It’s hard to believe it’s already July and we’re already well into summer! I like summer because I enjoy having the kids home and having a more relaxed schedule. The weather this summer has been glorious and the mosquitos haven’t been bad. As a result, we’ve spend a lot more time out on our deck than normal this year. I love it!

Enjoying some time on the deck with friends on the 4th of July

Enjoying some time on the deck with friends on the 4th of July

I write during the summer but I learned to scale way back on writing assignments when the kids are home because it’s just too hard to juggle my writing work with the kids at home. That said, now that Rose and Ryan are both teenagers they can fend for themselves if I need to spend hours in my office or away to work on a story. I have some personal writing to work on so really need to block some time out on my calendar so that I get it finished. It may be that I plan to do that writing when one or both of the kids are away at camp, however,

Speaking of camp, Rose will spend a month (a month!) up near Bemidji at Concordia’s Language Villages’ Korean camp, Sup sogŭi Hosu. She spent two weeks there last year and loved it. This summer she’ll actually earn a language credit for attending. Ryan will be going to a fairly intense Trumpet Workshop at Shell Lake Arts Center in early August. For one week, both kids will be gone at the same time so Owen and I are planning to do some bike touring. We don’t have all of the equipment we need to camp with our bikes so we’re going to do some “credit card touring” – meaning instead of packing along our food, sleeping bags and tents, we’ll eat out and sleep in hotels along the way. We plan to start in Shell Lake, Wisconsin after we drop Ryan off at camp and bike for four days. We still need to iron out our route but I believe we are going to bike to Duluth and back to Shell Lake.

Owen and I out on a bike trail

Owen and I out on a bike trail

Other plans for the summer include the possibility of spending a few days up in Duluth with my parents, brothers and nephew and Ryan will be leaving next Monday to spend a week up north with a friend at a cabin.  Other than that, we hope to make a number of day trip outings. Tomorrow, for instance, the kids and I are planning to meet my younger brother and his son and spend the afternoon at a beach. Owen and I plan to do more bike rides (we rode two different bike trails over July 4th weekend) and hope to get the Pacer up and flying more this summer than we have done in recent years.

We try to get a balance of work, relaxation, learning and fun during the summer. It’s easier said than done, though. We deal with more than our share of comments about being bored – but I feel this “bored” state of mind is somewhat essential for the kids to go through after the busy school year. Their brains have been so busy that it is a shock to have non-scheduled days. The long, largely unscheduled, days are a bit of a blessing and a curse. We love them! But we also end up staying up late and sleeping in and we don’t seem to get anywhere before noon. That’s okay – but it conflicts with Owen’s work schedule (he’s up by 5:00 during the word week) and it means that we are eating all of our meals hours later than we do during the school year.

Ryan enjoys some time outside on his longboard

Ryan enjoys some time outside on his longboard

I think we all end up feeling like we’re floating around aimlessly some of the time. But isn’t summer vacation supposed to be kind of aimless? Maybe not all of the time but I think at least some of the summer should be spent loafing around doing things like reading books, sitting out by a bonfire, having late breakfast on the deck and simply enjoying the nice weather.

What do you like about summer?

A wonderful bonfire

A wonderful bonfire