Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

In a way, I can't believe it's been 15 days since I last wrote here; in another way, I can totally believe it!

It's summer and one child is finishing his third full week of no school and the other is finishing her second.
Can that really be??!

Why, yes Ferb, yes it can :-)

I love summer for the most part.
I love this song about summer, too (how can you not?!).

What I don't love so much about summer is the lack of structure that has crept in and wrecked my business ethic the last two summers.

I decided this summer would be different and so far, I think I'm doing pretty well.

I had my kids make a "bucket list" of sorts for the summer...things they wanted to make sure they got to do.
You'll see candy shop and ice cream shop on the list, LOL!

So that we could track our summer fun list, I got this piece of foam board from the dollar store and made a chart on one side.

We've already been to one movie, a friend's pool, and,though not on the list, my kids are finishing up their first of two week-long Bible Schools.

They may tell you that don't want to go, but trust me, they have fun.
Snacks and crafts everyday, fun songs, plus they learn great bible stories and verses - I'm sold!

BUT to help keep the balance the summer, I decided it couldn't all be fun and no "work."

Here's the other side of my board...

I found these nifty little dry-erase schedule and calendar sheets (also at the dollar store).
It allows me to make a daily and weekly schedule for the kids so they know what's coming and so do I :-).

Before school was out, I ordered them Summer Bridge Books to help keep them on track for next school year.
The concept is to do just one worksheet a day all summer and keep their minds sharp for the first day of school.  So many kids spend the first few weeks relearning what they previously learned but forgot, and I wanted to avoid that.

For my son, who's entering Kindergarten, it's easy stuff like shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. I also bought him some fun window clings.  One set was just fun colored lines and I formed a frame out of them; then there was a set of numbers, a set of colors, and a set of shapes. I tell him to go make me a "recipe" inside his picture frame and then call out 10 RED OVALS.  He has to go and find all 3 corresponding pictures and put them inside the frame together.
It's cheesy, but fun and he doesn't realize he's learning and reviewing.

I guess we did "4 Purple Hearts" last :-)

For Sweetpea, it's writing exercises and math on her level - multiplication and division and I am also teaching her some simple algebra to solve equations.
I try to point out to her how often I use math in the kitchen or when making a bank deposit. So many kids think math isn't useful in everyday life and that's not true.

It's actually my intention to work them up to more than one worksheet a day.  I also bought a few other cheap books and activities to reinforce the same concepts as the summer bridge books.  The Summer Bridge books were about $16 each, but everything else I bought came from the dollar store and I spent less than $20 combined.

I also looked up some simple science experiments online and I am really excited about some of them! I picked up the supplies for our first one at Walmart last week, so I'll be sure to share it once we've conducted it!

Last week was the first week both kids were out of school and we spent it doing lots of fun things...the movies one day, the trip to see a cousin with a pool, another day.  By Friday, though, Sweetpea was sick.  Like, threw-up all day, sick.  It was terrible!
By Saturday, Buddy had the upset stomach (no vomiting) thank goodness, but it took him 3 days to get over it.

Just as I got the kids well, I got sick - sort of.  I have had a migraine since Tuesday at lunchtime, and, in spite of my best efforts, I cannot get rid of it.  It's hard to function and I feel like my summer plans have been derailed a little, but I'm not giving up!

So far, I am still enjoying summer and looking forward to the next 8 weeks before school starts.

In two weeks, ask me if I still feel that way - LOL!
What does your summer look like?

I'm linking this post up with MamaKat...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

{Be Still}: What am I missing?

I am not a confident woman.

I've talked about this plenty before; I think it's one of my biggest challenges with blogging.  Even though my reader pool is small, the fear that someone I know might read my words and {gasp} know something personal about me, is quite great and debilitating.

It keeps me trapped, paralyzed, and not very useful.

I used to like to entertain.  To have people in my house and cook for them and make them things and make pretty, decorative, impressive centerpieces and wreathes for my door.

I had no kids then.  I worked full time and so did E and the house stayed pretty clean because we were mostly only here to sleep and eat.

And, while I'm sure there must have been some stress around a gathering at my house, I don't remember it now.
At best, it pales in comparison to the anxiety attacks I now have over my parents and in-laws coming over for a child's birthday celebration.

I've known for most of my life that I care way too much about other people's opinions.  Their opinions of me, my family, my kids, my house, my abilities as a wife and mother.

And I'm tired!
I am SO, SO, SO tired of being this way!

I hear myself telling Sweetpea that God's opinion matters most.  That she should only compare herself to herself and always do her best even if that doesn't make her THE best at something.

And I feel like such a terrible mother!
Who tells her child this when she can't live it herself?

I can't help but wonder, am I too far gone?

Is 37 years too many years of living this way to let it go?
To be different?
To care less?

I don't know, but I have to start somewhere.

Today, I don't know where that somewhere is.  But I have to find it, and soon.

Because I think I am missing out...
missing out on community and friendship.  Missing out on the hospitality I used to enjoy so much.

Missing out on the freedom that comes with caring less about the unimportant things and MORE about what matters.