My Summer Journal (Life After Layoff – Chapter 19)

I had a plan for my summer school, to have my kids make a summer journal.  I wanted them to make a diary of what they did during the summer, to show them how much fun they had.  I bought them composition books and I believe each of them have used a few pages of the notebooks and that is it.  I’m not even sure they know where they are now.

So I have decided to make a summer journal for all of us.  I need to do this for them and for me, because there are days when I feel like we are having the best summer ever and then there are days when it feels like this is the worse summer ever.  So I’m going to take inventory of the summer so far.  This is not for bragging purposes, but to help me see that I have done my best at keeping this summer fun for my family.

  • Water Play Fun badge – We have visited five different splash pads and five different pools this summer.  Some of these locations have been visited multiple time.  Sometimes with friends and sometimes just with our family.  Not to mention the many times the kids have played with the water hose in our yard and a number of water balloon activities.  So I feel confident to say that the Water Play Fun badge has been earned.
  • Zoo Goer badge – We have visited the local zoo at least 4 or 5 times this summer.  Some of the times were as a whole family and a few were with me and the kids.  At each occasion we either took a ride on the merry-go-round or the zoo train.  Heck, we have rode on both during the same visit at least once.  So the Zoo Goer badge has been earned.
  • Bowling Fun badge – We have went bowling at least 4 or more times this summer through the Kids Bowl Free program.  Sometimes as a whole family and sometimes just me and the kids.  So the Bowling Fun badge has been earned.
  • Kids Discovery Zone badge – I have taken the kids to a Kids Discovery museum so they could run around and learn while they are having fun.  It’s like an educational Chuck-E-Cheese without the food.  They play with different exhibits that will teach them about engineering and math.  The kids think they are just having fun, but they are also learning about how to build things.  So the Kids Discovery Zone badge has been earned.
  • Tour De France badge – No, I didn’t take them to France to watch the bicyclists.  Nor did I make them sit in front of a TV and watch it for a homework assignment.  However, I did introduce them to the competition of cycling during a weekend in June.  Frank and I took the kids to a local cycling race downtown one Saturday.  The kids had so much fun watching and cheering on the riders that I took the kids the following day to see them race at a different area in town.  They call it “Cry-Baby Hill” because of the steep hills the cyclist have to ride up and down.  It was a great, new experience that will most definitely become an annual tradition for our family.  So the Tour De France badge was definitely earned.
  • Campfire Fun badge – Frank and I took the kids to see our country friends for a cook out one night.  It was the first time we ever roasted hot dogs over a campfire.  The first time to roast marshmallows over a campfire.  The first time to learn that my oldest son has an attraction to fire.  Patrick was enjoying the experience of burning trash a little too much.  I got to watch that kid.  So the Campfire Fun badge was earned that day, along with a possible Too Much Smoke badge.  🙂
  • Baseball Fun badge – Frank and I took the kids to see the local minor-league baseball team play a game one night.  Since Frank is able to get company tickets on occasion, he has taken the older kids a few times this year.  But since he can only get 4 tickets and there are 6 of us, it’s a rare occasion that the whole family will go.  But during our 4th of July weekend, the whole family took a trip to the ballpark.  It was fun, but I spend my time in the kid’s play area, while Frank sits in the stands and actually watches the game.  So the Baseball Fun badge has been earned for the year.
  • Rainy Day Activity badge – We have spent some time at home doing different scientific or art activities.  Patrick is always finding a new experiment on YouTube that he wants to try at home.  So we have made some things like: Cloud in a bottle, God’s Eye decorations, Glow in the dark deco-podge bottles and a Glow in the dark pinata to name a few.  So the Rainy Day Activity badge has been earned.
  • Teen Beach 2 badge – The kids and I have watched the Teen Beach 2 movie enough times that we know most of the dialogue in the movie.  We definitely know all the songs.  So the Teen Beach 2 badge has been earned.

In between time, we have made some trips to the library and just chilled out at home.  There are days and weeks that we are on the move non-stop and then there are days and weeks that we are home-bound for various reasons.

Considering that we are into week 6 of the 9 week summer, I think I have done a pretty good job keeping the kids entertained.  And the summer ain’t over yet.  I still have a few tricks up my sleeve that will surely blow their socks off.

Thank you for letting me take a little inventory of our summer fun.  Seeing the 9 badges I have earned so far, gives me the strength to make it through the rest of the summer.  I want the kids to have as much fun as they would if they had went to a summer camp and I see now that they are.  They are also earning some other badges that I’m not as proud about.  For instance: Night Owl badge, Noon Riser badge, Whiner badge, Sibling Bickering badge and Tablet Junk badge.  Although I am not proud of them, I guess these badges need to be acknowledged too.

After typing this post, I think I may have just come up with an idea for a new game app.  I can call it Summer Time Fun Saga and you have to go through different lands to earn the badges.  Man, if I only had someone who knew how to create an app, I could be rich someday.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just live out the game in real-life and enjoy the riches of good memories instead.  🙂

Happy Summer Everyone!

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