photo by Cooky Yoon
School is out and summer has officially arrived at our house. Although I'm sure these first couple days we'll be acclimating ourselves to a less hectic schedule, there are definitely a number of things we'd like to do before the school bell rings again! Before we know it summer will be over, and it's easy to whittle away the time without having done much of anything (unless you have some big trip planned). We're keeping it close to home for the most part, and I've found the best way to beat summer boredom is to plan ahead. Don't get me wrong, our summer isn't scheduled to a T, but it helps to have a sort of bucket list to go to when you are in search of something to do.
Here's my list for the summer (we'll see how much my family and I actually check off the list):
Stock up on craft supplies. The kids are always raiding our craft supplies to come up with their own awesome creations--being well-stocked is imperative for afternoons when it's too hot to go outside.
Go to the pool. At least a handful of times. We don't have a neighborhood pool we can walk to or anything, but our city pools are free. Our favorite is San Pedro Springs.
Get back to the gym. We have a family membership to the local Y and we've been terrible about going this year. It's not that I don't want to go, it's just that Amelia only lasts 15 minutes in the nursery there (if at all). I know my husband and I can definitely take turns going if necessary, but either way we need to get off our butts and go!
Sign up for the summer reading club. Our city libraries host a reading program every summer. The libraries host different reading-related events, and at the end of the summer the kids can turn in their reading logs and receive a free book--and even baby Amelia can participate (we write down the books we read to her of course). Barnes and Noble also has a reading club which rewards kids a free book.
Check out the annual tent sale at the main library. My husband and are big book lovers, and we can't keep away from this awesome sale hosted by our downtown library--a book for a dollar? I'm in!
photo by Mykl Roventine
Go on a family picnic (or two). Sometimes all you need is a simple change of scenery during lunch or dinner (or even breakfast) to make a day special.
Finish our picnic blanket. I started a tie quilt out of a thrifted blanket and bedsheet I'm eager to finish. I'm hoping it'll be big enough for all six of us!
Watch a movie outdoors. Some family friends of ours organize outdoor films at HemisFair park during the summer. We went to them regularly two summers ago, but missed out last year (I was way too pregnant to be comfortable outdoors for long). We hope to get together with some of Skyler's school friends and look forward to sprawling out on a blanket (see my last goal) and chowing down on homemade popcorn.
Take the kids to the movie theater. Likewise, we'd like to take the kids to see a new release this summer. We take them (so far it's just the boys) to the movies about once or twice a year so far, so this will be a fun treat for them (and there's a couple good-looking kids movies coming out this summer).
Family trip to the beach. We went on an overnight trip to Corpus last year. This year I think we'll keep it to a day trip (I'm sure we'll all be ready for home after one day), but we can't wait to take a dip in the Gulf and see how Amelia likes her first trip to the beach.
Make a reading tent. I've been dying to make a reading tent since last year. It will happen this summer.
Bake cookies with the kids. I haven't done any baking in a long while (probably since before Amelia was born). I guess I've been pretty busy with four kiddos, but I don't want them to miss out on the memories I have of making cookies with my mom (and licking the batter off a spoon--the best part!).
Make popsicles. A summer must-do no-brainer.
Catch up on photo albums. I've been really terrible and printing pictures and putting them into albums the past couple years. Eleanor and Amelia don't even have scrapbooks, and I have tons of prints just waiting for a home. Here's hoping they'll find one.
Take a trip to the flea market. If you haven't realized already, I'm a huge fan of thrifting. Check out our trip to the flea market last year.
Make birthday plans. Three of the kids have birthdays all in one month's time at the end of summer (including Amelia's first!), so I've got to get planning now if I don't want to be totally stressed out come August. It's also my husband's birthday in July as well as our anniversary.
Buy a set of reusable party ware. I love the idea of collecting mismatched plates, cups, and silverware from the thrift store to use for parties. It's better than a bunch of paper and plastic being thrown away, and it'll save us more money in the long run (and make for fewer trips to the store!).
photo by Virginia Zuluaga
Remember to relax. It looks like my summer is pretty jam-packed already (I haven't even mentioned baseball or VBS). It's perfectly okay to have go-nowhere do-nothing days during the summer. That's what it's about after all, kicking back and enjoying life.
What's on your summer wish list?