Summer’s Last Hurrah! (My Top 10–This Just Got Real)

Vacation Flashback: S'mores with Aunt Tricia

Vacation Flashback: S’mores with Aunt Tricia

Every summer has a story.  –Unknown

Summer never looks so good as it does on the last day of school!  Like a brand new penny, summertime is all shiny, a token of possibilities just waiting to be spent 🙂  Back in May, we anxiously awaited days of unscheduled fun and endless adventure (not to mention the joy of “forgetting” to set the alarm clock!)  In so many ways I was more excited about summer than my kids…the monotony of pick up/drop off and the constant scheduling/rescheduling of  team practices, medical appointments, school projects, etc….  And while it’s not my favorite season of the year, summer was sure sounding pretty good!  In theory, I was willing to overlook the scorching temperatures, bugs and the chaos that is the spontaneity of summer.  I planned (funny, huh?) on enjoying it all and loosening the reins of my control freak lifestyle.  Feel free to laugh at me….

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Oh yeah…THE SNOW CONE!

Now that the end of July has rolled around (and the school supplies have debuted at the local stores,) I realize that this summer has been anything but the relaxing, carefree season I imagined.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m NOT complaining.  I spent the better part of the summer watching my children grow and learn on the baseball/softball diamond.  We’ve squeezed in sleepovers, sports camps, swim lessons, and Vacation Bible School.  My “Camp MOM” program has netted the children a few prizes while propelling (okay, FORCING) them to look at Scripture in a new and exciting (?) way.  We’ve easily eaten our weight in Dairy Queen ice cream and discovered the addiction that is THE SNOW CONE!  We’ve managed to eke out a little pool time (NEVER enough for my kids.)  And we made our way to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a little family visit.  All very good things!  Still, I feel a little incomplete.  The busyness of summer has me feeling like we missed out on the lazy, less hurried parts of the season.  Frankly, we’re running out of days and there’s still more on my list.

So here and now, I’m putting out for all to see MY Summer Wish List…because summer break is all about the parents, right?  Forget about the kids (not really!)  Here goes nothing:

1.  Catch fireflies in a pickle jar.  Might as well be specific 🙂 Don’t worry, catch and RELEASE!

2.  Stargazing.  My opportunity to impress my kiddos with my vast knowledge of constellations.  Yeah, right.

3.  Drive in movie.  This is a tough one because I don’t really like sitting through movies…it’s a huge time investment.  Equally problematic is that I’m REALLY picky about the movies that I watch.  Cross your fingers.

4.  Road trip.  Okay, if you know us…then you’re already aware that we’ve been on the road for baseball tournaments this summer.  Those don’t count.  I want to go see nature…(I can’t believe I uttered those words!)  I’m thinking State Park adventure 🙂

5.  S’mores.  Enough said.  Throw in a couple of campfire songs and we just might call this one EPIC!

6.  Eat outside.  I don’t know why, but I love to picnic.  It goes against my ant phobia, but it’s really true.  I enjoy dining outdoors.

7.  Professional baseball game.  This is already in the works!  Hooray 🙂

8.  Read three GOOD books.  I’m sort of a nonfiction junky…and those are typically long reads.  Managing to get through three would be heavenly.  I’m still on book one.

9.  Visit Lawrence, Kansas.  Stroll down memory lane while reminding my kids that they can choose any college they want (as long as I approve of it.)

10.  Go to the zoo.  Because it’s fun and I like Orangutans (a lot.)

Okay, people.  There it is.  And since time stops for no one, I needed to get started on this list YESTERDAY.  Because while summer technically goes through September, my kiddos start school in mid-August.

Summertime is always the best of what might be. -Charles Bowden

UPDATE 8/2014:  Completed 9 out of the 10.  Not bad 🙂

Summer List Pic

 

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They Just Might Revoke My Mom Card for This….

Okay, Mom-friends…here goes.  Truth is…I haven’t seen the movie Frozen and I don’t plan to see it anytime in the near future.  So, when you talk about how adorable it is and how it’s a must see, when you tell me that you rushed to buy the DVD the day it came out and your family knows the movie line by line, and when you share that it’s your go-to drive time music (even if the kids aren’t in the car with you)–I will smile, but I just CANNOT relate.  Sorry 😦

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I’m not anti-Disney, too busy, or boycotting any number of supposed agendas, etc…it honestly just doesn’t look that interesting to me.  I know–GASP!  My children (a boy and a girl) have both seen the movie, we own the CD (a birthday present to my daughter from a friend), and I think I’m pretty familiar with the basic story line.  My kiddos (and their friends) sing the songs around the house and in the van (they do seem to be very catchy tunes.)  Once I even played the music during a snowman themed church event to the delight of dozens of girls AND boys–it’s obviously a big crowd pleaser!  I have read countless articles and blog posts about the wonderful and not so wonderful (depends upon the viewpoint of writer) themes in the film.  Plus, I’ve heard numerous raving reviews from young and old alike about the movie.  Still…nothing.  My husband even wants to see Frozen to find out what all the hubbub is about.  To which I have to say, “Watch it with the kids.”  It’s just not my cup of tea.

I should admit that I’m not a huge fan of children’s movies or animated flicks of any kind.  But as a Mom, I’ve had to watch several more than my fair share (we’ve all been there!)  Many times, to my surprise, I find that I actually end up enjoying the movie.  There are even a few…like The Incredibles and Megamind…that I would watch repeatedly.  Most recently we’ve seen The Muppet Movie and Sherman and Mr. Peabody.  Both two thumbs up!  So, I really can’t explain my reluctance to sit down and watch Frozen.  No biggie, right?  Move on.  But just when I thought that most of the hype surrounding this movie had sort of died down (like maybe I was in the clear of being “outed” as the only Mom on the planet who had not seen it), a funny thing happened to me at Wal-Mart….

While in the party section, a desperate woman wandered into the aisle, frantically looking from side to side and up and down.  She left her children near the end cap display (two in the cart and an older child to monitor the group.)  I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the way somehow–clearly she was on a mission.  It was about this time that one of her kiddos said, “Mom!  That looks like Frozen blue!” and pointed to some “icy, blue-toned” colored plates and napkins.  The woman quickly snatched them up.  She moved closer to me and said, “Where can someone find snowflakes in the middle of summer?”  Not sure if she was speaking to me or just to herself (or both)…we started to make small talk.  She was trying to put together a Frozen themed birthday party and wasn’t having much luck.  Apparently this shopping adventure was taking a little more time than she had planned and while Frozen toys were readily available, she was scrambling to find the right table accessories and decorating supplies.  All I could offer were a few measly sympathetic head nods along with a suggestion that maybe she could arrange rhinestone stickers in the shape of a snowflake if she couldn’t find what she was looking for…and then…the record scratch.  You know that moment where time stands still…it usually happens when you can’t believe what someone has just said or done…immediately followed by everyone staring at you.  No, the record scratch moment wasn’t in response to my rhinestone snowflake suggestion (?) –it was a reaction to what I said after that, “I’m sorry if I’m not much help.  I haven’t seen the movie.”

The look of disbelief on her face took me by surprise…suddenly I was stammering to say that I’d heard nothing but good things about the movie and that my kids really liked it…especially my daughter!  In a last-ditch effort I threw out there that she should try a larger Wal-Mart or maybe Party City…I wished her luck and couldn’t get out of the aisle fast enough!  I scrambled past her cartload of kids–who were also wearing shocked expressions and staring at me.  Yikes…what just happened?  Heart beating frantically, I realized that I felt guilty for not having seen the movie! Obviously, this was a big Mom fail on my part to say the least.

As I share this, it all seems pretty silly.  Angst over a movie, I mean.  But I guess that I while I don’t really plan to see it, I do understand the huge impact that it’s had on this generation and their parents and families.  I can see it now…Frozen will be its own category on Jeopardy someday.  It will probably show up as movie trivia during the previews at the theatres for years to come.  Down the road we’ll have a whole army of baby girls named for the movie characters.  Suddenly, Annas and Elsas (and maybe even Olafs for the boys) will fill up classroom name lists and sports team rosters!  We’re not just talking about national impact, either.  Frozen is a major hit and a force to be reckoned with worldwide.  I hear that there are plans for a Broadway musical and maybe even a sequel.  The merchandise is everywhere and there’s probably much more on the way.  And I will have missed out on all of this!

Oh well.  Let it Go….