It’s the LAST day of school around here. I for one am super excited to see a little less of this:


We visit neighborhood stations at least once a week (sadly sometimes more) during the school year. I had a very interesting conversation with one of the kids yesterday about the realities of owning a car that I will share on Monday. But today, I wanted to share a guest post from Janet Denision. She and her husband Jim have been touching lives for years – faithfully sharing their wisdom and encouraging all who cross their path. What a treat for Janet to impart some summer wisdom on us today. I hope you enjoy!

2 centsThe last day of school is one of the best days of the year.  For moms: No more carpool!  No more school projects (that your child mentions are due tomorrow – sometime after they finish dinner.)  No more early morning drop offs or late afternoon pick-ups for sports, band, or detention – because they flung something they were supposed to be eating at a friend.  (Only the friend ducked and the vice principal was the recipient instead.)

For kids:  all of the above, plus the extra sleep, extra time to watch TV, Facebook, text, swim, talk on cell phones and play video games.  (Did you just feel that twinge?)

How can you make sense out of summers?  Should there be some down time?  Absolutely.  Should the entire summer be down time?  Absolutely not!  As a former school teacher I can say that some kids arrived back at school ready to go.  Others took the entire month of September to wake up.

Here are some summer suggestions to make sure your kids don’t spend the next three months turning into vegetables.

  • Pick a day of the week and find someplace where they can volunteer their time, helping other people.  There are lots of charitable organizations that need good help and your child’s world will be broadened.  Imagine how they will feel about themselves when they post pictures on Facebook of themselves serving someplace, as opposed to places where they are served.
  • Give your kids a chance to earn something.  Do you need a fence painted outside?  Weeds pulled?  Do you need to declutter and have a garage sale?  Help your kids, help you.  Teach them what it means to “earn” what they receive . . . even from you.
  • If your kids are in high school, make sure they do their own laundry.  Give them a day of the week that the washer and dryer are theirs.  They wear their clothes, they know what they want to wear “when,” and it isn’t your job to make sure it is clean and ready to go.  You will be one of the few moms that has a child ready to go to college.
  • My boys wanted cars.  We thought that was a great idea.  So we matched every dollar they made, and they were able to buy twice the car they could have afforded otherwise.  The best way for your kid to get a car?  Get a JOB!!  If you want your child to get a good job after college – make sure they have had a good job or two before they graduate.  Their GPA doesn’t show up on a job application, but their work history does.
  • Set a schedule for the summer reading.  If book one isn’t read by July “whatever”, then go ahead and free up some time for them.  (A locked box for the TV remotes, cell phones and iPods ought to do the trick.) You will have a much better August (and September) if you have some July deadlines.
  • Finally, use this time to see how your child is growing and changing.  Are you proud of their character?  Their integrity?  Place the same emphasis on those things as you do their grades.  A mom equation: Ability + Character = Success.

Think about the first day of school, on the last day of school.  With some good “mom-sense”, summers can be the most “sense”ational time of the year.  But just a heads-up . . .it isn’t a bad idea to give them (and yourself) a couple of weeks up front, to just veg a little!

Janet blogs regularly on faith, family and the cultural trends that impact both at She and her husband Jim live in Dallas, TX. They are the parents of two sons, Ryan, a recent graduate of Truett Seminary and Craig, a recent graduate of Dallas Baptist University.


GMTClick on above pic to link to this week’s Good Morning Texas interview (special thanks to Kim Rozell and Sebastien at Sebastien Salon for making this no make-up brush and go gal look presentable).


…and check out the Park Cities News on newstands this week.

Thanks again for all the prayers and kind words of encouragement!  Don’t forget to cash in on the Cleaning House give away (click here: Monthly Give Away). There’s only a few days left to “Like” the MOATblog FB page and be registered to win May’s $100 Container Store gift card. If you’ve already Liked the page -share it with your friends through “Invite Friends To This Page” and rack up your chances to win. It’s even easy for a techno-n00b like me.

Lastly – if you’ve read and enjoyed Cleaning House, would really love your feedback. It’s easy and super helpful if you would like to write a review. Let’s see if we can edge out “Becoming Sister Wives” in the New Release – Parenting top best seller list :)

Whew! …That’s it on this front.  Happy Memorial Day!!! … and as always, Thanks for walking the road with me. I’m so grateful for you.


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