Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, May 28, 2010

These are a Few of Our Favorite (Summer) Things....

Ah,'s out, road trips, swimming....I don't know where ya'll are from but here in Houston summer means all of those things plus Texas-sized mosquitos, heat like you've never experienced in your life (except if you maybe work in a crematorium) and fire ants with attitude. But we don't let that stop us from having fun! We stay really busy but always make time for our favorite traditions that make summer feel, well, like summer!
1. Popsicles  - Push-ups, bomb pops, fudgesicles...when I buy the first box of these the kids know it's summer!
2. Playing in the Sprinkler - It doesn't matter that we live an hour from the beach or have a pool at our disposal; nothing beats watching a bunch of squealing kids running through the sprinkler (except doing it while eating popsicles!).
3. Summer Reading Program at the Library - All year I have to beg the kids to finish their reading assignments for school but come summer, they become voracious readers. The library puts on a summer program that includes prizes for number of books read, fun enrichment programs (a few examples have been magic shows, puppet shows, Texas wildlife demonstrations, Opera Cat read by a member of the Houston Grand Opera, etc...) and a wrap party at the end...all for free!
4. Cheap movies - Our local theater has $1.00 kid movies two mornings a week throughout the summer. Even though we have most of them on video it's still fun to sit in the theater and see them on the big screen...did I mention they're only $1.00?!
5. Vacation Bible School - we never miss this one (this year my three oldest will teach while the four youngest are attendees). One week of fun, fellowship and character building lessons for the week of shopping with my sister for me!
6. Cooking/Eating Outside - In the summer, we cook outside because we don't want to heat up the kitchen...yes, I know, it's a twisted mentality (must be the heat!) and then we eat outside, too! We break out the special outdoor dining dishes, tablecloths and decorationsEven though we're dripping with sweat and smell of Deep Woods Off!, we love it and look forward to our outdoor dinners every year.
7. Family Reading Time - The kiddos read their library books by day but each night I read them a chapter of one of my favorite books from when I was growing up. Some of our favorites have been From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Harriet the Spy, A Wrinkle in Time, The Narnia series, The Little House series, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc...(Oh, yeah, we read Lord of the Flies by candlelight after Hurricane Ike....fortunately there were few parallels....). This summer's list includes Black Beauty, White Fang, Around the World in Eighty Days....
If you haven't already, start a new tradition. Even if it's something as small as a popsicle, your kids will look forward to it and they will become some of their fondest memories. I know....these are all of the things my mother used to do with me!

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