Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our Summer, Plans To Thrive

Let's talk about summer.

We have been on summer vacation for about 3 weeks now. Three wonderful, wonderful weeks.
The summer of 2015 is shaping up to be the best summer yet. Today I want to talk about one of the the reasons I believe that to be true and share our plans for this summer with you.

I spent the first day of summer break reading a book. A book that left me excited, encouraged and confident about OUR summer the summer God has for OUR family right now. The summer that is beyond simply just surviving but growing in love and grace for each other and enjoying the life that God has for us right now.

On a typical year I start out summer thinking this year things are going to be different. This year I will be "that" mom. I quickly realize the first month of summer is gone, where did it go?! I am left frustrated when I realize how unintentional I was with my time. This was not what I imagined. Summer continues on and day after day slips away. I keep saying things will get better, but they don't. Summer comes to an end and I feel like a complete failure.

Have you been there friend?

I know it was no coincidence that my friend Keri from Living In This Season asked me to read her e-Book. I was so excited and ready to read but struggled to find the time until the very first day of our summer break. Another funny coincidence, or maybe it was just Gods perfect timing. God wanted to use her words to speak to me and encourage me that this summer could be different.

But it has to start with me and my heart.

Why Just Survive When you Can Thrive

If there is one book you read leading up to your summer, I hope it is this one. Before you grab a calendar and start filling it in with ideas and to-do's, goals, wishes, lists, plans and dreams read this book.

I really believe your heart will be challenged, encouraged and equipped to thrive.

Our Summer Plans 2015

The current season of our life has been so easy to enjoy. We are potty trained, nap free and summer means we have no schedule to tell us what we should be doing. There is so much freedom that comes with this stage of parenting and a bit of sadness too, my babies are growing up.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend our summer.

Summer Movie Express

We don't go to the theater much ever, except during the summer. Being able to take the girls and only spend $3?! I can definitely handle that. I am so glad that our local theater participates in the summer movie express. You can check for a location near you and see the schedule here.  

Pool Time

We are definitely not strangers to the public pool. We are fortunate to live in a town that not only has one, but three really nice aquatic centers. Many aquatic centers offer pool passes so you don't have to pay every time you go and some even have free days. Our local pools also offer swim lesson that are extremely reasonably priced. Make sure you check out your local parks and recreation department to see if any of these are offered in your community. 

Summer Reading Program

We are HUGE fans of early childhood literacy. That sounded a lot fancier than I intended it too. I guess I should just say, we love to read. Did you know that most public libraries have summer reading programs. Kids are able to complete projects, goals, attend activities and read in exchange or free books and prizes! We have participated in the summer reading program for years now and it is always one of our favorite summer activities.

Summer Bucket List

One of the highlights of last summer was our Bucket List. We had so much fun going through marking things off. It was the perfect help finding something to do when we were feeling bored and it helped to keep us "on track" making sure we planned out some of the larger things that we wanted to do.

Our 2014

This year we definitely plan to make another bucket list but it will be more of a family event. Last year I made the list on my own. But with the girls being a bit older I thought it would be fun to get them involved. We look forward to sharing our 2015 list with you in the next couple of weeks.

In the end there are so many ways you can fill your summer or get lost in merely making it one day to the next. 

My prayer for you this summer is that you would thrive where you are.

Some friends  and I have joined together to share some of our favorite summer tips, activities, and bucket lists. Hop around and find some new ideas for your summer of fun.

Noah's Ark Themed Day from Through Clouded Glass// School's Out for Summer from While I'm Waiting// Water Play from BYBMG// 2015 Summer Bucket List & Snake Bubble Activity from Curly Crafty Mom// Indoor and Outdoor Summer Activities from All Kinds of Things// Summer Water Table Activities from She Builds Her Home// Our Plans to Thrive from Our Pretty Little Girls// Sidewalk Chalk Paint from Sweet Little Ones// Easy Prep Summer Activities from Abiding In Grace// Toddler Matching Games from Polka Dotty Place// Summer Bucket List from Living In This Season 

For more encouragement and tips on how you can thrive this summer check out Keri's e-Book

What is your favorite summer activity to do with your kids?

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  1. Love this- so practical and totally geared towards what works for your family- which is key!

  2. I sure do wish we had a drive-in close by! So fun!

  3. Exactly. Your book taught me a lot about embracing the season that our family is in. Wish I would've done that more when my season was a bit more difficult :).

  4. We are SO lucky to have such a great one so close. I often forget that not everyone has that.

    Thanks friend.

  5. I'm working on our summer bucket list this week and because C has been so fun lately, I'm really excited to see what memories we can make and how we can make this the best summer ever.

  6. Summer vacation for 3 weeks now? Wahoo! And so glad it’s
    been a good one so far! I am so going to read that book! I think that will be a
    perfect read while on the airplane!! Thanks for sharing this. I am more than
    excited to begin it. Your summer bucket list is perfection! I can’t wait to
    follow along your summer festivities!!

  7. I have started compiling our Summer List and I can't wait to welcome the new season in! Im going to have to check out that book, anything to harness intentional-ness (yeah, just made that up) is a win! ;)

  8. What a great list! Drive-in!!! That was on our list for the past couple of years but we never did it. We need to make that happen! Looking forward to following your summer adventures! Thrive on!

  9. Oh I forgot about the dollar summer kids movies!! I should see what ones they have at our local theater. I've really never paid it much attention before. Aria still needs to go to her first movie!
    Summer bucket list, I'm totally on board with those! I was a slow convert but I'm there now. Such a help.
    I'm sure Keri's book is awesome motivation too!

  10. You sure have some great things planned for this summer! I can't wait to live vicariously through all of your adventures!

  11. Yay for summer vacation! I forgot about the cheap movie tickets. That would be a fun idea! And I love all the fun programs with parks and pools that pop up at summer time. Can't wait to see the new 2015 summer list!

  12. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesMay 20, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    You have so many great things planned for your summer!
    Pool and beach days are always at the top of our list of things to do. I'm a water lover and thankfully that has passed on to Marcus. Nothing beats a day filled with splashes, sunscreen, and swimming.
    I'm going to have to check out the movie express. While I love all the outdoor activities we do, sometimes a cool and relaxing retreat is just necessary!

  13. Amen sister! Intentional-ness, yes! It sounds like a word to that needs to be a part of my vocab too. I really need to look up and see when the first official day of summer is. That is when I usually share my summer bucket list. If my memory serves me correct it is usually around the 3rd week of June.

  14. Hehe! Finishing school super early has been pretty fantastic. That book would be PERFECT to read on an airplane. It is a pretty quick, but helpful read.

    Thanks friend.

  15. Yes! Look them up! If you found something she'd like it would be the perfect time to take here. If she ended up hating it, it only cost $1 and if she loves it you could go again for cheap.

    I can't wait to make our new list and see what we come up with this year.

  16. I can't wait for summer to begin so the fun can start. Next week when the pool is open it will finally feel like summer. Of course it will probably be like 70 degrees all week #karma, lol.

  17. I LOVE the cheap movie tickets especially with the girls at this age. They just loved going last year and I know they will be so excited to go again soon.

    We need to get busy making it! Seems like a good Memorial Day weekend project!

  18. Something happened last summer. I think it was just the age of the girls but we had an AMAZINGLY fun summer. I hope and pray that this year is just as good, if not better. We picked up our pool passes the other day and I squealed! We are SO excited.

    Definitely check out the movie express $1 movies are impossible to beat.

  19. I got you covered- June 21st first day of Summer and Father's Day, a two-in-one this year!

  20. Last summer, just whizzed by and like you, I want to be more intentional this summer! I will need to check out this book. I love your bucket list. Your bathing beauties are too cute :) We are hoping to have some pool time soon, but surprisingly it has been too cool for swimming!

  21. I hope you have an enjoyable summer break! Our favorite summer activity is backyard camping with friends. We did it for the first time last summer and ended up having the best time!

  22. Thanks friend! We have a HUGE backyard that is such a fantastic idea for us. Maybe we will make it happen.

  23. Yes, that is my exact story friend. I think the book is on sale this weekend too. Make sure to check it out!

    The weather is the same here it has been super cold this week :(.

  24. I'm always so bummed that I have to work all summer when I see all the fun things that people have planned for their kids. BUT I'm not going to let that stop me! I plan to make a summer bucket list and actually stick to it and make it happen and make the most of our weekends home with Mason! Your summer sounds like it will be filled with lots of fun!

  25. YES! Oh girl I have been there before. It used to be so hard when I was working and Marissa was little. But like you I rocked the weekends and was thankful for those long summer days.
    I can’t wait to get started… if only it would stop raining and get above 80.

  26. I'm anxious to get on a good library rotation this summer. I am still figuring out summer story time hours and trying to find a favorite library to go to. It'll be nice to have an indoor activity to do when it gets HOT :)