Monday, June 20, 2011

Confession Number 97: I Love Our Small Town

Over the last two years, I have come to absolutely love our small town life.  Summertime is an amazing time to experience Grove and Grand Lake at it's best.  There are about a million reasons why I love it here, but here are just a few I've captured in the last week or so.

I have a hair lady who doesn't think I'm crazy when I say I need my three month old's hair cut. 
She loves my kids and they pretty much think she rocks!  I think you rock, too, Tanya!

There is a lady who delivers farm fresh eggs to the bank each week.  They are shades of tan and brown and they are beautiful inside and out!  Some are even speckled.  I'm in love.  With an egg.  Kinda sad, huh?

We have this incredible public pool!  This picture of Kennedy in her swim class doesn't even do it justice.  There are two huge slides and a shallow part with a splash structure for little kids and two incredible diving boards.  I hadn't gone until this past weekend and now KJ is taking two weeks of swimming lessons there.  I'm totally hooked!
We have some pretty amazing friends.  Dustin, KJ and I all have individual friends, then there are family friends.  Friends with kids, friends without kids.  Friends to play with, friends to talk to.  Friends, friends, friends!  They are really what makes this town great!  This is one of KJ's BFF's, Hannah.  They were playing at Rotary Park which is right next to the splash pad.  So much fun!

I could go on and on.  A brand new state of the art hospital, doctors that rival the care we received in the big city, a library that puts some metro systems to shame, beautiful lake views, a great mix of the young and old.  I can't even begin to list all of the great things about Grove here.  Seriously?  One of the best small towns in the country! 

Now if we only had a Chick Fil A......

Friday, June 17, 2011

Confession Number 96: Unintended Intentional Summer

A few weeks ago my friend Megan over at Sorta Crunchy wrote about the challenges and joys of parenting her six year old and shared some insight from Allison at Gentle Christian Mamas.  While my girl isn't six, but only three, I saw a LOT of similarities, and as I read this Survival Guide to Six I knew that there were some ideas I could use to turn my summer of Almost Four into a fun one, not a stressful one. 

I know that Kennedy loves a schedule.  Sort of.  Dustin and I are VERY easy going parents.  I'll drag my kids just about anywhere.  We made a decision while I was pregnant with KJ that our kids were going to fit into our exsisting lives as much as possible, and they have, for the most part.  My kids are well practiced at napping on the go, being pushed around town in the stroller and both are really quite flexible.  I *know*, however, that KJ really thrives when we have a plan for the day and she knows what is coming next. 

I thought more about this when Megan wrote about their summer schedule.  While I am not really a schedule person, I knew I had to have some goals for the summer, or we would both be bored and would slowly go crazy over the three month break.  So here is how we are spending each day intentionally.  Each day with some purpose.  I decided we would spend some time each day doing something that fits into these areas:

1.  Being Active- Sometimes this is swimming, sometimes it is chasing bubbles, sometimes it is walking around our neighborhood.  Whatever strikes us for the day.  Kennedy would spend all day, everyday, inside if I would let her.  I have to make it a point to have some active, outdoor time each day.  Besides, my summer tan is in need of some serious help.

2.  Creativity-  Kennedy loves being creative!  On some days this is sidewalk chalk, on others it is baking.  We are currently doing a scrapbook together of her year in preschool and she loves looking at the pictures of her friends!  It's nothing crazy good, but it is special to us.

3.  Educational- From practicing letters to reading library books, we are "practicing school" a little bit each and every day.

So, maybe this isn't a schedule.  It is a plan.  Each day at breakfast we talk about what we are going to do that day.  I have realized that if that particular day includes a nap, she is much better about doing it if she knows in advance!  She knows what is coming next and it is giving her some sort of aspect on time without being tied to a clock.  Today is:  TV time, getting ready, picking up the house, lunch, swimming at the pool, snack, reading and/or quiet time.  Then it is a night with the sitter because Mom and Dad are having a much needed night out!!  What?  No creative time?  Well, maybe she can do some drawing and stickers while I get things together for the sitter.  See?  We are nothing if we aren't flexible!

So, what are you doing on a daily basis this summer?