Well, friends, it’s already July! How is your summer going? We have had a summer full of slippahs (flip flops), sunscreen lathering, sandy bottoms, scraped knees, library visits, hikes, movies and capering about!
Summertime is my favorite time of the year! Even in Hawaii where it’s summer 365 days a year! There’s just something special about summer. I remember the excitement I felt when the last school bell of the year rang and we darted out of the school like there was a $1000 dollars waiting for me in my moms car to kick the summer off. I loved it!
I think Olaf and I have the love for summer in common!
I had a friend who home-schools her children ask me yesterday when school started up again and if I was excited. I found myself actually feeling bummed out when I told her school starts back up in less than a month. She noticed I didn’t say that with a smile on my face and asked me why??? She said, most of her friends can’t wait for school to start. They were ready for a break from their kids by now.
I guess I’m a little odd in that I sincerely LOVE to have my kids home with me! They really are my best friends and the more time we can have hanging out together, the better! Yes, I’m saying this about a month and half into summer break! No, I’m not crazy…well, maybe a little bit at times-especially before my morning coffee. Believe me-it hasn’t been all smiles and rainbows this summer, but I still love having them home!
I enjoy watching my kids experience new things and love to see them experiencing something new. We move so much with the military that it seems like there is always something new to do and summer is the perfect time to do it. We don’t plan any sports or camps and we keep the summer as open as we can to just explore!
At the beginning of the summer, I have each kid make a summer “bucket list.” This is where they can tell me the stuff THEY would like to do over summer break.
My son’s list:
-Play video games
-Go to the pool every single day
-Hike Diamond Head
My daughter’s list:
-Go to the beach
-Play at the park
-Watch Peppa Pig
-Ride a horse
-Prevent a war in the house
-Keep up with the chores
-Explore as much as possible
Now, those are quite the lists! I can’t help but wonder what would be on YOUR lists!
I realize that unstructured play time is very important for our kids and wanted to make sure we had plenty of that as well. We needed a good balance of relaxing, playing at home and exploring our island.
Now, that we are getting to the end of summer (not quite, but it feels like it now that we entered July), I wanted to take a peek at our bucket lists and see how we are doing.
Well, here is what we still need to do: ride a horse, hike Diamond Head, go to the Children’s Museum and drink coffee. Yes, I’ve had coffee this summer. But, as I mentioned before, I get a little nutsy coo-coo if I don’t drink it in the morning so I kept it on the list! We still have a few things left to do. But, I feel we’ve had a great summer so far.
It has also been important to keep our family centered with Christ throughout the summer. It’s easy to get caught up with the “bucket lists,” the BBQ’s the camping trips etc. But, I don’t want to teach my kids that it’s okay to put church on the back-burner during the summer because it’s convenient.
My faith is important to me 24/7, 365 days a year. Even with a busy summer, I model this to my kids by starting each morning with a devotion and sometimes even bible journaling.
My kids have been doing the kid’s version of the “Jesus Calling” devotional and they really enjoy it. My oldest has even started a little bible journaling of his own. And, my daughter loves me to read from her “Little Girls Book of Prayers.”
For us, keeping God at the center of our summer has made such a difference in our summer. I know, for me, I feel much happier and patient when I start my morning off by reading the Bible. I’ve seen a change in my kids’ behavior on the days they do too.
We’ve had our fun in the sun. But, I also wanted to use the summer as a way to teach my kids the importance of serving others. On the 4th of July, we volunteered with a group to make and distribute 1,000 meals for the homeless. (to keep this from getting too long, I’ll write another post about that experience.) It was a great way to give back to the community and teach the kids it’s not all about us. We’ve also made and distributed our own “blessing bags” filled with hygiene items and food for our local homeless. You can read more about why my heart is so dedicated to the homeless here: Joe: How a Homeless Man Changed My Life
Keeping our island beautiful is something else I’m committed to. This summer we have volunteered as a family with a group called Sustainable Coastlines for a beach cleanup. We’ve helped 808 Cleanups by picking up trash along Kokohead when we hike it monthly. We also have a cleanup hike scheduled for later this week with our kids hiking group.
We have a few weeks left of summer and we are going to make the most of it!
At the end of the month, we are renting a beach house on the North Shore for a few days with my parents and I’m looking forward to wrapping up the summer with some Vitamin Sea and prepping our minds for the new school year.
How is YOUR summer going?
Have you done everything you hoped to do? You still have a few weeks! What are you hoping to accomplish?
Click here to see how others are responding to today’s word prompt: Caper