Thanks for all the comments and good ideas!  Our summer plans are slowly coming together and I’m using several of your ideas!  We signed up for the kid’s free bowling – there’s a bowling alley not to far from us that is participating.  I’m applying for a YMCA campership for my youngest 2 (both 7); and my middle daughter (9 year old) has received invitations from friends in Virginia and Seattle and I can use  my soon to expire frequent flyer miles to send her to visit for several weeks.  My oldest is playing summer league basketball and is old enough (12) to be on her own for a bit if she needs to be.  We are continuing to explore options locally and I’m continuing to apply for jobs (2 more this week- one at a Naval Base as an environmental technician and one as a forest ranger).

Someone asked if I’d let Tricia or Ben babysit – and the answer is no, nor would the kids be comfortable with that.  Tricia is disabled – in fact she’s going to have a hip replacement this summer now that her medicare insurance has come through, and both Ben and Tricia have habits that undoubtedly help them get through life (smoking, drinking and possible other substance use) but that I don’t want around the kids.

Update – As a commentor mentioned the shoe rental isn’t included in the kids bowl free, nor are adults (although for $24 you can add adults to the bowl free deal for the summer).  Shoes are $4 per person.  We signed up and it might be something we do for a special treat. 

Heard from the Y – there are no scholarships available that would help us – too many people in the same situation! Camp for 2 kids would be $900 a month with a scholarship- half my monthly income, so that is out.

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4 Responses to Summer

  1. Becky says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, and was wondering if you’d heard of the following resources for jobs? I read about these sites through a website about families living (and working) on the road in RV’s:
    (there are links to other potential job sites at

    Some jobs offer free hookups in addition to wages. Some are in National Parks, some are campground hosts, and some jobs are in other locations around the country…one was in Alaska, working for Three Bears Outfitting (?) (and involved getting certified in Alaska to sell firearms), which provided wages and hookups and was a 3 day a week job with 4 days off each week.

    Anyway, perhaps something like this would work out for your family this summer or even beyond. One little snippet I read on one of the sites said that in milder climates like Florida and California, some of the camp-hosting jobs are year-round positions. They generally require a 35-40 hour a week commitment to be available for questions from campers, etc.

    Praying you and your family are able to find something suitable that meets your needs.

  2. John says:

    Nice! Sounds like their going to have a lot of fun. Speaking of fun; I need to get together with some of my friends.

  3. Becky R says:

    We did the summer bowling too. Try to get used shoes so you don’t have to pay to rent them. Our free bowling does not include shoe rental, so that would be $7.50 each time we went (3 of us) to rent shoes. If we wanted to go just once a week that would be $75 for summer. If we want to go more a week it adds up.

    The Y camp sounds great. The 7 year old sshould love that. Your middle daughter would probably have such an adventure going on a plane and visiting friends and such.

    Sounds like you have a lot of great plans.

    You also could bring the legos to any local park and let the kids create there.

    Also in my area many local establishments (Applebee’s, Chuck E Cheese, and TD bank) reward the kids for reading in the summer. They might get free food, tokens, or even $10 deposited into a child’s savings account s TD does. Every little bit helps and is something the kids look forward too.

  4. Linda says:

    I hope you’ll continue to seek out free stuff to do for the summer. When I was unemployed a few years ago, I got good at it. Several movie theater chains run free summer movies in the mornings. Usually there’s a G and a PG chain and some of them even provide free juice boxes and snacks.

    Also, the libraries where I live have alot of free reading programs as well as some arts and crafts projects.

    I’m still praying for your situation to turn around. I have heard the desperation in your voice, though I will say that lately you’ve been sounding better. Hang in there!!

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