Christianity / Family / Parenting

10 Things to Make This Summer Memorable

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If time cost money, we’d all spend it a little more wisely. We’d slow down and cherish every moment, savor every laugh, linger a little longer in the special seconds and try to turn those seconds into minutes and hours.

Time feels like it moves at light speed sometimes. It doesn’t cost money, but it’s invaluable. It’s the currency of relationships. We build our marriages, children, families and future on how we spend it.

Time is the currency that purchases children’s hearts and foundation of meaningful memories.

Some of my favorite memories growing up (all with my siblings, grandparents, parents and cousins): walking the rocky Puget Sound beach at my grandparents house with the St. Bernards in tow searching for agates and clay babies; picking warm raspberries and blackberries off the vine in the warm salty breeze; climbing the Gravenstein trees barefoot in our swimsuits, the Narrows Bridge in view, eating the apples with juice dripping down our chins, laughing hard, and saving a few for grandma’s applesauce; walking to the Lake at my other grandparents house, swimming all day and coming home with red cheeks, shoulders, and swimmer’s itch; camping with cousins, aunts and uncles, spending days in the frigid Puget Sound water and nights around the campfire; neighborhood bike rides; family pickle-ball tournaments; late summer nights with my family.

Almost all of these are summertime memories.

Here are 10 things we’re doing this summer to make this summer memorable. It’s really all about time together.

1) Get in the water. Swim, visit the beach or the lake, or even a backyard sprinkler. When you combine cool water and warm days and maybe a few friends, you’re sure to hit a grand-slam in the summer time memory department.

2) Visit the library. I know it sounds funny, but a lot of local libraries have fun {free} activities for kids all summer. Our local library branch has craft days, reading lists with rewards for kids who finish 10 books, movies nights and day passes to local museums, zoo’s and other kid friendly venues. My kids love the library.

3) Vacation Bible School or church camp. My kids had one of the best weeks of their lives at VBS this year. If your church doesn’t have one, check out a larger church in your city. Often you can send your kids for free or minimal cost and they’ll make friends, have fun and learn about Jesus. Last summer we visited my mom and she enrolled the kids in the VBS at her church! It was a memory maker.

4) Visit a local farm, orchard, your local farmers market if you have one, or find a friend with a green thumb. Here in California, we have plenty of farms and farmers markets. Last week we bought tons of local strawberries and made homemade strawberry jam. Our weekly farmers markets have jump houses, face painting, life music or puppet shows. Vendors are VERY generous with samples. My kids come home with full stomachs and full hearts. Last summer we picked BUCKETS of blackberries at a local farm and fed the goats. They’re still talking about it.

5) Exercise together. We love bike riding, jogging, walks to the park or the grocery store. My sons love to shoot hoops, play tennis, hit golf balls, throw the baseball or frisbee and just be rough and tough with my husband. My daughter loves to workout with me, especially outside. Good for our bodies and our souls.

6) Take a weekend trip (or pitch a tent in the backyard). We went camping last weekend on the Russian River. We left after Isaac got off work on Friday and fought the Bay Area traffic 2 hours north until we landed in our Redwood covered campground with the slow moving river just around the corner. The weekend outside the city felt like a week. We spent the days on the cool river swimming, fishing, floating, catching butterflies and the nights eating s’mores and telling stories in our tent. Last summer we pitched a tent in our backyard and roasted marshmallows on our fire pit…our kids still talk about it.

7) Read! My kids LOVE being read to, and there is no better time than summer to cultivate a love of reading. We read every night before bed…mostly books from our library. Some of our current favorites: Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, Thunder Cake, Mr. Putter and Tabby series, James and the Giant Peach, The Chronicles of Narnia and Missionary Stories with the Millers.

8) BBQ and ice cream. We love ice cream a little more than BBQ, but a little ice cream makes summer a little sweeter. Our church small group had a BBQ and pool party a few weeks ago, and our kids spent all day playing with the older kids in the group and had a blast. Family, friends and food sure can make fun memories!

9) Play dates and parent-child dates. We love to meet up with friends and play at the park. Sometimes we try to take the kids out one-on-one and do “dates” and do a fun play dates for special time together. They look forward to these “daddy” or “mommy” dates each week (and so do we)!

10) Spend time in the presence of God together. If there’s anything we want our kids to remember as “special”, it’s cultivating a relationship with God as a family. We do special “worship nights” where we put worship music on and read Bible stories. We pray together and talk at a heart level with our kids. My two younger kids usually like to dance and put on shows for us. My son likes to read his Bible, highlight his favorite verses and share them with all of us. We love these moments together.

So, add to the list please! What are some things you do (or did) to make memories in the summer with your family, kids or grandkids?

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. –Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)

Make the most of every opportunity. –Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.–Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)

Photo Credit 1, Photo Credit 3

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11 thoughts on “10 Things to Make This Summer Memorable

  1. “Time is the currency that purchases children’s hearts and foundation of meaningful memories,” – Brilliant!!! This is a great reminder to the important things in life.

  2. Loved this post. It brought back cherished summer memories with family. Loved how you included spending time together as a family with God. It also reminded me of the time we spent at Holden Village, a Christian camp for families, and worship every evening together!

    • We used to work in the yard together or do stuff at church together….those were good memories. My kids are just now getting to that age…but even cleaning the house together is bonding! I like that….and it’s good to get kids serving and outside themselves. A job well done together really is satisfying and fun. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Blessings to you this Fourth of July!

  3. its winter over here in Australia so im having summer jealousy reading about what you guys are doing!!! We live on acreage and summer afternoons are so beautiful…we love playing with the kids outside and just enjoying spending time together. We also love eating ice cream together, day trips to the beach…lots of fun to be had over Summer!

    • I’m feeling a little jealous of you! An Aussie! With acreage I must add. 🙂 we are urbanites around here…we go to the park across the street to get outside….and pool…but we love it. Summer will come soon for you. 🙂 Ice cream is good in winter too.:) Blessings to you!

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