I'm sure we've all heard it now that we are a month into Summer... "Mommy!!! I'm BORED!!!"
And you know what Mommas? It's ok! It's actually a good thing for our kiddos to be bored. I'm amazed at the imagination that comes out the more bored my girls get!
We've always been an on the go type family, which when living in a small town over an hour away from anything it helps to be on the go. We love our weekend get-a-ways to Branson and enjoy our Silver Dollar City passes. We LOVE to go shopping!! We love to take the kids to the circus, shows, movies, the zoo, and baseball games.
A few years ago, my husband and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class and last month we decided we wanted to start following it again and get rid of our debt - (our student loans and the car loan). So we put into action a BUDGET. A budget can seem like one of those 4 letter words that are no fun! But, it's making us redefine what fun is.
We have stopped all of our spontaneous weekend getaways and shopping trips. Last week I went in to return something I had previously bought in Old Navy and I felt like a recovering alocholic walking through a liquor store. I stuffed my hands into my pockets and just kept repeating "Don't touch anything." And Hello! Could Target be anymore tempting? All of that fun colorful stuff!! I'm realizing that it is best for me to just avoid any tempting places. My willpower can only handle so much.
Something that has really helped us with staying on track is using the "cash envelopes." Don't worry about robbing me or stealing my purse - it's not that much money. We still have a section for "Family Fun," we just have allocated a small amount to spend on it.
And now instead of spending all that money and more on one shopping trip, we make it stretch for the whole month. Like I said, redefining what fun is.
We are starting to enjoy doing the activities around our small community, especially the free events - like storytime at the library, the VBS sports program, and Lowe's Build and Grow program. We've got to swim at the lake a couple times. Also, we attend church every Sunday where they get to go to their class, learn about Jesus and see their friends. We also make play dates with friends. (Which is great Momma time, too!) And something we are VERY excited about is this past week my in-laws got a pool! We've been enjoying that almost daily!
It's been a few weeks of living like this and my kids are just now starting to get used to it and have stopped asking, "Where are we going today?". Because almost always the answer is, "no where." Most days we don't even get out of our pajamas!
Our typical Summer day looks like this: My kids have finally started sleeping in past 6 am! We bought a clock a few weeks ago that a friend suggested that lights up when it's ok to wake up and get out of bed. Yes, this clock is awesome and also with the help of the black out curtains! They start the morning with some time on their iPads - while I finally force myself to get out of bed, take a shower, and feed the baby. I get them breakfast and tell them it's time to turn off their iPads and then it's time for their imaginations to get to work. Rarely do they ever play with the zillion toys that they have. They like to make tents, pallets, and secret hide outs - with all of their blankets, pillows and stuffed animals.or another favorite of theirs is to play puppy dog or mom/sister. Yesterday, they spent hours making shark stink smell in their play kitchen. Apparently, if you rub a link-a-doo on your arm you are safe to walk on the carpet and the sharks won't bite you.
We eat lunch, and then they lay down and rest for an hour or two which usually means they are laying on a pallet in their room talking and giggling. When they wake up, it's close to time for Jonathan to be home from work. So then we will usually walk across the street and jump in the pool for a couple hours and swim with Papa and Nonnie. The girls love to do "swim lessons."
We cook dinner and then get our pajama's on (That is if we aren't still in our jammies from the night before). They may play on their iPads for a little while and then we read books and they'll pretend some more. Or we might all snuggle up on our big couch and watch a movie and eat popcorn. Then it's bedtime. I think they've spent the whole summer sleeping on a pallet or in a tent. They love it and they sleep all night - so why not?
I try to rotate their toys or just bring a random one out into the middlle of the living room. When they see it, they'll play with it for days. Most recently, a big red wagon sits in the middle of our living room. It's made many trips down the hallway to haul stuff back and forth the past couple of days.
If one of the girls try to tell me they're bored, my response is usually, "That's why I gave you a sister." I truly hope and pray that my girls will grow up and be best friends forever. I am trying to create an atmosphere that encourages them to always love and respect one another and develop their relationship into a true friendship.
I'm done letting guilt tell me that I'm not a good mom if I don't entertain my children all day long. I play with them and read to them and care for all of their needs and most of their wants, but I will also tell them to use their imaginations, play with their toys, and go play in their room for awhile so I can blog, read a book, and drink an iced coffee.
So bring on the boredom and Happy Summer, Mommas!