A few of #theEls Picking up our #tourbus ! Aka the minivan! #escapetothelake2014
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Update: no theme weeks this summer. Our weeks have been overflowing with activities and adventure. Perhaps, because we're all a little older. And, we have a few activities that were seasonal for us in the past that are currently year round. Ie. Baseball and swimming.
So, let's catch up. We started the summer with a bit of a birthday bonanza. El Dad and our niece were first with their shared birthdays. Then, Jiddy (El Dad's dad) and then Aunt Bea (El Dad's sister) and our nephew, Christian who also share a birthday. We went to a James Taylor concert (2 adults + 8 kids on 2 blankets = super fun chaotic goodness).
The Els have attended two great VBS weeks at churches that we know well. And, in between, Maddux has played in select league machine pitch and his team has won both tournaments he has played in. Go Bombers! Trinity also attended a dance class and Leeland took a two week intensive swim class and learned to swim. Seriously. He says "I can float on my back by myshelf!"
We've celebrated friend's birthdays too and we've kept up our YMCA routine. Moustapha enjoyed fathers day with the Els, my family and his. It's been a great summer so far. I even had a Momma-daughter date last night with Miss T to see the Little Mermaid presented by TUTS at the Hobby Center.
Our first "tour"
Now, we're about to embark on a new adventure. Escape to the Lake in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin sponsored by Under the Radar radio. I'm playing a show on July 4th on the Lake at 2pm. We'll be at the festival for three days. I'm also speaking about creative things to do with your kids and I'm part of a breakout session on songwriting. I'm totally excited. And, really excited about taking our tour bus (aka a rented minivan) across the country with 6 people (aka my crew). I will take lots of pictures and try to blog along the way. Pray for us. This is going to be a memory the Els have forever. Let's pray it's a great one!
Also, Moustapha asked me yesterday if I've been coaching the kids. I promise I haven't. But, I have been writing and singing a lot. So maybe that's why in the middle of an activity an El will stop, turn to me and say "I love your music" or "you're such a great artist." And, then another one will reply "I didn't know you were an artist, Momma. You can't draw." And, then I'm humbled. The end. :)
Thursday, June 19, 2014
What!? Yes, It's true. I work out. Every day. It's summer and my everyday workout is a given.
It's not because I need to look good for the beach. I have no plans to go to the beach. I wish I did. But, I don't.
However, I will work out tomorrow and every other week day of the summer. Why? Because, it's my break time.
I have a Y membership. It comes with childcare. CHILDCARE for 1.5 hours. For all four of my kids. All four. They take them. They smile at me. They smile at me when I drop them off and again when I pick them up. It's heaven.
And, even though I work out while we're apart, I'm still happy. I need time. I need space. I need a schedule. So, this is it. It's our routine and good gracious, if I get fit on this routine, then so be it.
That's just the way it is.
And, I'm super tired from all of this exercise. Like, really, really tired.
Here I am, tired!
Friday, June 13, 2014
This lesson needs no explanation. But, it was told to me by my oldest right after an organic, gluten-free fish stick fell on the floor and I quickly picked it up, (in less than five seconds, of course) blew on it and handed it back to my three year old who immediately ate it. Done.
Lesson 2: No matter how peaceful things are in my home, my children will always start a game of tag the instant I make a dash for a minute alone in the bathroom.
This one never ever fails. I have to attempt this every day and I can promise you, I leave the room, close the door and the pounding of little feet begins.
Lesson 3: Screaming to "STOP RUNNING!" has zero impact.
Zero. Especially when I've just left the room to go to the bathroom. Yelling doesn't work. The pounding sound of running continues all the same.
Lesson 4: Rewards work.
I'm not saying to bribe your children. Really, I'm not. But, if you want clothes put away and you're willing to have them play a game after or watch a show anyway, guess what? Ask your children to do it and let them know that when they are finished, we'll play a game. This works with my kids. At least it's working on day 17 of summer. I'm going to keep trying this one out.
Lesson 5: 50 minutes of pool time makes for some very grateful children.
I packed a small cooler of ice with 5 water bottles, 4 Apple sauce pouches and a tub of washed blueberries. The Els were ecstatic after this very easy adventure. It's hard to take four kids anywhere. Honestly, it is. But, the reward; the happiness on their little sunscreened faces was totally worth it. This particular adventure wasn't even that hard and I even did yoga while they were in the Y Childwatch before we went swimming. Win win.
Lesson 6: Be flexible.
It's summer. We are on vacation. I'm not. My husband isn't. But, "we" the Els, are on vacation. And some people in this house like to sleep in until 11am. Crazy, right!? I think that was me like 20 years ago. I can't even remember those days clearly. Strict schedules and bedtime before dark is almost impossible. So, don't even try. It's summer. Just go with it.
I'm sure there are many more lessons I've learned from the Els. In. A. Day. But, honestly, I can't remember what I was just doing. So, I'll leave you with these six lessons. It's after 11am and the last El just woke up. I guess it's time for made-to-order breakfast for one. Bye for now.
|My peaceful den (confession: it rarely looks like this and only after all of the Els are in bed)|
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Hope your summer is off to a great start too. The last few summers, we've had theme weeks at our house to give us purpose each week and to really help me stay organized and keep the Els active. Several of my friends shared this blog post from City Moms Blog with a bucket list of things to do with your kids this summer in Houston. Check it out here: http://citymomsblog.com/houston/summer-2014-bucket-list/ This is specific to Houston, but many of the activities would work in any town. I did have one child request the theme weeks again yesterday. I'm still contemplating that. I will update here if we decide to go that route or if we have our own bucket list this summer. I will definitely post our activities here. Keep busy, keep calm and keep cool!
- El Momma