A little bit of our summer vacationAs a family we always try to take a family vacation in the summer. This summer we visited Orlando and New Orleans. Since we opted for driving, we had plenty of family time in the care to play games. We spent 9 days in Florida and it was a really great time. My sister and her family from California flew in, my father and step mother from Indiana flew in as well, and we have several family members that already live in Orlando. It was like a really nice family reunion. Meeting my niece for the first time was amazing and since she is already 8 months old, she's trying to talk and her laugh is adorable. I have to mention that my favorite was her baby feet. I love babies feet...Oh my goodness! Okay, I know that Im not the only one. Seriously. You just want to eat them up....Great times! I really wish we all lived together in the same place to see each other more often. However, since we don't; we really cherished this vacation. If you have family you haven't seen in awhile, I encourage you to go see them. So, I'm sure you know that most people that visit Orlando go to Disney. Yes, we did that too and all 9-10 of us managed to stay together the entire time. (That was a challenge for real). Theres more fun in numbers! Let me just say that planning a trip to Disney for more than a day is a must. We only visited the park 1 day so for us it worked out great! The other days we were in Orlando, we had lots of other things planned; Air boats, Pirate Show, shopping, swimming, basketball, eating, and we also had a great time on Sunday at church with my family. We visited lots of great restaurants and the scenery is beautiful and green. Probably because Florida is known for their daily, short bursts of rain which often cools down the weather. If you have never been there, Texas weather is similar but it is a lot more humid and less breezy. Summer temps in Florida average in the high 90's and humid, something we are used to here in Texas; however, we always have a breeze which makes it so nice. Well, the real reason that I wrote this post was not to speak so much about our vacation and encourage your family to take one, but to give you suggestions as to how to spend the last few weeks at home with the kids. Depending on where you live, that may be too late for you and your children may already be back in session, but here in Texas we still have until August 22nd.
The kids morning checklistFirst, let me say, in our home we encourage the kids to help around the house and they do get a small allowance for this. They actually enjoy it and this teaches them autonomy, independence, and gives them a little bit of extra sending money. Some things they help with are loading the dishwasher after meals, emptying the trash, sweeping the floor, vacuuming, helping with laundry, and keeping their rooms clean. As of recently, my boys have been mowing the yard and weed eating. Its amazing how excited they are to complete a chore and get paid instantly for it. We also believe that they need to stay somewhat focused on learning so in the mornings they get on www.khanacademy.org to study their math and reading an hour a day. We have been using this website for a couple years and we just love it. It tracks their progress, gives them points, they can watch a short video if they need an explanation, and it even allows you as the parent to keep track of how they are doing. The website sends weekly progress reports to your email or you log on daily with a parent account. I noticed some of the teachers in school are suggesting this website now.
A few things that keep us entertained as a familySecond I will add, life can't be all serious, and there are times we love to get out and play or play right at home. Below, I've listed some things we do as a family to keep us entertained or just to relax. Remember, you don't have to spend a bunch of money to have fun! Play a game of Uno Weekend activities at church Game of Clue Tuesday nights $0.99 at Baskin Robbins BOGO at local FROYO $5 movies at the theatre Visit state parks Walking on our local trails Cross word puzzles Jenga Fishing Roasting marshmallows in the back yard Watching educational documentaries Scrabble South Padre Island (1 1/2 hours from here) Farmers market (Saturdays) Football games (fall) Taking scenic family pictures with our camera Last, as a mother I encourage you to enjoy your children. Times get stressful, demanding, and even overwhelming but they are only young for a short time and then they will be moving onto other seasons in their life. Try implementing a few of the items I listed above and depending on the ages of your children, all of them may not apply to you. It is with great joy and prayer that I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and as you start a new school year with your children, make the most of that as well. Pray for their health and safety, all the educators, and also don't forget yourself. Blessings, Tyra