Uh, so, I guess you can say that the kids have been keeping me busy? Wow. What a summer. Michael and Molly have been out of preschool since the Friday before Memorial day, and Sam has been out since June 19th.
We decided for my sanity and theirs, they could each do one camp per month (big kids), and then Ben would also do a camp at his preschool in August- kind of like a prep class. Actually, by default, Michael and Molly got two camps in June, one before Sam got out, and one after (because they really wanted to do the one Sam was doing, but it wasn't offered earlier in the month). So- Gymnastics Camp! They were a little uncertain starting it, because it wasn't terribly structured, but they really enjoyed it. So much so- that Michael states he'd like to take classes. Yay! We really want Michael to find something that he enjoys. He did Tae Kwon Do for a while because Sam did it. But he didn't really enjoy it... He just wanted to do what big brother did. And be a Ninja. And then he really wanted to do Ice Skating lessons, but once he actually started, he decided that it really hurts when you fall. And although he was super proud of the ribbon that he got for completing the classes, he said "he never wanted to skate again." Since then, he's expressed interest in Gymnastics and we figured camp would be a good way to figure out if he'd actually like it or not. Hopefully it will be something that he enjoys, and either way it will definitely be good for his strength and coordination.
The second camp that Sam, Michael, and Molly did was a farm camp at Frying Pan Park. Michael and Molly really wanted to do it because Sam had so much fun last year. Sam wanted to do it again, and as a special bonus, cousins' Will and Jack were going to participate too! The problem was, Michael and Molly are in a younger age group- so their camp session was 9-1, whereas Sam's was 9-4. Wow. I severely underestimated how painful it would be making trips to the farm three times a day. But they all had a fun time. They got to milk the cow a couple times, ride on the carousel, and each day, the older group gets to cook a snack using ingredients from the farm. Sam, the picky eater, really enjoyed the food they made- cheese straws, pumpkin cookies (or muffins- I forget), shortbread cookies, and oatmeal cookies. The only thing he didn't like, ironically, was the ice cream. The whole tonsillectomy has really turned him off from ice cream in any way, shape or form.
The month of July brought Lego Camp and Vacation Bible School for Molly. Again, good in theory, but rough in execution. Because Michael and Sam were in different age groups, Michael's camp was 9-12, and Sam's was 1-4. Oh, and Molly's VBS was from 9-12:15, in a close, but different location. So it was a tad hectic running between locations and getting everyone where they needed to be. But they all seemed to really like it, and we only had one near miss on the W& OD trail where Michael almost got run over by a mean spirited biker, that proceeded to yell at him and tell him to "pay attention to the stop sign before someone gets hurt!" He was too busy telling his siblings about what he had built that day to pay attention to the stop sign. That and the fact that he's five and can't read. I was about to return fire, when another parent, a man, who was picking up his son said "What a Dick!" loud enough for him to hear. He then tried to back peddle and make excuses for his behavior.
The month of August brought different camps... Sam was very excited to do his Catch Some Fun and Sun Camp at Lake Fairfax. They did nature hikes, boat rides, and other activities in the morning but the draw is that they get to go to the Watermine water park in the afternoon. He really enjoyed it again this year, but I think he'll like it even more next year, when his siblings are old enough to participate. Molly, Michael, and Ben are in camp this week at M&M's old, and Ben's new Preschool. I was very nervous as to how Ben would do, but he has really enjoyed it! He hasn't cried once. He marches right in every morning and seems to have fun. He has cried twice- once because he saw Michael and Molly leaving the playground as he was coming on, and he wanted them to stay, and the other time because he didn't want to go inside when Water Day play outside was over. All in all, I'd say very successful. Michael and Molly have also enjoyed seeing some friends from school again!
Oh wait. I forgot the most well received camp of all. Sam decided that he was going to have camp for his siblings at home! We sat down and came up with themes, and with some help from Pinterest, picked a snack and craft activity for each theme. He also found coloring pages online, a book to read to them each day that went along with the theme, and thought of a game or activity for each as well. It was quite fun, and they all really had fun with it. Sam really enjoyed being in charge, as any first born does. As I told a friend, Sam had the vision, mommy did the grunt work. But it was a success! Next summer, they each want to host a camp! I wonder if Molly will have the boys dancing ballet for her week? I'll leave you with some pics from Sam Camp, since that's obviously the only camp that i attended...