ruining summer

Two hours into summer vacation, my nine year old son Jake announced that I was ruining summer.

You see, I have a plan for the next few months......and in the end, the boys will thank me for it!  It might be twenty years down the road, but I'm willing to take the gamble.

When I was growing up, my dad owned a large pig farm and feed mill.  In addition to that farm, which was about 5 miles away from our house, we had a cow, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, a bird, and a big garden at our house.  Every morning in the summer, my four brothers got up with the sun and headed to work with daddy.  I stayed home and helped my mom tend to all things domestic.  We cleaned and scoured, canned fruits and vegetables, ironed and mended, washed windows, weeded flower beds, and baked bread and goodies for the boys upon their return.  On Saturdays, we would all help in the garden, and those are really fun memories.  Afternoons were ours to do as we wished.....the boys always headed for the golf course, and I had friends to meet!  (we would lay out and put Sun-In highlights in our hair,  neither of which proved to be especially good ideas for this innocent redhead)  My parents obviously had a plan as well.  Work hard in the morning, play hard in the afternoon.

And so, my parent's plan is now my plan for the summer since I am the boss. YES!!  Our 16 year old daughter got out of the exciting plan because she has a session of Summer School.  Bummer. (for me)
Lest you think I have been catching up on the last 25 years of The Young and the Restless, let me assure you that every morning I dig right in with the boys.  In the last two weeks we have:

Helped remove approximately 5,000 bricks from a patio, load them onto a horse trailer, and unload them at our house.  This was a HUGE job, and I was so proud of my boys and the way they worked.  Many thanks go to Spencer, Hunter, and Cole (not pictured) for helping us for 12 hours! And also to my Lover, who never muttered one word of complaint.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into on that one!

Taken all the trim pieces off the stairs and scrubbed them down, which proved to be a stinky job.  More on that later.  Next on the agenda is to strip the paint and stain them.

Spent about 20 hours removing the white, 12" tile from the boys' room.  Another huge job.  Since the bedroom is in the basement, it was a lot of added work to get all the broken tile up the stairs and out to the dumpster, bucket by bucket.

We have had a little bit of fun too.  We celebrated Carter's 8th birthday on June 10th, and took the whole day off of work!  We went to Amazing Jake's with 12 of his closest friends and had a blast.

The boys can't wait until we go to Canada for 2 1/2 weeks in July.  Working has given "vacation" a whole new meaning.  My plan is working wonderfully.  It has been a lot of fun working by their sides.  They are capable of so much more than I give them credit for!  The biggest lesson I hope to provide for them is that hard work pays off.  Seeing a job well done and having done it yourself is so rewarding.  I can't wait to see what we accomplish by the end of the summer.  Stay close....


  1. Bravo on all successes. They will learn great lessons and treasure the memories. Good job, mom!

    P.S. Would Daddy consider taking on some boys for hire at the pig farm? Those hard work experiences are difficult to come by here in the hood! Just askin'...

  2. EXACTLY THE INSPIRATION I NEEDED TODAY!!!!!!!! Thank you so much- the clouds have parted!!!

  3. This got me to see our summer in a better perspective! You are one wise woman !

  4. thanks for the inspiration. love this idea! my kids could use some good hard work to make fun time more fun and appreciated. hope i can stick to it for this summer.


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