Well, I made it to Monday! I actually did enjoy myself camping despite the fact that my arms and legs look and feel like I have the chickenpox. It was as if those mosquitoes were starved and no one had come to visit them in days (or hours)! Even though it was hot and mosquito free in the sun and cool and mosquito infested in the forest and we were lucky to be included in a storm on Saturday evening that went through the night, I had a good time. It is always nice to be away in nature and to be able to enjoy and appreciate Hashem’s creations. No phones, no internet, very few cars. The only noises were the various birds that sang some gorgeous music starting at 4:30 in the morning. Our boys enjoyed it as well. They even got up at 4:30 in the morning on Shabbos morning to play frizbee in the field (we constructed an eruv as well.) Showers were had by all when we got back on Sunday to clean up and remove any lingering insects that thought our home would be better than their home. And yes, I was told of some of interesting places where those lingering bugs were found, I just won’t mention them here!
Monday was a day where I got little done, on purpose. The boys emptied most of the car, the tents and sleeping bags were opened up in the backyard and aired out and dried the day before, and eventually they all got rolled up again Monday. We davened, did parsha and math. I just would not do much more other than laundry and some basic cleaning up of the kitchen. we listened to Mishnayos in the evening and then the big surprise came when I realized the boys were in bed ON TIME; and not the “new usual” since Daddy’s accident, it was the real bedtime! If nothing else, that did put a nice smile on my face since I was annoyed that it took almost 4 hours to pack up all the tents in the backyard and there were only 5 of them.
Today went much better. We got off to a late start but managed to pack in outside davening, not just one but two sessions of math, piano practicing, merit badge completion including the required counselor signature, dropping off camp forms to be filled out by the boys’ doctor, mishnayos and even some cleaning by boys on their own! It started off by one beautiful boy waking up and being dressed before the parents got out of bed, him helping make his father’s lunch, doing his breakfast job before I could even finish eating, davening with his father, and not to mention coming over, on his own accord, to massage my shoulders. I was not sure what he wanted from me, but with nicely massaged shoulders I was most likely going to say yes to whatever it was. To thank him to the punch, I handed him a new treat I bought that was supposed to have been for fast helpers in rolling up the tents but never happened for the fast helpers were replaced with snails. A little brother wanted an extra special treat as well, however, I blurted out that extra special treats go to boys to do extra, extra special chores all on their own. Smile. So, while davening, the already davened boy cleaned up the front yard, including picking up lots of trash, did lots of work in my kitchen by being proactive and putting away the remaining bags of groceries from the previous day and meriting himself a second extra special treat. The youngest also wanted to help and so he kept asking me for chores and so that is how I got my kitchen and dining room swept AND mopped as only a 3 year old can do and earned himself an extra, extra special treat as well. 🙂 Unfortunately none of the others took the bait. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to take what I can get!
As I started to feel good about myself with regards to how nice the day went I remembered something: It was not summer time yet and we still have school work to finish. Minor details. 😐 So, tomorrow morning is going to start by figuring out what each boy has left to do and making a short schedule on how to finish it. Technically we have 1.5 weeks of school before the end of the year, and I think we can get it all in except math. Thank goodness for summer!
In some of my down time, which I actually had today, I was excited about the summer. I thought of all sorts of stuff for the boys to do that we just do not get to do during the year because of time; more math, typing practice (we started last summer), dik duk, Hebrew, more piano practice and lessons, chemistry from Khan Academy by request from boy #3, and the list went on. Hmm. Perhaps I need to rethink our summer? I *had* been thinking about just a couple of classes a day for the summer, but there is just so much I want to do! Perhaps Camp Harper is going to be more than just playing like planned. I am wondering if I can make a Camp Harper that is more of an educational camp that lasts through lunch. Can I make it fun as well? There is going to be one week of Scout camp for three boys – overnight sleeping in tents through rain and shine which overlaps a bit with a visit from Grandpa, but can I really pull off putting in a lot of good learning in the summer AND keeping it fun? I will have to mull that over in my mind. It will, most likely, have to include a field trip of some sort somewhere most weeks to help liven it up; picnics to various places near us, one or two trips to the zoo, maybe even a walk down the Erie Canal to visit some neat shops that are down the path. What ever the case is, I think I will have much better luck if we start off the summer by making camp shirts. The boys always liked doing that in the past when we did do it.
I still have a few weeks to think about the summer, and not to mention look for next year’s books that I need to order so I can read them (hopefully) before school starts, and don’t forget to figure out what school work to do with a newly 4 year old; though he has taken to Readingeggs.com for beginning ABC’s and especially their new math program. I’m about ready to find La La Land now, there is a lot to do tomorrow morning and just the fact that when I’m there I don’t itch is a good reason to go! Oh, and yes, the boys got into bed within a few minutes of the real bedtime again tonight. We might be on a roll. 🙂