Tuesday, June 25, 2013

High Five for Chores

We got a package delivered today. The kids crowded around the box to open it.

"What is it?"

I told them I had ordered things we needed around the house, like a shower curtain and Clorox wipes and things like that.

"Maybe it's something different," Xander said.

"Maybe it's an Imaginext toy," said Nick.

"No, I only ordered stuff we needed around the house," I said.

Still, they were eager to open it.

It was a pack of disinfecting wipes.

"Now you can do your wiping the bathroom chore again!" I said.

Xander wandered off to play.

Nick came up to me and said, "It's bathroom wipes! High five!"

I gave him a high five.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mother-Son Date

Nick and I had our first official parent-child date this weekend. We've gone on other outings like this, just the two of us, but this was our first "official date."

He wanted to go to Target to play with the toys in the Imaginext aisle. Because he loves to do this, we hardly ever go to Target. :) But I said he could do that for a long time on our date. (Obviously, he does not cause any harm to the toys, he just examines them and tries the buttons that the packaging advertises.) We did this for a looooooong time. Then we bought some new underwear that was needed. He wanted Batman.

Then I shopped for some groceries, during which he whined that he was hungry. I probably should have saved my errands for a different time. 

When Erik heard we were going on our date this Saturday morning, he suggested we all meet up at IHOP afterward. He and Xander met Nick and me there and we had a very nice family breakfast. Nick, in spite of complaining about hunger beforehand, ordered only the fruit cup. He also got orange juice. This made him plenty happy. (Well, he ate my sausage links, too, but I was happy with that because I don't like them.)

On our first official date, I learned that Nick likes golden oldies on the radio. And I mean oldie oldies, not the stuff I listened to in high school.

I took Xander on a mother-son date when he was four years old, to a movie. (He had done a couple of father-son dates to Monster Jam by then.) We got a cute picture before we went, probably because my mom was visiting and she gets pictures. I didn't think to have anyone take my picture with Nick. Next time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pictures Never Posted

I forgot I had pictures on my actual camera from Xander's soccer season this spring, and other things. I'm only going to post a few from his soccer team, the ones that don't show other children up close (the Internet, and all that).

Xander took this - Nick stands still better for him than anyone!

Xander coming for the ball!

Xander playing goalie

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Goals and Schedule

We are on summer break. I've decided to go to a three-months-on, one-month-off schedule for homeschool. That seems to be our natural rhythm, and following that schedule gives us December off (which we need for our Christmas activities) and one month off during summer (cutting down on the forgetting that can occur over summer break).

This year, we have June off and August off. We have not QUITE finished the material we wanted to cover for first grade. We will officially start second grade in September, although the math at least will start in July.

During June, we have had Nick's birthday, visits from both Erik's and my mom, Father's Day activities, and more fun outings. Not to mention that mid-May, there was a family reunion on my dad's side for my granddad's 90th birthday. In late July, Erik's sister and her family will come into town on their way to move out of country (they're a military family). We'll host them and then follow them over to Erik's mom's place in Florida for another visit. This will entail another few days off school, but it will be very important to all of us.

Other than all these amazing opportunities, I have summer goals for the boys. These are pretty lofty. We won't get them completed in one month. Maybe by the end of August.

For Xander:

  • learn to be a stronger swimmer (we have made strides so far!! or should I say Grandma Lucy and Erik have really helped him this summer)
  • learn to ride his or a smaller bike
  • learn to be a great tooth brusher
  • start making his own breakfast every morning (or at least learn to; I'm willing to make his breakfast after I know that he has practiced doing it on his own)
  • solidify learning to clean glass tables and doors
  • learn to completely unload the dishwasher
  • learn to vacuum with the upright vacuum
  • solidify emptying all garbage cans
  • read a chapter book on his own
  • dog camp (which he already did, many many many thanks to Grandma Bonnie!)
  • watch Billy Elliott (his dancer aunt thinks his dancing is similar to Billy's before he learns to dance) :)

For Nick:

  • learn to swim up to a four-year-old level in a fun, relaxed way
  • learn to put on a shirt
  • learn to spread his blanket so he can make his bed fully on his own
  • learn to make his own breakfast (except for cooking with heat)
  • learn to clean glass tables and doors
  • describe to him what he and I will be doing for learning activities this year

I had written down that I wanted us to do these activities:

dog camp, week of total break, splash park Monday mornings, Sustained Silent Reading, read aloud good books, start school July 1st, Nick's birthday party, walk or bike ride every day, Independent Playtime

Time to buckle down to a summer schedule, along these lines:

8:00 breakfast
9:00 Morning Cards, chores
9:30 Sibling Playtime
10:30 work on life skills with me while other person is in IP
12:00 walk/ride up to park for lunch and playground; clean-up
1:00 SSR
1:30 Quiet Time
3:00 snack
5:00 pre-dinner chores, make dinner
6:00 family dinner, clean-up
6:30 strength exercises as a family sometimes (whoever wants to)
7:00 game, movie, TV, free playtime, or read-aloud
7:30 Evening Cards (baths, read, etc.) except on Family Movie Night
9:00 lights out

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grandma Visits

We were lucky enough to have not one but two grandmas visit us around Nick's birthday this year! They both came from far away (in different directions) and we are so glad they did!

(By the way, Grandmas, we just came back from the pool and both the boys played and swam and had fun! Sometimes with a life jacket, sometimes without.)

When grandmas come to visit, it means one thing: TONS of pictures. Here you go.

Grandma gives them Wendy's

art museum

Xander invited himself into this group

Nick's favorite

Art Lab at the museum

Art Lab

requested picture (Xander)

birthday boy!

I have not had enough coffee yet

Thanks, Bonnie!

"Thank you, Grandma, but I must get back to my toys..."

THE OGRE! He has only been asking for it for six months...


back home playing

splash park!

commissioned by Nick, drawn by Grandma Lucy

Nick and I share facial expressions sometimes

Sandy's getting a breath of fresh air (in my hands)

Grandma and Xander spent over two hours on this totally clean vehicle

still my baby

dog camp! Thank you, Grandma Bonnie!!

"I like what you've done!"

Family Movie Night

requested picture

he did a good job on the rims


YMCA trail

treats and a movie!

oh no, Nick is someone's role model now

going swimming

Samurai Castle - thanks Grandpa and Grandma and Great-Aunt Leslie!

Xander's special collection box