This school year has flown by! At various times today all of the kids will be home for good for the summer.(With the exception of Mike who had a few weeks off and started 2 summer courses last week.)
The boys have half days and the girls have a full day. All of them are looking forward to summer break and have been counting down the days for several weeks!
It will be an adjustment in my routine for sure. I actually like having them home. Well, to be honest, I like having them home for the summer with the exception of Peter. I know that sounds awful, but Peter is tough to have home for extended periods of time. Peter has all the physical abilities of an almost 11 year old but cognitive abilities of a preschooler, without any real play skills. It burns me out big time. It's been getting better over the years, but anything more than a week is tough for both of us. Peter doesn't play with things, so he gets bored and misses his school routine. Thankfully he will have 5 weeks of half day summer school and 4 weeks of camp at the local Y. He did the camp last year and loved it. It worked out great for both of us and made the time we were together so much more enjoyable. I appreciated the time rather than trying to survive it!
Andrew will be starting a part time job next week(hooray!) and Jon will have a very part time job but we will be "employing" him to do some projects around the house like painting the shed. The boys also have a couple of retreats they will be going on. Sarah and Jon have some sports camps they will be doing as well. Andrew and Jon will be donating time once a week with the Missionaries of Charity summer program they run for children living in the city, too.
Summer always seems longer than it is. With all the summer get togethers and busy weekends, it always goes faster that I think it will.
I have some personal goals for summer that I intend to discuss with the kids tonight. Since there will be extra hands to help, I want to schedule 4 days that I can walk for 30 minutes. One thing with having all the kids home all the time is the constant noise and business. A little time to take care of myself and re-charge will help me a better and more patient mom!
I want all of us to go to Mass at least one extra day a week. I also want all of us to spend 30 minutes in adoration in different shifts during each week.(Bringing Luke to adoration is not prayerful!) The walking and prayer does not really take much time...3.5 hours over the course of a whole week! But I know that if I don't schedule it, then it won't happen.
I want to make more of an effort to give all of the kids more individualized attention, especially Ellie. With the older kids all being teenagers and the needs of Luke and Kate and Peter, Ellie is like a "middle child" right now. The teenagers, particularly the boys, can often be too critical of her and expect her to be older than she is. It's just on my heart to focus some special attention on her so I'm going to try my best to do that.
I want the kids to have friends over each week...especially the girls. We have a great backyard this year and I am excited to use it! We also have a family room now so having other kids over is so much easier. Since we have a large family the kids have built in companions, but it's important to foster other friendships too. That's definitely going to be a focus this summer.
I have quite a few goals. I don't expect to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination! I will take it week by week and do what I can. I'm praying that our family time will build all of us up...at least most of the time!:)