Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summertime Lockout

You can probably imagine what our house sounds like with all four children home for the summer and on each others nerves. Just think of a pack of hungry wolves suddenly thrown into captivity together. Right outside their cage is a fresh rhino carcass. It's just far enough away that they can't reach it.

Summer is great!

It's so true that we adapt to any environment. Whatever the situation, we are given the ability and tools needed to cope. We humans can be so resourceful.

What do we do to keep sanity through the summer? What do we do to get through those months of having all four under one

Summertime lockout!

Now, if you belong to a family with only one child, you won't understand this concept. In fact, you might think we are walking the fine line of clever parenting versus child abuse. Don't go running to the authorities just yet! Come over. You will soon have a very clear understanding of what I'm writing about.

For those of you with multiple children, you'll want to take notes. You will soon be sitting in your house, in the middle of the day, enjoying nothing more than the sound of your Ipod playing in the background. In the distance you will faintly hear the muffled sound of peaceful children playing.

I don't really understand it myself, but it works.

There is something about turning that deadbolt and saying the words, "You are staying outside until we call you in for lunch, find something to do!" That phrase would typically fall on deaf ears, but followed-up by the simple click of a lock— they listen. Hmmm!?

They actually play...nicely!

I don't really care to understand it; I just know that I like it!

We are coping with our situation and we are teaching our children how to cope. A total win-win!

They have started a landscaping business and are focusing on "gardens"!

They come in dirty and tired; with smiles on their faces. They have a sense of accomplishment for the day. They worked hard to build something together...without fighting! These are the sort of memories that you look back on as an adult and are thankful for. This is what summertime is all about.

If you live in the area and you would like a custom built "garden", I've got close connections!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Modern Day Family Without Internet

This morning I woke up dancing and squealing with a huge sense of relief!

Not having Internet for an entire week has really caused some withdrawal-like symptoms in our home. We have found that it is very difficult for us to live without the Internet.

One benefit of not having Internet for ten days is that my house hasn’t been this clean in I don’t know how long. Right now is a great time to visit us, but the window of opportunity is short. So come over. Now! Oh wait, too late!

I do have to say that is has been nice to take a break from the Internet. Not having it right here in the house is somewhat freeing. I think it would be nice to institute an Internet breakdown a few times a year. But, a self-instituted one, not a mandatory one.

I am beyond excited that it’s back-up and running at our house. Don’t get me wrong, my days of going to Starbucks and enjoying a cup of coffee in the peace and quiet were luxurious. But, it also became so flippin' inconvenient. We live twenty minutes to the nearest Starbucks and so just being able to look up something quick was not an option.

We kept lists of to-dos and we established a routine. Erik would usually drive down and take the morning shift and I would take the afternoon. Sometimes we would get crazy and switch it up, but for the most part that was the norm.

What a huge resource the World Wide Web is to us. Yes, there are ways around the Internet. But for our family, business, and way of life, we really depend on it. Some might think that statement is sad. But is it?

I see it as a huge blessing. We live about forty-five minutes from Denver and to us it’s a huge help. I plan my coupon runs and save us tons of money each month. We have lots of out-of-town friends and family that we are able to stay connected with. Erik is getting the opportunity to go back to college while sitting at home in his underwear. Because of how far we live from town, we do a lot of online ordering and save tons of time and gas money. We pay all our bills online. Abby and Ella look up books for their summer reading program and have online programs they access for school. I am able to be a stay-at-home mom while growing a business because of Internet access. I am able to network for free with wonderful online communities and support groups. And, let’s not forget blogging!

Yes, the Internet can be abused and over-used, but with priorities in check I believe it is a huge asset.

The conclusion is that we are that typical modern day family completely thankful for today's technology! We missed it terribly. And great news; for the huge inconvenience we are getting ten dollars off our monthly Internet bill. I'm not sure if that really makes up for it, but honestly I don't care. I'm just glad it's back!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introducing a New Member of the Family

No, I'm not pregnant. Let's just clear that up right now. Our official headcount will remain the same from here on out. You should know by now that I'm dramatic; I like to call inanimate objects by name, giving them their own personality.

Summer to us equals camping; as much as we can. We just can't seem to get enough. Every available weekend between June and August we consume with exploring the beautiful mountains that surround us, relaxing with no distractions, and spending time making memories with our children.

As a child, some of my greatest memories were pulling in late at night to an unknown campground and setting up our humungous tent with poles we always failed to mark. Setting up that tent usually erupted into a few curse words, but it all just added to the memories! The smell of the campfire, the chill on the tip of my nose as I laid snuggled in my sleeping bag, the endless adventures and made-up games between great family-friends.

I couldn't find very many old camping pictures, and none of our awesome tent. But here are a few.

Mom, please don't yell at me for posting this pic... you look hot!
Isn't little Britt adorable!

Some might think it's odd to play house in the woods; cooking outdoors, going potty in a freshly dug hole and attempting to stay warm by a fire... always a struggle to build! To us camping means an escape from our everyday routine; an excuse to do nothing but play, eat and sit. It forces us to completely focus on our children without the endless to-do lists looming over our day. I know without a doubt that our kids will look back at our camping adventures and remember them as some of the most precious times we shared as a family.

As we were packing for this trip, Abby was double checking our supplies. I really do believe that child doesn't trust us... at all. She asked us two times, "Did you remember the propane?"

In my opinion, our kids are completely spoiled campers. Camping in our toasty-warm pop-up; they have no idea what "roughing-it" is . But, I'm totally okay giving them this luxury. I agree... why freeze? At least that's how I feel now, having adopted the newest member of our family. Do you see him poking out there in the background? Meet Viking Spirit. He is a bit shy, but very special to us.

I love how content a little boy can be hunting for rocks and watching them splash into the water.

Father's Day weekend couldn't have been spent in a better way!

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