To me, nothing spells "summer" as much as hammocks. It's amazing how a simple piece of sturdy fabric, hung between two wooden posts, can bring about so much fun and relaxation. I don't need to work very hard to entertain my kids - I'll just go outside, get comfortable in the hammock, and let the girls take turns in sprawling on top of mama. :-) Just this morning, I had the privilege of spending a lovely three-quarters of an hour in such a manner, holding and rocking each child in turn.
The hammock is placed so that it is in the shade until about noon - a perfect place for a midmorning recess after busy activities; to tell stories, sing songs, or just daydream.
It is now Friday afternoon, and Shabbat will be soon upon us. The house is filled with delicious smell of baking bread, the girls are taking a very deserved nap, and I'm here, in the middle of all the quiet, after a flurry of cooking and cleaning. I will now head off for some last preparations, and wish you all the loveliest of weekends.