Making the Most of This Summer

July 5, 2011

This year is flying by–I can’t believe it’s already July!  The older I get the more it seems like if I don’t stop and think about what I want to be doing with my life the days will turn into weeks, which turn into months, and pretty soon an entire year has gone by and I haven’t really done anything that I wanted to do.

Well, my hope this summer is to make the most of it!  Yesterday we took a walk to our neighborhood lake where we ate a picnic lunch.  After lunch, Luke had to take a nap, but when he woke up from his nap, and after dinner, we all put on our bathing suits, grabbed our inflatable rafts (and Luke’s inflatable kiddie chair) and we walked back to the lake and just spent some time enjoying each other and the warm water as the sun dipped down further and further towards the horizon.  It was so peaceful and Luke had such a sweet time kicking his little legs and attempting to drink his weight in lake water.

Now, that may not be something amazing to you and your family, but it was for ours.  My point is, decide what you and your family enjoy doing together and then do it!  Here are some tips for making the most of your summer:

  • Decide what it is you and your family like to do together.  It helped us to actually write it out.  Tim and I each made a list of about 20 things we each enjoy doing as a family and then we compared lists.  It’s helped us from just doing the same three things over and over and over!
  • Pick a time (or maybe a few times) out of the week where you plan to do one of these things.  Maybe Sunday afternoons are generally free for your family.  Perhaps there’s never anything happening on Thursday evenings.  Make that your weekly “family time” where you make the most of your summer!
  • Think about others.  It’s usually the most fun to see others having a good time.  When you plan these activities for your family think about what they would enjoy doing.  Or maybe plan an activity for your family to bless another family.  Invite the neighbors over for dinner and board games.  Or maybe you have an abundance of roma tomatoes growing in your garden.  Send your kiddos over to the neighbors’ houses to give them a bunch of tomatoes!
  • Keep it simple.  If you live 2 hours from the beach or the zoo or wherever, maybe it’s not the best idea to attempt to get there once a week!  Your plans don’t have to be elaborate–just fun!

Here are some things that we plan on doing this summer to make the most of it:

  • Spend the morning outside.  Every morning Luke and I sit out on a blanket in the backyard and I read to him a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  If it’s not already too hot, this is also where we do our Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready activity.
  • Go swimming in the lake.  We’ve decided this will be our default activity when we have an hour or more to spare!
  • Visit the library.  Luke is finally old enough to gain something from going.  So during the blistering hot middle-of-the-day that’s where we’ll be once a week!
  • Take a walk in the morning or evening.  It doesn’t get dark until after Luke’s bedtime these days, so we’ve added a walk around the block to his bedtime routine.  Sometimes we (Tim and I) take smoothies with us!
  • Do a fun and new activity each week.  I have a year’s subscription to Disney’s Family Fun magazine which provides me with all sorts of great activities.  In fact, I’m keeping the really great activities and making a folder of things that will be fun in the future (Luke is only 9 months old, okay!?)  But you don’t have to have a subscription to gain awesome ideas from this magazine!  Their online magazine is just as great!  I mean, really, it’s awesome!
  • Read a book every two weeks.  (This is my goal)  I have so many great books that I want to read, but for some reason I always find other things to do!  Since it’s so hot anyway, I have little to no energy by the afternoon, and so Luke’s afternoon nap is a great time for me to rest and read!

You don’t have to have a ton of things to do, in fact, I would recommend NOT having a ton of things to do.  Just set a few new goals that would be fun for your family and do them!  Don’t look back in the middle of September and realize you didn’t really do anything with your summer!

Does your family have a fun summer tradition?  What are some new activities you’re going to try to make the most of your summer?  Share them with us!


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