Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shepherd High and Summer Happenings

I must explain that title - Shepherd Homeschool Academy will be welcoming it first freshman during the fall of 2012!! I can't believe that I have a high school student living in my house - say what??

 Incoming freshman Shepherd

It officially feels like summer here at the Shepherd Abode.  It's not just the heat, though, that evokes that life-is-a-vacation feel.  It's that I don't panic when the boys aren't bathed at 7:30, and that sliced tomatoes are the perfect side dish. Summer rules when spontaneity leads to a water fight, an afternoon lolling about reading books, a sleepover or all of the above. 

Many times it seems like summer happens to me by accident. I just wake up and find myself in the middle of July, uncertain of what has happened over the last 6 weeks. Not this summer, though. I have intentions. I have lists, which you know I am fond of.  The kids also have lists.

A few years ago we began the tradition of creating a list of 5 things that each of us wanted to do over the summer.  This began as me giving the kids something to do but has turned into something that we think about all year.  I'll hear one of the kids say, "I've got to put that on my summer list!"  I try not to dictate what can and cannot go on these lists but I do encourage them to stay within our budget. I love how their personalities come out through their lists.  This little custom helps give our summer structure without seeming overly orchestrated.

If you click on the pics you can read their lists.

Here's my list:

1. Drink iced coffee, not hot.  It's just too dang hot to drink hot coffee.                                              

2. Make garage into art spot for kids/me.  I can tell it's going to be one of the summers where I have children running in and out of the house constantly, so this isn't so much for me as for my sanity. We have moved fairly recently (okay it's been 4 months) and I still have a 'few' things to deal with in the garage. More on this later...

3. Bike ride.  It's so funny, but my 8 year old is fascinated by the fact that I can ride a bike. I surprised him one day and joined him and some of the neighborhood kids as they rode down a local hill.  They clapped and cheered when I rode down.  I've got to say, it was pretty good for my self-esteem.

4. Wear skirts more often.  I just think they look pretty and I don't wear them ever, probably because I'm often bending over picking up toddler children, dropped toys, etc. Also, I don't think my knees are very cute, but I'm going to get over that this summer.  See above.

5. Camp out overnight.   I love camping out. Love cooking at camp, showering at camp, hiking at camp. I don't love the bathroom situation at night with children, but just like not liking my knees, I'll get over it.

6. Use my sewing machine.  I have a sewing machine I've used it a couple of times, but this summer I want to really sew. Duvet covers, curtains, and those skirts I'm wanting to wear are on my short list.

7. Study the bible.   A couple summers ago I took advantage of my early rise time (5:30 a.m.) by delving into the bible. I read commentaries, listened to sermons and hymns, and just had a general good time with the Lord. I grew so much and I'm ready to be stretched again. I do bible studies throughout the year, but I had never had personal study time like that. I'm thankful that I learned those skills at Bible Study Fellowship.

I know, I know. The kids were only allowed 5 and I have 7 things on my list. There's still other things I'd like to add.  For instance, getting my pictures organized, developing pictures of Spencer and Liam (they wonder why only the only framed photos are of their sisters and their father and me when we were skinny), get artwork hung in living room, paint bedrooms....  BUT, summer is fleeting so I must be choosey.

So, what are you going to put on your summer list?


  1. Finish up scrapbook projects so that maybe in the fall I can begin to do all the digital photos. This project requires going back 7 years to do Ever's baby book and completing it and adding stuff to other albums from 1996 on :) that never got done. Then I will sell all my scrapbook stuff and start doing digital photo books.

    Homeschool lesson planning since I'm a newbie.

    We have a schedule (started today actually) that will change with every day and give each kid different turns for TV, etc. I was going to not have a schedule, but realize that they ultimately do like structure and I can see we will have a more productive day with direction. When I limit to two hours of TV, then I realize we have a lot of hours in a day to do other thins and have to really think through "what" we'll do to fill those days. But at first I didn't want to have a schedule, so I decided I'd post a schedule for each day and then it won't make it so crazy...

    We are going to take part in Princeton's summer reading program for something new. I am hoping this will be as exciting as I hope. They have some pretty neat prizes and they have a summer reading program each day M-Th that I think the boys will enjoy that has the theme "Summer Knights" for June and then "Summer Nights" for July.

    All in all I want to be flexible, but let them have a memorable fun summer.

    We talked about goals last night and Isaac has a goal in life of mowing people's lawns/starting his own business in a few years and becoming stronger than his dad, it was a funny moment when he shared this :) It's a 5 year goal I think...he cracks me up. He decorated a Bible Study binder and is all ready to get started reading his new devotional tracking type Bible and recording. I love it when they get passionate about something. Hopefully we'll all catch a vision for something this summer. I have had happy hearts and cranky hearts all this morning and I hope to remain sane and parent well this summer. lol

  2. I am sure you have cute knees. How could you not?

    Paint kids' bedrooms (they've been patchy drywall since before Christmas), sew some curtains for the kitchen, and map out next school year better than I have in years past, so I don't find myself in that October or November slump thinking, what are we doing here?

  3. A list with 7 things???? You have such restraint! I have a whole binder! lol...

    But on my short list -

    De-weed and mulch some planting beds (not much planting this year... just focusing on preparation)

    Sew a bag for Ashlyn's dance gear

    Use Handwriting without Tears daily with Brian (started last week, and is going well!)

    Get ice cream from the ice cream truck (among other places, but this is an actual goal. I felt like blood brothers with Spencer for a second after reading his list)

    Read 5 or 6 books.

    Homeschool planning (of course!)

    I have lots more, so I'm excited for summer. Always a more fun and more productive time for me. :)

  4. We do this each year too! I haven't had the heart to do a summer list this year, but i'll try to do it. last year one of the things was to go to the top of the washington monument, which we were able to do one week before that crazy earthquake shut it down indefinitely.