Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016 Week #1

Summer Bucket List Item #1: Carowinds Season Passes

#1 on our bucket list this summer was to buy season passes to Carowinds, a local amusement park. The kids have begged to go here ever since we told them we were moving here.  We put off buying passes until Andrew was tall enough to ride everything.  So we started off our summer break by grabbing the kiddos from school on the last day and heading to Carowinds with Aunt Rachel.

Summer Bucket List Item #2: Be The First Ones in the Pool When it Opens

Mission Accomplished! 

Our pool opened the day after school got out, so my children ran to the gates to be in line when it opened and jumped in with their friends as soon as the life guards unlocked the gates.  We swam every day this week but Sunday.

Summer Bucket List Item #3: Silly Start of Summer Surprise Supper

This year Rachel, Nana, and Papa joined us for our traditional silly supper celebrating the start of summer.  First, each of us dressed up in crazy costumes. Chad stayed in character the entire night and spoke like Batman.

Next everyone filled out their dinner orders at a dining table set up in our office, because a silly supper can't be served in the kitchen.  That would be too normal.  Each person selected a food item, utensil, and a serving container for each course.  But they did not know what they were selecting, because everything was given a code name.

So you might have key lime pie as your first food item, served in a bucket, and eaten with a spatula.  Or as you can see in the background, key lime pie served on a cake platter and eaten with a knife.

Or you might get to eat salad with a toothpick served on a silver platter.

Or appetizers served on a dessert plate that you have to eat with a pasta ladle.

Batman had to eat his salad with a wooden spoon.

Eating salad with a wooden spoon proved to be a bit tricky for Molly, but probably because she couldn't stop laughing.

Somehow Papa lucked out and ended up getting to use his toothpick on watermelon.

Summer Bucket List Item #4: Memorial Day 5k 

Our new congregation also does a Memorial Day 5k and breakfast, so we woke up early Monday morning and all of us participated together.  Andrew, Ryan, Rachel, and Papa ran the 5k.  Andrew came in somewhere between 25 and 26 minutes.  He didn't have a stopwatch and was going by a friend's watch.  Ryan came in somewhere around 30 minutes!  Chad walked with Molly and I walked it with my mom.  Our times were a little more than 30 minutes. Afterwards we went home and swam the rest of the afternoon and cooked out in the evening.

Summer Bucket List Item #5: Library Reading Program

The kids met up with friends and signed up for the summer reading program at our library! They had games and popscicles, too! We have a great local library.  We do an hour of quiet time each afternoon during the summer, so the kids have already made great progress on their reading logs!

Summer Bucket List Item #6: Carowinds Water Park

The kids and I spent 4 fun hours at the water park this week.  Even with reapplying our sunscreen multiple times, we all got a bit red.  Ryan is tall enough to do all of the waterslides with Andrew and there was also plenty for Molly to do, so it was a wonderful place to play and we are all looking forward to returning.

Summer Bucket List #7: Andrew's First Scout Camp-Out

Andrew and Chad got to join the 11 year old scouts for Andrew's first official Scout camp out.  It was 93 degrees, but they both still had a fun time.

In addition to checking off lots of fun bucket list items this week, Chad and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.  We went to Cheesecake Factory and then stayed the night at a nearby hotel after dinner.  When we walked out of the restaurant, there was a perfect rainbow in front of us.  Happy anniversary, my dearest love.

I love summer vacation with my kids.  It was when my kids and I get the very best of each other.  During the school year, when they get home afterschool they are tired, and I am tired, and we have so much left to accomplish on our to-do lists.  During the summer we get each other when we are fresh and happy and cheerful.  And then we have relaxed down time in the afternoon, in separate rooms reading, away from each other, during the "witching hour."  The spirit in our home is so different during these months.   So peaceful.

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