The plan? Weekly summer themes.
Hear me out.
I’m a planner. I work better with a schedule and so do my children. My children have never attended camp because I make summer both fun and educational (I can’t help it! I’m a teacher!).
Weekly summer themes can be incorporated anywhere, even with vacations. It works for children of all ages and with both free and expensive activities. All you need is a bit of planning and some research.
Let me break it down:
These are the weekly themes I came up with for this summer, with some help from my kids: Zachary, 8, and Oakley, 4:
Once you have your themes, now comes the research. With every theme, we go to the library once a week. It allows for quiet time, it’s free, it’s in the air conditioning, and it lets us chose books that help us learn about that week’s theme. We look for both fiction and non-fiction books.
Next, I think about local attractions and events that may accommodate our theme. Some of these are easy, like going to the science museum for science week or seeing the fireworks for the Fourth of July for the week focusing on America.
But it helps to think outside the box here. You don’t want to necessarily go to the same attractions your family would go to on a regular weekend. I like to find something we rarely do or even something we’ve never tried before.
For example, we plan to try the glass blowing demonstration in Hollywood, as it’s something they’ve never seen and we’ve wanted to try.
Summer is known for being kid-friendly so flipping through a local parenting magazine, such as South Florida Parenting, or searching online for a few keywords or even on Pinterest, can give you a multitude of ideas for your themes.
I like to look up free or cheap options to help keep costs down so we can often be found free museum days or at local parks with a magnifying glass. You could choose to just do a few weeks this summer.
Weekly summer themes can be as detailed as you want them to be. Have fun and happy summer!
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Our family is made up of myself, my husband and our three adorable, sweet girls. We have eight year old twins and a three year old. We are grateful to have grown our family through pregnancy and adoption– which often leads to some crazy questions and interesting comments. I usually share that we wanted to adopt first but most agencies don’t take a 22 year old seriously when they call. Also to note we are mere mortals and not Hollywood celebrities- so finances were a bit of a factor.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome made conception difficult: but thankfully not impossible. We celebrated when our IUI (or intra-uterine insemination) was successful and our sweet girls were born that following spring. When the twins were four, we decided the timing was right to pursue an adoption. Initially we wanted to try for an international adoption but our military life made that a little too difficult. I scoured blog posts, adoptive parent forums, and family magazines- basically praying my guts out the entire time that this would work before Uncle Sam moved our little crew again.
I stumbled upon an adoption consultant and had a gut feeling this is who we needed. We completed our home study and paperwork- and worked with her as she connected us to different birth mothers through various agencies and private adoption attorneys. My husband and I had such a strong connection to one woman in particular and she ended up choosing us to parent her baby girl. We spoke in July and our peanut was born in August. Yes, four weeks later! What an answer to years of prayers!
It was incredibly difficult to watch her make the decision not to parent our little Star: a selfless choice made wholly from love. We were able to be there when our youngest was born and I am so grateful to have been there to see her take her first breath. Every adoption begins with loss and that is not lost on our family. There is a woman who loves our little peanut so much and she misses her every day. We honor the choice that she made and are so grateful to her for this incredible gift.
Many have asked us about birth parent contact after an adoption. I think that is what scares people the most- what does that look like, what will be our relationship be, how much will he/she know about our family? Every adoption is unique. Our adoption is totally final- our names are on Star’s birth certificate; we are her parents. Her birth mom receives an update and pictures every year. We also like to send a Christmas update. These are the terms we agreed upon and we honor those. Some families have no contact, some Facetime or call. It just depends. Do not let this stop you from pursuing an adoption, if that is where your heart is leading you. It has shaped our lives so beautifully and can’t imagine being without this experience.
Our youngest is our mocha beauty- and I am super proud of my acquired hair skills. It is so beautiful to see our girls together- each unique in skin tone, hair, personality. We are a family knit together with this incredible love and I am grateful every day to be their mama.
|Ashlyn and YaYa in October 2016|
Hi there! I am Brenna and I am the owner of Perfectly Imperfect Mom. I am so excited that you have come to my site. Having 3 little ones myself, I know being a Mom is not always easy. Being a Mom can be a mix of emotions from pure joy to feeling like you totally screwed up your child for life. Don't worry, we all feel this way so you aren't alone. We are all just trying to do our best in this crazy thing called Parenthood!