The unofficial beginning of summer is near!
If it hasn't begun already in your home, it's coming soon! If you are a teacher, you probably have a public (or secret!) calendar of Days Left hanging somewhere and you are anxiously ticking off the days to your freedom. If you have school-aged kids, you know the end of school is near because parties and field trips and play days are a'plenty these final days of the school year. And if you don't fit into those groups, you feel it too!
For our family, summer means "Busy!" We have our church VBS, my husband spends several weeks away doing his other/summer job directing a youth conference, holidays/birthdays/anniversaries, traveling, church camp, and (finally!) vacation at the beach at the very end of July! This year, we're also adding a family wedding and my trip to BlogHer '12 at the end! Even though our summers are kind of crazy, I love the very beginning of it, the anticipation that excitement is coming and the summers is ours to make of it what we wish.
I remember our awesome summers when I was growing up, especially when we lived in Indiana. We lived on a huge lot on a lake and we spent countless hours roaming in the woods, skipping rocks, swinging on a rope swing, and risking tetanus playing in a rusty old boat someone left in the woods. One of my favorite memories was the summer that a house was being built next door and we climbed and played and explored in the enormous dirt tunnels being moved to make way for the home's basement. Every day was an adventure - we Slip 'n Slided (Slip 'n Slid?), swam, swung, and just PLAYED all over the neighborhood the entire summer. All of that before I turned 8! (My mom was a Free Range Parent even before that was a phrase.) Summers were bliss.
This weekend, I'll be taking the boys on a camping trip with my mom, sister, and 12 year old nephew, our traditional post-Mother's Day Mother/Daughter/Grandson getaway. We've practiced camping in the backyard, I've been reading The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids by Helen Olsson, and adding lots of camping tips and ideas to my Camping with Kids Pinterest board. I'm ready, I'm excited, and if anything memorable happens, you'll be sure to hear about it next week!
I want this to be a fun summer, even with all the craziness, so I'm working on putting together some plans. Here are some of my favorites I've come up with so far:
- Take one last trip to the zoo before our year of zoo membership expires at the end of the month
- Use my friend Jen's summer homeschool plan (fit for non-homeschoolers!) to teach the boys some things
- Ice Treasures (see photo above!) at The Activity Mom (she has some AMAZING crafts, games, and activities on her website!)
- Camp Mom! 20 Activities to Make Summer Awesome for Everyone (Parents.com)
- Checklist of 100 Things to Do this Summer from the Honest to Nod blog
- Summertime Fun Bucket List from Aggieland Mommy
I'm hoping that by making some plans for the summer, I'll be able to keep focused on enjoying our time instead of being overwhelmed by the craziness of it all!
What are your summer plans? What's ONE THING you are determined to do with your kids this summer?
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