I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I refuse to buy into the retail notion that summer is over and I’m behind on my back-to-school shopping (and Halloween and Christmas shopping too, if I’m to believe the store shelves!). We still have a whole month of the summer of 2016, darn it, and with swim team wrapped up, it’s time for us to hit the road and have some August fun!
If you’re looking for a road trip that is both educational and a lot of fun, how about visiting a factory for a behind-the-scenes tour? Starting on page twenty, read about some super-cool ones that are within driving distance and will keep your whole family entertained and inspired.
We plan to visit out-of-town family and hit the beach this month, and we’ll squeeze in two more camps to round out our summer. As the kids get older, the summer scene changes, and it sure did for us this year. Our now 10-year-old spent a whole week away at camp, and much to my delight, came off of the van all smiles with lots of adventures to report. (And he missed us too, which was nice to hear!). As I mentioned last month, we gave swim team a try this year, and many of you have been eager to find out on which side of the “love it or hate it” swim team debate I landed. I learned a lot about all of the ins and outs of swim team, and never knew all of the logistics that are involved in pulling off each meet – wow! Now to be fair, we belong to a fairly small pool, so we don’t have to deal with those late-night meets about which I hear so much groaning. We even had pretty decent weather, with only one or two weather-related delays and not even too much heat. The naysayers rant about waiting for hours to watch your kid swim for twenty seconds, but even that was fun since we had friends and neighbors around to chat with and cheer for in the other heats. The boys enjoyed working towards bettering their times and improving their strokes, had fun with their coaches and teammates, and learned about working as a team during the relays. They even got to pie-face the coach as part of RFM’s Dunk Hunger food drive. So all that to say, we liked it! I think I can safely say we’ll go for it next year, especially since my younger son is determined to get more than “just a participation ribbon” next year – goals are good!
Speaking of goals and tying up RFM’s summer loose ends, what an amazing goal we achieved with RFM’s Anthem LemonAid stand! It was so nice to meet new and long-time readers at the West End Farmer’s Market last month, and it was awesome to watch the kids work so hard to raise funds to help kids with cancer. You may have seen them dancing and waving cars into the market – it was quite a spectacle! And I can say without hesitation that it was a wonderful learning experience for them. They decorated the booth, mixed the lemonade, served the guests, collected their money (and successfully made change!), and remembered to say thanks at the end. Putting a check in the mailbox to Children’s Miracle Network was their final task, and we all came away feeling very proud of our efforts. We can’t wait to do it again next year!