I am kid-free for NINE days! It is really strange for the house to be so quiet...I think I'll be able to keep myself occupied enough, but it is sad not to have my girls home. They are visiting my parents in the mountains. They were supposed to be up there for a week, but hubby had to bow out of the Knights of Columbus meeting he was supposed to be at because of FIL. About a month ago, he had an appendetomy, then they were going to biopsy a mass on his liver a week later (and one of the doctors who had no bedside manner told him he had cancer before the biopsy.) THEN, after we found out the mass was just a cluster of blood vessels, he got an infection from his surgery, and had to have another more major surgery to deal with that - which basically means that hubby and BIL have to run the farm mostly on their own for about 5 more weeks. MIL had a doctor's appointment in the front range yesterday, so my mom met us and took the girls a few days early.
The girls will be going to day camp at the YMCA next week every day. So, I sent up stuff that they could work on to keep the girls busy. I sent up their at home summer reading program charts, their PINs for xtramath.org, and girl scout badges that Eva could work on. Well, my mom and the girls left at about 4pm, and had a 30 min drive to mom's house. MIL did quite a bit of shopping and had a 3 hour drive home. By the time I got home (9:30 PM or so) my mom had posted on facebook that Eva had planned a hike, packed food for the hike, went on the hike and identified 12 animals (and even more plants) with field guides. Now, to earn the badge there are 5 steps, and it looks like they finished 4 of the 5 before I got home...my mom is going to be EXHAUSTED by the time I pick them up if that's what she does immediately after getting them to her house. I would have let them play with toys and outside for the evening - maybe taken a walk - but not planned and exectured a whole hike!
Summer reading program - the girls always love doing the summer reading program at the library in the summer. I liked the program in our old town better (it won tons of awards for the summer reading programs over the years), but it worked out that the girls were going to miss 3 out of 4 of the events, plus our library will only allow you to count books checked out from their library for the program. Plus, they have a limit on how many books you can check out and have a drawing based on how often you check out books during the program, which is way better for kids in town who can go to the library every day. We are lucky to get there once a week! So, I decided that I could do a summer reading program for my girls. I set rules, set incentives, and MIL agreed to do snacks and crafts (the girls' favorite part). So, they get a sticker on their chart for every 30 minutes of reading alone, reading out loud, or listening to someone read (so, if Eva reads for 30 minutes to Charlotte, they both get a sticker) and they get a sticker for every hour or so of an audiobook (I basically let them have a sticker per CD or part). Eva can get a bonus sticker for each chapter book she finishes, and Charlotte can get an extra sticker for each 30 minutes of speech work. At 10 stickers, they get ice cream at our local subway. 15 additional stickers will get them a ticket to our local movie theater. 20 more stickers after that, they get a trip to the outdoor pool with waterslides that is an hour away. 25 more stickers after that, and they get to pick out a book at our local bookstore. I'll run the program until we start school. So far, the girls have mostly listened to Black Beauty - but we only started on Monday, and we finished the book on the drive yesterday.
The first two weeks of June the girls had swimming lessons. In my scheduling this summer, it worked out that they couldn't do either session at our local pool, so I ended up taking them across the state line to the next town over for swim lessons. Eva, who took at least 3 years to pass level 1 swimming passed level 2 in one week, and started on level 3 for one week. Charlotte passed level 1 in one week. Charlotte has done swimming lessons for a couple years with a friend's son - and she was going to take him to our town for lessons, but I talked her into brining him to the same lessons we were doing - and both of us were really impressed with the lessons, and think we will probably do them again next year. Since we both live in the boonies, it doesn't make a lot of mileage difference - either way we both have long drives every day.
Things I am going to do while having no kids around: hubby is going to take down the flourescent light boxes in our living room and replace them, so I will be painting the ceiling. I bought some yarn and got out my crochet hooks...I haven't crocheted anything since Eva was a toddler...and I picked up a free pattern for a scarf that I am going to try to make for my secret sister in my Bible study group. I plan to go through the bookshelves and get rid of some twaddle books. Our bathroom closet needs a cleanout, so I'll do that and use my label maker to show where things are supposed to go. I got suckered into working on the family cookbook, and I am doing most of the editing - so I'll spend quite a bit of time at MILs house working on that. I have a couple of doctor's appointments to go to. Hubby thought maybe we'd have a date night. We will have our EPIC church history study at our house this weekend, and I'll have bible study next week (not at our house, thankfully!). Plus, I always have a big stack of books that I want to read if I have spare time. I also expect that hubby and I will watch several of the movies recorded on our DVR from the last free movie channel preview, since we won't have to wait until girls are in bed.
Midway though my last take, the girls called to say hi. I haven't talked to them since they left with my mom, since I wasn't home til after bedtime. Besides the hike, they have gone to the YMCA to make sure everything was okay for next week's day camp, went to the thrift store my mom volunteers at and bought Eva a bike without training wheels, so my dad is going to try to teach her to ride without training wheels (she is fairly convinced that she can't do it - and since we have no pavement to speak of for a good 5 miles -and that's a highway, I'll admit I've been a slacker about it. They are making pizzas for lunch, then plan to go to the park, the library, and to play mini-golf tonight. I'm tired just hearing about what they have planned today.
Can't think of anything more right now, so I guess I stop there.
More quick takes at Conversion Diary!