Oh, What do You do in the Summertime?

Well -- today is the first day (well, school calendar wise) of summer. I informed my 12 year old son that it wasn't official until the 21st, and he gave me this confused look. I love making them confused -- at least I do it often enough that I must enjoy it...

He's the one holding his nose in the photo above -- we were at one of the smelly pots at Yellowstone that year. That's a trip we probably won't be making soon, gas prices being what they are.

Every year from the time I discovered there was a world outside of diapers and bottles and had children in school, I have had a project for them to do during the summer. One year it was painting. We went to the neighbors yard and painted the sunflowers that grew in large stalks along her fence. She loved the company, and they actually liked doing it.

One year I had them write a story in a notebook. I only had one that really took off with it, although most of them still like to write. I guess we'll see.

Last year it was weeding in the garden to earn Nintendo time... I know, the standards have sure shifted.

I haven't come up with anything yet this year, and my hubby asked me last night if I had a list of things for the kids to do or if I was just going to wing it. Right. As if I wanted to contemplate the looming summer months any sooner than I had to? He's somewhat jealous, you see, although it's more a mix between jealousy and relief. He's jealous that my job has me off in the summer (though we'd LOVE to find something that paid all summer long...) while he has to work, and relief that it's me getting to deal with the kids all day and not him.

Don't get me wrong -- he loves our children, he's the one that worries about them when we go on dates or short weekends and leave them at home. It's a very endearing quality. But he knows what summer gets like. There have been times in the past that I've called and begged him to come home early before I strung them all up by their toes, confined them all to their rooms for the rest of the summer, committed Hari Kari or something like it.

This summer is going to be a change, and it's going to be hard. Our oldest son goes to boot camp, and won't be around at all. Our next oldest son is working at the local amusement park so he'll be gone most of the time, and our two daughters that are still home will be working and going to school part time.

That leaves my youngest two sons with the benefit of having mom be on their cases all day and trying to encourage thoughtful behavior. sigh. It's usually a struggle to get them doing chores and some kind of homework so their brains don't atrophy during the summer months.

My 14 year old is autistic. What this means to the average person, is that he's not real good in social circles. He'd rather do what he wants to do, regardless of what anyone else wants to do. He is also very artistic. He can copy things that amaze you. His favorite thing is enlarging maps from books. He loves maps.

I'm thinking this year perhaps I could get him to enter something in the fair. He might be willing, he might not. I guess I'll have to see. I know he has it in him.

My 12 year old, doesn't really care about art, though he has done some great work in school. I'm thinking my project this summer will be for them to create something that they can both enter in the county fair. It will give them time to do more than one thing, if they aren't happy with their first creation.

This way I can get them to experiment with all the different types of medium -- this could really be fun! I can just see Randy with acrylics...well, maybe not. This will definitely be something we'll be doing OUTSIDE. We'll have to hook up the cd players so that we have nice inspirational music playing and both of them wearing large OLD shirts that can be tossed when they're done.

Speaking of music...have you visited the neighborhood juke box? This is soo cool! I was excited when I found it, because I love music, and listening to it while I write or paint is just an extension of heaven...grin. Anyway, I love the choices they have, and that not only can you listen to music on the computer, but if you are a musician, you can get your music to the site! Talk about promotion!

My favorite section is the instrumental, and today I'm listening to Fireflies. Hmmmm... Check it out -- It's great stuff.

Anyway, back to summer and art and fairs. I'll let you know how the project goes -- and I'll post pictures so you can see them. It should prove interesting. I'm hoping I can convince Randy to paint something other than a map...

Return to the Neighborhood.


I'm hoping to NOT go crazy this summer.....
Kim Thompson said…
Cute kids! I love summer and having my kids home. For at least the first two weeks, anyway. :)
C.L. Beck said…
Good blog. And thanks for the link for the Neighborhood Juke Box. I didn't have a clue that was out there!

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