Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Johnson Times, Issue One

Hot off the presses: Issue One is here!

(I tried to embed it directly on the blog, but I couldn't make it work. So, a link it shall be.)

And now, off to finish the last of the packing and hit the hay. Getting on a plane tomorrow night, and our vacation will begin!

Tomorrow's the day we go to say

When Amy & I were little, our family used to take trips once or twice a year to Grants Pass from Southern California. Usually, we broke the trip up into two days, stopping overnight in Redding, CA. I don't remember when or why, but somewhere along the line Amy & I started singing this little song, a couple of days before we hit the road.

"Tomorrow's the day we go to say, 'Tomorrow's the day we go to Redding!'"

It was goofy, but it became a thing that stuck around, forevermore. This morning, I sent Amy a text that just said, "Tomorrow's the day we go to say ;)"

All of which is to say (heh) that Tomorrow's the day we go to say, "Tomorrow's the day we fly to Frankfurt." ;)

(And yes, I did get a fair bit of packing done today. Accountability ahoy.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

T-minus Three Days

The second-to-last week of school: "Okay, next week I'm going to get down to business getting stuff packed for Italy!"

Last day of school: "Augh! Running around like a lunatic trying to be SuperMom and have art supplies bought and brownies made and Kindles charged and ready to go for when the kids get home two hours early! Wait...there was something I was supposed to do this week..."

First day of summer break (also my birthday): "Okay! For real! Packing this weekend! Whoo!"

This past weekend: *gets sidetracked by painting and gardening and knitting and reading and stuff*

Yesterday: "A LIST! I NOW HAVE A LIST! Oh geez, there are a lot of things on this list..."

Today: *finally starts actually putting kids' clothes into their suitcase*


I am nothing if not consistent in my packing procrastination. But! While I have been not putting stuff in bags, I have been taking care of lots of other details. Yesterday I sorted out the car (finally). Today the kids and I went to the bank and got Euros, and I got all of the administrative-y type stuff dealt with (mail holds, etc.), in addition to actually starting to physically pack our things. Tomorrow (no, for real, I promise) the plan is to get as close to done with the packing as I can, barring last-minute things like chargers and tablets and such. I'll be sure to check in here for accountability purposes. ;)

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Countdown Begins

We leave for Italy in four days.

Holy crap.

In light of this fact, today was spent making a packing list and (finally) getting a rental car sorted out. The kids and I also took a jaunt to the mall -- Soren needed a nice button-up shirt just in case there's a call for fancy-ish attire on our trip -- and we went to Dave & Buster's while we were there. Eleri hadn't been there yet and has been begging to go, so it seemed like the thing to do. There were barely any people there at 10:30 on a Monday morning, so that was a big plus. ;)

Later in the afternoon, I took them to the pool. Soren has been trying to learn how to dive, and Eleri has discovered a love of belly flops. Such goofballs.

Tomorrow we finally, officially start putting things in suitcases! Eep! And we have to start putting our summer newspaper together. First issue drops on Thursday. ;)

Friday, June 24, 2016

It's summer! And my birthday!

*coughs and ignores the 3-month gap in posting*

So! It's the first day of summer vacation. Around 11:00 this morning, Tom sent me an email.

"What's going on?"

My response: "Oh, you know, the usual. Probably overly ambitious summer planning. Kids and I have decided to put together a weekly newspaper, so they're working on their contributions."

Hey man. My first-day-of-summer-break mom game is tight. Hell, my last-day-of-school mom game was also aces. I had brownies waiting for them when they got home. We made paintings. They got Kindles (though to be fair, we bought those a while ago, specifically so we wouldn't have to bring a lot of books along with us on vacation next week).

(Sidebar: Holy shit, we leave for Italy a week from today! Eep!)

So anyway, yes, today. We started the day with presents (yay, birthday!) and got down to business with the summer planning. We started making some learning goals for the summer, started sketching out some plans for things we want to do while school's out and we're home. There will be art, there will be learning, there will probably be exercise and pool time and excursions to the city. At least, that's what I'm saying now, one whole day into summer break. ;) Check back with me in a few weeks, and see if we haven't all reverted to full-on zombie mode in front of our various screens.

(I kid. Mostly.)

So, yeah. This newspaper thing. It was Soren's idea, but I think he didn't quite expect me to turn it into so much of a thing. Heh. It seems like a pretty sweet idea though, if we can actually keep up with it. Sort of a running record of the stuff we're doing. Eleri's got some serial fiction to contribute, we're going to keep track of our foreign language learning and the books we're reading for the library's summer program, Soren's making a comic strip, and each of them will have an article or two per week on something we learn about. Today was (at Eleri's request) the Mona Lisa. We watched a documentary with lunch, and Eleri did some Wikipedia research. Not bad.

Later in the afternoon today, we went on a photo walk (mostly so I could play around with the sweet new ring flash Tom bought me, but also because it's a thing I've been wanting to do with them for literal years. We took about a 45 minute stroll around the neighborhood, stopping every 100 steps to find some stuff to photograph. It was fun, and I'm sure the best shots of the day will also end up in our newspaper. Hell, if we can actually manage to stick with the project, then at the end of summer we'll have a sweet little record of everything we did. Here's hoping we don't flame out.

Anyway, it was a lovely birthday, capped off with dinner at Zinburger. Tomorrow, packing prep begins in earnest. :D