Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dribs and Drabs of This and That

This summer is taking on a different flavor than in years past, it is mellower, less frantic, lazier. Purposely cutting out many activities and limiting ourselves has helped a lot, although at moments it feels a little odd. We are relaxing more, and I think homeschooling and not feeling the pressure to cram everything into the three months we have free has helped. We aren't "losing" the kids to school at the end of August, so we feel less of a need to take advantage of every spare moment. It is actually very nice, and we all are enjoying hanging out at home more, mixing a little learning with a lot of playing and a handful of cleaning.

Yesterday we spent the day in bedrooms, mucking them out, and it is amazing to me the sheer magnitude of JUNK a single child can accumulate, let alone FIVE who are all still at the stage that every McDonald's toy must be saved. Yea, you'd think we'd be past that at these ages but...uh...not so much. I also discovered something new about our daughters....Olesya and I ROCK at cleaning and Angela is the biggest pack rat ever known to mankind. Seriously, every envelope, empty box, completed word search....everything has to be saved. Olesya is unexpectedly totally like me in this department...if you haven't used it, chuck it. I am NOT a collector of fine junk, Dominick is, Grandma Alice is, and now Angela is. Olesya, my dear daughter, will help keep my life sane and provide me with strong support as I keep our life as clutter free as possible.

The boys? Well...let's just leave that one alone, shall we??? :-) I can count at least 9 socks we found in toy boxes, a box full of dirt because it was "pretty" which I made Josh get rid of, and HALLOWEEN candy still sitting in a box under Matt's bed. Taped airplane pictures to his wall along with millions of dollars of Kenny's fake money he made and we had a two day process of cleaning it all up, but it looks great now. And maybe I can walk in their room without stepping on Legos embedded in the carpet, at least for a day or two.

We went to Angela's softball game yesterday, an hour away, and have one more left tomorrow night before the season ends. I don't know who has had more fun, the other kids all running around like wild Indians while she is on the field, or Angela herself. It has been fun, but I am glad that even that one extra activity is over. Maybe come September I'll be ready to gear back up and face the world, but right now we seem to be sort of holing up and enjoying being with each other doing simple things.

I am realizing that we are morphing into a different sort of family, and I kind of like it. I was growing ever more resentful of the time spent "doing" and running from one place to another instead of being together, and homeschooling is presenting new opportunities to fit activities into our day without having to be apart from one another so often or on the run all night long every night of the week. While we will still be involved in some things, we will be far more particular in the future. There are a million wonderful things out there for kids to do, but multiply it by 5 kids and that means even one activity a piece and you are never, ever home. We don't want the remainder of their childhoods flying by with us all seeing one another only in the car!!

The girls are terribly excited about the 4th of July, for some reason, and we are going to make shirts for all the kids and be in a parade! Dominick was asked if he would enter the parade with his detailing truck and shoot water at everyone to cool them off, so we are going to have the kids give away candy as they walk down the street and everyone is waaaaayyyy excited about that. Then we have our annual church celebration with an evening picnic and watching the fireworks to attend. I hope the weather cooperates and we have a great day since the girls are so excited for their first 4th.

We are also doing some last minute planning to have a booth selling snacks and things at our local Sweet Corn Festival in August. Don't laugh, I know it sounds "corny" (pardon the pun), but the event draws 20,000 people and we are hoping to raise funds for church camp for next year. All the kids have been wanting to have a "business" and have been playing store for the past couple of weeks, so we thought this might be a good time to tap into that and help start socking money away towards next years camp fees. While we will help, they will be doing most of the planning and work with our guidance.

So we are still busy, it just feels less chaotic. Lots of good photo ops soon though :-)

We also are still continuing our reading efforts, and have made it to the end of the driveway!!! As the chain gets longer it gets harder to handle, and we drag it out to take a photo of our progress and end up doing repair work every time. I am really proud of them all, they are working hard and this has been the single best silly motivator ever. So glad it has worked!


Corinne said...

Your post made me smile as I am in the middle of trying to decutter our family of seven soon to be nine. I am the only one in the house however that is a total clutter free person so, this is a challenge. Oh, I am so hoping our newest members will join my team of clutter free!

Karen said...

"Pickles! Get your ice cold pickles!" Joshie will make a great barker...!

Anonymous said...

You rock! That picture of the reading chain needs to go to the library to be used in their newsletter and in releases to the newspaper. Great to hear you're relaxing. I'll remember that the next time I try to get ahold of you. Let's see, they are relaxing, now just where are they relaxing today.

LOL (and this time I mean both love on line and laugh on line),