Christmas in June

We saw Les Miserables last week – the last show in our family Christmas gift.  It was fantastic.  We bought seats pretty close for this one and I’m so glad we did.  How wonderful to see faces full of emotion in every song.   We might have to think about experience gifts for this coming Christmas too – the memories made doing something like this together far outweighs a new this or that.  So thankful for the opportunity and means to do these things with the kids.  

 

Our Summer Plan

I know, I know, it’s summer time and there shouldn’t be a plan – just carefree days for the kids.  But, I’m a planner, and strive to be an intentional mom.  Meaning, I have items I want to teach the kids and things for them to experience.  If we don’t plan them, they won’t happen!  If I leave our summer to chance we’d get to August and I’d wish we would have done certain things.  I’ve done that before – had no plans for the summer and later regretted not making the most of our time together.  That being said, summer is definitely time for balance.  Every day cannot be jam packed with plans.  That doesn’t work either.  There has to be work mixed with fun or everyone is grumpy.  The kids need time to play on their own, time to be bored, and get creative.  That’s crucial to their development.  There is also little screen time; a key in getting them to play and be creative.  

So, with that disclaimer, I thought I’d share our plan for the summer.  Kind of a way to document for the kids what the summer looked like and also a record for me to review in coming years.  

This feels like our first real week of summer.  After Kenny’s trip to San Francisco, he came home with a cold, then I eventually caught a lighter version of what he had.  So, last week was Dad working from home many days and napping often so we were quiet and tried to let him rest.  We did some things and had some fun but this week we’re diving in to some more.  

I’ve said before that our kids (so far) haven’t taken any lessons or activities during the school year.  School, homework, and a bit of time to play every day left little time for anything else.  We believe time to play after a long day is more important than rushing them around to activities.  So, summer is our time for trying new things and taking some classes.  This summer both kids are continuing swimming lessons, James is taking Kung Fu, and Anna is taking a ballet class.  Ballet is once a week, but the other two activities we are doing multiple times a week.  Kung Fu is a set fee for the month and you can come up to three times a week.  So, we’re not being crazy about it, but definitely want to get our money’s worth.  With swimming I’ve discovered that the kids progress faster and retain what they’re learning the more we’re in the pool.  So, we’re there a couple times a week getting in three lessons a week.  All of that sounds like a lot it and it does mean most days we’re headed to one of these classes, but so far it’s working out ok and doesn’t feel like too much.  The kids’ excitement makes it worth the time invested.  

And, I’m trying something new this summer – planning some goals each week.  If we finish them, great; if not, no worries.  Having a plan gives us something to work towards, but if they don’t happen, I’m not too concerned.  I’m not going to be a drill sergeant about it – if we need a day, or a week, to chill and rest, then we’ll do that. 

Each week includes a project, a fun event, and a life skill to teach the kids.  I’ve been collecting a list of skills and trying to work through them with the kids.  At least expose them to these things and work on them over the years.  Our time with James & Anna is so short (only 8 more summers with James!) and if we want them to be fully functioning adults when they leave our house, we have to be intentional with teaching them.  Hence, the life skills.  

Here is our plan for the rest of June:
Week 1:
Project – Organize kid’s clothes in basement – items to store and items to give away
Fun – Organ concert and swimming with a friend
Life Skill – Anna is planning a meal, helping shop for ingredients, and will help make the meal
Week 2:
Project – Order new pictures for various frames around the house and shop for new frames for other posters & pictures
Fun – Two play-dates with friends
Life Skill – James plans a meal, helps shop for ingredients, and makes the meal
Week 3:
Project – Mom’s choice while kids are at VBS
Fun – VBS at our church
Life Skill – Work on Hygiene – talk through and practice better teeth brushing, washing hair, etc. 

In addition to our classes and these goals, we’re still doing household chores like cleaning and laundry (the kids are such HUGE helps in this area!), going to the library weekly (the kids LOVE this), and making time for play – outside and inside.  With them home all day, there really is SO much time in one day and many hours of time together.  This new plan seems to be working well so far and I’m glad!  It’s all on the calendar on the frig and the kids are able to look ahead and see what’s coming.  It gives all of us things to look forward to – the fun events as well as the other things too – the kids are VERY excited about planning and cooking their own meal. 

Here’s to a relaxing, yet productive summer!  I’ll update again at the beginning of July about how it’s all going.