Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gearing up for a Whirlwind Summer

I'm excited to report that I now have less than two months to go before our baby is born.  I'm getting big enough that everywhere I go, people ask me how I'm feeling (which is probably code for "You're huge!  How are you even standing up at this point?").

I go back and forth.  Half the time, I'm feeling pretty good and fairly patient, and I love looking at all I have scheduled to keep me busy between now and July 16th.  The other half of the time, my upper back is killing me and two months seems an awful long time to wait for relief.  But the last week or two, my back has only hurt in the evening once or twice and I've felt great.  I'm hoping that will continue.

I find the best thing for me the last few months of pregnancy is to have a lot scheduled.  Nothing is worse than clearing your calendar in case (or in hopes) the baby will be born early, and then sitting around miserable.  It's going to be miserable anyway, I figure, so I might as well have things to do to keep my mind off it.

And there will be plenty going on between now and when the baby is born.  I keep pulling up Google calendar on my phone, pulling up the calendar view, and smiling about how much is on it.

We start with two more weeks of school with the crammed-to-the-max activities of track, choir, and end-of-year everything.  I gave up on signing off on homework logs and keeping track of everyone's projects weeks ago, so my kids are on their own to figure out which day they can wear pajamas, which day they are supposed to return their library books,  and which day they are supposed to bring empty toilet paper rolls.  Sorry, kids.  I've checked out.  (And I'm not the only one -- have you seen this?)

After school's out, our summer is a whirlwind of people going and coming.  I think we're all home together for maybe three or four weeks of the summer.  The rest is full of one activity or another, for instance:

*  We'll spend a week together in California (minus one son, who has a high adventure that week).  I can't wait.

*  My husband will be taking the six little girls on a Colorado Daddy Trip for 9 days.  This will be after the baby's born, so it should be a wonderful, quiet time at home to rest for me and Lillian.  Joey and Michael have other events that week.

*  Lillian's off to Girls Camp one week, a Mission Ready conference another, and then she got a scholarship to attend a Constitutional Academy in D.C. for a week.  She'd also like to get a job.  I'd like her to take driver's ed, but it probably won't fit into her summer, and she's not anxious about getting a license, which seems common among teenagers these days.  I got my license the first day I could, at age 15 in Idaho, and was thrilled about it.  Most of my friends did the same.  Now, it doesn't seem as important, and it does save us money on insurance not to have any teenage drivers yet.

*  Joey's going to EFY, two big campouts, and possibly football camp with the freshman team.  He's likely also going to be working out with the football team.  Last summer, he spent several weeks at his grandparent's house, helping with their large property, and we're trying to fit that in as well.   

* Michael's got Scout camp and another camp.

* Allison and Sarah are going to 5th grade camp and will likely spending a week or two at their grandparents.  They will also have track until mid-June.  Allison will be doing a week of basketball camp (just a few hours a day), and both will do another sports camp through our city.

*  Eliza, Harmony, Katie, and Cami will be doing two weeks of swimming lessons.

I'm looking forward to all of it.  It does mean our regular daily schedule will need some extra tweaking, since assigning individual jobs and zones each day would mean that some weeks, those wouldn't get done.

So, my basic schedule will involve two teams of four kids each, with each team in charge of certain areas.  Halfway through the summer, the teams will switch jobs.

I'm thinking it will look something like this:

*  *  *  *  *
6:30 Exercise

7:30 or 7:45 Scriptures, then 5MM (Five Minute Madness, where we all pick up for five minutes)

7:45-8:45 Michael, Allison, Sarah, and Eliza take turns on the piano for fifteen minutes each. They've been taking lessons since the fall, and morning practice time just works best for us.  Meanwhile, the rest of the kids will clean their rooms before breakfast.  Team A will be in charge of inspecting bedrooms.

Everyone will do 5MM in the kitchen after breakfast.

On Mondays and Thursdays, Team A will get the laundry gathered, started and washed (I'll probably still fold), while Team B will weed on Mondays and mow the lawn on Thursdays.

We'll head to the library one morning, do the grocery shopping (mostly me) another morning, go swimming another day, and head out for various adventures another day.

Team B will be in charge of making lunch and doing the final clean-up after we all do 5MM.

The afternoon will have two hours of quiet time where media is allowed.

In the late afternoon, Team A will pick up the main floor, and Team B will pick up the downstairs and any outside toys.  Dinner and final clean-up after 5MM will be as assigned through our regular rotation.  I'll step in and make it when kids are out of town that week.

In the evenings, we have Family Home Evening on Mondays, Church activities one night, Date Night another, and then I'm hoping to get the kids to invite friends over for night games another.

*  *  *  *  *
I love summer, and I like having a good balance between work and play, between scheduled activities and time to just let life unfold. 


kristine barr said...

Sounds like good planning. I love the hole kneed girl picture!

Megan said...

Thank you for sharing the details of your summer plan! It sounds great and like something we could modify to use around here. I love how independent your children are learning to be.

Jenny Evans said...

I love that you share your detailed real-life schedules so you can see how another family (especially a big family) does it. I think we need to incorporate more 5 Minute Madness into our lives. Right now it's just madness all day long...


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