This is the last part of this series. I know it’s been some weeks coming and just in the nick of time too because if you have not started summer vacation already you are about to. Today is the last day of school for our kids.
I have every intention of taking them out early from school, heading straight to the zoo, enjoying pizza for dinner and starting summer right with our Summer Fun Bucket (keep reading for details).
In Part 1 we looked at what this series was all about. What kinds of heart conditions we can face as moms and a brief look at how God would have us respond to our children.
Part 2 we looked at the priority triangle. We dove in a bit deeper into the first tier about God.
Last time we looked at the rest of the triangle. We examined the priory of placing our husband first, then us moms and lastly our children.
Today we are going to get into the practical out flushing of how I personally begin to plan and prepare for summer vacation. I understand this is one way of doing things. I hope this is just a springboard for you as you look at your own family and their needs. More so, my desire is that even with all the fun planning, we do not lose sight of Jesus. Without Him our plans are futile. If you have not seen your desperate need for Jesus and confessed Christ as Lord. I urge you, there is no life apart from him. The good news is that in our desperation, in our daily failures, in our inadequacies, in our rebellion, fist shaking, and sin against God, He sent his only son. Jesus, who is God, came to earth, he lived a perfect life, a life without sin. As the Father’s plan unfolded, Christ was obedient, knowing that he would have to die for us to have a relationship again with God. So he died on a cross. But he didn’t stay dead. Three days later he rose from the grave. Sin could not hold him, death could not defeat him. He is alive! He now sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven. His Word says that “… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:11, English Standard Version) We don’t have to live in fear, anxiety, or desperation. In Christ, we have been given his perfect life. In Christ, we can live a with of “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22) Jesus took all your sin, bearing it all on the cross and in exchange gave you his perfect life. In Christ, there is abundant and full life. What a beautiful truth and what great and astounding love God has for us. Won’t you take the time now confess that you need him and believe that Christ is who he says he is written in the Bible? If you are not sure who he is read the gospel of John and come to know and understand who he is and the great love Jesus has for you.
Now let get into planning!
I start by making a list. I love lists! Listing is my jam! Over the course of a few weeks, the kids and I make a list of all the fun, wacky and exciting things they want to do over the summer. I keep that list going, putting stars beside things that get mentioned more than once. As that list is being created I go to my husband. I ask him all the questions mentioned in part 3 of our little series. Once all his plans are added and once he has given me the go ahead with things the kids want to do. I head to my calendar. If you need a calendar or just want one for all you summer planning look at these beautiful free printable from FTD Fresh.
I hope they make another set for next year. I am crushing hard on their design. Back to planning. I then start crossing off weeks of camp, or camping. I write down sports that happen each week and any other activities I know are firm. Here comes the fun part. Making all those plans fun and exciting for the whole family.
This year I made a countdown/clothes peg summer bucket list. I originally got the idea from the Jo-Anne Craft and Fabric Stores website. But I have merged it with this other great idea from Passionate Penny Pincher . Here is my end result.
On the clothes pegs I have written the activities we want to do over the summer. Our list includes: build a “tree house”, eat a restaurant, have a picnic, see a movie, have a sleepover, VBS (Vacation Bible School, actually its more like a day camp then school), visit library, ice cream truck, ride a roller coaster,visit ice cream store, set up pool, go to the park, go camping, make crafts, go to the beach, go to the museum (specifically to see dino bones), swimming lessons, roast marshmallows, baseball, plant a veggie garden, go to the zoo, ride a whale, go strawberry picking.
The pegs are left empty because as we “check” each item off our “list” we going to going snap a picture of us going the activity and clip it to our board. At the end of the summer we are hoping it’s going to be filled with fun memories of all that we did. You could easily print your pictures off each week at Walmart, Superstore or Costco but I have this cool gadget the Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer.
It prints mini Polaroid photos. Except it’s not from Polaroid but Fujifilm. I hope that makes sense. Any who! These are what we will be clipping to our board. Then from there they can be popped into an album, for the kids to pull out and look at whenever they want.
Another idea that I have done in previous years and will do again this year is have each day designated as a special activity. For instance for us Monday is laundry day. So there likely won’t be any day trips. We are going to dub Mondays as “Make it Monday”. We’ll likely do a craft, make a fort, maybe do some baking or maybe take an item off our bucket list that involves making something. Here are some examples from some other blogs I found.
Image from Vagas Family Events
Image from Kayse Pratt
If you are not super crafty or you are pressed for time and you just want to click and print. This is the printable I have used for the last two years from Classy Clutter. By the way, I love this blog too! I could spend far too much time just reading and pinning from these two ladies.
If you need ideas on craft ideas, activities or games to fill in your bucket list check out my Pinterest board for Summer Activites or if you are looking for more educational ideas check out my board called School Years. This summer I’m also going to be intentional to do more Bible reading with the kids and memorizing verses. I have a board called Teach Them in the Way They Should Go with resource and ideas for family worship. I’m always adding so follow me to get updates on added resources. As you plan your summer Pinterest will become your new best friend.
As previously mentioned each year I put together an end of school summer bucket for the kids to enjoy when they get home from the last day of school. It is filled with things I have collect over the last few months. Most of which are dollar store finds.
If you scroll over the images it will give you a description of what each item is. I usually fill it with things we run out of over the summer and that need to be replaced from last summer. A few things were taken out before I could snap pictures but included was velcro catching mitts and balls, water guns, freezies, bubbles and candy.
This year I’m going to try something new. I’m going to make a daily schedule and post it up for the whole family to see. I am hoping that it will keep things organized for me and give the kids the continual structure they are used to during the school year. I found this great blog post and free printable from Modern Parents Messy Kids.
I have mentioned in part 1 and part 3 I have never been one for structure and strict order. I love flexibility and spontaneity. However, through the years I have been learning that both structure and flexibility can live together and are needed. I love to list and plan and yet when something else pops up I am all for tweaking my schedule or completely scrapping a day in order for something different or better.
Maybe mid summer I’ll post about how things are working out with our summer bucket list and schedule.
I would love to hear how you are spending your summer, if these ideas are helpful or if you have any questions about how I plan for our summer.
Thanks again for joining me through this series. This is what started my blog and it has been a joy writing. I hope you continue coming back for more of what’s going over here at The Hales Homestead.