June 4, 2010

Queen of the Castle: Week 22

For those of you playing along...(if you've just joined us you can get caught up a bit here) we are on week 22 of the book Queen of the Castle: 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker.

Chapter 22 is "Dream On: Planning for Summer". "Whichever philosophy fits your family best this year, now is the time to start making plans, whether you hope to catch the free museum days, make deadline for tennis camp, or drive off to that beautiful campsite in the redwoods secure in the knowledge there will be a genuine campsite waiting for you once you arrive. ... Ask God to show you how much activitiy your family needs, which summer programs to sign up for, or whether He wants you to simply lay low and leave lots of white space on the calendar."

Amen! I am a homebody at heart so I'd much rather stay at home, hang out with the kids, read books with them, chit chat, blog, etc., but I know some of them like to get out and get going so to create a happy medium we spend our summer going to piano lessons, visiting the library for the summer reading programs, working on 4-H projects, gardening, camping, and swimming in our pool or at the beach while camping. That's plenty full enough for me and empty enough for them! : )

Lynn, the author, mentioned a book A Mother's Manual for Summer Survival, written by Kathy Peel and Joy Mahaffey. They suggest holding a family meeting before summer starts and talk about goals for each child. Pray for God's guidance. "He knows your child's strengths and weaknesses; He knows in which areas they need to grow. Ask Him to show you the summer goals He would like you, as their mom, to help them reach."

The biggest time waster of summer (and any time of year) is the TV! The author suggests making a TV-watching plan. I suggest going on a TV fast! "Television is the bane of the modern home, but only because it is so often abused. People who cannot find the time to cook, see their children, entertain, read, visit, listen to music, exercise, talk, clean, or do their laundry nonetheless spend many hours -- around twenty hours on average -- watching television every week." (Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts)

Here are a few ideas the author suggests that might fit into your summer schedule:
*A weekly field trip to local sites of interest your family doesn't usually have time for.
*A summer garage sale to unload clutter. (That's on my to-do list!)
*More chores. With lighter schedules, summer may be just the time to teach your son to make bacon and french toast or teach your daughter to sew.

"Television is a wondrous invention, but one has to know when to turn it off!" (Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Sampler)

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