July 29, 2011

Summer Activities

I never spent the summers in Japan when I lived here before. We would always leave after school got out and spend our summers in the US. Now I understand why my mom did this. It is just so dang hot and humid to enjoy doing anything here in the summer time. Since we knew that we would not be leaving Japan for the summer we enrolled the kids in lots of activities. We did not waste any time and started camps the week after school got out in the middle of June. During the remainder of June the boys did basketball camp and soccer camp and the girls did swimming lessons and ballet. Abby did a mom and me class in the water and by the end of the session she was going under the water and jumping off the side of the pool. In July the boys took golf lessons, all the kids did swimming lessons, the girls did ballet, and Mike and I started our marathon training program (to see how my running has been going click HERE). Everyone did really well in swimming lessons. Abby was in Preschool 1, Emma in Preschool 2, Peter in Level 3, and Andrew in Level 4. Peter, Emma, and Abby all had lessons at one pool while Andrew had lessons at another. Andrew was great about being responsible to get to his lesson on time after I dropped him off so I could drive to the other pool for the younger kid's swimming lessons. Peter and Andrew worked on strokes and by the end of the session Andrew was swimming the entire length of the pool and Peter was swimming the entire width and back. The girls worked on being more comfortable in the water, doing bobs, blowing bubbles, doing floats, and swimming to the wall. I really liked the summer swim program here. All of the instructors were college students from around the US. They had these silly songs they would sing before every lesson and each one of them had cool names like Miss Lemonade and Dr. Thunder. They worked really hard to make sure our kids had the best experience possible. At the end of every session they had water games and a small party with lunch. The kids are still talking about it.

(safety day)

At the end of the boys 6 week long golf class they went to play 9 holes with everyone in the class. Mike went with them and they all got to play together. They had to leave by 5:30am because tee time was at 6:30am at Atsugi to avoid the mid-day heat. They had a blast and Andrew even got a double bogey on the 17th hole which was a par 3. It was hot and the boys faces were beat red but Mike said that they didn't even complain because they were having so much fun. He said next time they will rent a golf cart so they won't have to do so much walking in the heat.

The boys continued to do cub scouts (Andrew's Webelos Den retired for the summer so he joined Peter in the Bear Den to pass off his Bear requirements because he skipped his Bear year and went straight to Webelos when we got to Japan) and both have just about earned their Bear badge. By the middle of July the older kids started reading more, practicing math, and just trying to stay caught up with some other school things. We also had Grandpa Al come to visit for a couple of days. We climbed Mt. Fuji with the boys and started to plan a small trip to the mountains for August. It really was key to stay busy this summer. It helped us not get too frustrated with the humidity and the heat. We were so thankful for the couple of days of cool weather after a storm blew in near the end of July. I am not saying I want to be here during the summer next year but I was pleasantly surprised at how well our summer went considering the weather is almost unbearable. Next year I am thinking California and Utah with grandparents sounds really good.