Monday, July 19, 2010

The Summer Of . . .

I realized we are a little over halfway through the summer and i haven't posted anything about what we have been doing. We haven't been on any big vacations this summer since "Tuition" has been rented out for most of the summer. "Tuition" is the name I gave to the motorhome we bought a little over a year ago. I christened the RV "Tuition" because instead of saving for our kids' college tuition we decided to buy an RV. But this year decided it might be a little more financially prudent to actually have some money in the bank when it is time for our kids' higher education, so through a vacation rental business that one of Eric's friends owns we have been renting out "Tuition" and actually saving for tuition at the same time. It is what Stephen Covey would call a "win-win."

Anyway I have noticed that sometimes there are certain events that can define a summer. Things like a certain song (think "Summer of "69) or a movie- like I remember seeing "Back to the Future" in the summer of '89. So in that vein, here are some of the things that have defined the Summer of '10 for our family.
*Car games- In our travels back and forth to the pool or to the store or to friends' houses, my kids have created an amalgamation of several different car games which include "Slugbug", "Bingo", "Mustang, motorcycle, convertible" to name a few. Basically they look for certain cars and try to "call" them before anyone else and then reward themselves points for them. For example if you see a motorcycle you get one point. If you see a "bingo"(yellow) mustang you get two points. And the piece de resistance is a bingo slugbug convertible with the top off. Of course they don't keep track of the points and make the rules up at will and it sometimes causes one of those highly intelligent arguments that my kids are famous for. But it does keep them entertained and it can be highly entertaining for me to listen to. The best is when Katie is talking to me and doesn't even take a breath or miss a beat in her sentence to call out a car she has seen. "Mom, I really want to play with motorcycle! Sarah because I haven't mustang convertible! played with her in a long time." And the only way to end the game is if you see missionaries because they are worth like a million points.
*The Drive-In movie- We have discovered the drive-in movie this summer and we are never going back. It is the only way to see a movie in the summer with young kids. It is much cheaper because kids under 10 are only $1 and we can bring our own treats. Plus when Suzie gets bored about 2/3 into the movie which she almost inevitably does she can move around more without disturbing other people. The only draws backs are the late start time- 9:30pm and getting pulled over at 11:45pm with all your girls in the backseat. But that's a post of a different color!

*My flower-pots actually surviving and thriving. I have grown a garden for years and seem to manage a pretty healthy harvest. But my flower pots are another story altogether. Usually they look like this: And this year they actually look like this:
Although I do have to say that when I started to type this I remembered I hadn't watered them today so I had to stop and go do that. My inability to consistently remember to do this may have something to do with their early demise every year.
*The Norwegian Pancake Pan- My ancestry comes from Norway and so does one of our favorite breakfast foods- Norwegian pancakes. My mom made them, her mom made them, her grandma made them, etc. They are similiar to crepes and my kids love them covered in butter and syrup. A few years ago my mom tried to find authentic Norwegian Pancake pans to give to all her children and couldn't. But she did find this pan:
I think it is suppose to be for making tortillas and it does a good job of making other ethnic fare like Norwegian pancakes too. But this summer it has been our go to pan not only for pancakes but also for grilled cheese, cheese quesadillas, etc. It can't be washed with soap, but almost everyday I am scraping it clean.
I do have a funny story related to this pan. A few weeks ago we had my very honest, very adorable 6 year old nephew, Easton, over for a sleepover. I was making Norwegian pancakes for breakfast. My sister, his mom, also makes these pancakes and Easton was bragging that he could eat 5 Norwegian pancakes. We make them basically the same way but I do one thing different. I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour because it is a way to get whole grains in my kids when they don't know it. I didn't think it made much difference in the taste, but my nephew proved me wrong. After eating just one pancake he proclaimed he was done. I questioned his earlier claim and said, "But I thought you could eat 5?!?" He responded, "Yeah, that's at home where they're good." Oh, I see!
*Lofty Goals- I make lofty goals for my kids in the summer about things like reading, working on math facts, learning a new skill, etc. But like I said, these are goals I make, not them. They make goals like not sleeping in their bed the whole summer. Finn accomplished this last summer and is working on it again this year and so far he is rockin' it. He sleeps on the coach mostly but sometimes he makes a fort or sleeps outside with a cousin. And isn't that one of the secrets to being successful at a goal... make it one that is attainable so you don't get frustrated and give up. Who needs a goal like reading 10 books in the summer when you accomplish another one and not have a bed to make in the morning? Now that is what Finn would call a "win-win!"


Natalie said...

Or as Michael Scott would say, "win,!"
I love that you named it Tuition. I didn't know that little tidbit of info. Real funny.

amberjill said...

There is so much to comment about. But, most importantly, I just miss you!

Susan C. said...

sounds like a great summer for you and the kids. Your flowers are beautiful.

Michael said...

Once again a post that goes full circle and puts it altogether. Hoorah for summer 2010!!!

Michael said...

You do know who "Michael" is?

Julie said...

I am jealous of the flower pots...I do not know how to keep flowers alive at all! yard. Anyway, I love this post. I think I am ready to go to the drive in!

youreprettytoo said...

"michael" is either my father or my mother who didn't know she was signed is as my father until she posted her comment and thought "Now, why am I signed in as Michael?"

Mandy said...

I love the goal setting. I do the same thing.(it must be a blue thing) My kids are the same as yours.(must be a kid thing :) )
Sadie even has the same goal as Finn. So far she's been able to pull it off!
Gotta love summer!