Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Summer


As school is drawing to a close, I thought I'd share some summer ideas we use or have used in the past to keep some sense of order. 

We have a "Summer Bucket List",  just simple things like going to the zoo, and visiting the Dum-Dum factory, and taking a long bike ride on a new bike path.

Patrick and Janey BOTH need to practice school work every day-Patrick loses math facts quickly I've found, and Janey is bursting into reading so I need to keep that going.  I've used Summer Bridge in the past, but this year I have so many fun workbooks around the house.  I already made a visit by myself to the library to pick out books for them both, which is sometimes easier for me-I can concentrate and give them new ideas.  (As in less sports biographies, which are fine, but maybe some inventors, etc.)

A few morning summer camps thrown into all that-maybe I'll regret or not, I always just try to guess that year if those activities will be beneficial for summer boredom, or more than they are worth in driving, and sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't.

We also are doing a very simple job list-like water outdoor plants for Patrick, and straighten up garage for Janey.

Andrew is taking a hard class at school, and unfortunately hasn't found a lifeguard job as he's not sixteen yet, but has his certificate all ready to go.  He is going to do a bunch of painting jobs for me outside.  Matt is busy working landscaping all day, and the older two are working in other cities, as they've flown the nest.  Lots of home visits planned for them which is always the best.  We also have a Beilein family reunion planned which is something we all so look forward to and Jeff and I will plan a vacation for ourselves at the end of summer, which I will need by then for sure. 

My summer goal?  A book a week.  And a daily walk, and a new routine of journal writing morning and evening.  I just attended the greatest little three hour retreat and it was so good for me.  The theme was Reflect, Renew, Reignite.  Why is it so difficult to me to remember to keep focused on my life goals, and to do that by daily reflection and inspiration to lead me to that direction?  My mother does it every day of her life.  What the heck?  It's more than buying a cute notebook which I must admit is one of the highlights of my week.  I found some at the grocery store (darn school supply section gets me every time) and bought every pattern because I couldn't choose one, so now I better be consistent and fill those suckers up.

I wish I could go back in time, because what a difference this daily journaling and reflection and gratitude list would make in every facet of my life.  No matter how busy you think you are, you must remind yourself every day who you want to be and how you want to spend your time.  It's so important!  Take my advice and there is nothing that will make your life fuller, better, in every way than this habit and I really want to finally be consistent with it.

The retreat leader had mounds of all these little books-she filled them with quotes, Bible verses and then had some where she, every night, would reflect back on her day and look at the interactions she had.  She'd write them down briefly-a brief list summary of the day-and then would put a smiley face or frowny face next to each one, depending on what brought her closer to God, or farther away.  She said then she could she patterns of what she felt she needed to work on-whether it was snappiness, or too much worry, or whatever she was struggling with in that time of her life.  BUT she also celebrated all the things she did holy and "right". 

Anyways, three more days of school and we are FREE!  No more packing lunches!  (I know we moms all feel the same-what is it about packing lunches???)


12 comments :

  1. Sarah, Do you have any resources for someone who is interested in Catholicism? My husband is lapsed, and I was raised with no religion. Now that I have a young daughter, I would like to be able to give her something that I feel was missing from my life growing up. However, I have no idea of where to start. I don't know if my husband would go to church with me, and I am trepiditious about showing up at 5:00 mass with a toddler who will loudly ask "What's THAT?" and then want to walk around. Do you have any advice or resources you could point me towards?

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    1. First I would start with a book because that's the answer to everything. :) . This looks cute:
      https://amzn.to/2VTslOt

      Then I would go to church when there isn't a Mass and talk about how one is supposed to act-practice being quiet, sitting still, praying, genuflecting. Point out statues, Jesus, use the Holy Water. Make it the MOST special place ever but no running, only whispering. And then go for it with Mass. Toddlers and Mass is hard no matter what always. Sit by the music and/or up front. I bet it will go better than you think. Do NOT stress about what will happen or if he/she talks or squirms what others will think. No kid is ever perfect in Mass all the time! And I think if you keep going, your husband will eventually follow.

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    2. I'm not Sarah, but for you, Lighthouse Catholic Media, Catholic Dynamics have great online resources and lots of Churches have their books and CDs in the foyer. And Scott Hahn is a convert and completely awesome, look up The 4th Cup!! Don't worry about kids. We need kids in church so I know what my prayers sound like to God, wah wah!! Most Catholic bookstores could point you to something. Hope you come and stay and we can say "Welcome Home!!"

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    3. And Matthew Kelly-anything by him!

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  2. I don't care about packing lunch, but not dealing with the crazy drivers during afternoon carpool? CANNOT. WAIT.

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  3. Sarah, I also really like the Summer Brain Quest workbooks for between grades. They're really colorful and interactive and my kids really enjoy them. And I'm so over carpools and end of school projects and special days, though I TOTALLY know the teachers are just trying to keep them attentive at this point! Enjoy your summer!

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  4. One of the many reasons we are so blessed to be home with our families, summer vacation. It's a wonderful feeling to look forward to the kids being home all summer. Making memories. Life is good. :)

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  5. Sarah - I love the idea of your gratitude/reflection journal. I am going to start that right now! (First I was going to say I would start on June 1st, but why wait?? Thanks for the idea! I'm so happy for you that school is over! We still have a month!! UGH!

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  6. Sarah can you tell me ideas about what you pack in their lunches? I feel like I should start doing this! I will now have 3 kids in full days of school and they've been eating school lunch!😲 It gets pricey for sure! Soon I'll have 4 in school! I could save a lot of money if I packed....I think?! My kids get so sick of sandwiches and I've tried looking up ideas....but haven't for at least a year! I hate packing lunches too....mostly I hate coming up with new ideas so the kids don't get sick of my ideas and hate the pressure of making it healthy when the kids cry about anything they don't like (mostly the things that are healthy!😂). Over it!!! Hahaha. I would love your ideas!😍

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    1. We only buy on pizza day which is Friday. But we pack super boring lunches. Peanut butter and jelly every single day, maybe a bagel once in awhile. Fruit, chips, a small treat. Water or maybe 100% juice box.

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  7. I loved reading about the notebooks. I would love to know more on what all one would write in there. I do keep a journal, a gratitude journal, and a commonplace book (for quotes), though I don't write daily. I'm trying to think about how I could take this further. I would love to hear more about what all you or this lady write there. Thanks! You challenge and encourage me!

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  8. My mom keeps a journal too, every day! I've tried and failed but am willing to give it another go. Thanks for the inspiration.

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