Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Half-Way Already?

I realized that the summer is already about half over.  Wha.....????  Where does the time go?  We've definitely been busy, but we've been relaxing as well.  In fact, so far this summer has been exactly what I had envisioned in my mind.

So, this is my philosophy: I want my kids to do things in the summer that are constructive, as in, I don't want to hear the phrase "I'm BORED!"  BUT.  I don't want to over schedule my kids so that they don't have free time to just BE KIDS, you know?  They need to be able to explore, and relax, and come up with their own entertainment, too.

Luckily, I've been blessed with self-entertainers, that play together very well.  One day they made up a game called "Dandelion Store".  This speaks ample amounts about the state my back yard was in at the beginning of the summer.  (More on this topic later.  I have, like, 5 blog posts swimming around in my head that I have yet to put down on paper.  I mean, on computer.)

So.  What have we done this summer?  One of the things I wanted to do was sort of a "field trip" idea.  It hasn't been anything terribly creative, but we've still gone out and enjoyed what is around us.  I wanted to do something about every other week.  Like, for instance, the zoo.
We went to the zoo a few weeks ago, before it got too hot.  My cute friend Joanne and her amazing kids went with us.  We headed over first thing in the morning, and all the animals were out because it was fairly cool.  Even though the kids went there at the end of the school year, it's still fun to go and see the animals.  And it wasn't really busy that early, either.  So that was nice.
Troy has been climbing the walls-literally.  He is such a monkey!  But this is one of the examples of just relaxing, and entertaining themselves that I was talking about.
Summer time is not just a vacation for my kids; it is also my break time, for me to do things that I want to do.  I've had these quilts that I've been wanting to make for the boys sitting around for almost a year.  I was going to make it all from scratch, but that was too expensive.  So then my friend Arin suggested I just buy ready-made bedspreads, and add some squares of color or something.  Brilliant idea!  Or so I thought.  It really is a great idea, if you have a quilting machine, which I don't.  There's no way that big hulking blanket is going to fit through the little tiny hole of my machine. 

So....I glued it, with fabric glue. 

I'm sure every quilter lady out there just about fainted after reading that.  But you know what?  It's done, and my boys REALLY REALLY REALLY don't care if it's beautifully stitched on or slapped together.  And in a few years, when they wear out, I'll either do it the right way, or just buy an interesting bedspread that I don't have to sew.
(Now I want to paint the walls to match, but that's going to have to wait, I'm afraid.)

I also made a new skirt for myself, that gets totally wrinkly all the time, but oh well.  I had a couple of church tops that needed a bottom, so I was going for color when I picked the fabric.  The pattern ended up being jacked up, where the top of the skirt didn't quite work out on the inside, but I jimmy-rigged it.  Plus, it's on the inside, so no one can see its flaws.  I'm currently working on a vest for myself as well.  We'll see how it goes-it's only cut out so far.

Let's see.  I've also had time to clean out my vacuum really well.  I replaced the filter, and the belt, etc.  It's much more happy now.  I've been doing a lot of cleaning lately.  But that's yet another topic for another blog post.

Like I said, my kids are self-entertainers.  They are also very artistic.  I have no idea where it came from, because even my stick figures are questionable at best.  Here are two pictures, gifted to me from Troy (that's him and his "grown-up" house on the left) and Brock (his is on the right-his house when "I was 19 years old").
We've also been doing a lot of reading.  Brock has gotten really good at reading this summer.  He even attempts to read in The Book of Mormon when we read at night-he'll do one verse, and I help him with the big words.  But even those he's trying to do on his own.

So far this summer I have read some Sherlock Holmes short stories (I read some last summer and loved them), The Great Gatsby (two thumbs WAY down-HATED it), The Walk by...Richard Paul Evans?  I think that was his name.  Anyway, it was fairly good. I also read a book called The Third, by Pete's mission companion Abel Keogh.  It was good, but ends on a cliffhanger.  I've also read two books by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, and The Bonesetter's Daughter.  I LOVED both of them.  I really like her style of writing.
My kids have also been riding bikes non-stop.  Troy wanted his training wheels off, and has tried a few times to ride his two-wheeler, but he gets freaked out and then steers too sharply and falls over.  Oh well. 

And Ivy, well, she's my little outside baby-she loves being outside all the time.  Yesterday it was raining super hard, and it stopped for a minute, and she was all, "Can I go play outside?"  I'm like, uh, not with thunder and lightning.  She also tends to wander, and I've lost track of her a couple of times.  Luckily, we've found her, but it makes me nervous.

Also this summer, we went to the Playmill and saw "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels".  It was really cute, and a musical to boot, which I wasn't expecting.  I haven't seen the movie, though, so I didn't know the story line or anything. 

Another goal I had for this summer was to have my kids do some worksheets.  I have a few little books that work with math and matching and letters and stuff for Troy and Brock, but I couldn't find anything for Jakob.  So I've been making my own sheets, mostly of times facts.  The 2nd graders started some of those at the end of the school year, so I thought it would be good for him to keep learning those and working on them.  Some of the facts he knows really well; others, not so much.  But that's the whole point of practicing them, right?

I originally wanted to have my kids do the worksheets every day, but I haven't been super diligent.  It's been, like, twice a week instead.  Maybe we'll be better at it for the second half of the summer.
We've also played soccer in the back yard, endured OODLES of ALLERGIES, watched some fireworks, had some barbecues, attended my nephew's baptism, gone swimming, watched one sister go off to China for 8 months, had another sister come out to visit from New York, and my other sister is getting married at Targhee in a couple of weeks.  (While we're up there, I want to go horse back riding with my family.  We'll see, because I don't know if they'll let little kids go or not.  But if so, that would be another "field trip".)

Which brings me to the second half of summer.  Things to look forward to: three birthdays, swimming lessons (hopefully), playing tennis in a goof-off way, the wedding, Harry Potter movie this weekend, and...maybe more posts from me.  Hopefully.


Mindy H. said...

Nice work being busy in a productive yet fun way! I'm sure the second half of your summer will be twice as amazing (although it will probably go twice as fast, too).

Momza said...

you are pretty handy...the bed, the skirt, the vaccuum, etc.
And you're very busy keeping busy!
Hope you get some time for yourself once in awhile.
Happy summer!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are a great mom!! I didn't really make any plans for the summer, but there has been one vacation so far and a lot of TV watching. I can't get my act together, how do you do it?? I love that you're having the kids do worksheets. I need to have mine do that. Sounds like a fun summer so far!:)