Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer is here!

Jonathan, Joseph, Charity and our cousin Alida at Michael's game last night. It was a bit chilly for a June game in Indiana but they pulled off a win and a good time was had by all.

I love the summer! I hate the humidity and heat but I love having my kids at home and the freedom to just hang around and be “us”. The past few weeks have been busy ones but we’ve had some laughs and we’re ready for the slower pace that the summer brings.
Eric and I ended up going to the Indy 500 this year and had a great time. It is insane that we live as close to the track as we do and neither of us had been to the race – especially since we really enjoy the racing (me more as a tagalong fan. I’m blindly loyal to a team or driver and out of love for my husband have chosen all of his favorites for my own. I like Danica though and he really doesn’t – but she races for the right team and was the only Andretti-Green driver with a shot after the first half of the 500. Poor Marco and TK.) Eric was bummed because his favorite driver (Marco Andretti) was knocked into the wall on turn 2 of the first lap and after that it just seemed like every other driver he likes was having trouble. It’s hard to let it ruin the day though with all those fast cars zooming by. We sat behind the pits and were able to see turns 1 and 4 as well as the main straightaway and a lot of pit action. We had perfect weather and really enjoyed the day. Eric’s sister came and stayed with the kids for the day so they had a blast as well – thanks Aunt Laura.

This is my cousin Heather and I before the race. Fun times!

Jonathan had his preschool graduation on the last day of school. He was only in the class for 6 weeks but he had so much fun and loved his teachers. I know he’s going to miss them this summer. He was a complete and utter cheese-ball during the actual ceremony and I was about ready to throttle him but over all it was a fun afternoon.
Jonathan cheesing it on graduation day.

We celebrated the last day of school with Charity’s “friend” birthday party. She invited her whole class plus some girls from her soccer team and her class last year over for a cookout and some capture the flag. The evening ended up being on the cool side with a threat of rain up until party time but the 21 kids had a great time and so did the birthday girl. Charity waits for her guests to arrive on her birthday.

On Sunday my crazy kids decided they should go swimming at my mom’s house. Apparently the fact that the water was a chilly 72 degrees at the top was not a big deal. I got cold just watching them but Charity and Joseph were in for at least 20 minutes. Jonathan got pulled out after half an hour and Michael swam for about an hour or more and got back in the next day too. They are nuts!

Michael on the inaugural swim in Grandma's pool.

Michael is still playing baseball and Jonathan will have OT/PT once a week but for the most part we have nothing on the calendar on a regular basis for the next few months. We have put the chore chart away for the summer and instead have instituted the 2nd annual Super Summer Challenge. I went to a workshop at the Hearts at Home conference on this topic in March of ’08 and decided to give it a try. I basically print out a list of chores/goals for each of the kids to accomplish. I set a point value for each task and give them a total goal to reach before school begins in the fall. If/when everyone reaches their goal before the first day of school, we then plan a trip for Labor Day weekend. (Last year we went to Mammoth Cave.) They also earn money as they reach milestones along the way. (During the school year they earn commission for completing their chore chart. This money replaces that “income” for them.) Michael and Charity had a blast with it last year and it motivates them to do some of the stuff that they would normally complain about. Yes, I know it’s shocking, my perfect angels occasionally have fits of whining! It also fights the “I’m bored” battle. Rule number 1 of the SSC is you can’t use the “b” word. Today is day one of the Super Summer Challenge and so far I have gotten the laundry folded (6 loads!) and hung up, the sticks picked up in the yard, and the two older boys have each spent 45 minutes weeding the garden. Charity has yet to join in the fun (she has to finish writing thank-you notes from her birthday party before she can begin) but I’m sure by this afternoon she will be earning points as well. Now before you all think I’m breaking child labor laws, I should point out that they can also earn points for going to church camp and VBS, reading, doing puzzles, running, working on 4-H projects, etc. Jonathan earned a point this morning for coloring for 15 minutes. I don’t expect motivation to stay this high but we’re off to a great start!


Melissa said...

They really are complete hams...all of them. Thanks for sharing! I especially like the picture of Michael in the rust collector!

Laura said...

You're welcome! I would do it again in a heartbeat, just give me a heads up if I need to be up before the sun is next time! haha