Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer is in Full Swing...

First I have to apologize for my lack of blogging here, but you should know that I have hardly blogged on my own.  I am almost 19 weeks pregnant, so..... well that explains it!!

It is official!! Today starts the first day of Summer

at the Swenson house.  I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!


I spent the majority of last week getting prepared for our summer festivities.  If you know me, you already know that I like to be prepared. 

The kids started asking me in February if we were going to do "Alphabet Summer" this year?  I replied, "Yes"; knowing full well that I had some preparation to do.

Last week, I organized all of our Art Stuff.  I made sure that each of the kids had their own basket. Each basket has a pad of paper, stickers, glue, scissors, markers, crayons.  I cleared off a spot in our pantry so it is easily assessable.  Well, it is easy for the older two to access.  I don't need the little guy coloring on my walls.  Isaac's basket is more age appropriate, and I get it up and down for him.  So far, they have followed the rules by using their own stuff, and putting it away when they are done.  I knew that would give them one project to entertain them for 15 minutes.  It actually entertains Isaac the longest.  That boy loves stickers.  (Pictures are to come... I am getting my new camera today!!  YEAH!!!)

I also organized our bookshelves, so that their books are put in places that they can find them.  Because all 3 of the kids are on different reading levels I made sure that they could find a book appropriate for them.  We will spend time reading** every day this summer. 

**Jex is already on a 2nd grade reading level.  I hope he continues.  Stella is well on her way to learn.  I hope mom can find some time to read as well.  As for Isaac, he loves to be read too.  It is most certainly his favorite time of day.

I also rearranged our breakfast nook. It is certainly not up to my design standards, but it works for our kids.  I added a table for them, and a desk so they can get to whatever they may need to get out their creativity. ( I promise I will share pictures soon.)

I also planned plenty of outdoor activities:

Sports Equipment Organized

Pool and Slip n Slide purchased

Bikes and Helmets ready

I then attacked the activities that we would do outside of our home:

Golf Camp

Swimming Lessons

Pool Pass

Season Passes to local Theme Park and Water Park

Season Passes to the Zoo

Then it was time for the summer schedule:  (here is an idea of what we will do)

Morning:  Wake Up, Breakfast, Morning Chores, Get Dressed, Free Play and outdoor activities(this gives me time to exercise, clean the house, and get myself ready)

Afternoon:  Lunch, 15 minute Reading time, Activity Time(Alphabet Summer or Science), Rest time or Movie time, Free Play

Evening:  Dinner, Clean up for the evening, Play outdoors or Family Walk, Baths and Bed.

MWF: Alphabet Summer Days, or Science Project

Tuesday: Library and Park-Playdate Day

Thursday: Outing Day (theme park, zoo, or pool)

The kids are also well aware that I clean on Monday mornings.  They are responsible to help with chores, and be patient until bathrooms are clean and floors are vacuumed and moped.

Okay, I know you all must be thinking to yourself... this is one structured lady.  BUT.... Believe me when I say that my kids really do better when we have a plan and they know what to expect.  It makes our summer go by so beautifully. 

Of course I throw in a day when we just mix it all up and do none of those things, but for the most part my kids love every second of it.  I also love spending time with them.  It goes so quickly.  This school year made me realize how fast it really does go.  Especially when your kids are in school for the majority of their time.  I am happy to fill up our days doing fun, creative things together.  I have also found it causes less fights and commotion.Summertime

(This was our pet for the day last week.) 

We found him in our back yard... such a summer thing. 

To quote a line from my favorite children's book...

"All the places to Love

by Patricia Maclachlan,

"Where else, does an old turtle crossing the path make all the difference in the world?"

So... What are you doing this summer? 

Do you plan a summer schedule? 

Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal? 

However you plan to spend your summer...



Vanderbeeks Images said...

Wow! You are prepared. I can't wait to really look through all your ideas and use some to help us around here. We have 2 less weeks of summer around here. Camping and swim lessons came to mind as well as the library reading time, but that's about as far as I've thought things through. My mother in law sent out an email and asked us to send her something we'd like to do as a group - free or not so free. So once a month we are going to do something as a family. I'm still wondering how it's going to work with 14 grandchildren under age 8.

And we used to find turtles like that when we lived in Alabama. My little brother always named them Tank, The Turtle. We really enjoyed having them around for a few days. Your photo brought back fond memories.

Krystal said...

First of all, you having a pet turtle for the day is awesome!

And I have to say that your going to be one busy mama!

~Shari said...

From an "empty nester".....I really recommend reading the "Box Car children" with your kids - and if you can get your hands on them - the Soderburg series (Our favorite - The Bishop's Horserace) by the Yorgenson brothers, (bookcraft - perhaps). All good reads that create wonderful memories with the children.
~Shari R.

Emily said...

You're so organized! I'm sure I'll need more of a game plan when my kids are older. They're pretty easy to entertain right now.

New camera? What are you getting? (I hope it's the Nikon you want!)

Kelsey said...

I'm really late on this post, but I just found your blog today and was just looking around. Of All the Places to Love is our favorite book! It's our dream to live on that farm someday. I even bought a painting of the cover art from the artist David Wimmer. I'm so glad that you found a turtle! I can't wait till my kids are old enough to do all of the wonderful ideas I've gotten off your blog in just one short afternoon!