Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'll Be in My Van

Please forgive me as I publicly congratulate myself on getting all of my children dropped off on time and picked up on time from all of their activities over the past two days. 
We usually keep a fairly busy schedule, but this week is like nothing I've ever attempted before.  If you need me this week, you can find me in my roving command center (my prison van).  I'll be somewhere along the Wasatch Front chauffeuring my peeps.

Cannon is doing a theater camp at the University of Utah from 9:00-12:00, Monday-Friday for two weeks.
Bethany is doing an orchestra camp everyday this week from 9:00-3:30 in American Fork.
Elinor has Beehives Camp Thursday through Saturday.
Clark has Driver's Ed at Corner Canyon High School from 11:00-2:00 every day for two weeks.
Clark and Bethany have dress rehearsals and performances from 5:30-10:30 every night this week. 
Today Faith had an Activity Days field trip and gymnastics.
George had a Dr. check-up with shots.
Elinor had a piano lesson and a babysitting job.
Last night we went to a play downtown.

My goodness!  It all worked.  It was kind of a beautiful, choreographed scheduling dance.
GO ME!!!!
Obviously, I've been spending a fortune on gas and I've spent more time in the van than at home.  If this was my life all the time it would drive me to drink!  The next three weeks will involve quite a bit of driving, but this week is definitely the most insane. 
As I drive around I've been thinking about the benefits of this lifestyle. 
 Here are a few in no particular order:

1.  Peter likes it.  While he hated riding in the car when he was a young baby, he is quite calm and content to drive around these days.  In other words, no crying Peter.  Happy day!-- ROAD TRIP!

2.  I let the teenagers pick the Pandora station we listen to.  Generally, I like their choice of music, and if we disagree, it's a good opportunity to discuss why some songs are not appropriate.  But for the most part, it keeps me a little younger and hipper.

3.  Lots of time to talk to kids individually or in different than usual groupings.  Everybody is strapped in and in pretty close proximity.  Everyone is having different than usual experiences, so there is lots to ask questions about and share.  I have nothing to do except drive-- no phone distractions, no housework, no taking care of Peter.  I am more available to focus and listen. 

4.  Speaking of housework-- there is a lot less of it when we are gone all day.  No time to engage in messy projects.  No time to cook involved meals with lots of dishes.  Granted, no time to eat healthy food either, but it's a trade off, right? 

5.  A change of pace in the family is refreshing.  We haven't had a terribly busy summer, and as much as I want to like the down time, I am happier and more content when we are going with a fuller schedule.  In a couple of weeks I'll be begging to settle down to a school schedule!

6.  As I'm driving to and fro, I like to picture them in their different activities, experiencing new things, learning, and developing their talents.  I like it when their talents don't require my driving all over tarnation, but I'm willing and happy to live in my car for a week, if that's what it takes.
This opens Thursday night-- I am so excited!  I really think it is going to be a fantastic show. 
Somehow-- I'm not sure how we made this happen today-- George learned to ride a two-wheeler by himself with no training wheels.  It took about 30 minutes and he was solid.  It was fun for me because Abe has taught all the other kids to ride, but I taught George.  I'm sure he was very ready, and that contributed to the ease and rapidity with which he learned, but I think I'll take a bit of credit.
In other George news, he had four shots at the Dr.'s office and was so brave.  No tears, no drama.  This was definitely worthy of a slurpee!
Clark and I had quite a laugh over Cannon's Napoleon Dynamite picture as he shows off his jellyfish marionette he made at his theater camp, today.  He didn't mean to look like Napoleon, but can't you just hear it, "It's a jellyfish marionette, GOSH!"
We had a night at a local park with neighborhood friends this evening.  We were tired from our day's activities, but it was so lovely to be outside on a beautiful summer evening.  These darling little ladies were serenading us with song and dance numbers from the Teen Beach Movies.
Last night these four kids and I enjoyed a real treat.  My dad bought us tickets to see Nephi and the Sword of Laban.  I'll be honest, I don't always appreciate gospel themed theatrical productions.  I don't like feeling like my emotions are being manipulated regarding spiritual matters.  I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this play.  It was inspiring and I would absolutely enjoy seeing it again.  Abe was so kind to stay home with Peter, and Clark and Bethany were at their play rehearsal so they missed out.

I'll sign off with my favorite saying to my children when life gets "too full".  "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings!"  How blessed we are to have so many wonderful opportunities.

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