Thursday, May 27, 2010

100 Ways to Enjoy Your Summer and Keep Your Family Busy! 11-15

More Summertime ideas for the family!!

11. Need some kid craft inspiration?  Heather Swain's book Make These Toys is a fantastic book that will give you plenty of ideas for fun crafts made from everyday things.  

12.  How about the DRIVE-IN?  We LOVE going to the drive-in during the summer.  Find a local drive-in near you at 

13.  Make some Homemade Ice Cream!  If you have an ice cream maker break out and make some YUMMY homemade ice cream for you 4th of July celebrations or just because.  
14.  Sidewalk Chalk Neighborhood Mural Contest! Have plenty of chalk for your 4th of July party!  We love doing sidewalk-chalk murals on 4th of July with all the neighbor kids.  It's a great tradition and brings everyone together.  Check out a previous blog post here.

15.  Lemonade Stands!  This is a SUMMER MUST!  Click Here
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Friday, May 21, 2010

100 Ways to Enjoy Your Summer and Keep Your Family Busy! 6-10

Here are 5 more ideas for your summer bucket list!

6.  Car Wash Day - Let the kids wash the car...their bikes, big wheels, tricycle....if it's got wheels let it be washed!  My kids love a bucket of water, some bubbles and a rag.  They can spend hours washing all of their vehicles.
7. Service Project - Look around your neighborhood or community for opportunities to serve.  There are many ways that your children can serve right along with you.  Maybe the local animal shelter, picking up litter at your neighborhood park, our helping an elderly neighbor with yard work...there are 100's of ways to service.

8.  Cooking and Baking - Have some cooking and baking lessons in your very own kitchen.  Maybe your 4-year-old learns to make a PB&J sandwich or you 16-year-old gets to learn how to make pizza from scratch.  Whatever the ages, there are lots of items on the menu that will allow for a fun day in the kitchen.  

9.  Butterfly Farm - We tried this a long time ago and it was one of the highlights of our summer.  We purchased a butterfly kit and literally raised butterflies and then set them free later in the summer.  A great place to purchase is  

10.  Indoor Fort - Some days are just meant to be indoors.  When temps hit in the 100's or the humidity is at a whopping 99%, life is just better inside with the AC.  My kids LOVE to make forts all over the house.  We pull all the sheets and blankets out, keep the lights off and enjoy a nice cool day in the forts. 
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Monday, May 17, 2010

100 Ways to Enjoy Your Summer and Keep Your Family Busy! 1-5

I have to honestly admit, I'm more excited about summertime than my kids are this year.  I cannot wait for the break!  The alarms in our house start going off as early as 4:55am.  So I'm ready for some extra sleep-in time but more than that, I'm ready to have some fun with my kids.  Many of favorite memories of childhood are those of summertime, and I only have 2 more full summers with all 5 of my kids at home.   I intend to make these next two summers completely amazing and create a lifetime of memories...and do it all on a budget. 

For the next few weeks I'm going to share some of my favorite summertime traditions but also new ones that I've found and saved over the last year or so that I have been anxiously awaiting to try out. By the end of this blog series there should be at least 100 fun and wonderful ways to enjoy summer with your family and not spend an arm and a leg.  Because if you're like us, we don't do much long distance traveling in the summer.   First of all there are too many off us and second, we're homebodies and we love to enjoy our own backyard.  After all, we live in Florida, it's a beautiful backyard.  

1. Summer To-Do List - Before summer even gets started sit down and make a list of all the things you want to do this summer.  Everyone contributes to the list....let EVERYTHING get put on the list.  Even if Disneyland is out of the question for travel, add it to the list of that's what your 8 year old wants.  Take the time to explain to them later that although you won't be making a trip to Orlando, encourage them to be creative and use their imagination and that together you can plan a fun "Disney Day" at home.  No idea is too big or too small.

2. MOVIE TIME -Check your local movie theaters for their Summertime Movie schedule.  Many play FREE movies all summer long.  It's a great time to head in for the cool AC and if you have little ones you have to tow along they'll blend right on in with all the noise. ;o)

3. Camps & YMCA's - If your family enjoys camps whether it's week long sports camps or outdoor adventures through your local YMCA, plan for those now.  Many camps are already open and some are filling quickly.  YMCA's offer great adventures for reasonable prices.  Check your local churches for vacation bible schools and even local ranches and farms for horse camps.
4. Grow Something - Plant a garden or a few veggies in pots or even a flower.  Have each child be in charge of their plant.  Maybe even plant sunflowers. By the end of summer they'll be a few feet tall and will last into the fall.  I remember growing them one year in a square shape, which made the coolest fort ever!

5. New Skills - Find out what new skills your children want to learn.  Pottery?  Cake decorating?  Basketball? Fishing?  Make plans now to sign up for a class at a local studio or community college....or teach them yourself or find a friend that knows the skill and ask them if they want to trade off teaching the kids new skills.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

BEST RIDE EVER! Aerosmith roller coaster @ Disney Hollywood Studios!
For more Wordless Wednesday Visit

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air....

Have you had one of those quiet moments where you sit back, relax and take a good look around, a deep breath of fresh air, and really doesn't get any better than this?  

If you have, tell me about it....because I haven't had a moment of sitting back and looking around for a long time...and the only deep breath of fresh air I've had is from gasping for air as i force myself to finish my 6 am workouts before the crew takes over my life.

I've been neck deep in life....and can I just really doesn't get any better than this.  

I sometimes used to have this habit of thinking to myself.....when the kids are older I won't have to sit and do homework with them anymore, they'll be able to do it all by themselves, or when they're all in school I'll have time go to the market alone (alone, is that really possible) and actually remember to use my coupons, or when the older ones are off to college I won't have to drive 100 miles round trip to soccer and worry about who's using their cell phone too much.

Funny thing...I want all of it...every crazy chaotic moment of it to be my life....I don't want this part of our family to change.....just yet.  I want to keep spending hours at the kitchen table doing homework with all of my kids....i want to keep taking my toddlers to the grocery store and push the big race car shopping carts around as we clear isles and make huge obnoxious scenes...i want to keep driving with my girls up and down the freeway so we can just be together.

My breath of fresh air comes when my 3 yr old twins will, without fail, ask to brush their teeth 8 times a day and want to change their clothes just as many times....or when my 7 yr old begs me to please jump in the pool and swim with him even though I just took a shower and did my hair for the first time in 3 days....or when my 14 yr old text me from school, yes ME, of all people, to thank me for helping her study for her test that she got an A, or when my 16 yr old talks to me for over 50 miles about her friends, life, interest and spiritual experiences.

That is fresh air.  Life is constantly happening and I'm not going to miss one crazy moment of it....which is why I've been MIA here in the blog world.  I've attempted to start posting probably 20 times, but something always seems to pull me away.  But I think, maybe, hopefully, once again, I can get back to blogging just a little bit.  My extended family has been drilling me about doing a blog so they can keep up with the family.  So we'll see...hopefully I can get back on track and get back to the fun blabbing and chatting that we do around here in the blog world.  But I can't promise anything spectacular or exciting....

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