Dear Summer 2015…where did you go?! Oh, how we enjoyed you, but I’m not exactly sure we survived you with flying colors! We did our best.
Four kids at home 24/7 was an eye opener for me. I was frustrated a lot in the beginning, but I learned to simplify…and then simplify some more. I learned to be completely okay with fruit and toast for dinner…again. I learned that opening up our home to unexpected guests is more important than a clean house. I learned that my little girls get along way better when they have a kitty to love.
June is a blur to me right now, but we spent the majority of our days "completing our tallies.” I put together a chart of 18 things the girls needed to do each day (all jobs were marked off with a tally to show completion, that’s where “completing our tallies” came from).
I called it our “Life Skills Boot Camp.” Pay day (for the number of tallies completed) was always on Saturday, but the stipulation was - that after following the 10/20/70 rule (10% tithing, 20% savings, 70% spending) - all spending money was to be used for school clothes at the end of summer. Since they had the opportunity to earn up to $1 p/day, we felt like their money needed to be used towards a need rather than a want. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of that neon orange "Life Skills Boot Camp” chart I put together! That thing was our baby around here! It pretty much guided our efforts every day.
The 18 things were (in no particular order) -
personal prayer, brush teeth, comb hair, exercise (20 minutes), 1 family job, 1 weekly job, Rosetta Stone (20 minutes), laundry job (unload dryer or fold towels), scripture study, family prayer, mormon message, piano practice, make bed, pet care, ear care (both girls got their ears pierced this summer), set table for dinner, read (20 minutes), secret service
I just want to say that the idea of providing monetary compensation for spiritual affairs (like prayer, scripture study, & service) is not our intention, but we also felt like it was okay to have a system of accountability in learning basic spiritual survival. We tried to avoid any false notions by emphasizing that payment was figured on the amount of total tallies come pay day.
Much of July was spent outside in the sun, but the highlight was how very fortunate we were to have both my family (including all four grandparents) & Jared’s family join us for AnnMarie’s baptism on July 11th.
It was such a special occasion, one I will never forget. AnnMarie made the decision to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints long ago! She has been learning about Jesus Christ and asking questions about her baptism for years. I am proud of her; she is striving to develop many Christ-like qualities - compassion, forgiveness, and obedience to the commandments of God. I am grateful for this special daughter of mine.
Afterwards we had a light luncheon there in the Relief Society room. We served pinwheel sandwiches, watermelon, veggies, and this beautiful cupcake dress. Isn’t it darling?
Not to kill the ambiance of this wonderful memory, but tomorrow she’ll be getting her tonsils out. Hooray for no more tonsillitis! My mom is driving here now in order to help with the other kiddos during the surgery. I’m excited to spend some time with her, it’s been a while. With that, I’m going to call it a wrap and look forward to catching up again soon.