Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Plans-Book Club Day

So...3 more days until summer...and the teacher is me is planning the summer already! I planned to write this post, but then our book club day came (and went) and I decided this post would be a perfect fit-since our book this month was all about a mommy trying to balance it all! This post is inspired by the novel Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo. Worried about what her kids eat, Julia Bailey starts a prepared organic toddler meals business. With names like Gentil Lentil, can Julia balance work and family and still save the world? Join From Left to Write on May 24 as we discuss Julia's Child. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
So, each summer I come up with some kid of plan for my kiddos so they don't get "mush mind". You can search many blogs and get great plans and ideas. I like to read a bunch and come up with my own plan. This year, I am again planning our days like this: Mondays-Library Day (we do the local summer reading program). Tuesdays-Cooking Day. Wednesdays-Art Project Day (hello, Pinterest). Thursdays-Playdate Day. Friday-Field Trip-have ideas for our local county courthouse, the Jelly Belly Factory, Columbia, Yosemite, missions, Sky High (awesome trampoline place!), etc... I also have a few ideas about the dreaded TV/Computer issues. My kids love reading, so for each half hour they read, they earn a half hour of screen time. How Does She blog has some cute printables to keep track of the books. I have a reading list for both boys this summer of books they must read. I found those from those library lists/suggested reading lists. We will be doing a summer school schedule-but just a light one. I need my summer off, too! I liked the ideas this blogger posted about her binders and summer schedules. I plan to get the kids each a binder and type up our weekly plans for them to keep track of. I will include their listed chores for the day(AM and PM chores). I also will have a set summer school time 3 days a week for about an hour to work on a few things. Instead of handing them a big workbook (like I did last summer and we didn't finish), I will tear out the pages that I want them to do each day. Both boys are doing great in school, but I will keep them working on writing and handwriting, as well as review pages for math and language arts. Kendall will have her handwriting pages and easy math pages. We'll see how that goes! I try to balance some work and lots of time to play! We will be swimming at the pool probably every day, as well as walking Lucy in the morning, bike rides, backyard play-whatever they want. I don't entertain my children all the time. I like them to play, be bored, and figure out what to do on their own. Of course, I am always up for snuggle times and board game challenges! So, I will keep you updated on how our summer plans go...off to make our summer bucket list! Here's last year's list:

Monday, May 07, 2012

Why We Live Here

It's Book Club time! I am really enjoying my online book club, From Left to Write, because I have been reading books that I may not have picked up otherwise. Like our book for this month, I am Forbidden.
This post is inspired by I AM FORBIDDEN by Anouk Markovits. Though not sisters by blood but through their Hasidic faith, Mila and Atara views the rules and structure of their culture differently. Mila seeks comfort in the Torah while Atara searches for answers in secular literature she is forbidden to read. Ultimately each must make an irrevocable decision that will change their lives forever. Join From Left to Write on May 8 as we discuss I AM FORBIDDEN. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. One of the characters in the book decided to give up her family in favor of pursuing a different life, one that could not, due to religious laws, include a relationship with her family. I cannot imagine that. If you'd read my blog, you know that I usually write about my family. Family is so important to me! Before Spencer was born, Joe and I lived in Southern California and loved it. I had a great job, he was doing work he loved, we enjoyed the big city feel...and we were even getting used to traffic! Then, our baby boy was was born and when we would come back "home" to see our family, it took him the whole weekend to warm up to his grandparents. He had cousins around and we'd hear stories of family outings and functions that we were missing. Even the simplest things, like getting together for dinner was so common for them, but so special to us. We made a hard decision to move back when he was one year old. We decided we were lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents in town, as well as several cousins and aunts and uncles. It wasn't an easy move, we did make some sacrifices: Joe couldn't do his line of work up here, and while I enjoy teaching still, I miss my old partners and school(The lack of restaurants is a huge bummer for us, too!). However, what we lost in salary has been been worth it, I can honestly say. My kids adore spending time with grandparents as often as they can! They've all said at one point or another, that "Grandma" and "Grammy" are their best friends. They go on dates, have sleepovers, get spoiled by them. Spencer and his cousin Jake have best friends since they were one-inseparable for many years. Though the kids are all getting older, and with soccer or commitments getting in the way, family dinners are becoming rarer and rarer...though my kids still enjoy having special times with their grandparents. We are looking ahead to a future where we may be moving on, though making sure we are within driving distance from family. I know not everyone would agree with me on my feelings, but growing up like I did, in the same town as my grandparents, I knew I needed this for my own kids as well.