Sunday, June 15, 2014

Making this Summer Count

We are already a week into summer, it's hard to believe. I keep thinking it's just a long weekend and we all go back to school tomorrow. Definitely not complaining and so glad to have the next 2 months off to spend with family. (Whoever said teachers get a whole 3 months off in summer anyway?! Not even close)

Anyway, this summer began on a sad note with the passing of my sister's best friend's husband who had been battling brain cancer for the last 7 years. I attended his funeral on Friday and left the beautiful service knowing not only what an incredible man he really was, but also inspired to make each moment count. I know we have all heard it and even said it ourselves, but it's is short. And it's too precious to not savor every ounce of it.

This picture was taken of Phillip and his sweet son, Kasen, shortly before he was called home.

Phillip was an amazing father, husband, son, brother, friend and follower of Christ. He was always thinking of others and so compassionate to those who knew him.

I share this with you, to whoever is actually reading this, because I feel that his story has sparked a desire for me to be more present in my own life. I know I may sometimes take things for granted. I know I may complain about the kids being up past their bedtime (because I don't get a whole lot done when they are awake!) I know I get annoyed at my kids when they "bother" me while I'm working on my computer or checking email. I know I get frustrated with my husband for silly things and don't take the time to tell him more that I really do appreciate him. I know I give the grandparents a hard time for "spoiling" our kids too much during the school year when I just need to breathe and realize it is all out of love. I mean, they watch our kids for FREE 10 months out of the year!! Gosh, I am so blessed. And I just need to embrace that more. light of everything, I want to make this summer count. I want it to be memorable. I want to make memories each day and cherish each moment when I'm with my kids. Yes, even when they whine and argue and test their boundaries...CONSTANTLY.


So, I had seen a cool daily summer schedule on Pinterest and decided to copy, I mean make my own version. I definitely stole the idea but changed a few things.

I wanted to have a focus for each day because I know it would be so easy for me to get in a rut this summer and allow the kids to just stay inside where it's cool and play on the iPad and watch movies all day. Well, wait a minute..who am I kidding? My kids love to be outside despite the 100 degree's me that prefers the A/C. Anyway, I really wanted to have activities that would provide well-rounded experiences for the week.

Last summer, my main focus with Myla was for her to learn her letters! We had so much fun doing letter of the day activities and can check out that journey HERE.

Just a few pics from last summer...

Now that she's got her letters down, I wanted to provide some fun learning activities that would encourage reading & writing and really, just a love of learning. She starts kinder in August!! I feel that she really has a self-driven desire to learn as she is so inquisitive and soaks up everything she learns like a sponge! And Noah, being just 3, is the same way. I know most kids are that way but it's just fun seeing your own littles get excited when they learn something new. :) I also plan to do activities that will be beneficial and enjoyable for Noah too!

So to further explain the schedule...

MONDAY- Motor Skills Monday... I want to do different fine motor and gross motor activities to help strengthen those areas. Myla has a little difficulty cutting still but really wants to do arts and crafts stuff on her own. I have seen an improvement this last year in PreK but know she will benefit from extra practice. :) Also think it is equally important that we do some bigger gross motor activities as well!! Did anyone else read that article on the importance of kids moving and strengthening their core?! Well, I can read it HERE. from the TimberNook blog.

And besides...have you seen my sweet daughter dance?!

She tries so hard and is so determined! I love it. So, I do plan to have some active, fun-filled activities in our future this summer!

TUESDAY- Thoughtful Tuesday...If there is any way I can instill in my kids to have a gracious, servant's heart, I will do it. I believe it starts with me and Jeff as parents. We can model for our kids on how to put others first at times and to care for those who are less fortunate or different. And we need to do more of that. So Thoughtful Tuesday will be a day that we do an act of kindness. Whether we bake cookies for our local firefighters, help Nana or Granny with something, donate clothes to a family in need, bring a meal to a friend, pick up trash at the park....the possibilities are endless. Pay it forward.

WEDNESDAY- Wet 'n Wild Wednesday will just be exactly that. A day we do something outside that involves WATER! I definitely envision water balloons, sprinklers, pruney fingers and SUNSCREEN for our summer Wednesdays. :)

THURSDAY- Thinking Thursday...I'm thinking Thursday will be one of my favorite days. Probably because I'm a big nerd, I know, but I plan to do some learning activities with the kids that focus on reading and writing. Myla is really into the San Diego zoo website. She has enjoyed looking at the different animals and often has questions about them. So, I wanted Thursdays to also be a research day where she (and/or Noah) picks a topic to learn more about. It could be as simple as researching online and making a little craft or report to show what we learn or we can visit a museum/place to learn more. Fun, fun! It's the teacher in me, can't help it.

FRIDAY- Fun & Friendly Friday will be a day that I will actively schedule playdates for my overly social kids! (I am so bad at this during the school year. Really, I'm just selfish and want the kids all to myself on the weekends and don't want to share them! But summer time? Totally ok!) I know most kids like to be around friends but my sweet girl is desperate for time with her peers! It literally lights up her whole day if she can interact with any kids even close to her age. It doesn't matter where we are...she is making friends. She made some good friends in her little class this year and it would be great to stay in touch! Plus, what a great opportunity to work on our manners and social skills.

So, that's it...just a way to keep me focused on embracing each day with a specific purpose that will benefit my kids and our family. I'm no super mom and don't claim to be. So, please no judging...90% of the things we do will be straight from Pinterest. And I am sure there will be a few Pinterest fails along the way but we will make the best of it.  I just want to make this summer count. How about you??


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