Hope you are all having a great summer!
I’m finding myself looking back at the last month and saying, “Where is this summer going?” I vacillate quickly between feeling like we’ve accomplished a lot and nothing at all. While consciously creating space in our schedule for rest, spontaneity, and UNscheduled time, I feel anxious that we haven’t DONE more.
So where has our summer gone so far?
1. Camping – During the dark cold days of winter we set a goal to go camping every month this summer. So far we’ve gone on two trips. They were both full of gorgeous settings, hiking, and learning. The picture above is from our hike at Old Man’s Cave, part of Hocking Hills State Park.
2. Soccer – One of the MetroParks near us offers “Foot Golf”. It’s played on the golf course but using soccer balls. It’s a fun way to spend time together as a family and practice our soccer skills. E attended a week of soccer camp and we’ve been trying to keep up with the World Cup action. We don’t have cable, but we do get Univision (the Spanish channel) via our antenna. I find it a bit difficult to pay attention to the visuals for the full length of a game when I can’t understand the audio. It makes a good hardship story for the boys. “Our parents make us watch soccer in Spanish.”
3. Mountain biking!! – Some really nice trails just opened this month close to where we live. 10 miles of trails just a 20 minute drive away. Yeah! We’ve taken the kids out for a short ride there and just the other day my husband and I had a mountain biking date. One of our camping trips had some ridable trails for the whole family and the other had some good trails for dad. After nearly 12 years of riding only “rail to trail” type bike paths I’m really excited the kids are getting old enough to enjoy some single track. This newest addition of local single track makes things much more doable for us.
4. Spending time with Friends – This is my favorite thing about summer. I love the open schedule that allows us to meet friends at the pool, have friends come for dinner, and just have time to hang out. This is one of those areas where creating space in the schedule is so necessary, but we also need to be intentional about ACTUALLY inviting someone for a playdate or dinner or field trip.
5. Decluttering – I really wish it hadn’t been necessary for me to spend so much time on this project this summer, however I’m so happy with the results. Our house feels more spacious and peaceful. Preparing meals is easier with less stuff in the kitchen. I can actually go down to the basement to work out without feeling overwhelmed by clutter. I wanted to think that because I try to be conscious about the things I buy, I didn’t have a lot of extra stuff hanging out around the house (well, except in the basement, there was no denying that). I do have a lot of good habits – sorting our clothes at each change of season to get rid of things that don’t fit, avoiding the dollar aisle, and doing periodic purges of junk drawers and other hot spots – yet we still had a lot of miscellaneous / duplicate stuff in the house. It’s been really eye opening. While we don’t tend to be big shoppers we still have a lot of free stuff enter the house and kids outgrow clothes and toys. I wish I had taken some pictures along the way during this process, but I never realize how big the change will be until I’m done. There were also some time consuming tasks like taking an old dehumidifier to the scrap yard (where they are qualified to capture the coolant), making a trip to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot (open once per week for 6 hours), and converting some paper files into digital ones. The huge stack of 17 plastic containers is the result of all the purging I’ve done so far. My little Doxie scanner has been a big help in getting rid of paper clutter and using baskets in the cabinets really helps me keep things easily accessible and organized.
6. Listening to Audiobooks and reading – We are having a great time working our way through the Harry Potter series via audiobooks. This is such a great way to make use of car time. Of course we all want to continue listening when we get home too. During our morning reading time, the boys are continuing to read book after book about a variety of animals.
7. Learning computing skills – The boys have learned a little about creating Minecraft mods. E has also been getting together with his FLL team to do some informal programming on the NXT. Every little bit helps.
What have you been doing this summer?