|We seek hikes and waterfalls.|
We maintain a loose schedule and yet work to keep a rhythm. Cycles of waking, lounging, work and play are woven into they day. At ages 10, 12 and 14, my children are good at following a schedule including some chores each day. They can accomplish light lunch preparations and be responsible to maintain general order. We are working respect and responsibility as character traits this summer.
As part of our normal routine, the children spend time each week at their father's house. This gives them a change of scenery and additional activities to enjoy. There are also trips planned: scout camp, beach vacation, a week with grandparents, church camp and vacation with their dad. All in all, each will be gone four weeks this summer and will break up the monotony.
As a working mom, I struggled with what to do during summer. I fondly remember "boring" summers where my thrill was watching game shows and riding my bike to a friend's house. I wanted my children to have the same carefree summer, but had to keep my job. So, I've hired a babysitter to come to our home each summer since they were tiny. Nowdays, they are technically old enough to be home alone, but I didn't want there to be zero supervision. So, for the past few summers, we have hired a "Mother's Helper" for 2-3 days a week
|Adventures in Babysitting|
Our oldest one is all graduated and settled back home. She'll be seeking her entrance into the workforce and we are soaking up the days we have her back. The younger step daughter is home for the summer, too. She's already working, house-sitting and keeping busy. It's fun to have the activity of college-age girls back at home.
There are seven of us at home with multiple schedules, activities and plans.
Our house is full for the first time in a while. It's going to be a bit of a whirlwind, I fear, and at the same time a summer of memories. I hope we get to enjoy meals with seven places around the table, laughter, new games, connection and memories. In my heart, I feel this is snapshot of our family that we will all look back upon with fondness. If so, I'll consider it a success, indeed.
|Keep it Simple|