Tag Archives: vacation

Summer Goals


Today is the first day of summer vacation for my children. I still have to work, of course, but they have lots of free time on the horizon. Today I left them asleep while I headed off to work, and I didn’t give them any directions for the day. It is the first day of their vacation, they should decompress, relax and enjoy it. Especially since things will be changing soon.

Last summer, my kids spent so much time watching television, I had to prompt them to reply to anything I said.
“I am really here in the room, not on TV entertaining you! Answer me! Have a conversation.” This year, I have vowed that things will be different. The TV will not be the primary form of passing the time. They will use their brains and their bodies for more than holding the couch down and watching other people far away do interesting things.

This is not the first time I have tried to get them to watch less tv. I work at home two days per week, but I am in the office the other three, and in the past, this has translated to at least three days per week of almost constant TV watching. To counteract that to some extent, I have decided that this year there will be goals in 4 areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Physical fitness
  • Science

The girl also needs to start thinking about a service project. She is entering high school in the fall, and she needs to start thinking about building her record for college applications. Plus, we need to do something to show her that the fact that I don’t buy her everything she wants as soon as she wants it does not mean she is disadvantaged, ;).

I broke the news to the kids over brunch this past Sunday. They were not impressed. They became a little more enthusiastic when I said that they could choose their own goals (although I have to approve–they must be an actual stretch). So far, the girl has decided to learn to play golf with my dad, and the boy has decided to finish a story about dragons who live in the sewer system he is writing with his best friend. They are still thinking about the remaining goals.

For the science goal, I have decided we will do one science experiment per week as a family, so they don’t need to come up with a separate goal for that. They can find something they would like to do, or I can come up with one, but ev

eryone has to participate. Also, to make this whole thing slightly more fun for them and less heartless, I bought the family pool passes. If they are at the pool, they are doing at least some moving around, and they won’t be watching TV.

As for me, I am making a few goals as well.

  • Writing: Establish a daily writing habit. I need to post more regularly here and at Gaming Angels. I am also working with a friend to start a crocheting blog for her new business. And I keep saying I write fiction, or at least I want to write fiction, but not doing any writing. It is time to change that. Oh, and here of course.
  • Physical fitness: Since I got the FitBit, I definitely exercise more. I take more steps, and I am less sedentary. I could do better, though. For the past 30 days, my average number of steps is 5,612–not terrible, but I can definitely improve. I want to be consistently at 7,500 per day by the end of the summer. I know 10,000 is the usual goal, but I want to try to get there a bit more gradually; once I have mastered 7,500 consistently, I will raise the goal again. I also want to make sure my total active time for each day (lightly active, fairly active, very active) totals at least 4 hours every day, with at least 1 ½ hours in fairly or very active.
  • Crafting: I am substituting this for science, since that is covered in the family goal, and I have a ton of crafting projects I want to do. For now, I will be relatively modest in my goals: 5 crochet projects and 5 non-crochet projectscompleted before school starts for the kids on 8/14. 

You may have noticed I didn’t put a reading goal in there; I am not sure what to do. I already read a lot, and I don’t have a lot of spare time to devote to reading more. All those goals up there will take a lot of my time spent not working, eating or sleeping! I am still thinking about this one. I haven’t made the kids finalize their goals yet, after all, why should I be done with mine?

Do you do summer goals? Or is it all loose and easy at your house?


Menu, Week of 3/25


We left last Saturday for our vacation, and then I had five nights in a row where I just had to go to the cafeteria and choose from foods someone else prepared. It was great in one sense–a real vacation in a way camping is not–but also, I ate too much, and the food was not what I would generally make. It was good, just a little bland and generic for my tastes.

Still, it was hard to come back to cooking again. Thursday and Friday nights, we ate out. Last night I just made some frozen salmon burgers with teriyaki sauce and microwaved some pumpkin souffles from Garden Lites (unfortunately, this was a seasonal offering only, although the Butternut squash souffles look similar).

It is time to get back to normal, though. About halfway through my vacation, my computer stopped working. It powered on, but wouldn’t load Windows all the way. I ran diagnostics, searched for error codes on my Nook and found scary posts about needing a new hard drive. I tried many repairs, and they would seem to work and then hang up again. Finally, I tried one last big repair and did the one thing guaranteed to make my repair work–I went out and bought a new laptop.

I meant to just do some price comparisons in case I needed to make a purchase, but I found a really good deal. Plus, we have been seriously having an issue with the fact that my son and I both want to use my normal computer. AND, the battery doesn’t hold a charge anymore, so it is stuck on my desk with the wall plug, and I wanted a truly mobile computer. Yes, I know this is a lot of justification. But, it is too late to change the facts now, so I just have to economize and move on.

Sunday: Chicken tacos

Monday: Rosti with Bacon and Scallions, scrambled eggs, fruit smoothies

Tuesday: Spicy Orange garlic shrimp, rice, broccoli

Wednesday: Salmon noodle casserole, made with gluten free noodles, peas, pumpkin pudding

Thursday: Chicken/veggie stew, rice pudding

Friday: Pizza, salad

As you can see, this will be a fairly easy week to get me back on track. I do miss heading down to eat someone else’s cooking on dishes someone else is cleaning (and the never-ending coffee pot! Always fresh!), but it will be nice to get back into our normal routine.

This post will be linked to Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com–lots more ideas over there!

Vacation List


If we count from yesterday, I have 10 days off work! 10 days! That sounds like a lot, right? If only it were enough to do everything I want to do. I was talking about this on Facebook, and a friend and I decided to have a friendly competition to see who could get the most done between now and the end of the year. Well, she actually said completing the most things off of our lists, but I generally do vacation lists like this:

  • Make a big list
  • Do a bunch of things
  • Notice how little overlap there is between these two sets of tasks

Come to think of it, I do weekend lists this way, too. Things that don’t get marked completed off of one list usually get carried over to future lists and finished eventually, but sometimes they hang out for a good long time before I even start doing them. This time I am hoping to end up with a completed task list that more closely matches the to do list I am starting out with.

I cannot detail all of my items until after Christmas, in case my daughter reads this post, but here are the items I would like to get done (not necessarily in this order):

  • Finish crocheting a hat for my daughter (she already knows about this one)
  • Finish another crafting project for the kids–1 project x 3; my two children plus their little brother
  • Make magnets to give as gifts
  • Hang out with my friend Andrea
  • Buy clementines for the 4th grade class party
  • Help out on the day of the party
  • Catch up on Gaming Angels work
  • Finish statistics on gender breakdown of nominees and winners of Hugo Awards for Broad Universe
  • Hit 10,000 steps on my pedometer every day (starting today–I only made it to 8727 yesterday)
  • Declutter my dining room (again)
    • Organize desk
    • Clear off buffet
    • Clear off table
    • Clear off tray
  • Finish last minute Christmas shopping
  • Host my family for Christmas Eve
  • Post here 3 times per week
  • Help the girl clean out the kitchen
  • Have the children clean their rooms
  • Put together the shelves I bought for my closet something like 6 months ago
  • Declutter the bookshelves in the living room
  • Take the kids to see the Winter Wonderland lights
  • Finish decorating the Christmas tree
  • Wrap presents
  • Do a little bit of baking/candy making
  • Get back to that fiction project I abandoned a few months ago
  • Develop a good writing routine

Now, if past list making attempts are any guide, I will get a lot of things done this vacation and end of year period. Whether they match the things on this list or not remains to be seen. I know several of them will, because I salted the list with things I know will happen–I will go to the 4th grade holiday party, and my family is coming over on Christmas Eve whether I am ready for not, for instance. Also, my son is dying to decorate the tree, and so am I really. I was holding off to see if I could get some replacement fuses for the light strings that are out on the prelit tree, but I won’t be able to do that before Wednesday at the earliest, and that is too long to wait!

I am sure that I could make further refinements to this list, but I am not even up to 1000 steps yet and it is nearly noon, plus I have craft projects to do. Stay tuned for progress!