Let the countdown begin…

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Only seven more days…

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of school left…

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and then they are home all Summer…

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along with this little rascal. {Who always has a hint of mischief in those blue eyes}.

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I am looking forward to our slower pace of summer.

No morning rushing.

No homework grumblings.

No school project deadlines missing.

And the free babysitting aspect for the babe is a real bonus.

Any one who knows me or spends more than ten minutes in a conversation with me during the months of June till August, knows I am fond of saying:

"I run my house like an all-girl school in the summer".

That means yes, schedules.

Of chores, activities, quiet time, crafts, outings.

It takes deliberate time.

It takes putting aside time before school lets out and planning together as a family. Catch your children's enthusiasm.  Let everyone voice what he/she would like to do.  Discuss some things that maybe they would like to learn more about this summer (*note* the phrasing of this is extremely important, as children can sniff out educational activities disguised as "fun" like a basset hound on a raccoon…you may want to wait till July before you mention the "L" word).

I have learned {there's that "L" word again} the hard way that kids will not "go off and do something" in terms of activities and creative crafts unless you are involved with it.

This does not mean you have to be your children's best friend and/or motivational life coach all Summer.  I have long been of the old fashioned school of thought that children should entertain themselves.  After all housewives don't get the summer off do they?

What it does mean is that I have to change my goals, my schedule in the summer months too. The summer is short.  Your children's childhood is short too. Get your mind around to joyfully look forward to it, not dread the eventual "I'm bored!" and "this house is disgusting!" battle that erupts sometime around the 4th of July weekend.

There is no aspect in my life where growing closer to Jesus Christ, has not then spilled over in the relations and practical living out in my life.

By desiring to make this Summer not about Me, not even about the kids, but my making it about enjoying each season God gives us.

Too many wasted days of complaining and coveting another reality other than the one that is right before me was a harsh teacher.  But Christ, in His amazing mercy, was a gentler teacher still.

Last year I really started to "make the connection" {sorry for  the Oprah quote, sometimes that girl just gets it right} and decided to look forward- being proactive and realistic- about all that "summer vacation" entails when you have five temperamental females in your home.

This year to accomplish this our family chooses to:

go screen free in July

make a poster board and think up creative ways to raise money for Luis, and Pohola- our family's and  their children's church sponsor children through compassion sponsor.

Prayerfully find the tricky and all consuming balance between fun hands of Mom, and responsible working general manager of our house.

Make time alone to be with Mr. MS.

Have people over for late evening meals on the deck.

I will fail some days.

I know I will say with much regretted sarcasm that I wish they were still in school.

I know also there will be moments of pure simple fun.

Spirit- filled moments of the planting of seeds that will grow into a fruitful vine in my daughter's lives.

Awe and wonder and thankfulness at nature and creation.

Awe and wonder and thankfulness for netflix and red box dvds.

Here is a link that I found today through Ann Voskamp's A holy experience blog (button at top right).

100 free things to do with your kids this Summer

Its chuck full of really, really great ideas.

I highly suggest printing it out. Go over it with your own kids. Have an excited, joyful, and practical attitude about all the gifts and opportunities for memories that will make you and your children smile wide around kitchen tables decades from now.  Because there is just something about Summer.

Photo Jun 01, 5 10 02 PM

Cheers.



 


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