Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good Things about Having My Kids Home for Summer Vacation

Goggles in the SunI'm not a natural optimist. I tend to be a "my glass is half-empty" or even a "my glass is nearly empty--who drank all my cream soda??" type of person but I refuse to head into the next four long months of summer vacation predicting trials and tribulations due to the boredom of my four sweet children.

School ends next week and there have got to be some good things about the kids being home. I'm just sure of it . . . and darn it all I'm going to hunt them down, discover them one by one and list them:

1. Summer vacation means I have someone to mow my lawn. I've been training Spencer for two years now and I think 2007 will go down in history as The Year that Spencer Mowed (assuming he doesn't lose any of his fingers or toes). I'm planning on savoring it.

2. I get to sleep in. Not a bad trade off--four children running through my house all day in exchange for an extra half hour each morning.

3. In fact, I don't have to do any more driving to the school. No more dashes through rush-hour traffic, racing the 5 miles back and forth to deliver kids to play practices or pick them up from running club. That's got to be worth something, right?

4. Actually I can tell you exactly how much it's worth, about $100 a month in gas. When I filled up this week it was $2.89 a gallon and as much time as I spend running back and forth from the school summer vacation translates into some serious Mom Cash. Suh-weet.

5. With all the time I'm saving from transporting children maybe Spencer and I can finally finish The Lord of the Rings. We've been reading it aloud together for--what year is this? Hmmm. . . . about nine years now and I'm definitely ready to get that Hobbit home.

6. And speaking of reading, with the kids home we'll get to read the last Harry Potter book. That's something to look forward to. Oh, wait. No, no, that's not a good thing because Andrew will insist that we wait for him in the evenings and not read ahead during the day. The kids won't like that and will bug me to sneak ahead "Just one chapter! Pleeeeease! Dad will never know--we'll pretend we haven't heard it before!" So scratch that. Not a good thing.

7. We're planning a fun family camping trip in July. Couldn't do that if there was school. So that's a good thing too, right? It counts. We're going up to Tangle Lakes, which is officially the World's Greatest Camping Spot--voted so seventeen consecutive years by Moms Do All The Packing Magazine. What? You don't get that publication? You should, it's the story of my life.

8. I get to reopen my Family Cooking School--the world-famous "Cordon Goo." We give the phrase "fusion cuisine" new meaning. During summer I teach the kids to cook and they cook meals each week. This could possibly be an official "Good Thing" about summer vacation though it does work out to be more time-consuming than merely cooking the meal myself so the jury's still out on this one.

9. I have a babysitter. With Grace home during the day I can go to the gym whenever I want to work out and have her there to watch Lillian. A little more freedom when I need to run and grab something at the store can't be bad.

10. With the kids home all day the odds of them producing material worthy of a blog post increases drastically. During summer vacation I have a 73% greater chance of them doing something that's bloggable. Increased Creative Fertility--that's a plus.

11. I won't have to hear complaints about homework, gym class, locker partners, the girls in the lunch room, gym class, tests, and--oh--gym class. Four months of no school means four months of not having to play Therapist. The doctor is NOT in--not until September.

12. I have someone there to carry up my grocery bags when I get home from shopping each Thursday. That alone is worth risking the Boredom of Summer Vacation.

13. I get to enjoy my children. When the weather's good and we're sunning ourselves in the back yard, when I can smell the tomato plants and the kids are playing in the sprinkler it feels as if all is right with the world and I have moments of utter contentment. Those are good times.

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52 comments:

mcewen said...

Summer holidays for your herd sound very different to ours [although we have another 5 [?] weeks.
We have our annual two weeks of rain [fortnight in England] Then boys have summer school [mornings for a couple of weeks. I drop as much therapy as possible [bare minimum] and enjoy my mother in laws visit for 5 weeks. Another adult around all day [no spouse = working]
It's a holiday all round. I can't wait.
Cheers

laughing mommy said...

I just got back from a camping trip and #7 made me laugh out loud.

Di said...

I'm definitely a "glass half full" gal myself...but recently someone told me there is actually a third alternative, "the glass is just too big!!!"

Stie said...

I can't believe your kids get out so early...we're stuck until June 15th. I'm so ready to be on my own schedule and ditch the whole homework thing. Ugh. Enjoy yours!

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Aaah, yes. Summer is just around the corner and I like to kick my kids outside for the duration. Except for, you know, baths and food. Sometimes.

You got gas for only $2.89?! It's $3.15 here!! I'm jealous.

Mike said...

"My glass is nearly empty--who drank all my cream soda??" Love the way you describe things.

Have fun. Lots of them.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Southern Girl said...

Great list! I'm especially hopeful about #10. ;)

My TT is up, too!

my4kids said...

They get out of school already? Mine don't get out till mid June. I told the boys and Joshua said that wasn't fair!
Your gas is only 2.89? Why didn't kelly mention that yet? Right now we are paying 3.29!

cheeky said...

The camping trip sounds fun. I love the outdoors.
Fuel is cheaper there in Alaska. I paid $3.39 last week. Ouch!
I can't wait to hear about Cordon Goo cooking creations and concoctions. Good way to break in the ol' kitchen properly :)

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

cute post, michelle. hey, is tangle lake a real place or were you just joking? if it is real, is it in alaska? where? what do you like about it? we like to motorhome camp.

i also liked how you said you get to have more material to write about your kids -- bloggable. funny.

~blessings, kathleen :)

pussreboots said...

$2.89? I can't remember when gas was that cheap around here.

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

Such two different reactions the world over. Moms everywhere dreading summer, while the kids can't wait!

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

This pic is tooo cute! You are like my darling in attitude~is your mate a complete optimist, like me? (((((HUGS))))) sandi

Prahagirl said...

Gas $2.89? $3.15? Wow, ya'll got it made! I filled up yesterday and had to pay a whomping $3.50 a gallon--and I live in a little small town! Well, even the nearby large cities have the same pricing. This sucks. I think I'll buy a horse. It'd cost about the same and I'd have more fun with it! :)

Darla said...

FOUR MONTHS?? Your kids get FOUR MONTHS?? Wow. I swear, I like summer vacation better than the kids do. LOL Could be because I sleep in more than just an extra half hour.

My kids won't get out until the middle of June, and only get 2.5 months. That's really not enough time for me to catch up on all the sleep I miss during the school year. :)

Enjoy!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Moms Do All The Packing Magazine...

Hey, I think I get that magazine, too! ;)

I love summer. My situation is a little different as I work four days a week, but my schedule is changing next week (YEA!) and I'll be telecommuting half that time. I'm looking forward to a lot of back yard time with my girls.

Megan said...

Oh, I love it! This post reminds me of many a summer at home with my three siblings, pestering my mom for "SOMEthing to doooooooooooooooooooooooooo . . ." ;) Sounds like ya'll have some good plans for a fun summer. Love the cooking school! Can't wait to read more.

CoachJ said...

I know what you mean about the kids' cooking. Each of mine has one night they cook, but during the spring and summer they play until dark, so they hate having to come in to fix dinner. We make them stick to it, but I end up helping. And, of course, I could do it faster by myself, but that's not the point. Note to self: that's not the point!

la bellina mammina said...

No 13, that's the best ain't it? My boys will be in Italy for 20 days right after school lets out, so I only get to enjoy the baby (and the hubby)! Your list looks fun though.

Scribbit said...

I must have been asleep when I wrote "four months"

School starts again August 22, making three. Sorry, maybe I should have taken more math classes.

Pendullum said...

A glorious summer of beautiful lazy, wonderful, sun spent days with your kids...
Sounds like paradise...
I am so looking forward to the summer...

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Oh Michelle, you and I are more alike that you know (or would probably care to know!). My kids still have another month left; they don't get out until the end of June. But I am looking forward to sleeping in until at least 6:30. No more homework. No driving (gas is 3.16 here!). No packing lunches in the morning. Spending ALL day outside. Yes, an increase in blg-worthy stories. Too bad it all comes with tantrums and fist fights and tattling and screaming and headaches and, and, ay yi yi!

PS - LOVE the idea of teaching the kids to cook!!

Carinne said...

Since life is so good over there...how about I send Alex over for awhile to spice things up?

Mercy's Maid said...

It sounds like you have plenty of ideas to keep them busy--and make great memories in the process.

Jen said...

I'm in this boat with you; A is done with school on June 8th and daily I try not to hyperventilate about it. I *think* I have enough planned for him/us to do and I know it won't be enough. Darned 2e kid. ; ) I may steal many of these ideas, in particular the family cooking school. Thanks!

Patois said...

This will be my first full summer home with the kids -- I quit work last July -- so I'm really excited and want to have your attitude. There is that part of me -- like you, I'm usually thinking the glass is near empty -- who wonders how the hell I'll keep the kids from driving each other and, by extension, me to distraction. And you know you're making us all envious with your talk of cheap gas and long summer breaks. What are you trying to do? Overpopulate your state?

Scribbit said...

Okay okay, I'm getting the distinct impression that we Alaskans aren't paying near as much for gas as the rest of you.

Hmmm. . . . maybe I shouldn't be complaining :)

Christie said...

What a great post! Makes me look forward to summer vacation when my kids are older. You're wise to focus on the good. Thanks for the uplift!

Jordan said...

An idea to fix your Harry Potter problem:
Lock the book shut and send it to work with Andrew. Keep the key at home. Now no one can read ahead.

overthehilldad said...

Yeehaw to the end of carpool. With three kids in three different schools, running around town twice per day certainly adds up. And let's talk about no more homework. A labor of love to be sure but somtimes the extra hours I put into reteaching everything from pre-Algebra to Latin makes me wonder what our tuition payments are for.

Still, I'll be glad to have them around. Especially if they give me just an hour per day of yard work and keep their rooms in shape.

Islandsparrow said...

Do you do swimming lessons in the summer? That always kept our kids occupied - along with trips to the library - beach - ice-cream runs - renting movies and company - both family and friends and sometimes even slight acquaintances -

oh my, PEI in the summer = company.

Loralee Choate said...

I was just looking for something to motivate me to look at the good of having two very active boys in my house all day for the next three months. I should make a list and have it taped to every surface of my house until school resumes in the fall. Sigh.

Lisa said...

That sounds wonderful. I hope you all have a fun, fabby summer. (And I hope the "Mom cash" adds up fast!heehee.)

An Ordinary Mom said...

Sounds like a fabulous time to me! Sleeping in, driving less (although gas is $3.49 here!!) and enjoying the kids.

Marie N. said...

I love, love LOVE family read-alouds! My parents read the Narnia chronicles, the Hobbit series and Watership Down after dinners many an evening. Those were the days...

Barbara said...

You and your kids are lucky. Kids here only have a little over 2 mos for vacation now. AND, that is covered with ball practice or tryouts half the summer! Our kids get out May 24th - tonight is my grandson's baccalaureate service.

Check out my TT.

Amber said...

I think those are all wonderful blessings...many of which touch upon why I will still continue to be a SAHM when my kids are in school: so I can enjoy all the many wonderful things of summer with them!

Lei said...

It sounds like you are set! Just today I was thinking about how I am not nearly as scared about summer approaching as I was last year... of course last year I had a newborn.

Daisy said...

We'll read the new Harry Potter, too -- Amigo will read his Braille copy, and I'll read along in my print copy. Mother-son bonding -- over Harry Potter.

Distybug said...

Four months for summer vacation?? I would go absolutely nutty if my kids were home everyday for four months!! We start mid August and get done usually around the 15th of May.

Honeybell said...

I just today discovered your blog, I thinks it's fantastic!

Oh, and I'll be back to read that list again every time my 4 boys are driving me crazy.

Ni Yachen said...

#7 is the best. We try to go four or five times each summer as family. Though from the sound of it you are doing it the wrong way. May you should see my 13 tips for family camping. :)

Heffalump said...

We still have about three more weeks here. I am looking forward to not hearing the complaints about homework and such, but after about a month I will be struggling to find ways to entertain them. I do have a few things planned, and we will see how it goes. Good luck! You get a long summer break! If you aren't starting until September that means you have three weeks longer for summer than we do here.

Morgan said...

I also can't wait for school to let out. I too hate driving to and from school everyday. Here's to lots of fun this summer!

Jenny McB said...

Oh Scribbit, summer is the absolute best time to be a mom! I love, love, love summertime, decrease time driving around and the extra sleep.
It's even better when the kids get old enough that I don't have to worry about them drowning at the beach, but meeting up with girls!

jen said...

this is lovely. sounds like all sorts of yumminess to look forward to.

Haley-O said...

School ends next week? ALREADY!!!!??? Well, you have lots of good reasons, don't you, for having them home! NICE! :) I really hope we don't hear the opposite in a few weeks! ;)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am looking forward to the sleeping in part, too!

P.S.
Be sure to enter my really awesome giveaway going on from Mason & Matisse- you could win $120 in Skip Hop gear!

Steph

DS Writer said...

wow, that's some list! When you put it out like this, there's a lot of things to look forward to in summertime with kids. (ok, I'll admit.. I knew some of them...:) )

Amy said...

Awesome list and I love the picture. They are so stinkin' cute!

chelle said...

hehe Although you sound all bummed, that sounds like a wicked cool summer!

Carmen said...

Wow. This is great. Can I borrow this for my own blog?