Summer Family Living

Happy Monday Friends! Hope everyone had a great weekend celebrating all the fathers in our lives!

I'm sitting down to write this and my thoughts are million different directions because I have so many ideas and suggestions on all this...but I always want to stress that I don't believe my way is the right way for everyone. Every family's life spins so differently around jobs, where you physically live, what phase of life you are in with ages of kids and so on.  This post is summer living suggestions based on our family hobbies and just a list to help ignite ideas if you are in a rut!

I love LOVE LOVE family. I love family time the most in the whole world. (I mean, don't get me wrong sometimes I need a minute or 30 to myself too ;-) I also love all the fun activities that are exclusive to warmer weather days that we can do as family. Tom and I like to stay active an enjoy life that is at our fingertips but we do try to be mindful to not be cruise directors of our children's lives. I think there is a VERY valuable lesson to be taught and fostered in down time and alone time. Not having something "special" going on every single day of life. But when we do schedule to do fun things I really do LOVE to put time and thought into it. I really personally enjoy details and planning fun events for us.

Dining outside. I super duper love this one. The whole family enjoys this. The kids love to just come and go while eating and playing, leaving Tom and I time to have a relaxing dinner. I love the different types of meals that usually coincide with eating outside. Some of my favorites are: taco cups (various recipes avail on Pinterest), my habana corn + something off the grill, or just a sweet treat like homemade ice-cream (recipe to come!) Janae LOVES planning dinners outside with me. That girl is a party planner to the max so she is always right there working her tail off to make it special with me. She is the official table wiper, setting everyones place. She LOVES when we add a vase of flowers. I'm serious she is a total details girl right along with me. So for that reason, I also love the added quality time she and I have when we put together a dinner plan (usually during Jay's nap!)

Fishing. Kids love fishing! Make sure hubby gets a license first and go along for support staff and go spend some time talking and fishing. Even if they just sit and look at all the goodies in the tackle box or stay busy throwing rocks into the lake...they love it. I remember as a kid loving to look at Dad's tackle box and now I see my kids playing with the lures and getting so excited to that bobber go under. Its really good quality time, people. Show your kids some nature. Watching their eyes light up when you get a catch is priceless! 

Speaking of nature. Hiking. I wrote about it in my last post but find a park with wooded trials and let the kids explore. If you are feeling really Pinterest-y and super mom-ish, then search for a hiking scavenger hunt and print it out to take along. They eat this stuff up. The walking is good for everyone and again, it's perfect setting for the best little family conversations and teaching moments.

Outdoor movie night! Ok this one SEEMS more extravagant but when I break it down I think you will see its not as bad as you might think. An outdoor projector can be bought for as little as around $100 but much more depending on what you are looking for.  If you need or want a screen is really up to you. I've heard of people using a giant drop cloth or white sheet instead of an actual screen. Or even a garage door or side of house if yours is a light color. If you decide to buy a screen you may end up with a a few hundred dollar investment...which sounds steep. BUT..if you are an average family of 4 how much money do you spend each time you go to the movie theater?? Tickets, snacks, etc ...you are likely spending 50-75 dollars a pop! And then how many times do you go per summer/year? I feel like I see many people going once every month or two on social media...So think of unqiue and fun experiece you can give your kids by telling yourself and them that this summer we skip the theaters and use the money towards this set up that we can use over and over and over again. Then throw in the adult usage as well...We have even used ours to screen our Colts games and other fun events with neighbors or friends!
I usually make a fun treat from popcorn to fruit pizza.... throw some blankets in the yard and let the kids have a late night of fun! Watching a movie, staying up way beyond bedtime, catching lightning bugs, maybe throw in a few sparklers ;-) ...They LOVE this...and I usually get a super late morning of sleeping in from them the next day which is kind of nice too ;-)

Water works day is always a hit. We live right by our pool club but sometimes the kids have more fun hanging around here with a slip n slide, popsicles, sprinkler, water balloons, and super soaker water guns. I LOVE not even having to leave our yard to have such a fun day. These types water balloons (there are tons of different kinds Amazon) are where its at y'all! They are so fun. A few weeks back all the neighbor kids spent like 2 full hours playing with water balloons. Easy backyard fun! We just keep stocked up on the balloons and popsicles so we can spur of the moment have afternoons of water fun!

Summer for us is the time to get up and get moving! Put the screens away. Turn the TV off. Thats what rainy days and winter are for!

And finally a few ideas for those solo Mama days at home --a few easy activities when you litterally just "can't even" anymore. (And you don't have to be a craft leader during it which is even better.)

-Just give them a giant bucket of water. And then just keep refilling it. This one usually can drag out for a very long time which is perfection if all you want to do is sit down with a magazine or drink your morning coffee in peace. If old enough like my kids ages encourage them to water all the flowers.

-Just move normal activities outside. Bring a couple books to read or paper & stickers. I think just the change in environment makes it feel so much more exciting to them.

- On rainy days, back out the vehicles of your garage and shut the door. Let them ride bikes in there or even give them a leaf blower with the door half open and let them "clean the garage."

- Car wash! Literally let them wash your car. Or even just give them rags and bucket of water and tell them to wash their bikes or power wheels car.

I know my ideas don't fit everyones lives but I love to share what we love. We spend many days being "regular"...just trying to get through just like everyone else. I'd venture to say most days are not "photo worthy" in our daily life...But I feel strongly that I can use the creativity, interests, & talents God gave me to benefit and shape the our family lifestyle. So I do.

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