Thursday, 7 July 2016

Summer bliss and Beautiful Sun

Photo by khunaspix @ freedigitalphotos.net
Summer days are here. The warm weather has been here for a while, and I have just been relishing the days. I love everything about summer. I love the heat (you'll rarely hear me complain its too hot), I love the sunshine (even when it burns me), I love summer activities (except camping) and even better, my birthday is in the middle of summer. I'm a warm weather girl, what can I say?

There are so many things to do in summer, especially with kids. Here is my list of favorites:

1. Grow a garden.
       This starts, for me, even before spring happens. We start buying supplies as soon as they come out in stores. We pour over the seed catalogues and we make lists of the vegetables, herbs and flowers we want to grow. I plan out our garden and we can hardly wait to start seedlings. Usually the kids start theirs a little too early, and I end up replacing them at a better time, but it's lots of fun anyway.
        We currently have a small raised-bed garden in our back yard, and a small flower garden in the front yard. The back yard garden has had some of our seeds eaten by wildlife, but some plants are doing fine. The flowers we bought have all died this year because we have had only a little water, and I haven't really watered them enough. Oh well.
       


2. Check out local festivals.
       We are blessed to live in an area of rich, vibrant, colorful festivals, reflecting a variety of cultures, causes and special interests. From music to food, ethnic groups to stuff just for kids, we've got it all. Festival season starts in about May and goes all the way to October, with at least one different one (sometimes up to 5 or 6!) every weekend. We try to go to a different one at least once a month.

3. Splash parks and beaches
      What's summer without getting wet!?  Because I have so many still-little ones, we aren't yet able to go to the pools. I'm only one person and pool regulations don't allow a one-to-four ratio, even if I felt safe to do so. But we love splash parks, and most of the ones in our city have playgrounds nearby. And lucky for us, we also have a number of conservation areas and reservoirs with lovely beaches to check out. We even have a unique park in the city that has an outdoor pool, with a sand beach at one end! We are also just a day-trip away from any number of Great Lakes' beaches, for a longer outing.

4. Markets and yard sales
      My girls and I, even the ones who hate shopping, love going to the markets and yard sales. Along with the amazing festivals, we also have a number of awesome farmers' markets, including a couple that are year round. We like to shop for fresh, local food products on a weekend or weekday market, and we'll stop at a yard sale just about any time. There's always something to check out. We have found some great deals at these sales, from filling our bookshelves for cheap, to good quality furniture, to clothes and linens -- yard sales are how I usually clothe my kids for cheap, in brand name quality clothes.

5. Baseball and biking and ice cream
     I am a huge baseball fan, and my girls are hooked because of that. We regularly will bike on our driveway and sidewalks for an evening, while I listen to the game on the radio, and then walk over to the ice cream store a couple of blocks away (too busy a street to bike tho), for a great cap on a perfect summer day. We also play baseball in the spring, either through a community league or homeschool organized group.

There are soo many things to do! I didn't even mention the sidewalk chalk and teaching my girls the joys of skipping ropes and hopscotch. Or blowing bubbles. Or playing handball against the house. Or long drives on sunny afternoons after church. Or picnics in the park (we do this frequently!!) Or campfires, BBQs, sprinklers and puddle pools, fireworks and sparklers.. the list can go on and on.

Summer fun is here! Yay!

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