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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Jules here-

My two eldest will be attending "real" school this fall and I have two quick weeks until it commences-- AHHH!!  Not only am I emotionally freaking out to have my girls gone all day, but the paperwork, school supplies, and scheduling is overwhelming.  I am truly taking one day at a time and tackling one chore after another. I am attempting to get meal planning, home organization, and lunch-box planning done prior to the start of the year-- plus I'm squeezing in as much summer fun as possible.

We have had a truly joyous summer with PLENTY of beach days:

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What did I learn from so many days at the beach? How did I handle so much sand?
  •  Only pack what you can carry.  Though I have accumulated more sand toys than a preschool sandbox, I packed only one bag of toys each day.  Each person gets a towel to carry and I carried one small backpack with drinks, snacks, and my "wishful book" (a book that I never opened all summer...) and a small chair.
    Headed to the big beach one day.
  • Sunscreen BEFORE the beach. Yes, I am blessed with a .7 mile drive or walk to our beach, but sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior. Plus, you can wash your hands at home to get the excess goo off.
  • Kids play more than eat at the beach. If you pack lunch or dinner, don't go crazy.  Twice I made these fantastic meals and the kids were so busy playing that they barely ate it. I hate wasting food, so I usually do small snack-style meals.
In New Hampshire, we have probably had 7-10 days since May in the high 80s and uncomfortable 90s with humidity.  Even with me moving only a few miles north of where I used to live helped keep the temperatures more moderate.  Usually at night the temperatures drop to the low to mid sixties; however, some days (especially this week) the temps have been quite high, even at night.  My goal was to make it the entire summer without installing my window unit AC... and I have made it so far.... :)

How did I survive the uncomfortable high temperatures?
  • Box window fans are worth the investment.  Pulling that cool night air in is key to survival.  I put the fans on around 7 PM and it helped take the edge off the stickiness.  I have one in each bedroom, and I plan on buying one more to circulate downstairs as well.
  • Keep the "safe" downstairs windows open at night. I don't keep my whole house unsecured, but I have a couple windows in the back that are unreachable for potential burglars that I leave open at night. As soon as I awake in the morning, I circulate the cooler air.  
  • Close down the house by 10 AM.  I shut all the windows, draw the curtains, and close the doors to keep that cooler night air in the house and the steamy humidity out.   My house usually stays below 77 degrees by this method.
  • Open up the house as SOON as temps begin to drop in the evening.  Using those fans, get that air circulating.
  • Cool the bodies.  On the hottest days, we NEEDED to go the beach, use a sprinkler, or have a water fight.  I also gave the kids a cooler bath and shower RIGHT before bed time; I took off any blankets and only left the sheet on their beds as well.  
    We bought a $1.50 round sprinkler at Wa-Mart that works great! No sharp edges to worry about and the spray is gentle and fun.
  • Eat ice cream!!  Freeze pops and ice cream became a staple in the afternoon and evening (Side Note- We have the ice cream truck drive by every few days here- Do I spring for the $3.50 PER POP every time? Have you ever read this blog? Of course not... Instead, I told them they could buy one at the beginning of the summer, but every time the truck drives by, they get a "bonus" squeeze pop. This way they still get very excited to see the truck, but I am not spending a fortune...)
On National Ice Cream Day at Friendly's

Summer goes by quickly, I definitely recommend writing a "Bucket List" for each season.  We have crossed off most items on our list:
  1. Going to the ocean.
  2. Going to at least 3 different Lake beaches.
  3. Go to 5 different playgrounds
  4. Buy Ice Cream from the Ice Cream Truck
  5. Go out for Ice Cream
  6. Have a Lemonade Stand
  7. Have a camp out
  8. Roast S'mores
  9. Go berry picking
  10. Visit with the cousins

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The Lemonade Stand!

Hope you all enjoyed your summer!

Easy Rule #5435- Don't let the summer slip by without taking the moment to appreciate the hot weather-- we will be missing it very soon...

Easy Rule #4324- Regular school is a LOT more challenging to prep for than homeschool. 

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