Tuesday, June 3, 2008

plain truth

Today officially starts summer for our family. Today was the last day of school.....and the first day of summer vacation. This gives me panic and excitement at the very same time. I love having my kids home. I love not setting an alarm. I love letting them stay up late. However I do not love keeping 4 energetic kids busy. Or solving arguments between siblings. He said, she said stuff. We are going to need a plan. Because while going to the pool everyday sounds like a fine way to spend a summer....It's just not physically possible. Even for me. Which is really amazing.
So what can we do? Any ideas? We started by visiting the library tonight. Loading up on books, Play-a-ways, and movies. For any of you that have not heard of Play-a-ways they are super cool for your kids. They look like a little iPod that has a battery. It is an audio book on the go. They even come with an extra battery. It simply reads a book to your children.....and there is no downloading, cassettes or CD's. You simply plug in earphones and enjoy. The kids each have a Boxcar Children Play-a-way to listen to. We also signed up for the summer reading program. Which really works out well for our oldest, who really would rather skip meals to read. But now the rest of the week?? I'm thinking we need some structure...but not to much to make it like an army camp ??? Just needing some ideas from all you cool mamas out there.
I also picked up a book tonight at the library. By an author I've never read before-Jodi Picolult. I've heard good things about her books, and so far-so good on the first 5 chapters. Plain Truth. Ever read it? It was on the best reads for the summer list. So tell me now if I should quit reading. And start one of the other 5 books I got also tonight.
Quote of the day......And again from William, this time while praying at bedtime: "Thank you God for Jack's chubby cheeks - Dad, write that down".


Rosetta said...

I'm not a mama but will give you some advice that your Aunt Esther always had and still does..."First we work and then we play, that's the golden rule for today". She always made us get the work done first and then we could play. Or she'd have us work and then give us a break before we did more.
If our cousins or friends were going to do something on a certain day, she'd tell us that we couldn't go unless the work was done. It was good incentive and we'd work fast and furious to get to go.
Some of our chores included-not in any particular order--doing the dishes, dusting, sweeping, picking up toys, making the beds, weeding in the garden or helping with summer canning (I've helped with bushels of beans, peas, corn, etc).
She also had us do simple cleaning chores (wiping off sticky chairs). We'd have to help with laundry-get it in, fold clothes, etc. The younger ones would need to take the clothes pins and put them in the bag as we got clothes off the line...simple but they were working, too.
If there was any fussing about doing our work or between us, we had to do a chore all by ourself-and sometimes that meant working while the others were playing. I always thought she was kind of tough on us but she also was good about letting us play when the work was done-for most of us, that was reading a good book. She would let us get books from the Library-that was long before play-aways or videos!
We were also a part of Bible Memory so she'd make sure we were learning the Bible Verses...there were rewards for learning so many.
Wilma had a list of "chores" for each day and the K's had to get the chores done before they could play-I think she still uses lists like that for some of them.
Have a happy summer! I'm sure there are other mamas with lots more good advice!

Kim said...

Great book, by the way! You will enjoy it! We try to do one small thing a day with the kids. One day we go to the library, another couple of days to the pool, then sometimes I have had them write down their "wish list" of activities and we might do one of those a week! I try to have a flexible schedule, but always a schedule.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rosetta.. I made a chore chart for my kids and when they get the chores done without arguing, complaining, whining, etc.. they earn a sticker to put on their reward picture which right now is for golf because they are working towards a special night out to go mini golfing.. It amazes me how something so simple makes such a difference.. Happy Summer! ~Lynette

Nicole said...

Heather, I am with you on the freak out but yet happy part! And I only have two kids :) Something we did last week is make a calender for June, July, and August. I had the boys tell me some of the fun things they want to do this summer. Some of the things were the library (of course), pool, pokagen state park (if your familiar with that), YMCA (I don't know if you have one by you but ours has a small water park outside so after I work out they get to go out there and play), the zoo, picnics, playdates with Dawson's friends from school, lunch dates with different family members (The boys go with my hubby once a week on a lunch date while I visit my grandma) we also do lunch with my mom and dad occasionally, Parks (we have a bunch of cool parks around here). Hmm that is all I can think of for now hopefully that helps! Now I just need to figure out when I get my summer break :)

Cindy said...

I never make plans for the summer, because at our house you never know when someone will get hurt and need therapy. And in those "down times" without injury therapy, I usually schedule my own therapy ... massage, a day away, ect ... :)

Cindy said...

Oh and by the way ... pool's open!!!

heather said...

Rosetta, Thanks for all the great tips. Good motivations to get the work things done. Just work on my part to keep on top of the kids to make sure they get things done. End result: your kids have a good work ethic. Thanks for the great advice.

Kim, Good ideas to have a goal in mind for them to work towards!

Lynette, Good to hear from you! I like the chart idea....will you make me one? And mail it to me? :)

Nicole, More great ideas!!! Ft. Wayne definitely has more to do....maybe we should plan a day to go to the "big" city. I like the calendar idea.

Cindy, So good to know the pool is open!!! So good that you are only 10 minutes away! So nice of you to invite us! :) Can't wait!!!!!!!

Thanks girls for all the good ideas!!! I love when you all comment. :)

Anonymous said...

I think I'd make it a point to go to the pool and check out the $1 table! It's pretty awesome! Also, make Cindy serve you lemonade off of that bargain table! C-ya at the pool!

The 5 Bickies said...

Stick with the Plain Truth. One of my favorites by that Jodi Piccoult.

Can't wait to see what others suggest for the summer. We aren't out yet but I feel the same way you do.

Sherri said...

Wow, lots of great ideas flowing around here. I've never heard of a play away thingy...sounds really cool. Did you buy it or get it from the library? I love the library...we just signed up for the summer reading club as well. Here's my idea...daddy takes off for the summer too. :)

heather said...

I love the idea of Daddy taking off for the summer! I wish he could!

The play-a-ways are from the library. So they are free! And come with a battery in them, and a spare inside the case! Ask your library to get them. :)

Holly said...

WOW! Yes, you will have your hands full this summer with your 4 awesome kids. Hopefully, I will have the 3 week layoff I put in for. They were taking volunteers and guess you volunteered! Oh yeah yours truly. Hopefully we can do some things together! Love ya