coffee. a gift card, fragrant tropical soap and much more.   There will be two winners and the contest runs through Friday night with me announcing the winners Saturday morning, and even if you don’t care about the prize, please chat with me because I miss all of you!!  Now I’m off to write but do fill me in when you’ve time.  Happy Summer all!!


  1. Hi Jane!
    Lovely blog post (I love the look of the kitchen you and the others are sitting in!)
    Spend the last two weeks with job trainings and going to the gym. I took my first Zumba fitness class this monday and I loved it, and no muscle pains afterward so that works out great! Really looking forward to read and review your new upcoming book , the cover is as always gorgeous, I really get a country feeling just looking at it!
    best and take care,

      1. I LOVE Zumba! It’s a full body work out — although I have been lazy about going lately. I lost 20 lbs in two months going twice a week and eating healthy.

      2. Raises hand over here! I LOVE Zumba. It’s the most fun work out I have ever done. How many other exersize programs do you do where you smile through the whole thing? 🙂

  2. What a wonderful idea about the mother-daughter book club!! Looks like everyone had fun!

    My kids have been out of school for two weeks now, so I have been trying to keep them busy. They are signed up for Soccer camp, dance class, girls scouts, and we are going to a couple local libraries and doing their reading clubs. In between all of that we head to one of the 2 parks that are in walking distance to our house. It’s been a fun and busy summer so far. I am just so thrilled we actually have some sun this week in OR! I need to replant my garden today, since all of the rain rotted everything. I am just so thankful we aren’t couped up in the house anymore…that just isn’t fair to the kids! 🙂

  3. I love the idea of a mother-daughter book club. How lucky those women and girls were to have you as a guest!

    I have read all of the authors you mentioned, and would like to add Suzanne Collins and her Hunger Games trilogy (book 3 will be released later this summer), and anything by Margaret Peterson Haddix to a list of recommended summer reads (these are mature reads though, grade 5/6 or junior high).

    Just winding down at work…t-4 and counting!

    We will be touring the province of Alberta this year with our boys, specifically the Tyrell Museum in Drumheller! Although, I must say that I am envious of your current Hawaiian situation…and just the mention of Kona coffee makes me crave it!

    Thanks for posting today…I was thinking of you earlier today as I made a mental note to pre-order a copy of She’s Gone Country!

    Have a great week!

  4. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself at the book club. My mom and I are actually trying to get a book club started for the summer, but we’ve had difficulty working around everyone’s schedules. Hopefully we will get it going in the next few weeks.

    I’m trying to get a handle on my summer plans. I’m doing a lot of babysitting and spending time with friends. I’d like to work a vacation in there somewhere, but I’m not sure where I want to go. I also need to do some organizing around the house. I’ve been putting that off more than I should.

    And of course, I am going to be reading the ARC copy of She’s Gone Country! I just got it in the mail so I’ll be starting it as soon as I finish A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Thanks so much for the awesome package, Jane!

  5. I love that you spent time with those young girls! We successfully completed our first year of home schooling, and I am enjoying a break from our routine!

  6. A mother-daughter book club is such a fun idea! I think it’s amazing you took time to meet with them! These past two weeks have been full of work (no big surprise) and lots of running errands. I am getting a lot of weeding and yardwork done outside, so that feels good. Yesterday I got a shippment from Barnes and Noble of 8 new books I’ve been dying to read! I can’t wait to get started on them. First off it’ll be “A Thousand Splendid Suns” I hear it is an amazing book. Have a great time in Hawaii, Jane!

  7. Hi Jane! It’s so good to hear from you again! You know, I’ve been trying to come up with book recommendations for a little girl I know, and since I don’t know any recent childrens books, I really can only suggest books I loved when I was a kid. I’m always worried that the books I come up with are too outdated and unpopular nowadays – it has been more than a decade since I’ve read them, after all – but as it turns out most of them are still on recommended reading lists! It makes me so happy to know that kids today are enjoying the same books I loved so long ago.

    Anyway, I haven’t been doing much the past few weeks – still attending my summer class. But luckily we only have class four days a week, so I’ve been driving home on my long weekends to keep my dad company and feed him, since my mother’s had to travel out of town for business the past few weeks.

    Oh, and just a heads up! Lynn Raye Harris (another fabulous HP writer) is the spotlight author on this blogsite, and she mentions you briefly under question 1:

    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii! I’m so jealous of that window that overlooks the ocean…=)

  8. Well in the last two weeks I became a grandmother again. My youngest had baby number 3, a little boy named Dawson. He’s a cutey. So I’ve been spending a lot of time with her other two while she was in the hospital and recuperating. So my last two weeks have been total grandma time, I love it.

  9. In the last 2 weeks, I have spent hours researching and soul searching and trying to make a decision about homeschooling my girls. As a former teacher, I am so upset at what I see school is for them now (with such emphasis on standardized tests, labeling, etc.). I know I can do it, I just want to make sure it is right for them.

    This summer we are taking a trip to Williamsburg, Va. so I am planning a loose, informal curriculum on Colonial life!

  10. My last few weeks have been really busy! I visited a friend in Kansas City who was visiting from Scotland! It was so great to see her and laugh at her Scottish-American accent! I’ve been to one wedding so far in NE Iowa and it was so much fun, it was on a farm and the reception turned into a bonfire.
    I don’t have too many more big plans for the summer besides lounging by the pool and working on my tan! 🙂
    I cannot tell you how excited I am for She’s Gone Country! I don’t know if I can wait til August!!! 🙁
    Have a fabulous time in Hawaii!

  11. Jane,

    So glad to hear you are in Hawaii and enjoying the summer. My kids finished school today so tomorrow is their first full day off. We have pool parties and birthday parties from Friday to Sunday night. Very busy and very hot weekend here in NJ. Also found out that Cheryl and Buffy are coming here in August and we are busy planning that…so excited!

    Happy Summer!!

  12. I have spent most of my time reading! Plus, spending a lot of time with my Grand Daughter. We go to the library every week. I want her to enjoy reading as much as I do. In July, we will go to Al. for a family reunion, which will be sad this year, as we have lost 2 family members. Then, more READING!!!!!!!!!

  13. Hi, Jane! So good to hear from you! I can tell by that smile on your face that you had a grand time with the girls : ) I think a mother-daughter book club is a terrific idea! A wonderful opportunity for moms and daughters to have fun, learn something new and spend quality time with each other.

    The heat and humidity has hit big time here in VA. My cats and I are trying to get used to the change, and I think they are handling it better than I am. During the day, they hide from the sun in the coolest, darkest places they can find. If I could fit in there with them, that’s where I’d be : ) I’ve had my “Iced Tea IV” hooked up for several weeks now!

  14. The last couple of weeks (months, actually) have been filled with baseball. My son is playing All Stars now, so we’ve had tournaments the last three weekends, and will be playing in Templeton starting tomorrow, then Hanford next week. Visalia is starting to warm up, but we’ve had great weather! Love the baseball, but wouldn’t mind him playing in Hawaii! Have a great summer! Can’t wait to see you in Fresno in August!

  15. Hi Jane! Hawaii again, it must be rough! 🙂 Just kidding, I know you work hard and never stop! I have been non-stop these past few weeks myself. I can’t really complain since it’s been mostly fun stuff. Lots of camping trips and spendind time watching my Grandkids play sports. I am back home now and trying to catch up on my work. Back to reality. I hope you have a wonderful time in Hawaii! I wish I was there. 🙂

  16. hi jane, that is so great that you were able to talk to the mothers and the daughters at the book club. my daughter and i sometimes read the same books, so we like to discuss the ones we have in common. i have been getting treatment for a few health issues for the past few weeks, and i have to go back next week to see what else they want to do. but i take a book with me to read and it helps with passing the time in the doctor’s offices. so glad you are enjoying your corner office with the ocean view. glad to see you back on here posting. take care.

  17. I have been working in the garden with my husband. We had a fence put in around the back and now are ready to really work on a plan while continuing to pull weeds, pick up rocks etc. Such fun to be outside, just wish we could get some rain here.

    So glad you are back in Hawaii. Hope you get lots of writing done and have lots of fun adventures, too!

  18. Saw (more like heard) Harry Connick Jr last week. Going to Chicago for 4th of July to visit my family and our friends out there.
    Hope all is well with you!

  19. I have had a very sick kid for two weeks. She lost nearly 15 pounds and she was only 128 to begin with. She is on the rebound and we have a tonsillectomy scheduled in 3 weeks.
    I did get the new Lori Handeland book Shakespeare Undead. It is different from what I usually read but I am getting into it.
    The mother/daughter bookclub sounds like a wonderful fun way to spend time with their daughters.

  20. I enjoyed the post today and the lovely photos. I have been doing gardening and reading in the backyard. Simmer is here which I love and appreciate.

  21. What a pleasure to hear from you! What a wonderful book club indeed. My daughter had a book club with her girl friends two summers ago and it was just a lot of fun.

    This summer we are off and running from the first day. Junior Lifeguard camp, then Junior Olympics at the end of July. This will be a summer to remember.

    On the reading side of things, my daughter and I will be reading The Help, for her honors English class. I have heard so many wonderful things about the book, can’t wait. Have you read it?

    Enjoy your time with your boys!

  22. Hola! Good to hear from you. My summer, where to start.

    My 8 yr. old decided she loved softball so much she joined a city league here in San Antonio. Practice on Monday nites followed by double headers on Wed. nites. We had a game tonite @ 9pm but she was sick and we kept her home.

    Closed on our new home on Tues, finally get to move in. Painter whom was to repaint 75% of the house for us backed out! That RAT. So had to hire someone else. We were giving instructions to the electrician today and realized that we forgot to purchase a light fixture for the bathroom and hall way. The mexican was really coming out in me.

    I would love to reread Eclipse before I go see the movie, but I am so tired from packing, moving, practice and games that I have NOOOOOO energy by 9pm. Come Saturday nite when all is said and done (god willing), I plan on having at least 2 large, cold frozed margaritas with salt.

    Happy summer everyone 🙂

  23. Its summer here in crawfordville, hot and humid. Been doing alot of reading and going to the beach, just hanging out with my daughter Marian. I’m only working a few days week,for my kids who are in my daycare are mostly teachers kids, so they are spending time with them. So I’m little tight with money so were just doing small trips. I don’t care about going away but just spending time with my daughter has been really good, for with my marriage up in the air its been hard on her. The best part is reading alot, I’ve read about 5 books so far..can’t wait for your to come out in Aug. Glad your having a nice summer..have fun with your boys.

  24. Hi Jane, Excellent idea – mother daughter book club. I have 3 daughters and just the other day, they were reliving the days (nights) when each one would pick out a book to read before bedtime. So we read three books a night; there were times when I got tired of reading the same 3 books everyday but listening to them reminisce – it’s well worth it. Right now, I’m busy sending out resumes, looking for another position. . .wish I was reading.

  25. Hi Jane! What a fun idea for a book club. I love it! I’m jealous of your office/bedroom overlooking the ocean, what wonderful inspiration that must be…or is it more of a distraction? I think I’d be distracted and unable to write with a view like that LOL!

    Anyhow, my days are full of gardening- we’re already eating homegrown cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash and my favorite, tomatoes. The greenbeans got off to a slow start but we’ll be having those soon too. My oldest graduated from high school last month and is all enrolled at the local college for fall- she wants to be a journalist.

    But really it’ll be a nice slow summer for us, no traveling like last year, and I’m glad for it.

    Be blessed my friend 🙂

  26. Hi, Jane! Thanks for the update. I’m glad you got through everything AOK.

    I’ve been dogsitting a Golden Retriever; I love him to bits. I’ve had more work than usual, but was told today that my biggest customer is going on holidays tomorrow until mid July, so happy vacation to me! I’ve had my mother-in-law visiting several days a week, and tomorrow should be the last time we get her that often; after that, we should be back to once or twice a week at the most (thankfully). I’ve been eating out at restaurants and drinking alcohol (tsk, tsk); what’s a girl to do? Say no?

    DO enjoy your summer in Hawaii. All the work is worth it to be with those you love as often as possible.

  27. Great to hear from you. Sounds like a really neat book club. I wished my daughter (13yrs old) enjoyed reading, but not so much. She would rather play the guitar, keyboard, and listening to music (which is pretty cool & amazing).

    Not much going on here. I have been working a ton (not so much fun)and taking care of our 5 month old puppy. It is funny how I am the one who is doing all the taking care of….interesting how that works out…when it is a family dog 🙂

    I hope you have a great time in Hawaii and I look forward to reading your updates 🙂

  28. Hi Jane so glad to hear that you are back in Hawaii. it sounds lovely there. i have been watching my boys play baseball and coping with life during a seperation. It definately has a lot of ups and downs.The kids are struggling too but I am still sure of my resolve and am trying to stand strong and be hopeful for the future.I think I will go to the library this weekend and get a book to read during the tournaments this weekend. have fun at the water’s edge. keep posting all the colorful sights of the ocean for all of us land bound fools. With best of wishes from Kansas, Gena.

  29. Glad you’re are doing good, I got kind of worry when you didn’t check in with us over the weekend.
    It’s been a crazy couple weeks at my house which is not unusual although this past week alone put me over the edge. First of the week started off with My dad who is 71 took some medication a not-so-brillant doctor gave him for pain interacted with his heart, blood pressure and diabetes medication which pushed him over the deep end. He saw bugs on his skin, people in his house and thought the dog brought a dead bird into his bed. It was totally bad. I thought we were going to have to admit him into the hospital. I wish doctors/pharmacies would double check those things when it comes to senior citizens. Ugh!
    Friday, our air conditioning went out in our house, Saturday morning, our front room television went out. Sunday evening, my 10 month old granddaughter TuesDae began to run a 104-106 degree temperature which lasted for four days. A viral infection brought that happy little baby down so fast.
    Life has settle down a little bit now. The air was fixed late Tuesday evening. Yesterday the baby’s temp went down but she’s still not back to normal and I just holding out for the weekend. I need a break!
    I haven’t gotten to read any, buy any or even win any books this whole entire week. I just keep thinking…Calgon take me away!

  30. Today was the first day of “real” summer weather in the NW and it felt so good. Your view of the ocean sounds wonderful right now….I am looking forward to a beach weekend in Cannon Beach with six other women that I’ve known since school. This will be our 10th annual beach weekend together and I always look so forward to it. We talk, we laugh, we eat, we play games, we enjoy a few cocktails, we laugh some more, we shop in town, we laugh. It’s wonderful to get together with girlfriends who have known you for so long. I can’t wait!

  31. Hi Jane,
    You are making me so jealous with all this talk of summer. It is winter in Hobart and we just had the shortest day of the year on Monday. I need some sunshine!
    Your mother daughter thing sounded great. I have a daughter-in-law now which is fabulous as after having two boys I finally get to do girly things.

  32. The last 2 weeks were very busy for me- my house was being painted so it was a big mess and in a few weeks we are changing all the doors to new ones.
    I also bought a new LCD TV for my room and I can’t wait to get in time to see the last 2 weeks of the World Cup in soccer.
    I don’t really have plans for the summer since I can’t really take too many days off from work but my main goal for summer is to stay indoors as much as possible- it gets super hot and humid where I live so being indoors with an ac on is good idea LOL
    Have a great summer in Hawaii 🙂

  33. I’ve been wondering where you were. 🙂 I think a mother/daughter reading club is a great idea. I’ve saved all my original (the yellow hardbacks) Nancy Drews for my daughter. She’s 8 and seems to finally have caught my love for reading, although right now it is mostly those Rainbow Magic Fairy books.

    My kids have school for another month or so (they have year round calendar with August, December and April off) and I’m looking forward to more good weather with my little guy who is still home with me.

  34. Jane,

    I LOVE the mother/daughter book club…so awesome!!

    I am recovering from hip surgery still…8 weeks out and still 4 more weeks until I can start running again! I miss my running and I miss my cardio time!! Recovery is slow for me, but I am trying to behave.

    Also, my hubby is getting ready to have surgery on his foot in two weeks and his recovery will take about 6 weeks! It’s crazy around here!

    I am hoping in a few weeks that my hubby and I can take a few days and visit either with some family or friends because I need a break from my everyday life for awhile!

    Hope you are having a great summer!!

    I’m really looking forward to the next book!!!


  35. I’m kicking my summer off with a sisters weekend at the beach. It’s actually the Summer in Words conference with Jessica Morrell (and more!) in Manzanita, Oregon. My sister Rose flew in from Ohio, she’s a poet and HS teacher. Our other sister is not a career writer but really needs a weekend away. 🙂

    The rest of the summer plans are sort of fluid with occasional family gatherings and potential trips. It’s my first summer with my girls are grown and gone from home and I’m now in a state of who-do-I want-to become-now. It’s almost like asking what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow up. LOL! Except I’m too old now to have any desire to grow-up, and I refuse to get old, so it’s really a very exciting time.

  36. Well, “THE” Wedding is finally here! Saturday, June 26th can not come soon enough. We are so excited and happy about this marriage. Our new daughter-in-law is the one every Mother of a Son prays for. Our Son is a great young man…so that makes her family happy, too. The rehearsal and dinner is set for Thursday. It will be a fun weekend in Seattle. Last Sunday we celebrated our other Son’s First Father’s Day! Life is Good.

  37. Glad you’re back posting. 🙂

    I found out last week that I had mono so I’ve been taking it easy, resting. My doctor said it was important to laugh so I’ve been watching a lot of How I Met Your Mother episodes, thanks to Netflix. Love that show. 🙂

  38. What a great post and inspiration you are to so many, always giving of yourself. Here in VA we’re having temps of nearly 100 degrees and some ocean really sounds good about now. Am happy for you being in Hawaii and your space for writing sounds absoutely perfect. Glad you’ll be back with us…missed ya, Ruth

  39. Glad you are safely planted in your other home – wish I was looking out your window. We finally got over 75 yesterday. The weather man said it has not been since September 23rd 2009.

    Funny how ‘summer’ is always based around the kids’ school schedule! I have two boys, but almost every day since school let out I have had a total of five boys between the age of 10 and 12 over. The big activity is Nerf wars – amazing how much fun they can have with sponge darts! We hosted our annual multi-family garage sale (8 families this time) last week. The last of the big activities in the recent past is that my older son’s project for Camp Korey finished up with the middle school kids getting off the school bus on the last day of school and meeting me at Camp Korey to deliver the boulders that they made.

    The future of my summer includes several BBQs planned so far (one today at noon), ARRL Field Day (amateur radio) on Saturday and orchestra camp and music lessons for my younger son. There will be getaways to Leavenworth and most likely taking vanloads of boys to the water park in Moses Lake for daytrips. So much fun!

    I am currently reading The Cradle by Patrick Somerville and am enjoying it.

  40. Hi Jane! It’s good to hear from you. I wish I was lucky enough to have a ocean view room, how amazing!
    Been busy with children, work, camping, garage sales and the list goes on. But, I like it that way. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t have things to keep me occupied. I’m getting ready to go on a camping trip and do some fishing next week. We are just now getting our summer weather here in OR, so it’ll be hard to keep me indoors now. 🙂
    Enjoy your time in Hawaii!

  41. Hi Jane,
    how wonderful to be writting from your desk looking out at the water in Hawaii! Great place to be creative.
    I have been working, but off at 2:30pm 4 days a week and coming out to the pool with the waterfall on , while listening to some Fiji, or other Hawaiian/Reggae. Makes me feel alittle closer to Hawaii!
    Looking forward to you new book, sunshine, BBQ”s and sleep overs with my niece and nephew 🙂
    Enjoy your time in Hawaii!

  42. Hi Jane. How nice of you to spend time with the young ladies.
    I have been planning a baby shower for my sister-in-law that occurs on Saturday. 🙂

  43. My own teenager has not read any Louisa May Alcott either, so I broke down this past weekend and started reading it to her. She consumes books by the dozen, but never would touch this classic. So, we sit at night and read. All the animals gather around also. It’s either my soothing voice, or the plotline…hard to say.

  44. On vacation with family at the Texas Gulf coast. So wonderful to rest, relax, play in the waves, and recharge the batteries! Great to connect with the family too. My beach read? Easy on the Eyes!! Love it so far! Have a wonderful stay in paradise. 🙂

  45. Hi Jane,

    I actually started to miss your blog so I’m so glad that you found the time to write to us again. Thanks.

    I’m keeping busy with work but looking forward to a trip over seas to Europe. I’m flying out on Saturday.

    I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to hearing more about you. Your new office space sounds just perfect.

    I’m looking forward to August 23 so that I can get on with reading your books.


  46. Sounds like you had a lovely day with the girls, I’ll bet it was real nice!

    These past couple of weeks I have spent working on an old desk for my mother-in-law. It just needed to be clean up and glued back together! I did this out side and its been really hot here! I plan on painting some rooms in the house next!

  47. Your ocean view sounds divine…lucky you!

    I loved the idea of a mother-daughter book club. My youngest would truly enjoy it… and I’m fortunate because at 17 she still likes doing things with me, we never had that awkward teenaged distance between us.

    Horse show season has begun. I love it, but I am away from home most of my summer weekends… I need to win the lottery so I don’t have to work and could just go from show to show, lol.

    My garden needs attention and is only getting it in bits and pieces, but I have a lot of perennials and they are almost bomb proof.

    We had a 5.5 earthquake yesterday afternoon (I know that’s not much compared to what you guys on the San Andreas fault get) and it was a little scary. We get little tremors every now and again, but not usually quakes that break dishes.

    Enjoy your time in Hawaii… am reading a Nora Roberts and am awaiting She’s Gone Country.

  48. Spent a few days in Key West for summer vacation. Loved it. Will definitely go back. We stayed at the Casa Marina. It was excellent.
    I just finished Anna Campbell’s My Reckless Surrender. Very good summer read.
    Enjoy Hawaii and summer with your guys.

  49. Hi Jane, I have never posted a comment before (on any website) but I have been wanting to tell you how much I enjoy reading your books and blog. I hope you enjoy your time in Hawaii. Do you have any workshops or events scheduled for Colorado? I would love to meet you in person sometime 🙂 I have two teenage sons who play lots of ice hockey and your books are such a nice escape while I wait at the cold ice rink. Thank you and have a great summer!

  50. Sounds like a fun book club. I’ll probably go visit my cousin in Michigan in July. I’m looking forward to July 4th and all the festivities. I’ve been reading Toni Blake’s Destiny books.

  51. Sounds like you had a really good time with the girls at the tea. How neat! Bet hawaii is fun too.

    This summer is hot, hot, hot AND humid. Been doing a little yard work in the evenings and cleaning out some of the closets. Not too exciting.
    Reading a Linda Howard book to escape…. 🙂

  52. What a lovely and fun thing to do – it so important growing up actually see, hear and feel all the different choices that life can bring you (what does college fell like, how does a mecanic work and an author…?)It makes it real and relevant.
    The last two weeks have been…hectic.. schools winding down, me packing up the house and getting it and the yard and the cats ready to be “sat” for 4 weeks, then going home (long, mostly happy flight to Denmark with all 4 kiddos) finally seeing the Hubby after 2 weeks of flying solo and being …here…the sun does not set till midnight, its light again at 3.30 makes adjusting the internal time intresting. Being with old friends and family and just haning out with them – no rush…its great! But it takes a couple of days to unwind. I have been revisiting ” Out of Africa” and just started ” The catcher in the rye” that for some reason I never came across before. Hugs

  53. Love those photos, Jane. I wish you were already in So. Cal!!

    We are just ending our Vacation Bible School at church. That is one of my job duties as Children’s Program Director. It’s a HUGE task and I’m so glad it’s almost behind me. Honestly since the kids got out of school on June 15, it’s all I’ve lived and breathed! No time for fun.

    I can’t wait for next week–beach, water park, movies…we’re going to do it all!!

    Glad you’re all settled in Hawaii. Aloha, my friend!!

    Shannon in Tustin

  54. Hi Jane!

    It was great to read your posts, love the mother-daughter book club and what wonderful pictures too! Looks like a good time was had by all.

    We are just on our first week of summer break here and it’s been pretty hectic. The kids are on swim team and my daughter did a soccer camp in this extreme heat. The DC area hit a record today of 100 degrees air temperature!

    Hard to believe that in just 8 days my hubby will be home from two and half months in Bahrain. We are excited to count down the last week. Still working three days a week and tomorrow is a much needed day off. I plan to be at the pool when it opens!

    I just won so if you pick my number please pick again. Can’t wait to hear how my friend and her family enjoy their surf lesson. Thanks again!!

  55. OMG I love that kitchen!!!

    The kids have been off school for two weeks so it’s been a little crazy! My kids’ dance recital was June 12th and the moms were in the openning number! That was fun! I hosted a beuatiful bridal shower for my oldest Goddaughter June 19th. My son started his Orthodontial treatments. My daughter has had dance practice for her high school team and they have dance camp for a couple days next week. My sister took her vacation and has been here for the week. She & the kids have been watching Buffy season dvd’s. Hopefully we will get the liner replaced in our pool which the sides have collapsed on! I feel like the summer is almost over! And hopefully next week it will be more relaxed and I can start rewriting my novel again!!!!

    Hope you have a fabulous time in Hawaii!!!!

  56. In 2 weeks we are having our annual family get-together where I plan and make the menu for 15 of us for 2 meals that day, plan activities for the grandkids(step).

    Then on 22nd of July we are off to Calgary to dog sit my sister’s dog, a Labradoodle. Oh I love dogs so this will be fun.

    Have a great summer Jane.

  57. Hi Jane,
    This post has brought back some many memories of when I was seven years old and some family friends came to visit and they gave me a box of chocolate with a book attached and it was Little Women By Louisa May Alcott. I loved that book so much I must have read it 100 times. And then I read all her other books. I now want to introduce her to my daughters.
    About summer plans. My kids are going to finish school next week and start swimming lessons. And then we are going to Italy to visit my family for a month. Can’t wait.

    Have a great summer. Enjoy Hawaii and your beautiful family.

  58. Dear Jane,

    Thanks again for coming to our book club. We loved meeting you, and hearing about how you write. You’ve inspired me to read Louisa May Alcott this summer.

    Have fun in Hawaii. It’s an awesome place.

    Lauren BD

  59. Hi Jane,
    It must be so nice to look out your office window at the ocean. It was exciting in our house as my son graduated from high school last week and now we have to get him ready to leave for college at the end of summer.

  60. We have had relatives visiting so I have been busy cleaning, then cooking and more cleaning but also running around and enjoying the arrival of summer – it was about time!

  61. Hi Jane,
    I have been wondering where you have been hiding! I have missed the JaneBlog.

    Summer is always filled with running the kids from place to place with sports. This year is no different. We just got back from a baseball tournament in Omaha. That was a lot of fun.

    My hubby is in town for a couple of weeks so we are going to play a little golf and try to reconnect. It is always so difficult catching up on the routine house maintenance plus trying to have a little fun while he is here.

    Glad to hear your summer is going well. I can’t wait until August and the new book! Yay!

  62. Sounds like you had a nice meeting with some great girls Jane. I have 3 boys, so mother and daughter anything for me. Glad your settled in Hawaii. For me the past 2 weeks I’ve been prepping for my oldest sons highschool graduation party which is this Sunday the 27th. Been doing alot of running around the closer the date gets. Then This past Tues the 22nd we had to drive almost 3 hours to Owosso Mi to Baker College for his orientation. Fun Fun! Made it thru that OK so now it’s getting thru Sunday and then i can breathe again. lol

    Lisa B

  63. The last two weeks have consisted of swim lessons, wagon rides through the neighborhood on sunny days, trips to the library and the discovery that come mid-November we’ll be adding another baby girl to the two (ages 4 and 21 months) that we already have!! Summer is off to a great start!

  64. Hi Jane! I’m so jealous of you being in Hawaii… I really need to take my 2.5 year old son there… We will be spending the summer with swim lessons, potty-training and getting ready for the little one to go to preschool! I will also be trying to shed the last of my baby weight as well…

  65. I have been in California this past week. My dad has a terminal illness and I have been running around like crazy. There were several issues to take care of and there are many more. I am coming home tomorrow. I miss WA state and its weather. Yes, I do. 🙂

    I will be back down here soon.

  66. Hi Jane,

    Oh, to be in Hawaii right now! But, I don’t really have any plans this summer other than the usual family reunions & some home improvements. Hopefully, in August, my husband & I will get a chance to go away for our anniversary – probably a quick weekend trip.

    Enjoy your time in Hawaii & especially that wonderful sounding office you’ve created for yourself.


  67. Hey Jane, the book club sounded and looked fun – I think it’s a great idea.
    I can’t imagine how time consuming packing up your life to go someplace else for a few months is, so thanks for taking the time to say howdy.
    We really don’t have any plans for this summer. We had an unplanned medical expense from my daughter which took our savings (but I’m glad it was there) so we’re just hanging out in Salt Lake for the summer, maybe we’ll do a quick camping trip or two, but nothing big and planned — which sounds delightful right about now. LOL You’d think working for an airline I’d at least be able to take a freebie, but you actually have to have the luck of the gods to get out on a flight – so no go there either. :o)
    I have both my jobs and my girls to keep me hopin’.
    Do me a favor though? One day this summer, when the skies are blue and you are enjoying a few minutes with your men, lean back, soak up the sun and all your beautiful surroundings for a few minutes for me huh? :o)

    Mahalo kiddo.

    peace out

  68. Hey Jane,
    Pictures are Great! Looks like you had a great time! I wish someone would push me at that age to be an avid reader. I just loved Little Women.

    My son is almost 12 years old and is a huge reader. We are going to the Library once a week. I would say he definitely loves to read. I wish he interested in writing too. I am sure that will come.

    We have been busy already, school is out! My son is on swim team, it keeps us busy, taking him each day.

    We have enjoyed to Lake Tahoe and the spectacular sunsets turning the water pink.
    Hoping to spend the 4th up there.
    Kayaking and paddleboarding is looking fun, thought we would try that this summer! And a couple restful days at the beach with a good book!

    I have couple weeks off, so we a list of projects around the house. Like pulling out carpet and replacing it with hardwood. Touch up painting, etc.

    My husband is wondering why we are doing this now, when it may hit 100 here tomorrow. I guess timing could have been better, like in the Fall, when it’s a little cooler.

    I plan on taking time out to read. I am starting a new book, Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane. It looks like a good one!

    What are you reading? You busy lady! In your spare time? LOL

    Hope you are enjoying your time in Hawaii with all your boys!

    Have a Terrific Summer!

    Can’t wait til August!! And for that Awesome New Book!

    It’s a little late for contest, It was so great to hear from you. So I thought I would chat with you.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  69. Hey Jane! Glad to see you’re doing well. Summer has been crazy busy so far. Taking two classes that keep me swamped; and of course work is even more crazy/busy. Been getting out on weekends with my friend for some nice hikes on the island :0)

  70. Hi All,

    It’s 10:45 am here in Hawaii and I’ve been battling to get Mac down for a nap so I can write without success! Argh–he’s busy and I’m antsy to work! Anyway, I stuck him in his crib so I could post the winners of the contest. I have 2 winners and a bonus winner, so whoever emails me first gets the 2 prizes I described and whoever mails me last gets the mystery prize (which is always great), so here are the winners and email me with your address pronto so you can start enjoying the summer fun and yummy coffee and treats!


    #8 Linda Henderson
    #23 Lanette M
    #65 Mina

    Thanks to all for chatting. Check back for a new blog post soon and another contest this week!


  71. Great post! In the last two weeks, the school year ended for my children. Last week my daughter took a writing/acting/ singing/dancing class–ending in a performance on the last day. My son has been spending time with friends. It’s been a busy beginning to the summer!

  72. Hi! I was hoping that i’d win but didn’t but thats ok. for I really like hearing all that you and your family are doing. And its fun answering your blog, its one way of getting to know you better as a person who is a mom, wife,but who’s an author. You’v become a friend, who I’ve never met but I feel that I know you pretty well. Have a wonderful time with your family, and enjoy your vacation.

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