Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Camp, Free styling, or do it yourself home summer school?

I'm choosing to cut back on the cost of summer for my child this year. My current work habits have given me the ability to be with my kid (11 yrs as of June) on a daily basis. So this year he didn't want to go to camp and kept emphasizing the idea of not having to do anything but play the summer away and travel. After a summer where I did let him play it away I think around age 5 or 7 he went to school and did horribly at the start of the year and we spent the year playing catch up. Since then we've integrated a system of practicing and maintaining what he learned in school the year prior into whatever he did for the Summer. So please note my reaction to his desire to play the summer away- No No No (add my cynical and sarcastic head shaking to the no's to get a good visual). The traveling sounded doable till he completed it with dreams of Hawaii.(Current budget- dose not approve, not quit yet) With-in continental US, however, was more do able.

So what did I come up with for the Summer. I made a list with him of both educational and fun activities I wanted him to do and he wanted to learn. Here's the list of what we came up with (Warning some of the items on this list are not typical kid activities and are a bit too high tech for most parents or even kids, choose what you like and invent what works for you. Make sure to keep the list short sweet and simple. After all it is the summer, they should be getting a rest and things come up.) :

  1. Painting (He wants to learn formal Art such as Surrealism and forms of Art- his words not mine)
  2. Museums
  3. Chicago botanical garden
  4. Millennium Park
  5. Learn to type
  6. Make Clay objects on pottery wheel
  7. Sew a Bag
  8. Learn to knit
  9. Library project
  10. Practice writing styles
  11. Book reports
  12. Create a Goal board and a Dream mood board
  13. Make paper mache
  14. Go to the pool
  15. Exercise workout
  16. Bake
  17. Math
  18. Science Projects
  19. Write poems and short stories( My son as smart as he is, is the laziest of writers. This is to encourage his desire to write- He was also motivated after reading two books written and published by a nine year old 'Jake Johnson and the Half Bloods' by James Warburton Jake Johnson And The Half Bloods (Quest 1) (Jake Johnson And The Greek Gods) eBook: James Warburton: Kindle Store:)
  20. Garage sale/ bake sale (Funding)
  21. Bamboo pen (Bamboo Create Pen Tablets | Wacom- I'm trying to give him a tech head start like I had learning Turtle(An Apple program) in the first grade.
  22. Movies(via Netflix and The local Movie theater)
  23. Sports
So we then Created a weekly schedule balancing fun activities with learning activities(I know most of the fun stuff double as education- That is what I call sugar coated pills). We are now officially off to a Summer that sure to be rich and exciting. 

South West turns 42yrs

So Southwest Airlines turns 42 yrs old. I get to discover that more people on my flight from Dallas actually fly to Kansas (Yes Kansas!) than Chicago. There were only 46 people in a 737 in route to Chicago. In celebrating with Southwest on their birthday we got free drinks(whatever you wished to drink), peanuts, and of course pretzels. (After traveling with Spirit Airlines to Dallas- I felt like I had hit the jackpot. LOL at the state of basic air travel service today)

Yes I will be reading my camera's manual to learn image stabilization cause ohh! Do I need to learn it.-Bear with me, I typically only shoot inanimate objects.

Monday, June 3, 2013


The aftermath is when you really know just how devastating it all was. It's when you really get to grasp just what you were hit with. The level and magnitude of a devastation is only fully known in it's wake. What it leaves behind tell it's story. Who it hurt, how it hurt them, and just how brutal the storm was. When it's all over you look around and survey what is left. First the mind looks through the eyes taking it all in. Then you process what you lost and the damage but not completely. Just enough to start reacting. As the days go by you look at the losses more closely and then you beginning to take stock. You begin to see what you still have left. The biggest problem with a shock isn't that we've lost things but that there was nothing we could do.