Today is the last day of school. In three hours my two oldest children will be home for two and half months. Most years I have dreaded the long break, but this year I am so happy to have them home.
We have not been a family that takes a vacation together. A weekend in Chicago, a weekend to Grand Haven, MI to stay with my Dad, or grandparents offer to take the older two for a weekend of camping is the "vacationing" our family does (much to the kids' disappointment). So this this new trend of "staycationing" isn't new to us. We stay with grandparents for a weekend - my dad lives within walking distance of the shore of Lake Michigan. Nice and convenient to have a beach nearby. We plan to stay once or twice again this summer. Nearby parks, ice cream parlors, the pier, watching boats, and we can't forget the Coast Guard Parade. Their house is on route too. One thing the kids loved last year was playing on the sand dunes. Jumping off was fun too! But anywhere you can goof around and not get into trouble is fun for them
Camping has been fun for the kids to do too, after tenting three years ago in 90 degree weather with my asthma flaring up, I gave it up. My in-laws bought a trailer and frequently camp and graciously let Calla and Carter come with. Last year, we all spent one night out. Grandpa took Calla out kayaking and then Carter. My husband and his dad plan to go out and take the two kids with them this summer.
It seems like we end up doing a lot of divide and conquer, one parent with the older two kids, one with the toddler. Last summer Joely was less than a year, she spent the not quite so hot days outside playing the grass, and many days inside playing with mom. Now that she is a year older I am gearing up for a summer outside pushing her the swing and maybe buying a kiddie pool.For the first summer ever, our family gets to experience summer vacation as a whole family. My husband is an instructor for Ferris State University and has the summer off - kind of. He will teach a class every other week, prep for his fall classes, work on some training in 3D, but in his spare time he'll be home! So we plan to have some trips to the zoo, go to the beach, the parks, visit the nearby farmer's markets, go on many many bike rides, see some great movies coming out this summer, spend time with friends, and relax just enough.