We tried very hard not to waste any of the time God has given us. We didn't spend entire days just trying to get the house in order. Instead, we focused on the basics for an hour or so, and then moved on to something else. Real time with the kids, rather than time spent barking cleaning orders at them. I tried to make sure we did something everyday, and didn't just sit around. It might have been just going to the pool, or it might have been a day trip out of town. I think I succeeded, because by the end of the summer the kids were asking me if we could please just stay home!
Last Summer's Theme Song:
I hadn't been to Aldi's for almost a decade when I walked through the doors last summer on a quest for a great deal on a Puddle Jumpers floatation device. I walked out with two life jackets and loads of REALLY cheap and tasty gluten free foods! We hadn't been to Aldi's for such a long time, because we assumed they would not have many products that would be gluten free. Wow, were we wrong! They already had quite a few gluten free products last summer, but just last week my husband came home with loads of new gluten free products they have developed. We are beyond excited, and so far he and my daughter proclaim everything they have tried to be delicious! What does this have to do with making last summer so great???? Well...
We Went to the Pool...A LOT!
Growing up my mom managed the local swimming pool, so I practically lived there. I was there most days from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. I ate all my meals there. I kept my bike there. I was picked up and dropped off there when I went somewhere with friends for the day. It was my summer home. To this day there is nowhere I find more serene than underwater. I may or may not have fins.
Never could I have imagined growing up and being the mother of non-swimming children, but that is what I have become. None of our children are strong swimmers, because I have not taken them to the pool very often, and swimming lessons once a year, with no outside practice is never going to cut it. Make no mistake, it IS very difficult to take multiple small children to a pool by yourself. This is especially true when you spent years in the lifeguard chair yourself, and know how quickly little ones can get themselves into trouble, so I had avoided it.
Last year, however, we did it! The little boys wore the Puddle Jumpers (still closely supervised, because, although they did not, it is quite possible to slip out of those things), and the older kids developed enough skills for me to be confident letting them go where they wanted as long as they stuck together and stayed out of the deep area. We had so much fun and I am really, really hoping to continue with this in the next few months and if all goes well, I am hoping I can call them (the older two) strong swimmers by the end of the season. That's my goal.
Favorite Summer Drink:
Daily's Frozen Margaritas....YUMMY!
We also spent a lot of time out on the river last summer, and I cannot describe how much fun it was to watch the kids having a blast doing the same things we did when we were children! My husband has taken the older children camping out on the river the last few years and last year the entire family went. This year's goal is a 2 day camp suggested by me. I saw no point in going through all the work of setting up camp only to tear it down the very next day!! We are also hoping to get the older kids water skiing.
Our oldest son participated in this race, and though he was close to not making it in the swimming section (we spent the whole summer working with him on the freestyle and he got there and doggie-paddled, almost drowning himself!), he pulled through and finished the rest of the race! This was so much fun and we were so proud of him! I had never been to any sort of racing event and found the atmosphere to be so invigorating. I wish I could run!!!!!
I very much want to hit repeat this year, with the addition of adding one very lofty goal...
Our woods is a huge mess. The work that needs to be done completely overwhelms me. I keep waiting for someone (my husband) to come in and magically take care of it. The problem is, this is not going to happen. My husband already works hard. He has done very little manual labor in his life and he just simply does not have time to get this done. BUT, I do. After watching The Pioneer Woman all winter long and seeing all that her husband and kids accomplish in a hard day's work, I keep telling myself I can do it! The kids and I can clear out this woods. It may take us a few years, but we can do it! So my lofty summer goal is to:
-Spend 1 hour per day clearing out the woods, on most days
My "pump me up" to combat taking the easy route this summer song:
May I not waste a moment of the time God has given me this summer. May I work hard, sweat hard (if I lose a few pounds from the sweating that would be a sweet bonus), and play hard this summer! Thank you Jesus for all you have given me. Thank you for finding me when I was lost. Thank you for my beautiful children and husband. Thank you for blessing me with the resources to live in a way that "everything is automatic," and please help me to stop taking advantage of this and start working hard to achieve my goals!!!!!
We'll see what happens!!!! Happy summer!