Tagged with "activities"
21 Jun
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers.

Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer.

boy swimming laps during swim lessons

I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m. this morning, our oldest had been dropped off and picked up from football speed and strength training. Our 12-year-old and I had run through his middle distance training for the day, and I was sitting at swim lessons with our youngest two. Our schedule isn’t nearly as bad as some other families. It seems we’re attempting to one-up each other with our level of busyness. I most definitely want to lose that game.

teenager crossng a river on a log bridge

Long gone are the days of sleeping in with my young children who actually enjoyed sleep. There’s no more nap time, except when mom sets the timer for 20 minutes of self-imposed mom rest time. I miss the repetitiveness of wooden puzzles, block towers, finger paint and racing Hot Wheels. I remember thinking the monotony of those days would do me in and now I long for that slower pace.

My current state is our fault. We wanted the children to find things they enjoyed and participate. Be involved we told them. That’s at least one thing they listened to me say. There are things we do say no to, and the kids would gladly list the requests that have been nixed. We’re choosy. They still need to have family time and time not dictated by a schedule. There’s time during the day for us to do as we please, but even that is exhausting with big kids. They want to hike, swim and explore. Their legs can carry them miles and miles over rough terrain. A hike on the local parkway path is no longer sufficient for their adventuresome spirits. I love it, but I’m tired. It seemed not too long ago it was me dragging them to places to get out of the house and now it’s them prodding me along.

brothers playing at a Wyoming state park

I don’t remember summer holding many extracurricular activities as a child. The list of camps is extensive in our area. There is, quite literally, a camp for everything. This summer is an adjustment period for us as we settle into the realm of high school. Fall sports begin early in August. Next year will maybe bring a summer job into the mix.

I’ve been warned by more-seasoned parents that if I think the junior high years went quickly, high school will take my breath away. I’m glad we chose years ago to have experiences instead of continually waiting for the kids to be older. Older came fast, and now that we have older kids, our time seems in short supply. I remember when the kids were much younger wondering if the day would ever be over. Now I check the clock and wish there was a way to add more time.


 
Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
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For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

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Gifting Experiences Over Things
By     |    Dec 12, 2016
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Gifting Experiences Over Things

I watched our seven-year-old come on stage to walk-through her part in The Great Russian Nutcracker with big eyes and slightly hesitant steps. The stage was bigger than she’s used to dancing on with movable backdrops and multiple props lining the stage’s wings. Professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet company waited in the wings or on the stage. They were speaking Russian and looked aloof and marginally bored. As I watched our daughter and her fellow snowflakes, I was impressed... [Read More]

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Our Traditional Summer List
By     |    May 26, 2016
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Our Traditional Summer List

I have to stop looking at my social media feeds for the next two weeks. I have several friends, in and out of state, who already are on summer break from school, and I am jealous. The end is in sight for me but not close enough. We have eight school days remaining this school year. The kids are excited for the field trips and picnics and less-rigorous final days of school, but I’m over it. I want to wake-up... [Read More]

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May Madness
By     |    May 13, 2016
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May Madness

The month of May is when I’m in high-mama gear. Four school-aged children means that on any given weekday from now until the last day of school, someone has a field trip or track or junior Olympics or an assembly or a concert. Some days it’s multiple children requesting a parent make an appearance. If field tripper was a profession, that would be my career in May. The build-up to the end of the school year starts at the beginning... [Read More]

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Tips for Gingerbread House Construction
By     |    Dec 17, 2015
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Tips for Gingerbread House Construction

The last time I made a traditional gingerbread house was years ago. Everything was chugging along smoothly until the three boys realized their were only two sides to the roof. The fun was sucked right out of house decorating. The best part of a gingerbread house is the roof for my kids. My job became referee. Heaven helps us if one brother had more design input on the roof than the other brothers. We finished the house, and I vowed... [Read More]

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Halloween Costume Craftiness
By     |    Oct 30, 2015
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Halloween Costume Craftiness

It’s a good thing I’m crafty. I’m not sure what my children would do for Halloween if their parents didn’t enjoy creating costumes. By enjoy, I mean I’m excited at the start of the costume fabricating process, but by week three, I’m ready to send kids off in whatever I have finished. Our kids are notorious for picking costumes you can’t simply go buy at Target. They have specific visions for Halloween, and I relent. This year was no different.... [Read More]

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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child
By     |    Oct 20, 2015
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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]

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When the Injured Player is Mine
By     |    Oct 1, 2015
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When the Injured Player is Mine

I scan the football field at the end of every play checking to make sure my kid is on his feet. Nothing prepared me for the moment I realized my child was still laying on the field injured. My heart sunk. Our 13-year-old wasn’t laying for long before cautiously sitting up. A coach was out there quickly, and B walked off the field unassisted. But pain was plastered on his face. Every inch of my momness wanted to walk onto... [Read More]

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Small Acts of Kindness, Big Effects
By     |    Sep 29, 2015
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Small Acts of Kindness, Big Effects

I rarely ask for help with the logistics of running a family. We have no grandparents to give us a hand, so all chauffeuring and encouragement at activities falls fully on Craig’s and my shoulders. It’s exhausting and rewarding and really exhausting to be the only ones who are there to watch the kids succeed and, sometimes, struggle in their various activities. Sharing the load makes for less stress and frees room for more enjoyment. I’m looking forward to having... [Read More]

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