Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Fun Survival Secrets ~ aka THE EMBRACE

You may remember our track-out bucket list we made over the long Christmas break.  We had a great time brainstorming the ideas together and a blast checking them off on almost a daily basis!  I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we had the "best time ever"!

And here we are again, in the middle of another track-out of the much hotter variety.  And I thought I'd share some of the things that have gotten us through these dog days with ease...

ok, so maybe we haven't had the smoothest of track-outs this go around but we should definitely get an "E" for effort!  My anxiety has stayed under control (which is a miracle in and of itself!), but I can't say the same for the attitudes of a few unnamed colony members.

First we scoured Pinterest for fun ideas and made a list of supplies that we went and racked up on at the $1 store.

Our first "project" was to make this boredom buster jar with several activities in 4 different categories.  When we are getting antsy or bored we just pick a stick from the appropriate category and have an instant fun idea to tackle.

I have quickly learned that I have raised several checklist masters!  They love making lists and checking them off just like their mama (don't be too jealous, ha!).  Every evening before I go to bed I write a list with the next days activities so that they know what to expect.  It motivates us all to get through our chores quickly and get to the fun outing or "secret" activity on the list.

Here are some of the things we've done so far:
The KEY WORD this month for survival is ~ EMBRACE

Lots of swimming in our 3-tiered  two-tiered 1 1/2-tiered blow-up pool (the size actually depends on the time from immediate blow-up, ha!).  We have embraced our ghetto pool with 5+ kids in it at any given time.  And I will eventually embrace the astronomical water bill (as soon as its paid off.)

Playdates with friends (embrace the chaos and welcome the extra play buddy for the kids)

Obstacle course - all you need is yarn and painters tape (embrace the imperfections of the design and the competitive spirit that seems imminent with every activity we find to play lately)

Balloon rockets ~ balloon with a straw taped on the top.  Lace the yarn through the straw and race them down the string (embrace the tears because the technique is tough to master among the Colony members)


Paper plate tennis ~ staple a popsicle stick onto a paper plate and play tennis with a balloon (embrace that once-again surfaced competitive spirit, and the fact that the set-up for these activities actually takes longer than the game itself sometimes)

sleepover on the trampoline ~ (embrace the never ending trips between the house and the trampoline for every freaking toy, pillow and blanket in the house must-needed items that will make mid-night clean-up that much more difficult)

Lots and lots of card games (war, uno, old maid...) ~ this one is an "embrace-free" activity!

forts, forts and more forts (embracing the mess is the most difficult thing for me.  One day I'll understand why the best place for a fort is in the family room or hallway...you know the places where we NEED to sit, walk or just "be".  At least it's usually not in the kitchen, ha!)

Crafts ~ my mom is awesome is oh-so-many ways, but she found these paint activities that are no-mess, no-fuss and require no-mama!  I typically have to embrace the mess of crafting and creativity, but this one has literally led to hours of fun for every colony member!

Marble Racing ~ race marbles through swimming noodles (embrace the fact that you will most certainly "lose your marbles" by the end of this one)

Character Games ~ after hearing some ugly words between colony members, daddy came up with a way to help encouraging words take over.

*****

Now, before you begin comparing yourself to the Colony and all our awesome track-out activities;) let's put a few things into perspective...

1 - I am not this creative on my own.  Some of our activities I've just thought of, but the majority of them have come from Pinterest and other resources.

2 - I love to hang out with my children just as much as you do but sometimes my activities do require the kids to just be by themselves and let me have a minute (or 60) to breathe (or do a quick workout video...and SOMETIMES even a shower!).

3 - Just because I have a plan doesn't mean it gets executed as planned.  And it certainly doesn't mean that I have grateful, excited children who jump around in anticipation, high-fiving through the games and rejoicing for the winner.  As a matter of fact, almost every activity we have done has ended in tears for AT LEAST one kid.  Whether it was the fact that the balloon wouldn't go down the string quick enough, or the game is "boring" or "she got the noodle I wanted to use", we have all had our moments.

But we are pushing through and I am determined to keep praying for creativity, patience and as of today, a little more sensitivity for the little emotions inside are running just as high as the temperatures outside.
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