Monday, May 18, 2009

The Not-so-Lazy Days of Summer

I used to really look forward to summer...sleeping in, having no set schedule, playing four square, riding bikes or roller skating for hours outside in the hot sun, then cooling off in the community swimming pool, eating watermelon and ice cream and not ending the day until the street lights came on. Ahhh...what a relaxing and fun way to spend the summer.

But times have changed and now the summer rat race begins in March! Have you made your summer vacation plans? Do you have your kids registered for swim lessons, soccer camp and art classes? Or how about music and acting lessons, cooking school or getting the jump on next school year with math and reading tutoring?

Well if you got a late start, don't worry there are still some summer activities available in the Lake Travis community for our kids.


There are several different opportunities for children of all ages offered through LTISD. Early registration ends Wed. May 20th so go to www.ltisdschools.org/communityprograms for the 2009 Summer Camps information and registration.


For culinary kids, Faraday's Kitchen Store is hosting several Kids' Cooking Camps. You can find more info at http://www.faradayskitchenstore.com/

Several different sports camps are offered through the Lake Travis Youth Association
http://ltya.zortal.com/LTYA/tabid/117829/ZortalPortal.aspx

Flipnastics Gym is offering day camps and mini camps for children of all ages in addition to classes in gymnastics and cheer leading. http://www.flipnastics.com/

For the artists in your family, try the camps offered by Art Attack in the Hill Country Galleria. There are several week long day camps offered, but you can also just plan an afternoon with you and your child, creating unique pottery, mosaics or glass fusion projects. http://www.artattackaustin.com/index.php


Laguna Gloria Art Museum also offers camps for your budding artist. Look at http://theartschool.amoa.org/ for ideas.

The Austin Children's Museum offers camps for children throughout the summer exploring a variety of topics. For more info visit: http://www.austinkids.org/Programs/Camps/Spring-Break-and-Summer-Camps.aspx


For the performers in the group try TexArts at http://www.tex-arts.org/ or 620 Dance Centre at http://www.620dancecentre.com/ for classes in singing, performing and dancing.

Now for the really creative parents and kids in the community, I suggest developing your own camp! The possibilities for fun are really only limited by your imagination. Creating your own camp allows you to completely tailor the camp to your child's interests and schedule while keeping the budget manageable for your family.

So this year my daughter and I are planning the first annual Girls Just Want to Have Fun Camp! The plan is to gather my daughter plus three or four other girlfriends. We will meet Monday through Friday from 10-4 each day. Each girl's family is in charge of one day of activities (giving the rest of the parents 4 days off.) The activities can include swimming, crafts, perhaps a daytime "slumber party," a community service project, or anything else the girls and the parents can dream up! The families involved determine how to cover the costs of activities, snacks and other details. We might even end the week with a family cookout at the park or pool. The main objective is for the girls to get together, make some memories, and have fun spending time together! In researching this idea, I found a few websites you might want to visit when planning your own camp!

About .com: http://singleparents.about.com/b/2008/06/27/cant-afford-summer-camp-create-your-own

Ehow.com: http://www.ehow.com/how_17528_own-summer-camp

AssociatedContent.com: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/859177/inexpensive_activities_to_entertain

So don't get caught up in the frenzy of scheduling weeks of camps and activities for your children this summer. All you need to do is remember the three R's of summer vacation...Relaxtion, Rejuvenation and Reconnection! If you can master these, your summer will be Remarkable!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All in a Mother's Day

Those of us that are mothers know exactly what it means to be one. We have far too many things to do and our work is never done. There are groceries to buy, meals to prepare, clothes to wash, houses to clean, homework to supervise and all those trips up and down 620 to doctor's appointments, dance class, soccer practice, baseball games, gymnastics meets and music lessons. Not to mention, the extensive hours moms spend at PTA board meetings, volunteering in the school library, creating bulletin boards of art projects or chairing the next fund-raising event. Add in the hours that many mothers share with their churches preparing Sunday school lessons, chaperoning mission trips and preparing food for the youth supper, and it's easy to see why many of us long for more hours in the day...not to get more done, but to get a little sleep so we can be prepared do it all again tomorrow!


I also know that none of us would trade our chaotic days for a simpler life without our children.


So what are your plans for this Mother's Day? While I hope my dear ones have something special planned like a delicious brunch, a spa appointment, or a glittering trinket, I also have a plan for the day...to spend it with them...snuggling, laughing, talking and reminding them that I feel so blessed to have them in my life.


Here are a few ideas for a lovely Mother's day celebration, and we all know we deserve one!


Mother's Day in the Park-7:00pm Zilker Hillside Theater: This is an annual concert by the Austin Symphonic Band. My stepbrother, Cliff Jones, plays clarinet, composes and arranges much of the music for this band of local musicians. Just bring a blanket and some goodies for a lovely way to end your day! http://www.asband.org/


Cinderella-Ballet Austin-May 8-10: What a gift for the dance lover in the family! The ballet is performed at the Long center and tickets start at $27. http://www.balletaustin.org/atb/Cinderella.php


Volente Beach-Mother's Day Special: This event is for those adventurous moms that don't mind being seen in a bathing suit! Mothers accompanied by children on May 10th get in free! http://www.volentebeach.com/main.html

Lammes Candies: The original chocolate covered strawberries are available now through Saturday. https://lammes.com/


Cupcake by the Lake: Now open in Lakeway! Sweet cupcake treats for mom in a variety of flavors. http://www.cupcakebythelake.com/index.htm


Yogurt Planet: It's delicious and nutritious, but just watch out! With so many flavors of yogurt and toppings available it is easy to make your yogurt treat one that is truly out of this world. http://www.yogurtplanet.com/



Happy Mother's Day!