I have two sisters; they both homeschool, too. We are good friends, and we have good memories of being friends with our cousins, so we're working to be sure to pass that legacy on to our own children.
We have 16 children between us.
Last week we held our 2nd annual Cousins' Camp.
6 days of non-stop activities.
We're exhausted and full of good memories.
I don't even know where to begin to chronicle the events.
Two grandmas and a grandpa participated. One grandma passed out folded up, frozen shirts to all of the kids. We stood around wondering what on earth was going on. Once all the shirts were hacked apart (they were frozen in a block!) and passed out, she said, "The winner is the first one to get his/her shirt on. There are no other rules."
We were too shocked to do anything but comply.
One child ran to the microwave. Other children ran to the cars and pressed their cold shirts against the hot metal. Some children pressed the shirts close to their bodies. Some children said, "It's too cold. You hold it, Mom."
The oldest cousin got his shirt on in about 30 seconds. We're still not sure how he did it.
The next cousin was my S10. She is very proud of herself for being so fast.
We laughed and laughed as we watched kids work at prying the frozen shirt folds apart and then shiver as they pulled them over their heads. A perfect activity for a hot summer afternoon.
The other grandma arrived armed with craft boxes. She helped the kids cover journals. While they worked she talked about her own experiences with journaling and bore testimony of the blessings of keeping a journal. Every single child carried his/her journal around for the rest of the week, writing like mad. What an inspiration!
She also helped the girls make flowered bobby pins. The boys folded paper airplanes. Eventually the girls folded paper airplanes, too!
Grandpa came with the biggest and most exciting activity of all. Lumber, paint, nails, brushes, rollers, ladders, buckets, and canvas littered the yard. He put the kids to work helping him construct an 8X22 foot canvas. It took a full day to build, another full day to paint the background (to saturate the canvas) and outline all of the family members, and another full day for the family to each paint his/her own portrait. The end result was a magnificent family mural. We took a bajillion pictures of it.
I wish each family could have taken it home.
How thankful I am for grandparents who love, teach, and inspire!