Widgets Magazine

Jun 9, 2011

Summer List...

About four or five years ago, I had finally had it with all the time the kids were wasting during summer vacation. The older ones would sleep in until noon, waste two hours doing a ten-minute job, and then beg to hang out with friends or go back to their bedrooms to hibernate. Every morning I would labor over a huge list of tasks for me, then celebrate (and beat myself up) when I was able to cross off less than half every night before bed. 

My sweetie said I was list-obsessed and he’s right! One thing led to another and in our efforts to satisfy my list-o-mania and get the kids motivated at the same time, we developed the Summer List. We write the list on Memorial Day and then try to complete all tasks by Labor Day. We start with the youngest child and go around the room five times with each person adding something to the List. If you are counting, that gives us roughly 60 things to do during the three months of summer. (Except that my kids are on year-round so we really only have about 6 weeks of summer.) 
 
This year we got started a week late because half the family was across the state moving the Drama Queen home. So last night we cooked outside, snarfed down my sweetie’s best BBQ ribs, and then sat in a circle to compile 2011’s Summer List. Curly was so excited he was jumping up and down! "Camping!" was his first response. Obviously he enjoyed his first Fathers and Sons Campout even though it was cold and they were rained on all night. 


Scout quickly added "Swimming" to the List. She had clearly been thinking about it for a while. Sport added build a treehouse, Crafty wanted to have a picnic at a new park we have never visited before. The Prima Donna thought doing some Family History (i.e. scrapbooking) would be fun. Princess decided we need to watch all the Disney Princess movies (go figure…) and the Dog Walker wanted to finish his last ten Merit Badges. I voted for Iron Chef 2 (I guess I’ll have to tell you about the first one some time). My sweetie thought refinishing the hardwood floor would be a good idea…I know, but nothing can be vetoed if it hits the Summer List. The kids all know if it is too outrageous or costs too much, it just won’t get crossed off. Time to go around the circle again! 


Curly was still jumping up and down. "Camping!" he yelled. Finally we convinced him to choose something else…backyard camping…which is one of our favorite activities, complete with a sunrise breakfast prepared by my sweetie. Last year as a nod to our Danish ancestry we made Æbleskiver. Other things were added, movies and concerts in the park, wii tournament, zuzu pet show, paper airplane contest, backgammon and piano lessons, a Harry Potter Marathon…fix something in the yard (any guesses on who put that one on?). 

One of our favorite Summer List activities is a Book Club and we chose the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. We also added lots of summer reading programs for the little kids. The hardest items on the list this year include a trip to Lagoon (a local amusement park) and all the stuff my sweetie put on the list. It’s a good thing we have my sweetie to help us with the Summer List. Otherwise we might just waste our whole summer.


**Editor's Note:  My family didn't get to add anything to the list yet so it is my turn.  I want to have another movie in the backyard.  And plant a bunch of trees, right across the back fence blocking the neighbors that stare like we are an exhibit at the zoo...  Don't forget to enter our Give Away.

13 comments:

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I LOVE your summer list ideas. You are ambitious!

My kids love back yard camping too.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

we'll be landscaping our back yard!

Sara Hammond said...

Ender's Game is one of my favorite books! I think I first read it in late elementary school, but I remember during senior english, my teacher bascially said that any essay question could be answered using that book. So I reread it and used it for my year-end tests. It was perfect! Maybe you could do some book club-type discussion questions for your blog when (if) your family reads it!

Jillybean said...

I'm a list maker too. Somehow, just making a list makes me feel like I've accomplished something already.
Unfortunately, my lists are usually so long that I get discouraged and just end up on Facebook.

Your summer list does sound like fun!

Arkansas Patti said...

What great choices--- well except for refinishing the hardwood floor. That does not sound like much fun.
Hope you get them all done.

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

My mom used to do something similar with Saturday morning chores - for similar reasons. We tended to dawdle ;-) She would make a list of everything that needed to be done and we would race to see how quickly we could cross off everything on the list. We never did figure that she had just tricked us into getting the housework done!!

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

What a great idea :-)
On our list is taking the kids to the Tennessee Aquarium.

Prima Donna said...

I love the summer list!! I can always make sure there is something i want to do this summer on the plan the funnest things it seems are the creative ones like iron chef last year

Katie said...

I like the summer list idea! I think you should add finding the watermelon lofthouse cookies ;)

Shawn said...

Hi, I am your newest follower! I found your blog while reading Donna's House on the Corner.

I wanted to tell you how much I admire you and your family. I snooped through your blog and found it fascinating. I only have six children and always wanted a larger family. Many times we had 1-4 extras living with us but they were not my own!

Take care and I will enjoy getting to know you through your blog.

BTW, my Birth Daughter is a member of the LDS church.

Stacey said...

Sometime I want to be in your family! Please please please can I? Well that would have to include my hubby and 3 kids too :)

GJT said...

We just started this kind of thing this summer! So far we've scratched off two things...not too shabby! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Gina
www.totallyfullofit.com

Marci said...

I'm not sure how I didn't comment on this weeks ago, but I LOVE your summer list idea! Right now it's just me and the hubs (no kiddos yet) and he's at work all day, so I made my own summer list full of trips to the swimming pool, new baking experiments, and lots and lots of reading! This is a fantastic idea and will have to remember it for the future when we have kids!

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