Last week I finally got on the ball and started our FlyLady day camp. Ironically, after I had planned some crafts and activities, we got sick, so we had camp for a half-day and postponed the rest of it for a time we felt healthier (and for a time when I wasn’t chasing Anthony around the house spot-cleaning all the places he got sick).
A week ago (when I was so ambitious), we made mail bags to hang on the wall, we named our “cabins” and we planned our Mess Tent Menu. We had schedules and theme days and all sorts of fun ideas.
This week, I’m tired. We are using some of the ideas, but we’re also going in some different directions. Of course, the last-minute planning on my part means we have to make-do with what is around the house, but I’m trying really, REALLY hard to quiet the perfectionist in me, so I have to be okay with “good enough”. Plus, if I’m being totally honest, if I waited until every activity was planned *just so*, we would be having our camp sometime in NEVER, because, well, this is ME we’re talking about, and I think I suffer from ADD.
So we carry on, sometimes with hilarious results.
Yesterday was our first day “back”, and we had a blast. When I sat down to make the schedule late (LATE) Monday night, I couldn’t come up with a fun craft idea. Because I’m a genius I was desperate, I googled some fun summer coloring pages and printed them off. I also remembered making crayons with Alex and Kendra when they were about three and two, which gave me a great idea for our activity.
Then, in what can only be called inspiration, I tied in our coloring activity to a whole “recycle” day. (Don’t you just love it when everything falls into place?) We sorted their crayons, separating the broken ones from the whole ones. This took a ridiculously long time, mostly because they have a ridiculously ridiculous amount of crayons. (We are talking about three or four– perhaps even FIVE– plastic pencil boxes full of crayons, markers and colored pencils… FOR EACH KID. I’ve done the math– it’s a bazillion crayons. And, oddly enough, they never have a full rainbow spectrum of colors from which to select.) We talked about how sometimes old things have new uses, and how it’s the responsible thing to do to use things up completely.
From that point, they colored, I peeled and broke, and then they chose the makings for their very own chunky crayons. While the wax was cooling, we sorted through hundreds dozens of coloring books, and recycled the ones that had been filled up or were no longer useful. Kendra passed a few Princess books down to Hannah, who was elated and immediately started coloring in the pages, and Anthony gained a few new Elmo books, which kept him entertained for a whole five (blissful!) minutes.
We did a “Garbage Grab” race, to see who could find the most things to throw away, and, although it’s JULY, and school has been out for an entire MONTH, the older kids FINALLY cleaned out their school backpacks by doing the “Backpack Boogie”. (The first person to completely empty their backpack onto the floor earned an extra 15 minutes of video game time, and the first person who sorted, put away and threw away the last of their school junk got to have first choice between Nintendo and computer. Alex won the 15 minutes, and Kendra solved her sorting problem by dumping every scrap of paper into the recycling bin and tossing the rest into the garbage. It took her less than ten seconds.)
(I would also like to point out that this could actually be the first time in their entire school CAREERS that they didn’t put up a fight about throwing schoolwork away. I’m not even talking about art projects, either… they used to wail about worksheets and spelling practice and math assignments where the problems were copied directly from the book. I think I just found a new incentive for recycling old school papers! SCORE!!!)
After enforcing a “quiet time” in their bunks (another stroke of genius, I have to admit), they got up and went swimming in our sad little pool. (Side rant: I am so irritated that Kenny paid $65 for an INFLATABLE pool. I don’t care if it DOES have a slide feature. They used it twice and now it has some leaks, so it sort of leans to one side and part of the slide is deflated. Because he paid so much for it, Kenny refuses to buy another one, and I don’t really blame him for that. Whoever thought up the idea for a $65 INFLATABLE swimming pool was a marketing genius, and I hope s(he) is swimming in all of that money. In the aforementioned inflatable pool, of course…) Next year, we are getting a cheap $10 inflatable pool that we can replace six times, if necessary.
The very best part of my day happened at night, when I went outside to sit with Skittles while she went to the bathroom. (Side rant #2: What is it with puppies that makes them take an HOUR to do their business outside? And then 2.5 seconds to get in the house, squat, and go RIGHT ON YOUR FLOOR?) I was sitting on our back steps when I realized that they were a little more colorful than normal. Some time during the day, Anthony had taken one of his chunky crayons outside and colored the wood verrrrry thoroughly. Our steps are now all Joseph-and-the-Amazing-Technicolor-Dreamcoat-ish, and they’re lovely. Every time I have to take the dog outside, I am going to relish sitting down on them and appreciating their colorful-ness. (I just made that word up, and I don’t care.) I am also going to thank my lucky stars he perfers to showcase his work outside, because we still haven’t painted over Hannah’s three-foot masterpiece in the living room, and it’s been two years.
So there you go. An impromptu, highly imperfect camp… but SO MUCH FUN!