Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Saturday 7 / End of Summer

1. Well that's it. Summer 2016 is officially in the books. Tomorrow morning I walk with my friend from 6:30-7:30, come home to family devotions, packing lunches, making breakfasts ands scooting out the door by 8:15 with my big 7th and 6th graders. Home a few minutes later to clean up from breakfast, (hopefully) start a load of laundry and straight up a bit, and start homeschool with my 1st and 4th graders by 9:00! I give myself (and the kids) a lot of grace the first week... routines are hard to get back into, so I don't expect perfection... but at least we will be heading in the right direction! 

2. This week has been a weeks of "lasts". Blueberry picking, night swimming, sand-pile climbing and jumping, rope-swinging-in-the-rain, etc. Whatever fun thing the kids wanted to do, I tried hard to say "yes!" Summer is short and the kids are only this age once... plus Selina and the kids' cousins were in town, adding to the chaos and making everything just that much more adventurous and fun. :)

3. Soccer season is back in full swing as well, so for the next three months, I'll be spending 4 nights a week at the local rec park. Awesome. (haha.) I only have 2 kids playing; I can't imagine how my parents made it work with me and my siblings (4 of us) playing on 6 teams at the same time. I certainly appreciate their sacrifice, and I love love loved playing soccer for our local rec team and our local "travel" team. Sports were one of my very favorite things growing up, and they played a big part in shaping who I am today... it's important to me to try my very best to give that experience to my kids as well! 

4. Will doesn't play "official" sports, but he's been taking tennis lessons with a neighbor kid once a week, and he loves it. It's funny, you just never know what will click with your kids! Will hated playing baseball and soccer, but he loves boy scouts, theater, and tennis. Kids are all so different and unique - I love it! He doesn't really love karate per se, but he started taking it with Tristan and now wants to stick with it so he can out-rank Tristan.... gotta love a little "brotherly love" for motivation! 

5.  Hallie takes flute lessons year-round, and will start back up with art lessons next month. She's super strong and athletic, but like Will, hasn't really clicked with a team sport. I'm trying to get her to go to weekly yoga with me this fall... we'll see. haha. She's really a home body and, especially during the school year, doesn't like to be busy with extra activities during the week. She'd rather be reading in her room! :)

6. Tristan is all about basketball and soccer... and does karate twice a week. He loves his team sports fiercely, and is a great team player and encourager. I love watching him play! He puts his whole heart in whatever he does and gives it his very best. 

7. Olivia is playing soccer and so far, that's it. She's only six so I don't feel too bad about it. :) She wants to take dance and gymnastics and do theater, but with Dan's work schedule being what it is (unpredictable) and me being what I am (one person ;)), I have to really work to make it all fit. And family dinners are still a priority to me, so I have to fight to make sure we are all sitting down together at least a couple times a week! (Ahh the trials of the modern family. ;)) Not really. I love my life and I love seeing my kids do what they love, and watching them grow and develop into really awesome people. And making it all work is one of the chief joys of my occupation! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another Couple of Weeks Recap

1. We got home early Friday morning from a week spent in Kansas City, helping Pop & Mima move into/ unpack/ decorate their new house in Kansas City. It was a great week spent working hard and filled with lot of laughs, time with family, and good food. (All my favorite things.) :)

2. We had a bit of a fiasco getting home from MO. Long story short, we ended up driving 9 hours  home from Charlotte NC and yesterday, on one of the most beautiful weekends of the summer, we had to drive to NYC to get my van back. Ugh. The upside is that we were able to pick up Selina to spend another week with us! Downside is that Laguardia's parking is a complete & total nightmare.

3. I'm not ready for school to start. One week from Monday?! Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. This means we have one week left to finish our summer bucket list items, including bike riding to a local deli for lunch and having a family water fight!

4. The Olympics are in full swing but since we don't have cable (insert annoyed, angry face) I can't watch them except for recap clips. (I am mostly just annoyed that the kids don't get to witness my hard core fandom.)

5. Will is getting braces in 3 weeks... poor kiddo. But all his friends are too, so I don't feel too bad. ;)

6. It has been HOT here the last week! Selena requested that we go blueberry picking this week, so I'm hoping there are still berries left on the bushes. Somehow I haven't even gotten out to the farm once this summer! Our pancakes will be in sad shape this winter.

7. Our summer travels have come to an end, which makes me both sad and happy. I don't mind the slower pace of life, but I sure do love the ability to pick up and go as well. Sigh. That's life, isn't it?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Couple of Weeks Recap

1. 21 days left of summer break. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. Make it stop.

2. We've had a really busy/fun couple of weeks. I took the kids to the beach for a few days last week. We stayed in Cape May and it was busy and hot and fun. We got to see friends we hadn't seen all year (who happened to be at the shore as well!) which was so fun.

3. Did anyone else watch the RNC and DNC? Man. I can't even believe this year in politics. Dumb and dumber. Although I did like both Obama's speeches (especially Michelle's "when they go low, we go high." yes!). For as many policy differences as I have with the Obama's, I have so appreciated their focus on good parenting, keeping their marriage strong, and maintaining 8 years of a scandal-free White House.

4. My two closest-age sisters Emily & Anna have returned/moved to their homes in Rwanda and Central America. It's always sooooo fun for me when they are home and just crushing when they leave. I have low-grade depression for days afterward, no joke. Sisters who live near each other: appreciate it!! My 3 little sisters are home for a couple more months before they head off to college in NC, and home in FL.

5. I suppose I am ready (IN SOME WAYS ONLY) to return to the structure and routine of the school year. My personal goals really need daily routine to be achieved and while I LOVE summer with all my heart, I know that goals and good habits are good for me. I suppose I will reluctantly embrace the school year when it gets here. MAYBE.

6. Friday I drove 162 miles home from the beach with the kiddos. Saturday I drove 202 miles (roundtrip) to my cousin's engagement cookout with Olivia. Sunday, my friend and I drove 248 miles with the three younger kids to pick up my niece and nephew from Laguardia (they are here for the week!) Over 600 miles in 3 days is for sure a record for me! (Minus our road trips to MO of course :))

7. My kids have their cousins here for the week... and they are so happy. Bonus for me is that I am way more efficient at getting stuff done when the kids are happily occupied for hours on end. :)