Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer survival 2016

Three weeks. Yup, three weeks til school starts again! Lame, I know. But I guess if you get out of school a few weeks before everyone else, you go to school a few weeks before everyone else :-(.

Anyways--I'd like to salute a few things that have made my six-kids-home-summer doable:

1. Fruit dehydrators!
The 30+ fruit trees are happily being fruitful and I still have a little bit of jam leftover from last year. I did make some more jam already and now we have plenty of jam. Fruit leather--we are out! One thing I love about the dehydrators is that you can use overripe fruit to make great fruit leather. (But it makes terrible jam 'cause it usually won't set!) All I have to do is cut my fruit, take out the seeds, purée it in the vitamix, spread it on the trays, set them in the dehydrators, turn them on and let them do their thing--it's so easy!!! And it feels good to have some healthy snacks that don't spoil.

2. Swimming pool!
We just have a no-frills aboveground pool. It is not fancy, but it keeps the kids cool and they can swim and splash (and get tired out!) while I watch from my kitchen window and make dinner---killing two birds with one stone, I love it! Still saving for my in-ground dream pool...aww--maybe next summer?! Until then--this works!!!

3. Summer schedules!
I made another playgroup schedule for my ward this year. I love having things to do and planning them out ahead makes it so worthwhile for me. I don't like waking up one day and trying to figure out what would be entertaining for my kids and I to do that day. And we all need to get out of the house from time to time.

4. The iPad!
For many summers my children have fallen prey to their mother making them do, ugh, school work over the summer. I used to comb through their old textbooks and workbooks to save things for them to do over the summer. While they still have to do some hands-on work, I am very grateful for all the versatility of my iPad and all the wonderful educational apps that I can put on there for them to use.

5. Deep freezer!
What would my favorite season of the year be without delicious frozen things to eat. Popsicles and fruit blends galore for the kids, plus occasional ice cream sandwiches and other ice cream novelties. Most importantly: mom's personal stash of fudgesicles so she can "indulge" while trying to stay fit.

6. Another driver!
Oh how nice it is to have another driver. She is finally comfortable with the stick shift and has been able to take herself to all the teenage activities she needs to go to--and with being a member of three choirs and a cross country team and getting a job and wanting to hang out with friends--I am happy that I do not have to be her chauffeur!! I know what you're thinking; in three weeks this means I will get more sleep as I will no longer have to drive to early morning seminary!!!! Hooray!!

I hope your summers are all going blissfully. What are some things you love to have around for your "survival"?

(Just a few snapshots of summer 2016)