Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fathers

"Perhaps the most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father. If by his example as well as his words a father can demonstrate what fidelity to God looks like in day-to-day living, that father will have given his children the key to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come."
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson

 

For Father's Day the kids and I got Josh a hammock, a gift that will hopefully bring much needed relaxation in the years to come.  We've enjoyed testing it out for him.  Josh was excited when he learned that it was a "double wide."  Ha!



Josh, you are irreplaceable.  You have taught our children how to be strong, confident,  kind people.  They know that they are loved, and I hope you know how much they adore you too.

Dad, thank you for always being there for me...especially during my adult years.  The love you show my children is precious to watch and I'm so grateful that you've made it a point to establish unique relationships with each of them.


To all of the men who have influenced our family: thank you.  You are cherished more than you know. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Explorers

I love the outdoors.  There's something so peaceful and refreshing about being a part of nature for a little while.  I secretly dream that our family can one day become an "outdoorsy" family -- the kind that camps, hikes, etc.  But... baby steps :)

Today I took the kids to a park that's known for its awesome hiking trails and beautiful scenery.  We had been to this park before but never ventured past the playground.  This time we decided to explore a little bit and I'm SO glad we did.  The kids loved following the winding trails, discovering "treasures" at the river's edge, and staking temporary claim to all that wide open space.  Even Jackson, my sweet little neat freak, got his hands dirty {eventually}.  I think my dreams might actually come true!  Hooray!









Thursday, June 16, 2016

A summer schedule

Each year as school draws to a close I start experiencing a little anxiety.  What on earth am I supposed to do all summer long with 3 children of varying ages at home?  I feel like I need to suddenly morph into a circus performer so that I don't hear anyone mutter the dreaded phrase, "I'm bored."

But this year has been drastically different and I owe it all to my summer schedule.

Disclaimer: I did not come up with the clever "themed days" myself.  I found them on this website.  Also, our schedule is just a guideline.  If we're 30 minutes off schedule or we decide to swap our themed days due to weather, etc, etc...it's fine.

First, each day has a theme:
 
Make it Monday
Take a Trip Tuesday
Wet Wednesday
Thinking Thursday
Friend Friday
 
I love this because everyone knows what to expect but we still get to plan our own fun things.  For instance, we could make a dessert or make a craft.  We could take a trip to someone's house or to a park.  We would go to the pool or play in the sprinkler.  We could go to the library or learn a new skill at home.  We could have friends over to our house or we could meet a bunch of friends at Playgroup.  Gotta love options!
 
  
 
Secondly, we have a daily schedule:
 
8:00 - Breakfast
8:15 - Morning Must Do's {get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, make bed}
8:45 - Writing time
10:00 - Morning snack
12:00 - Lunch {tidy bedroom and basement}
1:00 - Nap time/Quiet time
2:30 - One-on-one time with Jackson
3:00 - Afternoon snack
5:30 - Chef of the day
6:00 - Dinner {tidy bedroom and basement}
6:30 - Zones & Evening Must Do's {put on PJs, put clothes in hamper, brush teeth}
7:00 - Scripture/prayer
7:30 - Jackson's bedtime
8:30 - Girls' bedtime 

All of the kids have done really well with this schedule.  I love that they know what is expected of them and there is time carved out of our day to make sure the important things happen.  I love that Jackson has been eating better because of our scheduled snack times.  I love that the TV stays off during the morning hours.  I love that there are gaps in our schedule where nothing is scheduled at all!  

Another thing I love is writing time.  At the beginning of the summer I gave each of the girls a notebook.  Inside is a question for each day, like "If you could have a superpower, what would it be?" or "What are 3 things that you are really good at?"  Not only does it give the girls a chance to think creatively and practice their writing skills in a fun way, but I LOVE reading their answers! The very first writing activity they did was writing down 3 goals they hope to accomplish this summer.  They have taken them pretty seriously and I'm looking forward to rewarding them for their hard work.
 

Summer vacation is flying by and it has been such a blast.  I can't wait to see what other memories we can make.

Monday, June 13, 2016

We are fam-ily

This past weekend was an eventful one.  {In a good way}.

Josh flew to Houston to attend his friend's wedding.  He was in heaven because he got to spend the weekend with some of his very best friends.  These guys have known each other since their freshman year of college - almost 20 years ago!  #brothersfromanothermother


While he was gone, we hosted a few very special visitors.  To say that the kids were excited would be an understatement.

 

The house erupted with squeals as soon as Josh's sister, her husband and baby boy pulled into the driveway.  We were thrilled to spend the weekend with them!

  

Rachael holds a special place in my heart.  We became fast friends in our pre-teen years and always made it a priority to stay in touch.  We were calling each other "Sis" long before we actually became family.

  

       

The kids loved soaking up time with one of their newest cousins.  He is such a sweet little guy.


Josh was able to spend a few hours with everyone on Sunday before they had to head home.  I'm so glad we'll get to see more of them while they're in Kentucky this summer!