Monday, June 4, 2012

The Summer of Awesome

It's that time of year again.  The time of year that strikes fear and dread into the hearts of school-age kids' mommies everywhere.

Sum Sum Summertime. 

Four kids.  Three months.  A bucket list and a lot of determination.  I am DETERMINED that my children will not loaf around and watch TV and play video games all summer.  I am DETERMINED that we will not stay home all day, every day, and whine about our excessive boredom.  I am DETERMINED that we will ENJOY our summer.  All of us.  I am DETERMINED to make this the Summer of Awesome.

That's right.  The Summer of Awesome.

The plan?  It is a multi-faceted approach.  I am going to attack Summer 2012 from several angles:

1.  Finding stuff to do outside that won't make us die of heat exhaustion.

2.  Finding fun places to go indoors so we don't die of heat exhaustion.

3.  Finding activities to do at home, inside, so we don't die of heat exhaustion.

Are you sensing a theme to the multi-faceted approach?  Allow me to elaborate...

Facet 1:  Stuff to do outside that won't make us die of heat exhaustion.


A. Beach evening.  
Notice I did not say "go to the beach for the week", or even "spend the day at the beach".  The husband and I, we do not love the beach.  We especially do not love the Texas coast beach.  We have no desire to spend 6 hours at the beach, in the blazing hot sun, trying to keep our four children from getting eaten by sharks.  We love the beach at 6:30 pm, when most beach-goers leave to eat dinner and don't come back.  About an hour or so before it gets dark, and "sorry kids, it's dark and we have to leave".  We live close enough to a beach, that we could spend a couple of hours there in the evening, and still be home that night.

B. Cheapie inflatable pool in the backyard.
It's a little embarrassing how much my kids love to play in a blow-up pool in our backyard.  I buy a new one every year, so I don't have to store a nasty, rubber pool, and it is easily the best money I spend for the summer.  They will play in the pool every day that I fill it up, and my grass manages to get watered well that day, too!

C. Slip n Slide
See above.

D. Splash pad at the park
We live nearby to several parks with splash pads, and I plan to take full advantage of them!  Nothing like running around in water at the park to wear some high-energy kids out!

E.  Pick blackberries
This one has to be done this week and next week, because summer right now?  It is HOT.  And peak blackberry season round these parts will be coming to a close in the next couple of weeks.  And I need to figure out something to do with blackberries other than "make cobbler", because we really don't need to eat that much cobbler this year :)

F.  Church camp for Dane and Aidan
Dane will head to camp for 3 nights in July, and Aidan will go on an overnight trip with Brandon next month.  I am already looking forward to it.

Facet 2:  Indoor places to go so we don't die of heat exhaustion.

Plans for implementation:

1.  Send children to visit grandparents
Nothing like breaking up the day-to-day routine like grandparents!  The girls will actually go THIS WEEKEND for a couple of days with Grammy and GranDoug.  Dane and Aidan will go for their weekend in late July, which will be just about when the boys REALLY start to go bonkers in the heat of summer.

2.  Cinemark Summer Movie Club
One of our favorite summertime activities.  Our local movie theater offers kid movies weekly at the bargain price of $1 per person.  They are never first run movies, but my kids don't care.  They get to go to the movies!  And eat popcorn and gummy worms!  And mommy gets to sit in air conditioning that she doesn't have to pay for in relative quiet for 2 hours!  Everybody wins.  Everybody wins.

3.  Spend Dane's gift card at the frozen yogurt place.
Pretty self explanatory.  Dane won a gift card when he ran his 5k race, and we plan to visit a couple of times so his mommy can have cheesecake frozen yogurt with blackberries on top.  I'm easy to please.  And the kids might get some, too.  Speaking of gift cards, the kids have several free pizza buffets and chicken nugget meal cards that they've accumulated by being generally awesome in school this past year.  We may just have an "eat free stuff" week at some point, and use 'em all up.

4.  Pedicure trip for me and the girls.  Or maybe just me and Emerson.  Or maybe just me.  And maybe more than once.

Facet 3:  Fun things to do at home indoors so we don't die of heat exhaustion.

Plans for implementation:

1.  Weekly family movie nights.
We did this a handful of times last summer, and had a great time.  Popcorn, pajamas, and a family movie that everyone can enjoy.  Last fall we introduced Mary Poppins to our kids for the first time, and were reminded once again of how many great (non-animated) family movies from our childhood that the kids may have never seen.  This summer, the original Parent Trap will be on our agenda, and I would love more suggestions!

2.  Kitchen/cooking activities
Pinterest is making me feel so lazy in this department lately.  I have big plans to implement some service projects and "random acts of kindness" for our neighbors or others in the community, and I am hoping to get the kids involved in a little treat-making.  We'll see what my patience level is when that day rolls around :)

3.  Canvas art for new playroom
Did I mention that I am redecorating the upstairs playroom?  Well, I'm redecorating the upstairs playroom, and I have two blank canvases that I want the kids to use to help me with some artwork for that room.  Pinterest will again be crucial to helping me figure out exactly what this is going to be, but I have paint, blank canvases, and lots of little people who love to get messy.

4.  Bin o' books
For the last few months, I have, with the help of Pinterest of course, been amassing books for Dane and Aidan to read this summer.  Sometimes a bad case of the boredom can be cured by a new book you've never seen before.  If you have any suggestions for books for my spirited 6 year old and precocious 8 year old, do share!

5.  School workbooks for Aidan, Emerson, and Dane.
Brandon picked up some workbooks for the kiddos, and he has big plans for them to go through the books at a pace of 4 pages per day for the whole summer.  If they do that, Dane will be doing long division, Aidan will be solving world peace, and Emerson will be writing cursive by the end of August.  So we'll see how that goes :)

6.  Playdates.  Time with buddies.  Because even the boring toys you play with every day are way more fun if  you have buddies.

I am always looking for ways to make the Summer of Awesome even more awesome, so any ideas you have, bring 'em on!


Anonymous said...

All sounds good except ditching the kids on unsuspecting grandparents.... Your mother is getting own in years you know...
Make blackberry jam..... freeze blackberries and worry about them later...

Emily said...

Sounds like a fun summer to me! Have you ever taken them to any of the shows at Miller? Some friends of ours and we like to meet up on Friday evenings every now and then for a picnic dinner and a free show, and I know they have a series of shows for kids during the day. The zoo and the Museum of Natural Science is right around the corner, too. Hope you're enjoying having them home from school for a little while! :)