1. Make sure you have sick kids. Having sick kids means not really being able to go out anywhere. It also means that you're wiping noses 3,429 times a day (lovingly, of course) and washing your hands more times than that, ensuring that they're as dry as... something really dry. (How's that for an awesome simile?)
2. Don't get dressed until after noon... or three... each day. This way, you feel totally unmotivated to get much done. You also feel sloppy and grumpy as a result.
3. Don't have a plan. I'm not talking about flexibility and freedom, I'm talking about ANY plan. Chore plan? Forget it. Rules? Forget it. Activities? Forget it. Just wing it and see what happens. I'm learning that it usually means that the end of the day arrives just as I'm getting around to making any sort of plan. This also means grumpy mom and kids. (Are you sensing a theme?)
The bottom line, is that I've gotten a little taste of what summer break might be like if I'm not intentional about it. Granted, there's not much I can do about sick kids. I actually think that Brody and Addie having little colds this week has been a blessing in disguise. It's shown me what it will be like to putz around here all day without a plan or purpose for the things we're doing.
Don't get me wrong - I am ALL for a day at home in jammies. I'm a homebody. I love being here, and see nothing wrong with being in jammies all day once in awhile. But I do think it should be the exception, not the norm. I find I get more done around the house - even if I don't intend to leave - when I'm dressed, and especially if I'm showered. This goes for the kids too!
And I don't want to book us solid all summer. I just think I need some sort of plan for when we're home and when we're not. Otherwise, I can imagine August rolling around and regretting that I wasted our summer.
So, the last couple of days I've really been thinking about what summer looks like. Some of the things I'm thinking of:
- The girls and I made a summer wish list - things we want to do, places we want to go, things we want to learn, etc. I hope to put it on a posterboard like this so it's visible.
- We also brainstormed an extensive list of things we can do here at home. If they ever complain of being bored, they will be directed to the list!
- One adventure per week (or every other week) - some of the things on our summer wish list are bigger than "going to the park." My hope is that we can do one of these a week.
- Chores - we don't really do chores, but I think this is a good time to start. I like what my friend Meredith is doing, and I think I'll alter for our purposes. I even like her idea of writing it on the fridge, except I have two tiny little 9-month-old hands that would love to get in on that action!
- I think part of the chores will be daily expectations of the girls: get dressed, brush teeth, and make their beds before they can watch any TV, play the Wii, play their Leapsters, go outside, or play with friends.
- A rule for myself - I need to up and ready for the day by 9:00 a.m. With kids who wake up around 7-ish, it's not a matter of being up (sleeping in? what's that?), but more a matter of getting around to getting ready. During the school year when there are places to get to, it's no problem. But in the summer? It's easy to put it off, put it off, and before I know it, it's noon. Come on... tell me I'm not alone in this!
- Scripture memory - I think I'm going to try to help the girls memorize one verse a week. We haven't done this before so frequently... we'll see how it goes!
What about you? What works for you? What doesn't work for you?