Summer 2011 Plans

Jeremy comes home in 4 1/2 hours! I will be waiting for him at the airport, as close as the security guard will let me get to the gates, at 2:00 this afternoon. It’s the best feeling in the world to see him round the corner with his little backpack on and his kid-sized Toy Story carry-on luggage, see me, yell “Mom!” and take off running toward me. I have to summon all of the strength I’ve got to keep from crying happy tears all over the place.

We have got some really fun plans for this summer. Jeremy is just a few months shy of turning 5 years old (never mind that he’s bigger than many preschoolers) and Jesse is walking short distances (I’m sure once his brother gets here he’ll take off after him in no time).

Hey Mom! Cotton candy frozen yogurt turns your tongue blue!

1) A weekend of quality family time. We like to give Jeremy a few days to relax at home and get used to things around here before we throw him back into our usual busy routine. Hoping to get out to the Hot Air Balloon Festival on Saturday.

2) Summer Camp at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. We signed him up for day camp next week. For preschoolers it’s only 3 days a week and from 8 am-noon. Since we’re members of the Exploreum, we only paid $45 for the camp. That beats the pants off of others around that charge upwards of $100 a week. There is an optional after care program that only costs $20 a day. They’ll work on sciency stuff in the morning, eat a sack lunch, and work on reading and other “school” type stuff in the afternoon. We’re considering it, but I want to see how well he does during the morning hours before I sign him up for the afternoons.

3) We’ll also continue our regular routine of church activities and playgroup next week. Jeremy knows that Sundays and Wednesdays are “church days” and looks forward to going. Tuesday mornings we meet our playgroup at the park or one of several other fun indoor play places. MOPS is taking the summer off, but we still plan to take outings once a month together just to check-in and see some folks we don’t always see at church or playgroup.

4) The first week of July the boys and I start swim lessons. (Well, I know how to swim, but it’s a parent-participation class. They will learn, I will help the lifeguards teach them.) They run 3 days a week for 4 weeks and it’s only costing me $25. That is a fabulous price for a great service run by the pool on the Coast Guard base.

5) In mid-July our Sunday School class is going on an outing to Presley’s Landing. We haven’t been there before, but apparently Presley’s Lake is great for fishing and boating and where we are headed is a fun picnic and camping area where we’ll have a day-long cook out with several of our favorite people. Someone is bringing a boat with a tube to tow folks around out on the water. We can’t wait!

6) Also in mid-July we are moving to a new house. It is bigger than where we currently live. We will be gaining a fourth bedroom, so Jeremy and my mother-in-law won’t have to be roomies anymore. Jeremy will instead be sharing with his brother (woo hoo! the baby will be out of the master bedroom!). We will also be gaining a formal dining room in addition to the large breakfast area off of the kitchen. Since we only have the one dining table, we’ll put it in the breakfast area and the formal dining space will become a play room for the boys. Woo hoo again! All the kid toys will be out of my living room! Oh yeah, and the new house comes with an above-ground pool that is larger than the one we sold not too long ago. Lots of swimming this summer!

7) As soon as we’re done moving Jason will be heading off to Pensacola for a 3-week school. This is a school he’s been wanting the Coast Guard to send him to for a long time now and is really excited about it. We’re going to miss him like crazy, but have planned for me to load up the boys in the car and come visit Jason for the second weekend. We’re still figuring out all the fun things to do in and around Pensacola, but I’ll definitely blog about our trip once we get back home.

Those are just the things that we’ve planned with specific dates. There are lots of other things we want to fit in this summer and lots of free time left on the calendar to do it in. Things like:

  • Going to a u-pick farm for fresh produce (and a fun family experience).
  • Riding bikes. Maybe we’ll get Jeremy off of his training wheels this summer!
  • Heading to the cool splash pad we finally found just over the border in Mississippi.
  • Lots of baking. Good thing I just stocked-up on flour, sugar, butter and chocolate chips!
  • Camping and fishing on Dauphin Island. The Coast Guard MWR office has a new little camper that we can rent for super cheap (would make things a little more comfortable with the kids) or we can use the camping gear we have from the years we participated in renaissance faires in California.
  • Read read read! My aunt gave Jeremy a membership to the Dr Seuss book club two years ago. Every month or so he gets a new shipment of two books. He’s got four shipments waiting for him on the bookshelf since he was home last. We also bought him a children’s bible with very cool pictures. Not to mention the local library with a fantastic children’s section! I’m hoping to teach him to read this summer.
  • Go to the movies. There are a few kid-friendly movies coming out this summer and we promised to take the kids to. Mr Popper’s Penguins (did anyone else love this book as a kid?) comes out this week. Cars 2 releases next week. And we’re thinking about the new Winnie the Pooh movie that comes out in July.

I know I’m forgetting some things, and I don’t want to over-schedule our summer. For more great ideas for family fun, go take a look at Amy’s family’s summer fun list and Toni’s “I’m Bored” activity cards.

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