Friday, June 5, 2015

My Favorite Summer Memory

Today is the last day of school!! My kids have had a great year and they are full of all kinds of new knowledge. At the same time, they are excited for summer break and the chance to live life a little more laid back for a while. It won't be completely laid back, though, because my husband and I both work full time. 

Benjamin is going to stick with day care for the summer because it's an environment that he's familiar with and he enjoys it. Frances and Henry have a variety of summer camps scheduled. It's a lot of planning and juggling, but it covers most of our childcare needs and it's fun for them. 

I don't remember much about summers when I was a kid. We didn't take big vacations very often, and the ones we did take were to visit family. My parents worked opposite shifts and my older brother is nine years older, so I imagine that summer was a laid back, hang around the house thing for us. 

Once I was in high school and college, I had summer jobs. There was time for relaxation, but mostly I worked to save up money for the future. I enjoyed my summer jobs babysitting and working at KMart. They kept me busy and gave me the funds to buy new books, put gas in the car, etc. 
1/3 of the Brainard grandkids

My favorite summer memory as an adult was back in 2013. We had a family reunion for my dad's side of the family. My aunts, uncles, and cousins got together to spend some time together and catch up. My dad has three siblings, two brothers and a sister. Together they had nine kids. Those nine kids have 9 kids (with one more on the way, I hear!) 


My cousins and I have about a 15 year age difference from oldest to youngest. It seemed like a lot as kids, but now it doesn't seem like much at all. I love getting together with my cousins, but even better is getting my kids together with their kids. Their age range is only about nine years, and they get along really well when they see each other.

If you are a genealogist, please skip this part, but we got tired of trying to figure out who was a second cousin and who was removed from whom, so my kids call my cousins Aunt and Uncle and they call their kids cousins. 

The reunion of 2013 was in my parents' town. We had a picnic and went hiking at the park and then spent some time at Claytor Lake State Park. There were plenty of adults and we naturally fell into a zone defense: watch the kids near you and don't worry about the rest! I love being able to completely rely on the village method of child supervision. I knew I could get after my cousins' kids if I needed to (and they would listen to me) and I knew that my kids would listen to someone else. 

My cousins brought some recording equipment and we sat around asking my dad and his siblings questions about family history. It was so fascinating to hear stories about my dad as a kid. I especially loved familiar stories from a different perspective! We certainly don't get together as often as I'd like (there's another reunion in the early planning stages right now), but when we do I thoroughly enjoy it.
He's probably telling a story about his favorite daughter!


Welcome to the Secret Subject Swap. This week 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


My subject is "What is your best summer vacation memory?"  It was submitted by Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

I'm also linking up with Ginny Marie's Spin Cycle.
 

34 comments :

  1. what great memories! What a wonderful time you all had.Think reunions are amazing and magical.


    My son's school ends on the 18th, but I work till the 26th..so it's daycare from 6-4 for the rest of June for him then daycare summer camp and summer school with me driving him around.

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  2. Minette Massey LangstonJune 5, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    Wonderful memories~

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  3. Question: where was your 3rd kid at the beginning of the school year? Hiding under his covers?

    Love your cousins' reunion! What an awesome time you must have had!

    And WOW, what a giant soap bubble!

    You came up with all those wonderful pictures till 9:58? Imagine if you had started earlier you could have put together a slide show or something. Just kidding. GREAT post! :-)

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  4. Family reunions like that are the best! We have not had one in a while and I really miss them. Yay for summer for you and your family! You guys need a good long break from all of the craziness of the last few months!

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  5. Karen @ BakingInATornadoJune 5, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I love that your favorite memory is of a big diverse group of family members getting together and just enjoying each other and the time as a family. Perfect.

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  6. I completely agree -- my best memories are family reunions.

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  7. StacySewsandSchoolsJune 5, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    Family reunions are the best things!!!! I love going to mine!!! Love hanging with the cousins.

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  8. Jennifer SolivaisJune 5, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Sounds like a perfect get together ❤

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  9. This was such a fun read, Rabia! I don't have crazy summer memories either, more like pieces of it here and there. Lots of eating peaches and sleeping in late lol. I love my cousins too. We're very close and try to have reunions as often as we can.

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  10. I'm so jealous you guys are having summer right now, I'm scraping frost off my car every morning and it's not fun. I want my sun back NOW! Your family sounds very similar to mine, my mum was one of seven kids, and there were over 30 in my generation, and the next generation is up to ten already, so family parties for us are pretty massive.

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  11. Kristi - Finding NineeJune 6, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Yay for great family reunions! My son still has two more weeks of school and then will do a few different week-long camps. While I love summer and the pool, I work (part-time) and so it's always a struggle balancing having fun with my son and getting things done at the office. A lot of my summer memories are of working too!

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  12. That's the biggest bubble I've ever seen!
    We still have 2.5 weeks of school left. I can't believe it! The kids will do camp for a few weeks and we'll travel, and I can't wait! I hope it does go too fast.

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  13. My summer memories include incessant watching of Price is Right with my sisters while we had a teenage babysitter. Plus, incessant reading (yes, I am dork, hear me roar!)

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  14. I am very close to many of my numerous cousins, and I am so thankful to have them. Sounds like a blast, and I love the idea of recording the older stories. I wish I had my grandparents on tape.

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  15. We were always doing something or going somewhere. It was nice growing up, but it's also nice slowing down.

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  16. I like having things to do, but there's a lot to be said for just hanging around the house too!

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  17. I do too. I think that's what prompted this particular storytelling idea.

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  18. I would love to spend a whole summer reading!! And watching TPIR! LOL

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  19. It was so fun!! My brother practiced for ever to be able to get them that big! The kids loved it!

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  20. I'm juggling camps and kids in the office this summer. I actually get a bit of a break in the afternoons this week, but only because I'm doing VBS in the mornings.

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  21. Ugh! I don't miss winter. I'd be okay if it never came back...ok maybe a weekend or something!

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  22. Mmmm...peaches! Now I need some! There's a pick your own close by, but we miss the season every year!

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  23. It really was! We've got another one in the works for next summer.

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  24. I'm so glad we started having them!!

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  25. I remember another one from when I was a kid. We went to Alaska to meet a lot of my mom's family. that was a great trip too!

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  26. Isn't it just perfect! My family is awesome!

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  27. NC sounds fun. We've visited a few beaches there in the past. I've got lots of family there.

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  28. Amen to that! Now it's just a different kind of crazy!

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  29. He was pouting and refused to be in the picture. Typical Benjamin!!

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  30. That seems so late! When do you go back?

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  31. Yay for summer memories! I love family reunions! We had a big one a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite summer memories. What a great idea to record stories! I also love hearing my dad and his siblings tell stories. They are the best!

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  32. We are heading to MN in a couple of weeks for a reunion . Really looking forward to the time with cousins.

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  33. Yea for great summer memories. That is stuff your kids will remember for years! I wish we had a family reunion.

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