It’s the day to remember our heroes.
It’s also the day that means summer is right around the corner.
I love summer.
What’s not to love? There’s unstructured freedom and fun activities, swimming and popsicles, family time. There’s boredom, mildewed towels, sticky floors and arguing siblings.
We have a busy summer since we are heading back to Africa in a few weeks (please pray for peace in Kenya right now), but I’ve discovered summer is better with a bit of preparation and planning.
Here’s what I’ve got:
- I’m unplugging alarms: My kids are tired. I’m tired. It’s been a long school year and we need rest (thankfully, none of my kids want to sleep all day). But it usually takes a good week to catch up and find our stride and we all can’t wait for this one.
- I’m creating a list of chores: I’m particularly excited about this one. We usually clean house, do laundry on the weekends, with work and school occupying so much of our weekday time. For summer, my kids will have a couple of daily chores starting at the beginning of the week to complete and then keep up with their laundry and rooms. I’m a firm believer in B (fun) doesn’t happen until A (work) is accomplished as a general rule. It’s a great motivator for kids.
- I’m sending one kid at a time away for a week. I’m signing my kids up for church camps at different times throughout the summer. Having one kid away changes the entire dynamic and it’s a great opportunity to spend time with kids at home.
- I’m adding service projects to our calendar: Every other Friday, my kids will be going with me to help with the refugees I work with an hour from our house. I’m looking forward to serving withe them and I know this regular dose of perspective will help keep our summer balanced.
- I’m buying a local family pool pass. Because Texas heat.
- I’m zip-locking the heck out of my pantry and fridge. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve cut and chopped and sorted healthy snack choices in an attempt to feed my family better. They love it and so do I. I think having snack-sized portions sorted out will keep us eating healthy during the summer.
- I’m researching summer reading lists-We are big readers, so it’s time pay off old library fines and get reacquainted with the library.
- I’m allowing screen time on equal parts reading time. We’ve done this the last several summers: if you read an hour, you can watch TV or have screen time for an hour. I’m more lax on screen time in the summer (school year I’m mommy dearest), but I still like to keep it balanced. Usually my kids will get into a great book and won’t be able to use all their screen time. And it doesn’t roll over.
- I’m changing the wifi and Netflix passwords See #2
- I’m putting one child in charge of dinner one night every week, including making a shopping list and menu. I’m looking forward to trying this. I have a rotating helper in the kitchen every night, but I want them to not only learn the “how to’s” in the kitchen, but I think it will help with appreciating how much work goes into a family meal.
- I’m having my kids write a summer bucket list (so that when they cry boredom, they can create some fun).
- I’m getting up before my kids do to work 6:30-9am because it’s quiet and peaceful.
- I’m hiring help for Mercy House. This will be the 5th summer of trying to balance Mercy House and three kids home all day. Uncle.
What are your plans for summer?