Thursday, August 09, 2012

Summer Fun

Really, I don't know if the boys will remember this as the most fun filled summer ever.

That's too bad, as it was also the longest summer break we will probably ever have.  Our school is under construction for the second summer in a row, and as a result, we had an extra three weeks to enjoy ourselves.

We didn't get to take a vacation, as we had to do a majorly expensive roof repair, which meant we missed out on the most looked forward to week of the year.

Instead, we tackled some additional home improvement projects that were long overdue.

We separated Sammy and Charlie, and gave each of them their own rooms.  This meant moving Evan downstairs to the basement guest room, which I think he overall enjoys.  He likes the cooler air (now that it's summer anyway), and he likes the privacy.  It also meant I had to paint Evan's old room and get it ready for Sam.  This about killed me, as it was the first room my Dad painted when we moved in.  He loved Evan so much, and he wanted Evan to be comfortable in his new room, so within a few days it was wearing a fresh coat of paint.  Evan picked out a planets and space border, which my Dad loved, being a space nut himself.  My heart ached as I removed the wallpaper and covered the blue paint with green, and the only way I got through it was by reminding myself that Dad would not want me to stop updating the house.  He was a firm believer in keeping on top of home renovations and painting, and I knew the painting would make him happy.  I also thought about how darn glad I am that I made him teach me how to paint only 3 short years before he died.  It's one of the most practical things he ever taught me.

Next I painted the master bathroom, and added some Uppercase Living accents that have been sitting in my closet for the last two years.  This job has been lingering on my to do list for years simply because I hate painting behind toilets.  Apparently, I am really great at talking myself out of unpleasant tasks.  VERY glad to get this one done.

Evan and I dug out a large area of sod in our backyard, killed a ton of weeds, and planted a perennial garden next to our pool.  We dragged bag after bag of mulch, and carted out load after load of sod, but sadly neither of us gained any arm muscle doing it.  Evan was disgusted at this.  I think he'd like to start looking good for the ladies.

And thanks to my wildly talented and handy brother Creighton, we were able to rip out the COMPLETELY craptastic sliding doors on the top and bottom floors and replace them with french doors that have the blinds between the glass that you can raise and lower with a magnet.  I love, love, love them.  I keep saying on Facebook that I really should have been nicer to Creighton as a kid, and I mean it.  We fought like cats and dogs.  Worse than that.  Once, as my Mom dragged me off the top of him at about the age of 11, she told me I was going to jail if I didn't stop it.  Creighton had an incredible talent of being able to push just the right buttons and annoy the hell out of me.  But now?  That boy takes the best care of me and my family.  When my Dad died, it was as if Creighton emerged from a cocoon.  He blossomed into an adult who is such an kind and caring leader.  He is truly the man and the leader of my family.  My Dad left hard shoes to fill, but Creighton does a good job of it.  I know my Dad has been busting his buttons with pride in Heaven just watching him.  I really feel like he is my older brother now, instead of my baby brother.  He is a blessing.

Which is all a long winded way of saying that instead of a really fun summer, it was a working summer, which is nice in a way too.  I did tell the kids we would try and do some fun stuff around town, so a couple of weeks ago we headed to the Children's Museum.

Our favorite part was the Wizard of Oz exhibit.  The movie has always been a huge favorite with Charlie and Sammy.  They loved sitting in the chair of the Wicked Witch of the West, and pretending to be flying monkeys.
We also really wanted to go to the zoo, but unfortunately we have been living through the hottest summer of our lifetimes (literally).  And it just doesn't sound fun to me to go to the zoo when it is 110 degrees outside.  We may have to move this goal to a weekend in the fall.

We've also been swimming almost every single day, and we've gone on some trips for ice cream and slushies as well.  

Sammy started out the summer knowing only his alphabet and sounds and a few simple words, and now he is already reading at the level of a first grader.  We went out to celebrate with a hot fudge sundae when he learned all of his Kindergarten and 1st grade sight words.  I am not above bribery, apparently.  Also, if I do say so myself, after all these years of practice, I am a kick ass reading teacher.  Want to know my secret for teaching kids sight words?  The good old fashioned Dick and Jane books.  Yep, the ones from the 1950s.  Dick and Jane knew what they were doing.  It works every time!!

Even though our summer was busy and maybe not the most exciting, I have enjoyed spending these days with my kiddos.  Even the days when Charlie's been grumpy, or we've had too many appointments planned.  I am sick to my stomach they will be over all too quickly!

1 comment:

John and Teresa said...

love this post. everything about it! and I love that creighton is taking such great care of all of you!

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