Cross-posted from Cherry Blossoms The Blog.
Of all the things that make me grumpy, being too hot is at the top of the list. As a Canadian living in Texas that basically means summer can be a real struggle. I don’t want to stay inside all day, I certainly don’t want our family to just stare at the tv all day, but just thinking of going outside makes me sweat. When we planned our summer and my boys requested a sports week, of course I had to oblige, and I’m happy to report the week did not kill me. Our activities for the week, in alphabetical order, were badminton, ice skating, obstacle course, soccer, swimming, and a water balloon fight. (Alphabetical order because it was actually a really crazy week but in the end we managed to do almost everything we had planned; writing it out as daily activities would only confuse all of us.)
Even though I tried to stay indoors as much as possible, I couldn’t resist the lure of the racket; we had a rousing game of kids vs. mums badminton. It was so much fun! I need to make sure we do more badminton. Bonus: when everyone is at the same skill level (poor) then no one is annoyed at your own failings.
I’ve got to tell you, there is no better place to be when it’s a hundred degrees outside than wearing a sweater at the ice rink. Find one in your area, you’ll be glad you did. (Incidentally, if you have a professional hockey team in your area look into what community outreach they do; the Dallas Stars sponsor some really fantastic programs.)
Anyway, the rink is pretty much my favourite place to be in the summer. Fortunately my kids like it too.
Originally it was just going to be an obstacle course in the backyard, but we got ambitious, talked with some of the older kids about the history of the Olympics and other early sports, and decided to do a pentathlon. Then the day of the even we shrunk it down to a tri — biking, running, shooting; then took the kids to IKEA for lunch and some afternoon shopping. Simplicity wins!
Soccer was always the plan, but as soon as all the kids went outside they decided instead to play Murderball (or their version thereof, no one is actually in a wheelchair.) I don’t recommend letting a bunch of boys play an unsupervised game of “there are no rules.” My kids got to exercise their patience, apologies, and forgiveness muscles, so that’s good.
When we go to the community pool for something other than swimming lessons we’re using “swimming” as a sport pretty loosely. I’m pretty sure my middle son actually did some swimming, and we all got the infusion of fun we needed to close a difficult day happy and tired.
This was so much fun it got it’s own post! We invited some friends and had a Mums vs. Kids water balloon fight. Instead of satiating us it only whet our appetites for more, more of the same and a great idea for something a bit different and a lot messier. You’ll have to read the post to learn more.
And just because it’s funny, I sent the following text to my friend one day to explain why we were late in going over to her house:
We will leave shortly. I hope.
Maybe not. I’m hiding in my room hearing things like “this is all your fault in the first place now come and help me take care of all these bubbles.”
Bubbles = soap = clean so I’m going to wait until they’re done.
As for service this week we helped out at the community garden. I didn’t know that 80% of the produce from the community garden goes straight to the food bank and the volunteers keep only 20% (or they can choose to donate it all.) My kids had a blast helping on our friend’s plot and have asked that we apply for our own family plot at the garden. Is there a community garden in your area?
Next week: my 10 year old is in charge.