It's been lovely in our part of the world this week. A little warm for my taste, but mostly sunny and nice out. In fact, I started this post while I was sitting out on my back porch. My kids were outside, too. My son was sitting next to me, working on his homework. My daughter was running about using a toy butterfly net to scoop up grass clippings and put them in a pile to carry down to the curb. She wasn't asked to gather the clippings, she was just having fun with a project. Aaaaaand pretending the loaded-up net was a giraffe - the filled-up net was the head and the handle was the looong neck! She's really got a great imagination and is very artistic. So different from me, and very entertaining!
It's been a good week. It started last Saturday when a good friend came over to help me get started on what will (hopefully) be a whole-house project to minimize and organize. My kitchen has been a much more peaceful place, and I'm looking forward to creating this feeling in the rest of our home. I must say, though, that even my newly-organized kitchen still looked a little, um, messy when someone (me) forgot to put detergent in the dishwasher. And didn't realize it until the next mealtime rolled around. So I had to re-wash a load of dishes while the next round waited patiently by the kitchen sink. Still, it's a pretty quick fix. I also cleaned out the fridge today, and I'm thinking about tackling the pantry over the long weekend. The hardest part for me is avoiding the, "ooh, shiny" syndrome - that is, avoiding distraction so I can complete the project at hand. There's only one (small) downside to these projects. I have temporarily given up parking in the garage so that we have a space to store everything until we are ready to have a garage sale.
Speaking of garage sales, Miss M was playing in the den this afternoon. She was setting out several items on our ottoman and informed me that she was having a yard sale. Too cute! I wonder if she will be as excited when it's time to start paring down the toys. We sold quite a bit of toys at a garage sale last summer, and I always put a few toys in our church's clothing exchange each year. Still, the toys are completely out of control. The good news - if I can't regain control of the toy chaos, Muffy can! Now if I can just get my parking space back before the worst heat of summer sets in!
We've got just two weeks of school remaining before summer break, and these last weeks are flying by! So of course, we seemed to have hit on a very good nap schedule for Miss M and a good homework strategy for Mister J. As far as Miss M's naps, she really does still need to nap most days even though she doesn't want to. Although her new nap schedule eliminates any alone time for me in the afternoons, it's certainly worth it to have this improvement in our routine. I've been doing most of my work on my laptop, and Miss M has been snuggling with me while I work. She's never been a big snuggler, so I'm enjoying every minute! Now that I think about it, maybe over the summer we should institute nap time for everyone!
Back to that new homework strategy. After several weeks of struggling to get homework completed, we seem to have figured it all out. Two weeks in, this new strategy seems to be working pretty well for everyone. Not just Mister J, but the whole family. Yes, those rough homework nights were rough on all of us. Of course, this is the last week of homework before school is out for the summer. At least we'll know how to have a smooth start in the fall!
I have been anxious about the approach of summer break. As much as I love the freedom of summertime, I also love the routine of the school year. However, the fun and freedom is getting pretty tempting! I'm looking forward to the fun things we will do: swimming, going to the movies, summer camps for the kids, daytrips with friends, and (maybe most of all) being able to sleep in if the kids will let me! While it's tempting to push back bedtime - after all, it's tough to put kids in bed before the sun goes down - I still hope to keep it relatively early so I can preserve some of the evening to spend with Big J. Maybe even plan some at-home date nights - my favorite kind!