/1/ We are back from vacation! It's always sad when vacations come to an end, but the good thing about Williamsburg is that we will always be back. Will is so funny. He thinks of "Williamsburg" only as our resort. Whenever we went out exploring, he would be like, "Are we going back to Williamsburg later?" Made me laugh each time, "No Will, we are still IN Williamsburg!" Anyway, the kids enjoyed the vacation very much, as did we. The Historic Powhatan Resort was great, and we might make it our go-to place to stay whenever we vacation at Williamsburg now! More pictures to come, of course.
/2/ We have been reading a lot and finished another summer reading program. In exchange for reading 16 books, the kids each received a coupon booklet from the library. We already redeemed the free ice cream cone from McDonald's and I hope to take the kids to a waterpark or two using some of the coupons inside.
/3/ Of all the books we read, this one is worth mentioning. The kids went from, "This book has no pictures, I don't want to read a book with no pictures!" to "Lets read The Book With No Pictures again!" It really cracked them up and we highly recommend it.
/4/ For months I tried signing the kids up for the free monthly Home Depot Kids Workshop, but every month by the time I remembered to do it, the workshop closest to us would already be full. By some kind of miracle, I was not too late for the latest workshop -- building a Minion scooter -- so I secured two spots for Anna and Will. The event was this past Saturday and this is what I learned. It turned out I didn't really have to reserve online, it was first come first serve, and I still had to fill out a form even though I had already done it online. And good thing we were one of the firsts to show up because IT WAS PACKED. The Home Depot we were at was also disorganized. Long story short is that we were supposed to paint the wood before construction, but they didn't give out the paint until the end. Conclusion: I was not impressed and doubt that we will be doing this again.
For those who are interested, it is possible to just grab the kit and do the assembly at home. However, Luke pointed out that you would have to clean up your own mess at home.
/5/ So up until now, I have enrolled the kids in zero activities. Since we are working parents, I don't believe in chauffeuring the kids to activities after work (traffic nightmare) and I am protective of our precious weekend family time. But this summer, on a trial basis, I am having a piano teacher come to our house to give Anna piano lesson on Saturday mornings. It's $25 for half hour lesson. Yowzers, right? But I've done my research and apparently, this is actually not too bad. Anyway, the teacher is very nice older lady, plays at a church. She said Anna is on the young side (she suggests starting at age 6), but will give it a try for ~2 months. If Anna shows potential, we will continue on with the lessons in the fall. I would love for her to start young, but I don't want to waste money either, so we will see.
/6/ The kids complained that they were bored, so I put them to work. My basil plants were going bonkers (read: I have an oversupply of them) so hubs decided to cut off some branches completely. I gave the kids the task of plucking the leaves. Haha, I felt like they were little laborers working at a factory, especially with Will sitting on a stool. Now the question of the day is: What am I going to do with all those basil?
/7/ Back when I was pregnant with Will, I asked a very wise coworker how she raised her two sons, who seemed like very well-rounded young adults. She said that when her boys were young, they didn't like to go out so the family just stayed home and read a lot. Nowadays, I try to keep that in mind whenever we are just sitting at home, doing nothing in particular. Like yesterday. Except for the basil task above, the kids provided their own self entertainment ("I am going to smell your butt, puahahaha!"), ALL DAY. Ivy League, here we come :)