June is here! It is officially summer! The close of my birthday season (aka, the month of May) means one thing: SUMMER!!! The first week of June also meant the start of my very first Summer Reading Program (which is why you didn’t hear from me last week). I have been preparing for this since the end of November, but I still couldn’t believe it was finally here! To say I was a bag of nerves and excitement was an understatement, but it turned out to be an AMAZING week!
We started off with our kick-off carnival where over 240 kids signed up for the program and over 300 people played inflatable carnival games, bean bag toss, ran in our bubble run, and ate tasty fruit kabobs. It was just so perfect!
Other highlights of the week included our Mayor Story Time where over 70 people attended. That’s right: 7-0!
And I had my first Level Up! session. Of all the summer programs, Level Up! Is kind of my baby. I got the idea from MLA last year: rotating, ready-made STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs in a kit. We got all the materials from a wonderful grant, I put the kits together, and they are rotating around our branch libraries for kids to enjoy, play with, and learn all summer! The first was Electronic Music, complete with digital drum sets, digital guitars, synthesizer pencils (you can actually “play” your drawings!), and piano gloves! Put that all together, and you have one epic jam session in your library!
Needless to say, it was a crazy fun week! Emphasis on the crazy. 😉
And, yes, my birthday weekend WAS fantastic, thank you very much. Book of Mormon was HILARIOUS, as you might imagine. I got to see some of my best friends and favorite people in the world, and–oh yeah–I GOT TO PET SHARKS AND STINGRAYS!
Shane and I went to the Minnesota Zoo on Sunday where they have an open tank filled with Leopard Sharks, Stingrays, Swell Sharks, and Horn Sharks. The tank is deep enough where the animals can swim or dive deep enough to totally avoid humans if they wanted, but they hardly ever did. These sharks were so friendly and social, they would butt up against your hand like a cat. I was rubbing a stingray’s back like a puppy! If you ever get a chance to check out the Minnesota Zoo, DO IT! I’m going back to see my new friends as soon as I can. 🙂
In book-related news, my publishers have started work on the eBook of Seven Stones! This has been the number one request from readers, and I am SO EXCITED to say that the eBook is ON ITS WAY! The final draft was sent off to the publishers for approval last week, and from there it will be converted into my first eBook. I will DEFINITELY let you know as soon as it becomes available!
It’s going to be an exciting summer, everyone. Stay tuned!