5 Things I Learned in June

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Well, we’re more than half done with July, but I still want to share the 5 things I learned in June.

1. Internet-free vacations are a beautiful thing.

Well, our 8-day June vacation was nearly internet-free. My phone was always in my pocket as a camera, but we were out of range for our budget phone plan most of the time – which was quite alright with us.

We took a road trip with my in-laws in our 12-passenger van to the Grand Canyon, stopping at Shoshone Falls in Idaho, Palisade and Bryce in Utah, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, then back into Utah to visit Zion and back home through Idaho again.

It was over 40 hours of driving (yay for audio books!), but so, so worth it. 💜

2. When taking the canyon road trip, spend more time in Zion than the Grand Canyon.

We’d been told this by several people before we left, but we will add our vote to the majority opinion: Zion was a more immersive, diverse stop. The Grand Canyon was worth seeing, of course, but there was more to see and experience in Zion – plus, it was much less crowded.

If you’re ever driving through Southern Utah, don’t miss Zion National Park.

3. When tent camping, take teenage boys.

They are worth the food.

Yes, we tent camped 5 nights of our trip, and we not only lived to tell the tale, we decided we needed another tent trip this same summer – except where there are trees.

Between my husband and two teenage boys, though, I felt like I hardly lifted a finger. They can pack up camp for 7 in an hour!

And, because we were able to camp in the parks, we were able to spend more time actually sight seeing and hiking rather than driving to and fro. It was well worth it – though only cheaper if we end up using all the camping gear a few more times. However, I think we will.

4. Vacuuming is smarter than sweeping.

My husband prefers sweeping to vacuuming because it’s quiet.

However, noise-adverse as I also am (haha, we had 5 kids), I maintain that vacuuming is smarter:

  1. No matter how much or how little you vacuum, the progress is accomplished. If your vacuuming is interrupted, the room is still better for it. If your sweeping is interrupted, your pile won’t last long and you’ll be back at square one when you come back.
  2. Vacuuming is 1-step, not 2-step like sweeping.
  3. Kids can do it
  4. A robot can do it.

The floors in our house are staying in better shape than has been typical due to 2 vacuums: a lightweight cordless Makita stick vac and a relatively inexpensive (and quieter than most) robot vacuum (Deebot).

With so much dust and crumbing and traffic, our floors need attention daily – often multiple times a day – even with lax standards. At least with these two vacuum options, it doesn’t actually take much of my attention (or time).

5. A slow start is a more effective start.

Supposedly we started school in June. It’s felt a little like a lost cause with the way the summer has unfolded, but it’s actually been a good, slow start.

I like to jump in, whole-hog, but it never works.

The slow summer forces the slow start, which is actually more effective for everyone to get used to their new assignments and ease back into responsibility for tasks.

Some math and some reading – just the basics – and it’s been a good thing.

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