Here Comes Summer!

Week 1 of summer vacation was two things: horribly unproductive for my work and indisputably fun!

Since the kids and I will be in Canada for most of July, June is our month for camps and friends so we’ve had a blast cramming it all in. To kick-off the week, we wrote down our summer goals–fun activities, keeping up on schoolwork and earning technology time. We decided they get an hour of free TV every day and beyond that, they had to earn it by reading daily and doing math four times week. Technology (i.e. iPod, video games, etc.) is four times a week after they get their work done. I put together a sticker chart with their daily responsibilities and my gosh, it’s working.

I’m as shocked as anyone.

Lest you think I’m a summer killjoy, I assure you I’m not but I wanted some kind of structure to our days in June. Particularly for Hadley who she has made awesome strides in getting caught up in math and we’ve poured  hundreds of dollars into a tutor. I’d hate to see it all go down the drain from slacking off this summer. So far, she’s been willing and I try to keep it simple and fun with a small handful of math problems that take her a few minutes.  Just say no to laborious summer workbooks. That may work for other parents but we fight enough homework battles during the year that there’s no way I’m doing that in the summer. We’re all about play like the kick-off to our summer hiking group at Red Rocks!

I have wonderful friends of all denominations whom I adore but my gosh, I’d be lost without my LDS Church clan. Someone who left the church recently commented the thing she missed most was the iron-clad LDS community…and that they haven’t been able to find anything that remotely compares. Anywhere you go in the world, you have a literal ward family where you belong–through moves, deaths, births, you name it. Having a religion so focused on the family and serving one another makes it all about love in its truest sense.

I adore all of the amazing moms who go above-and-beyond to teach my kids and love them as their own. These are truly incredible women in action, like my friend who organized our summer hiking group.

Sometimes I can’t believe I really live in this gorgeous place.

A mom who spent some time at the Carnegie Mellon University’s acting program also pulled together a weekly drama camp where my kids are learning about improv, developing their own skits and will be performing them later in the summer.

It’s nice to have drama that is actually good.

And for the fourth year in a row, I coordinated two weeks of summer swim lessons with several of my friends from church.

Bode with a water gun = no friend of mine.

We have an awesome neighborhood, too. Our neighbors’ three boys were all born within two weeks of each other so every year they throw a huge birthday blowout. It’s a highlight for not only the kids but for adults with oodles of food and activities.

The kids were still going strong six hours later and I had to drag them away for bedtime. They would have partied until midnight if I’d let them.

There was Hadley’s own birthday bash at the movie Maleficent, followed by a party in the rain.

I’m in the planning stages for Bode’s surprise party for his birthday in a few weeks because we haven’t partied enough.

Even the ladies are partying. We had a going away/retirement party for our dear neighbor Nancy who recently retired and is moving to Texas.

 I absolutely love these ladies and feel fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful, supportive neighbors. While I was playing with the girls, Jamie was at home with the kids. Hadley’s friend Alex somehow convinced him she was a great cook and could make an angel food cake with her sous chef, Hadley.

She lied.

I let Hadley redeem herself  by making tie-dye cake with her friend Alicia the next day. It turned out really cool…until they decided to take the decorating to the next level.The next level would be a downward spiral.

We’ve have plenty of backyard water fights and are cram-packed with playdates.

And we wouldn’t have our kick-off to summer any other way!

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