Sunday Morning

So easy – I’m hankering for summer holidays. Just a week and a bit to go. I can’t wait for sleeping in and episodes of The Lord Of The Flies in the backyard. We have a few weekend trips planned over the next few months but nothing on the scale of #scotland or fucking #italy, and so backyard shenanigans are practically guaranteed. We do have a wedding in San Francisco – fingers crossed for positive shenanigans only.
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Shenanigans aside, our summer is going to be the shit. This time last year, however, I had lots of fun things planned whereas this year I have precisely dick planned. I’m expecting similar results, though. Maybe I’ll think up themed day activities, rather than weeks.
We certainly aren’t having successful gardening camp this year – I’ve used up all my time writing rather than weeding or seeding or mowing or plowing or anything, so it might be a jungle camp if anything. The grass is literally as high as 7yo in places.
We could give the hideout another going over, and possibly the “paths” on the hill, but it might just be dragging the kids around to the gym and then bike riding and then who knows what else every other day during those deliciously hot weeks.
I’m trying not to think aloud about these things because Husband merely points out opportunities for finishing things I started many moons ago that I may or may not be interested in continuing. He might term such a thing Flotsam and Jetsam Camp. While he would no doubt love it, I’m not sure the kids would be as enthusiastic. Planned activities would include clearing paperwork from various surfaces, a good amount of shredding said paperwork, weeding, deconstructing the backyard fort, planting seedlings and weedlings in various states of rooting that have languished on the bathroom window sill for I’m not going to mention how long, updating the chicken accommodations, and opening cans of whoop-ass on the encroaching blackberries. At the very least, all of the above might very well improve the curb appeal of the house and Husband LOVES watching things change on Zillow. Maybe there would be an econonics camp in there somewhere, too.

Grade: Gardening Camp

Well, Gardening Camp lasted for a week and a bit of the scheduled two weeks but we did pretty well. Here is the original curriculum:
“…weeding and seeding… also making transplant starts of hydrangeas and roses; a fairy garden; using the lawn mowers, and probably riding around in the ride-on mower trailer, to keep the merriment rolling along; composting; working on the hillside path, and perhaps some landscaping blocks around the joint.”
So. We weeded and seeded one of the planter beds; hydrangea starts;

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This one has grown from last year

fairy garden; hillside path. We also finished the hideout and had a few playdates centered around the hideout, so I consider them garden-centric and therefore part of the camp.

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I alwats olant from seed, so it isn't at its "gardeny" best yet


Grade: B+

Survival Camp has been a different story, and my conclusion is thus: if SHTF then we are in trouble if it’s really hot, because we haven’t managed to do much at all this week.

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We did redistribute the emergency supplies amongst the five backpacks

With all the earthquake activity along the Pacific Rim/Ring of Fire, I am doubly glad I had this idea.
Archery; making fire from scratch; foraging edible plants; camping; making emergency backpacks for the kids (we already have 2 big ones); making a solar oven and cooking with it; diy cheese; basic first aid. Conveniently, there is a Ham radio convention in our local area at the beginning of our scheduled camp week, and I have a book which teaches the basics. I shall try and include fishing, as well.
It was hot as a bastard last week and the week before that, so the plants from the first camp are struggling. The sprinklers are all on timers, though, so I will hope for the best.
We did the emergency backpacks, and some archery but it turns out that the arrows occasionally ricochet, and that shit is scary, so we need other safety gear before next time.
We didn’t forage or identify edible plants, but we did look out for poison oak, and the boys already know that dandelion is for tea and wine, and also bread and cookies. I completely forgot about the Ham Radio convention because it was super hot and we helped a friend with moving plans and then did bmx, and we didn’t do any camping because the tents might have caught on fire from the excessive heat.
Grade: pendimg; postponed.

Parent Teacher interviews went great, though.

Summer Camps

I don’t have cash to blow on summer camps, but I’m pretty crafty so I’ve made my own. The boys are doing 2 paid camps – the summer holidays are 3 actual months long, after all – but the rest is all me, baby. I have had a few people interested in my schedule, so I thought I would share it for the benefit of all and sundry.

Gardening Camp
Last year was the inaugural Gardening Camp and it was a success. This year I am stepping it up to two weeks, and have secured the services of a “guest lecturer”,  as Husband coined the phrase. Our neighbour is a master gardener, and I have an appointment during the week so he has agreed to babysit. He will be pretty excited when he finds out it is Gardening Camp at our house. He has been working on his garden for 30 plus years and was in the local garden tour, so I feel sure he can add some gravitas to our camp.
Aside from a guest lecturer, we will of course be weeding and seeding, but also making transplant starts of hydrangeas and roses; a fairy garden; using the lawn mowers, and probably riding around in the ride-on mower trailer, to keep the merriment rolling along; composting; working on the hillside path, and perhaps some landscaping blocks around the joint.

Survival Camp
With all the earthquake activity along the Pacific Rim/Ring of Fire, I am doubly glad I had this idea.
Archery; making fire from scratch; foraging edible plants; camping; making emergency backpacks for the kids (we already have 2 big ones); making a solar oven and cooking with it; diy cheese; basic first aid. Conveniently, there is a Ham radio convention in our local area at the beginning of our scheduled camp week, and I have a book which teaches the basics. I shall try and include fishing, as well.

Technology Camp
After watching Honey I shrunk The Kids, the boys were gung-ho for all things technological and unrealistic, so this camp follows a week of paid camp all about inventing things.
We will ride the bus around town – which we never do except at the airport in Dallas; spend time watching planes take off at the local airports; check out the local kids museum which has a lot of electrical kids toys and gadgets; the aviation museum; rebatterise all of the remote control toys laying around, and finish off the week at the local park where Big Hero 6 is showing in the evening.

Sporting Camp
This isn’t really a camp. We will be riding bikes almost every night the whole summer, and doing bmx 3-5 days per week some weeks, but the boys are also doing a kids obstacle challenge out of town towards the end of summer, so we will probably head out that way and camp for a few days beforehand. There is a lot of hiking and biking trails around, and 6yo tried kayaking for the first time yesterday and apparently mastered it pretty quickly, so he and his bros will be keen to do more.

Calming Camp
This is also, not really a camp, but we need a few days off after we come back from our trip away, and doing some calming activites will help us with the time zone transition, I think.
I will be getting a copy of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” and hopefully we can knock a bunch of them out ourselves; yoga; swimming; writing letters to family and friends, and members of the community; writing a letter to Santa to redirect his gifts for them to children in need; kid’s art studio visits.

After all that, there will still be 2 weeks of holidays left. Add in some sleepovers, and we will all be ready for school to go back!
Enjoy

All Over Red Rover

School is all but finished save for the thank you cards and end of year class parties, hence my drink.

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I’m  a bit of a planner, so I have loosely organised a bunch of stuff for us to do, with one or two actual summer camps thrown in there, but mostly it’s home-school-esque summer camps. Last year they were themed weeks that shaped our afternoons after the kids hung out in the daycare room while I got in a cheeky workout before they started crying for lunch. I’m  assuming this year will be much the same.
Anyhoo, I’ve roughed out our weeks and included in there is, of course, outdoor stuff and tent camping. Mostly it will be in the backyard because I like the hard stuff easy, especially when it comes to fresh clothes after whatever activities or accidents. And while outdoor stuff will prevail, indoor stuff has its place, too, especially on long hot summer days, when all they end up doing is smashing each other’s  lego and crying to me about it. As ya do. So I have put a list together of the movies I would like to have the kids watch, rather than just all the new fangled computer animated stuff that I never had when I was a youngen.
I started introducing them to the awful, boring, non-animated movies in December of 2013, when I forced them to watch a real movie with actual people (8yo’s least favourite movie plot) about one of Santa’s reindeer becoming lost and taken in by a young girl. Turns out that the boys enjoyed it. Who knew? So I’ve  been stuffing Tim Allen down their throats ever since, and I’m  not looking back now.

* Swiss Family Robinson
* Bugsy Malone
* Harriet The Spy
* Racing Stripes
* Sandlot Kids
* The Secret Garden
* Little Rascals
* White Fang
* Milo and Otis
* Beethoven
* Narnia
* Clash of The Titans

Ok, maybe not the last one. There are some freaky plasticine monsters in that show, but I always loved it, so we’ll see.
These movies are in no particular order and don’t include Honey I Shrunk The Kids or Flight Of The Navigator because I downloaded them a few days ago for consumption this week. Rick Moranis was a hit, obviously. Flight Of The Navigator will probably be on Saturday night.
I actually found a downloadable list of 300 family friendly movies which furnished me with the above choices. My list is a list for anytime, but some of them will correspond with our chosen “theme”. Specifically, The secret Garden will be perfect for our “gardening summer camp”; Swiss Family Robinson for “survival camp”; Sandlot and Little Rascals for our week of exercise and calming the eff down from our overseas trip; and at least the first Narnia movie for when the kids do their obstacle course. So. Ya get the idea.
Any cute movies that I’ve missed? I’m looking forward to watching or falling asleep in front of a bunch of these films, since I haven’t seen them in ages.
I heart Scott Baio!

Summer Camps

It is the 2nd(?) week of school holidays and we are surviving pretty well, so far. The first week was sort of cheating because my parents were visiting and we did a few things out of the ordinary, like (leaving them home all day while I took Mum antique shopping) visiting the water park and what not. Now that my folks have gone, it’s back to the drawing board.
This week we are having our ‘Gardening Camp’, which includes all things outdoorsy like weeding, whining, and lighting fires.

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That's a lot of greenery, right thar

Hopefully tomorrow we will get to the planting and nourishing aspects of gardening. I have a long list of possibilities included in our Gardening Camp, some if which are making fairy houses, building more planter boxes, pseudo-paving our fenced garden, adding to the kid’s fort and maybe a zipline? The latter is not as much of a question as I thought it would be.
There are some school camps and a Spies camp, which better deliver as much on the awesome as it has been hyped up to be, and we are off to the boonies next week for some mining of Oregon Sunstone. My Christmas 2014 list should look pretty good after that.
For the most part, though, I think this is where I will be.
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