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Posted: May 24, 2011 5:52 p.m.

Apted: Ten things to do this summer

Though my poor homeschooling kids still have a couple more weeks of schoolwork and their standardized testing to get through, I'm still happy that this week marks the end of the year for our traditionally-schooled friends. You can just feel the excitement in the air, and I, too, am beginning to catch the end-of-year bug.

In honor of the quickly-impending summer, here's my Top Ten lists: Ten Things I Want to do This Summer:

- Declutter. Most of my lists start with this fantasy. As much as it pains me, it's time to get rid of the baby stuff, too. Jonah, at 19 months, has already transitioned to a big-boy bed. My quirky little guy never liked his crib, but I'm still sad to see it and other baby items packed up or given away.

- Make time for crafting, scrapbooking and painting. Turn an ugly, sofa-sized, circa 1960 "starving artist" framed picture into a piece of art worthy to hang over my bed, with the help of an antique tin ceiling panel and a pad of floral paper. I can't wait to get started on this one. Check my blog - www.kariapted.com - later this summer to see pictures of the final product.

- Work. I have been blessed with some great freelancing opportunities this summer, and my husband and I are also working on getting a face painting and cake decorating business off the ground. I could potentially be one busy mama the next few months.

- NOT work. Since homeschooling won't take up the largest chunk of my weekdays, I want to schedule work days and off days - totally off, lounge-around, read-a-whole-book kind of days, where I don't even think about working. I could use a whole week of that about now.

- Play with my kids. Say yes when they ask to use the sprinkler or fill up water balloons. Play Uno, Monopoly and Scrabble. Buy enough cheap popsicles for the neighborhood kids and just let them all have delightfully unstructured fun.

- Send my kids away. I haven't gotten any takers for the little guy, but that's OK. The older two will be busy spending weeks with grandparents, at camp, and at sleep-overs with friends.

- Enjoy the many free activities we're blessed with on this side of Atlanta. We visited Dauset Trails for the first time last week, for a portrait session with my amazingly talented friend Beth. What a great place to enjoy nature and let all the kids run around safely and free. Next on the list: Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Noah's Ark, Indian Springs and Panola Mountain.

- Use the money I earn in item number three to treat myself to a real hair salon visit and a proper pedicure. I am extremely overdue for both, and so totally over being a DIY beautician. I'm afraid to wear my flip flops, and reluctant to put my hair up because my roots are so hideous. And what is summer without flip flops or ponytails?

- Try not to complain constantly about the heat. I love summer's downtime, but I despise the weather. It's the sweaty, sticky, bug-infested, roasting, oppressive, wretched price we have to pay for the beautiful mild weather we enjoy the rest of the year here in Georgia. But no matter how hot and crabby I get, I promise to try to reign in the whining.

- Plan well for next school year and get all my curricula organized by August. Before I know it, I'll have an eighth grader, fourth grader and a 2-year-old ready to start learning his colors, numbers and ABCs. And the structured days will return with all the hectic scheduling that accompanies a new school year. I just pray that by that time, I can look back at this list and see that every item was accomplished. Because then I will have had a happy summer, indeed.

Kari Apted may be reached at kari@kariapted.com.

 

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