Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

School starts tomorrow. I will probably send a link to this post with my kids so their teachers can read what we did over the summer besides "watch TV," which is what my kids usually write in their journals.

It is true that there was a lot of TV-watching. Like,  a LOT. Sam watched all of Downton Abbey. Christian and I watched all of Breaking Bad (more on that to come). Ben's into Star Trek: The Next Generation and has watched and re-watched all of The Avengers and Justice League cartoons. Ben and Ellen are getting caught up on My Little Pony. Maggie enjoys marathons of Dance Moms. I just read an interview with Portlandia's Fred Armisen where he says, "I love television. I think it's a really exciting time for TV, and it just keeps growing. And people are collecting TV shows like they did records. You know, grown ups are just talking to each other about having seen this episode or that season … I love it."

We've seen every superhero movie that came out and re-watched such classics as Iron Man 1 and 2, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers, Wolverine, X-Men 1, 2, 3, and First Class. Last night we ended the summer fittingly with Wolverine. Ben and I thought we had the time frame in mind (after X-Men 3) but when we saw his bone claws in the first scene we were really thrown for a loop. Flashback, as it turns out. I also made the kids watch Wrath of Khan (which was a spoiler in itself) and then the Star Trek reboot of 2009 and then we went to Star Trek Into Darkness. It was a lot of work. But it was worth it.


And don't forget that Maggie and I spent a week at Girl's Camp way back in June. So cross camping off your list. We did it. My younger kids got to stay with Carly who obligingly extended her visit to Utah when Christian had an unexpected business trip during camp. We all earned a mansion in Heaven that week. We also watched an outdoor movie with a big bag of popcorn--the movie screen and the popcorn were leftover from the Stake Outdoor movie activity I'd done the night before, but so what. It still counts.

I turned 41. Sam turned 16. I took him to the DMV for a learner's permit TWICE. Once after it expired before his driver's ed class scheduled him for road. That one stung a little. He still hasn't been scheduled for road. But that's OK. Speaking of permits, most of my kids got their food-handler's permit too for a little business internship program we enrolled them all in suddenly and unexpectedly called SWEETO BURRITO.  It's as fun as sleep-away camp!

Christian even took the kids to a parade. I made cookies a few times. We just got back from Midway where we went shopping for school clothes at the outlets in Park City. Christian and I were going to power through to the Alpine slide but upon taking a vote, it was unanimous amongst the children that we just go home instead. So I think we should get credit for the slide, too.

Also, we sent Sam to Paris with his grandfather where he strolled around the Arc de Triomphe for a day or so and then took the chunnel to London for a week where he attended a conference of great thinkers in Cambridge and went to museums every day and drank Coke Light. So what if the price Sam paid was learning about reclining nudes in detail from his grandpa? Many people would (and have) paid that price for half the adventure.

Passing the sacrament in London? Priceless.

We did sleep in a lot. We did do nothing a lot. I did yell at my kids a lot and tried to make them feel guilty a lot for not reading any books. Maggie pulled it out there at the end by reading The Fault in Our Stars in a day. We went swimming as often as I could bear. Ellen made 3 mansions and a guest house on Minecraft. Ben somehow made himself look like a giant diaper-wearing baby on Minecraft. Little victories.

Ben dropped his phone in the beaver pond while sailing on a boat made of an old door and a lot of Styrofoam. While it was desiccating in a bowl of rice he learned 3 new songs on the guitar. The phone never recovered. We haven't replaced it. Maggie gave a talk. I gave a talk. Christian gave a talk. Sam gave a talk. Christian got released from the bishopric and called as the YM president. We had burritos for dinner a lot. Everyone except Ellen mowed the lawn. Ben got braces. We're going to Fun. this Friday. There's some other stuff I probably forgot. 

Let it be written. Let it be remembered.


  1. Sounds like our summer, mainly just the mom yelling part. My husband and I currently watching Breaking Bad. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

  2. Our youngest kids discovered Minecraft. I need to learn what's going on in there.

    So happy for your burrito-y summer.

  3. Good to hear you watched some Breaking Bad. That is a good one. Also, kudos for having an awesome summer! I think I need to tally all that we did as well. Then maybe I will feel accomplished.

  4. Happy to hear about. You all are very lucky. I also spend my summer vacation as happily.

  5. Glad to know that people I admire also do a lot of nothing in the summer! I think you are supposed to do a lot of nothing in the summer. Don't know what this world is coming to with all this organization!!


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