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School's out for summer! (Almost? Already?)

Everett_playground_hanging
Here in the PPS, today is the last day of school; other school districts finished up last week, and some finish tomorrow. I have to say that I am looking so forward to summer; the back-and-forth drudgery of taking kids to and from school, especially with my husband off to the other side of the world, has taxed me greatly. For those of you who work in an office, summer may be even more stressful than the school year, what with juggling camps and summer travel.

I am loving, though, the urban agrarian version of why-they-originally-devised-summer-vacation, and have my first flat of strawberries arriving tonight (through the very awesome new Know Thy Food buying club). I'll be making jam tomorrow; I'll be ordering some "living compost" in a few minutes so I can (finally) plant beans and corn. I'm planning any number of jamming parties and (hopefully I can convince some of my boys to join in) garden-ins. I want to get together with some other neighborhood mamas and dads to do some fruit foraging from neglected trees and bushes and overgrown alley vines; I hope to take part in some Portland Fruit Tree Project volunteer harvestings.

For the kids, I'm plotting swim lessons with Portland Parks & Rec [pdf link] -- maybe we'll even score some of the free lessons (though you must be up early this Saturday, the 19th, at your neighborhood pool to register, in person only -- 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.). Other than that, I'm hoping lots of trips to farmer's markets, you-pick fields, and neighborhood jaunts will satisfy their thirst for social interaction.

What's on the schedule for you this summer? What are your hopes and dreams? Are you excited, or stressed, about the last day of school? School's out!

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OK -- I'll bite. The one thing I wish for this summer, is summer weather. That's all. Everything else is gravy :-)

Well, I'll cut and paste my list... 4 and 6 year old boys...

Once a month
Sleepovers
• Movies
• Yes Day
• Book Day
• Mama Day
• Kid1 Day
• Kid2 Day
• Screen Day (HOT day)

Museums
• Children’s Museum
• Rice Rock Museum
• Art Museum
• Forestry Center
• OMSI
• (503) 644-0043 – cultural pass

Hot Days
• Sprinklers
• Ice Skating
• Pump It Up
• Bowling
• Movies
• Water Balloon Fights
• Shrinky Dinks
• Swimming
• Jamison Park
• Salmon Street Fountain


Outdoors
• Tryon State Park
• Blueberry picking
• Strawberry picking
• Raspberry picking
• Multnomah Falls
• Tide Pooling
• Japanese Garden
• Chinese Garden
• Rose Garden
• Rose Garden Park
• Tram
• Oaks Park
• Zoo
• Miniature Golf
• Pioneer Courthouse Square – Weather Machine at noon
• Max


Other
• Cooking / Baking
• Farmers Market – try downtown too
• Biking
• Food Fights
• Out of this world Pizza (Dad joins for dinner)
• Easy Bake Oven with Laura
• Me Too (on mama’s day)
• Candy Basket
• Tuesday Night walks to BR
• Animation on Video Camera
• Picnics
• Game Nights
• Concerts
• Crafts Upstairs - boxes

Weekend
• Wunderland
• Beavers Game
• Golf with dad
• Enchanted Forest
• Safari Sam’s

I have a huge list of mostly free things to do around town that I posted on MotheringDotCommune. Hard to cut and paste but here's the link for the curious.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1228223

Anyone newer to Portland: Summer weather never "officially" starts until after the 4th of July. Yes, it was an atrocious April and May but traditionally June is pretty bad. Not to worry. July and August are HOT and Sept and Oct are simply gorgeous...you have to count them as part of summer.

Mine are 2 and 3.5 this summer. We are doing a co-op preschool, working in the garden, u-pick, parks, swimming lessons, hanging out with neighbors...taking it SLOW :)

I have newly-minted 8th grader. After a 3 week trip to the East Coast to visit family (first flight alone!), she'll do a day camp at Community Cycling Center, another 2 one week day camps through NWSA/PEEPS, then a two-week lifeguard/swim instructor class through PP&R. There's swim practice and meets, MCL Summer Reading, and some community service. A week at the beach with Mom and Grandma and otherwise just hanging out and being a teen.

I'll be going to work every day and my daughter will be going to preschool. One 1.5 week vacation to celebrate her 5th birthday at Sauvie, and then a week at Bend to cat sit for a friend and see the sights. Other than that, short bike hops to the neighborhood parks and lots of ice cream! But all the excitement will be saved for Kindergarten in the fall! :)

Camp, camp, camp. And more camp. Two parents working full-time means that we need 100% coverage, other than a one week family vacation. School is out on Tuesday but camps don't start until the next week? Most camps end at least one week before school starts in September? Camps run from 9 am - 4 pm? Camp for 5 hours for $230 per week? Ouch! Thank goodness for the YMCA.

Some ideas from my friend Alicia: Free movies at Regal Cinemas on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reduced price preschool rides at Oaks Park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays ($6.25 per child - with one adult per child).

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