Friday, June 10, 2016

The Sorta Lazy Days of Summer

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links.}

Every year I go into summer thinking that this is the year we will have loads of free time and endless quiet afternoons at home...and then life happens.  Of course, we wouldn't have it any other way.  While I do enjoy days with nothing on the calendar, I appreciate them so much more when they are sandwiched between busier days, days when we visit our friends or go out for ice cream or drive to the beach.

On our first week off from school in May, we had five separate events in the span of three days! While we hope not to keep up that pace, the days and weeks are slowly filling with both in-home and away plans.

  • Brian and two of the boys are going to a baseball game with my dad.  Maddie and I (without the baby!) are attending a local theater production of Mary Poppins.  Several of us are attending my sister's choir recital...

  • We're going to the beach (even though I'm still sand-phobic).  We're borrowing a beach umbrella and using a bit of this sunblock.  It has zinc oxide, the only active sunblock ingredient approved by the FDA for babies younger than 6 months, and probably a safer choice for everyone!

  • I'm slipping school planning into the cracks.  Can I say that I am only mildly less intimidated by high school than I was a few months ago?  But I made some choices and I made an Amazon order yesterday!

  • We're getting our health credit out of the way.  We're using My Body by Patty Carratello. Alaine (5) and Ben (7) are the students and Owen (9) and Maddie (11) are acting as the teachers.  We have a large cut-out body taped to a door in our house whom they've named  Bobby the Body. Our "students" color and add an organ or two every Monday!  The "teachers" read the text to them while they work. They've also put together a floor-size body puzzle.  

  • We're doing other puzzles, too, which means we are eating meals around the kitchen counter or in the living room or even on the floor. Everyone loves the novelty of it.

  • Some of the kids are taking care of plants.  Maddie has daffodils.  Gavin has sunflowers and Alaine has zinnias.  Ben has wild strawberries and basil. Owen has my "black thumb."

  • Ben has taken off with independent reading.  He started with the Young Cam Jansen series by David Adler at the end of the school year, then progressed to the regular Cam Jansen book series.  When he started going through two in a day and ran out of library books well before "library day," he scoured our home shelves and started the Ramona series.  He is beginning the fourth book today.

  • I'm trying to be intentional to read with Alaine on the mornings when we're home.  She sometimes falls between the cracks of big kids and baby, but she loves our one-on-one time. We've enjoyed the Library Mouse series this week. We're also making our way through the Mrs. Noodlekugel series.  We're getting lots of inspiration from this list of 100 picture books to read this summer.  I plan to share some of our favorite on the blog's Facebook page.

  • Our yard is big and Brian cuts it using his equipment from work.  He is teaching Gavin to do some of the trimming with a push mower, though, or to touch it up on weeks when the grass is growing out of control. Owen is begging to learn, too!

  • We're playing host to a Sunday school party, a weekday brunch, and various visiting friends.

  • We're taking an hour on random weekend evening when everyone is home to play a family game. Our current favorites are Big Picture Apples to Apples and Wits and Wagers Family Edition.

  • And who are we kidding?  We're watching TV.  We are new to Amazon Prime and we've spent probably too much time exploring what's available for free on Prime Video.  

What are your summer plans? 

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