It's here...Summer has arrived!! I have to say I am ready for the slower pace and I welcome the mornings with no alarm clock, no lunches to pack, no rush to get out the door by 7:30. Jake is off his ADHD meds and while the first 2 weeks are a little crazy, I love watching my boy get his appetite back with 2nd helpings at every meal, being silly, being chatty, being "Jake." I did not pack our summer calendar with camps and activities like last year. We have a few things scheduled, a couple of trips, but nothing crazy. I just want to enjoy the time off as I know we are all ready for it. Yes I'm a little nervous about having the patience I will need. Yes I'm worried about running out of free or cheap ideas to entertain my trio, but it will be what it will be. I thought about hiring a Tutor for the boys this summer to give them a head start in reading and writing. (They are left brained like their father.) But..I am right brained and very capable and there's no reason I can't do it myself. Again..patience required; lots of it! ;) My favorite part of summer is the weekends when Mark is at home with us. This weekend was so nice. Laine had a tea-party with Daddy on the porch and he made a giant house out of moving boxes for the boys to play in. Mornings are the best! Mark and I get up early and have coffee on the porch, enjoying the quiet, listening to the birds, talking without interruption. Laine is usually the first one up followed by Jake and Willy is my sleeper. I love that about him because he takes after his Mama. I love to sleep in whenever I can and it's such a rare treat! And I LOVE an afternoon nap--the best. I was so bummed when Laine quit napping at 18 months; I miss that time! We will go to the neighborhood pool a lot; we will ride our bikes; we will visit the library and we will spend time with Grandma up in Maggie Valley. We will make our own paint and sidewalk chalk along with a list of crafts I have pinned on Pinterest. We will NOT live indoors playing video games or being couch potatoes glued to the TV. We will visit the farmers market in town each week and eat the vegetables from Daddy's garden. We will move every day. We will continue to attend our awesome church each Sunday--we don't take the summer off from God. (And I know some people do--I don't really get that.) Today Jake had his orientation for "Transit" which is the middle school ministry at our church. They spoke to us about their mission to teach these "tweens"--not little kids any more, but not teenagers yet, the importance of choosing friends wisely because these peers will determine the quality and direction of your life. Amen to that! I sooo could have used that direction as a tween! So much is changing in Jake's world. Elementary school is over. Middle school is next. He still listens to mom & dad's voices but there are other voices weighing in now. He is moody; he talks back on occasion and he worries a lot about being embarrassed by things that never bothered him before. He is in "transition." I sat him down the other day and asked him why he had a bad attitude and he didn't know why. He truly didn't know. I explained to him that this was normal at his age and that he was going to have a lot of different feelings that he may not understand and that this was okay, but that I wanted him to always try his best to treat others with kindness and compassion. Middle school is a weird time in youth and more than anything I just want him to feel comfortable in his own skin--always! So..we will be working on this over the summer too; building our confidence, learning our own worth, and knowing that no matter what it is--we can always talk to mom and dad about it. I hope you are excited about your summer too and that you are able to slow down and focus on the little stuff that matters SO much!