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Gone Fishin’

Gone Fishin'

We’re fresh off a ten-day vacation from visiting our families back in Wisconsin, which means this post will contain several deep thoughts – some of questionable importance. (Insert smile here.)  I can’t assure you my brain is back at 100% percent, but there’s really only one way to find out.  So here goes…below is a list of my top five reflections from this year’s summer vacation:

1. You can, in fact, add sugar to sugar.  When you spend time with the grandparents, there’s going to be some candy and cookies for the kids to snack on.  It’s just a fact of life.  Well, with about a day left in our vacation, my wife (Kathleen) and I decided to draw the line.  We felt the kids had significantly exceeded the maximum sugar consumption threshold for seven straight days, so we were going to make an effort to limit their intake.  Apparently, we made the decision too late.  Just as we were about to implement Operation No More Sugar, the kids announced grandma had said they could put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies to make an ice cream cookie sandwich proving you can, in fact, add sugar to sugar.  More on that later…

2. Some of the entrepreneurial adventures I have been doing with the kids are starting to leave an impression on them.  We introduced the concept of money to the kids about 18-24 months ago.  There were no complex mathematical formulas or spreadsheets…we just gave them a quarter here and there for completing tasks around the house or trying some of their veggies.  If you’ve followed the blog at all during the last several months, you know we’ve been doing a series of entrepreneurial ventures with them in an effort to have some fun and learn about business.  Several times during the vacation, the kids asked specific questions that involved money.  For example, we had several conversations about motor homes – there are lots of RV dealers in northern Wisconsin – and what it would cost to buy one.  In fact, Owen decided he would buy his RV someday at Willie’s in Bloomer, WI.  Not only that, but he began to outline a plan as to how he would make enough money and when he could buy it.  Not to be outdone, Malia noted that she, too, would be buying a motor home…and of course, it would be pink.

3. Play is the single most beneficial activity for children.  Period.  Typically, our kids will play as long as we allow it.  Often, this can be an hour to two (sometimes three) before we’re off to run an errand or attend a different event.  While we were on vacation, they played all. day. long.  Every day.  From fishing to tubing to swimming to running and jumping and hiking.  And they were in a state of complete jubilation.  If your goal is for your children to be happy – and it should be – provide them with time and space for unencumbered play.

4. Parents are gifts – embrace them while you can.  I won’t go into great detail about it here, but my father has some fairly serious health challenges and I view every visit with him as a gift.  Someday our children will be thinking the very same thing.  In other words, embrace them (parents and children) as often as you can.

5. Ice cream cookie sandwiches are extremely tasty.  OK, so one of the best things about vacation is breaking a rule from time to time.  As I mentioned in reflection #1, we had drawn a line in the sand with our children and were not going to allow them any more sugar as they had overindulged the previous seven plus days.  Just as we were about to put down the hammer, they presented us with one of grandma’s homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches she had made them for dessert.  Out of my own curiosity – and healthy respect for a good dessert – I gave one a try and found it to be outstanding.  Really.  A breakthrough for grandma and her desserts.

What an outstanding vacation!

What does your family do for summer vacation?  What are your memories of childhood vacations?  Have you ever tried homemade ice cream
cookie sandwiches?

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. AR #

    A vacation right about now would be nice. So would an ice cream cookie sandwich.

    July 22, 2012
    • Hi AR, I believe that both things can be attained pretty easily if you put your mind to it. :) Thank you for the note.

      July 24, 2012
  2. sheryl #

    lol. yes, the rules go out the window on vacation. great picture of you and your father.

    July 23, 2012
  3. sp #

    Hi Shafer…Power, I found your blog at the recommendation of a friend. What’s the goal here?

    July 23, 2012
    • SP, thanks for your note and the question. We’re learning about entrepreneurism together as a family through a series of AdVentures. If you click on “AdVentures” under “Categories,” you will see a series of detailed posts. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Would love for you to check in from time to time and share your thoughts.

      July 24, 2012
      • sp #

        Thank you for the clarification. I’ll definitely check back in and am looking forward to more AdVentures :)

        July 24, 2012
  4. Crissy #

    One thing we love doing is going up to my families cabin. As a kid I was always excited to see Willie’s campers, that was the point at which we knew we were almost there. This summer we took our first road trip. It was 2 weeks of close family time to Nashville and Hilton Head. It’s funny my friend Karen and her family stayed at our house and when we got back they had make their famous homemade ice cream sandwiches for us. :) We also were blessed to go to Disneyland last week…as you all know there is nowhere that is more “Magical” As we were leaving my eight year old said, “mom I started to cry during the firework because I am so happy” Summer vacation are something they will remember forever!

    Oh and it wouldn’t be a summer without going to Camp Manitou for a week. So next week my kids will go up to camp. What’s really neat is that when I went to CM when I was eight I met my friend Alicia…32 years later we are still friends and now our kids go to CM every summer together.

    July 24, 2012
    • Summer really is made for creating memories…wouldn’t you say? It seems like you and your family are doing a great job with this and I’m sure your kids will do the same thing when they have kids. Thank you for your comments!

      July 24, 2012
  5. Paul, I’m so happy to hear you had a wonderful time. We had a wonderful visit to Virginia, Ohio and WV that included lots of sightseeing and play, both inside and out. We didn’t have a homemade ice cream sandwich, but we enjoyed a homemade ham salad sandwich from the the general store.

    July 25, 2012
    • Hi Kirsten, great to hear from you. I’m glad you had a nice summer vacation. Nothing like creating memories with the kids, right? After all the exercise I’ve had to do this week to catch up, I sorta wish we had enjoyed homemade ham salad instead of that ice cream. Next time, right? :)

      July 25, 2012
      • Did I mention that the ham salad was accompanied by Gramma’s apple pie? Just logged my first run yesterday to catch up. :)

        July 26, 2012
      • Ah hah! :) Sounds delicious…

        July 26, 2012
  6. Have never had an ice-cream cookie sandwich… Growing up in Britain I used to love listening for the icecream van to come round to everyone’s house on balmy summer nights and we would all go out and queue up for a 99 cornet. A wafer with a big, chocolate , flaky stick inside. Wish they did those in Germany, sigh. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face with your blog post and all the best to you and your family, Louise

    July 25, 2012
    • Hi Louise, thanks for sharing the childhood memory. Isn’t it amazing how we can remember some of this stuff? Thanks for checking in! I hope you can find a suitable alternative in Germany.

      July 25, 2012
  7. Nick #

    A good family vacation that I remember was when I was younger, a big group of us drove out to see one of my uncles in Washington DC. I was pretty young at the time but I have some good memories from that trip. Also, never tried homemade ice cream sandwhich but have tried homemade oreos…amazing.

    July 27, 2012

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