Sorry for being MIA for the past week or so. I don’t have a glamorous excuse really. Getting kids ready for back to school, and spending a lot of time doing nothing. I have to admit I’ve been in a weird funk for several days. I’m over summer and ready for school to start so there will be some sort of order in this house – a schedule, a routine, a purpose. However, I have mixed feelings – cuz truly I enjoy sleeping in as much as my kids do, (and honestly I just got my little boys to understand what it means to sleep in) and because I know as soon as school starts, I will blink and it will be over and I will be faced with graduation and college move in and so on….
But, whether I like it or not, time marches on. So, I’m getting of the couch and getting things in order and ready to go. (School starts Tuesday!)
I’m sharing about three weeks of insta-photos to catch-up 🙂
All the other kiddos were off doing other activities on this day – and I found myself with some very hard to find one-on-one time with my youngest. So, we went to his favorite place – the zoo!!
We have a cool new exhibit at our zoo where you can touch stingrays!! Really awesome – there are also small sharks swimming around in here :).
Giraffes are his favorite animal, and we have missed feeding them every time we have come since they started this. So, we made certain we got to feed them!! He was beaming!! It was truly a GREAT day!!
Our third kiddo off to his first youth activity at church. Seems strange that I am more ready for him to start middle school than I am for him to start in the youth group. He’s ready, but I’m not quite.
Ya, the other thing I’m sooo not ready for – my girlie got her permit. Ugh!!
I have been organizing the house all summer. The other day my oldest said “is my room next?” When a 17 year old asks you to help him clean and organize his room you say “yes”. So, we did. Man, he is crafty at hiding junk!!
Then, there was this. Walking the halls of middle school with this kiddo. He’s just still a little guy – how is this possible?? Dad tried to help him feel better about opening the lock on his locker – you know this is a big deal. We walked his schedule and assured him that he would get lost, and that it would be ok ;).
I have been cooking a lot this summer!! Yay me!! This is one of family favorites, passed on from a friend – Poppy Seed Chicken – easy and super yummy!!
Sibling love y’all, it rarely happens, especially this far into the summer, so I had to snap a pic.
My little man decided he wanted to help me cook. Yes!! Love it!!
You can follow along daily on Instagram here.
I will be spending the weekend getting the last few things ready for school and sucking the last few fun, relaxing moments out of summer.
Hope your weekend is blessed!!
Linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged here
Summer camp. Did you go to summer camp? I never had the opportunity, but my hubby did. Our kids have gone every since they were old enough, including a couple of mother/daughter and father/son weekends. Camps and mission trips for kids are so awesome!! My kids have such a great time with friends, creating memories and so much more. But my favorite thing about sending my kids to camp is what it does for their growing spirit.
Summer camp is a wonderful way for kids to gain confidence. It gives them the opportunity to be independent in a safe, kid-friendly environment. They are supervised, but not at the level they are at home. They are required to take care of their own basic needs for a few days away from mom. Before leaving for kids camp, our children’s minister always asks these questions: “can you make your own bed?”, “can you take a shower by yourself”, “can you fix your own hair?”.
These are things they will have to do while at camp, and away from mom :). They will also need to make good choices when it comes to food and snacks. Speaking of choices, they will be making a lot of these all by themselves. Now, don’t panic. It’s okay!! I promise!! Most likely, the sponsors that you entrusted your precious one with are not going to let them go too crazy, but they might let them do some things that they wouldn’t be able to do at home, and that’s ok, that’s what camp is for.
Let them go to camp if at all possible. Letting them go says “I trust you”, “I know you can do it”, “You will be fine without mom and dad for a couple of days”, “You are big enough”. For many mommies, it’s much harder for us to put them on the bus, then it is for them to get on the bus. Take a chance – do it, you won’t regret it.
Also, if you are able, go with them. Not because you want to follow them around and make sure their okay (they will hate that, trust me), but because you want to see what it’s all about. Sharing this with them will create so many blessed memories.
If you can’t go, but you can visit – visit. Again, not necessarily to check up on them, but to experience a little part of what they are experiencing. It will bless your heart.
As I am now the mother of older kiddos, I do occasionally get questions from moms of younger kiddos who are just starting the things I have done over and over :). As our summer camps at church were ramping up, I had more than one momma say to me – “what are your tips for sending kids to camp?”. I would say the same thing every time – let them pack themselves!!
No, I am not insane. Many camps provide a list of what to bring. If a list is available – let them have the list. I started doing this early on, honestly for my own sanity. My younger two were not alone in wanting to pack way to soon for camp, my older two did as well when they were younger (now they pack an hour before they have to leave). Rather than argue with them or listen to the begging any longer, I said “fine, here’s the list, knock yourself out”.
For the first two or three years, I would recommend having them lay everything out (rather than putting it in the suitcase), and then you have a chance to go over the list with them and check for any missing items like underwear and socks – this was what my kids always seemed to forget to put it??? I haven’t checked my teenagers bags in years. Have they forgotten things – yes many times, but you know what they survived, and they didn’t forget it the next time :). My kids are now better packers than I am, and much quicker.
I know some of you are hyper-ventilating right now. It will be fine. Their outfits don’t have to match -it’s camp- nobody expects them to look cute. It is such a small thing that I promise will give them so much confidence. It’s a good time to teach them tips and tricks – for example my oldest never goes anywhere without packing a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans – because you just never know (even in the middle of July in Oklahoma :)). In my opinion, there are so many kids out there who will have a hard time adjusting to life on their own, purely because us mommas have done everything for them. Yes, I know we love to do it – but when are they going to learn if we don’t let them. As my son approaches 18 and “adulthood”, I have begun to notice some of these hangups. Some days I think “yes, he will be fine”, and then other days when he is acting helpless, I think “oh my goodness, he is never going to make it”. I have a year, right? 🙂
And, just think, if we start letting them do things on their own, we will have all sorts of extra time to do whatever we want!! 🙂
Blessings to you!! Have a wonderful weekend!!
I hardly ever decorate for much other than Christmas. But, while out shopping for pool stuff the other day, the flag displays caught my attention, and I got a hankerin’ to add a little Americana decor to the house. So I grabbed a couple of things from the store and collected a couple more from home and started with this.
And, ended up with this.
Just a little touch of red, white, and blue and I’m done :).
My hubby throws together this lovely little celebration at our church every year. Last night we celebrated the 14th year of what we call Freedom and Faith – a community wide event that has about 3,000 people in attendance. There is fun to be had for everyone – live music, food, inflatables, and then of course an awesome fireworks show!! It is a fantastic time always, and last night did not disappoint!! Needless to say hubby has been super busy the last couple of weeks this week we are going to fit in some much needed family time, so you might not hear from me for a few days, but I’ll be back. 🙂
I am looking forward to some homemade ice cream and more great fireworks. What’s your favorite thing to do on the 4th of July?
Happy 4th of July!!