Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our Summer Fun List

I'm so excited for this summer!  I seriously feel like a little kid - I'm that excited! 

I loved thinking back on all the fun we had last year and then making our Summer Fun List for this year (we're going to have blast!):

Toledo Zoo in Ohio

Zoo Trips
We want to visit 2-3 different zoos this summer.  We just love seeing and learning about all the different animals - we especially love the hands on exhibits, like feeding the giraffes or birds and petting the sting rays. 

Chasing the otters at the Lansing Zoo in Michigan

Sidewalk Chalk
It's one of our favorite outdoor activities!  We love to just draw, but we love playing games with it too.

Edit (5/20/15):  Check out these 2 posts in my Sidewalk Chalk Fun Series: DIY Chalk Paint and 40+ Sidewalk Chalk Games and Activities!

We plan on having a picnic at least once a week, either at home or at a park.

Picnic at the park

Splash Park
We only went twice last year.  This year, I want to take the kids more often.  They always have a blast!

Just a little chilly!

Taking Walks 
Family walks around the neighborhood lake several times a week will be a must this summer!

I love our neighborhood!

Ice Cream Shop Visits
For a kid, what is better than a surprise trip to get ice cream?!  We're looking forward to lots of fun surprise trips for the kids this year!  (I see many Frosted Lemonades from Chick fil A in our future...;)

Enjoying a Culver's milkshake

Planting a Garden 
Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, banana peppers, green peppers, green beans, peas, and sunflowers are on the menu this year.  We're hoping for a big harvest (and teaching the kids how to weed ;)!

Every boy needs his own tractor, am I right?

Fairs and Festivals 
4-H fairs are the best!  We love all the animals!  It's like a free zoo.  And we have never really done any local festivals - but we're hoping to change that this year!

Why hello, little calf!

Finish Landscaping
This isn't a "fun" thing, but it needs to be done.  Our house has huge landscaping beds all the way around the house.  When we bought this house a couple years ago, they were all empty or severely disheveled.  Over the years, we've slowly but surely overhauled all of them.  We're almost done!  I know when we're finished, we'll be so happy with the result.  It's going to look great!  (I have some really beautiful landscaping ideas planned out, so I can't wait to show the finished product to you in an upcoming post!)

Laying out a new landscaping bed with field stone

Garage Sale
Katie is selling her house, and I just want to get rid of stuff.  So let's do this...this weekend!  I'm glad Elizabeth just posted all of these pointers for a successful garage sale!

My sister Rosie and I, waiting for the outdoor Switchfoot concert to start, 2011

Outdoor Concerts
There are several local ones and many scheduled at the Indiana State Fair in August...

Outdoor Switchfoot Concert, 2011

...and I'm eying Switchfoot at the State Fair, of course (because I'm only slightly a fanatic ;)

My boys - Tim and Jon of Switchfoot :)

I know the kids will love playing in the sand and water like they did last year.  We only got to go once last summer...I'm hoping we can go at least twice this year!

State Parks
We love to hike and enjoy nature.  We have so many great State Parks in Indiana (and next door in Ohio too!), and we will definitely be enjoying them this summer.

Hiking at the State Park

Outdoor Game Nights
At least once a week, I want to have a family game night outside.  Goofy golf.  Bocce ball.  Scavenger hunts.  Obstacle courses.  Hide and seek.  Minute to Win It.  What are your favorite outdoor games?

Minute to Win It

Enjoy Family and Relax! 
Our nephew will be arriving this summer, we'll be celebrating tons of family birthdays (Tim, Katie, me, both our husbands, J, and more!) and Ezra and L's baptisms, we'll finalize L's adoption, and we'll be preparing for our sister's wedding in early Fall.

But even with all that excitement, I'll be making sure our hammock gets a lot of use this summer!

I'm looking forward to a fabulous summer with my family!  So what's on your summer fun list this year?


I'm linking up with these awesome parties today,
and especially with Kiki for the Circle Link Up 

And speaking of making summer plans...  

Do you want to thrive this summer and not just survive? 

You should definitely check out Keri's (from Living In This Season) ebook Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive coming out next week!  I got a sneak peek this week, and it is awesome.  It is perfect for my season in life with 3 kiddos - now I know we can have a great summer as a family!  It has great tips on how to not get overwhelmed and wonderful reflections at the end of each section.  I know you will love it too!

You can order it here* for $9.99 - now for $2.99!
 *This is an affiliate link so we will be compensated 
if you make a purchase after clicking on this link.  
Please see the disclosures and policies page for more information.


  1. I LOVE the pic of your little one at the splash park, adorable! Looks like you have a crazy busy summer ahead of you, enjoy it! I am off to check that book out...:)

  2. Love this list! We also try to head to local arboretums and libraries on those super hot days. Excited for summer...and nervous to have all 4 home all.the.time. Really, I love it, I just don't love the way they get on each other's nerves after they've been together for more than 30 minutes :)

  3. What an amazing list of fun things to do with your family!! I need to start working on a summer fun list. I love the picnic idea, going to visit zoos, sidewalk chalk, going on walks and fairs/festivals. I'm hoping to try some new grilling recipes, a few new restaurants, go on some Mississippi road trips and head to the beach. Summer's going to be a blast!!

  4. I love your list!! So many great ideas and the pic at the splash pad? awesome. I need to be better at taking our kids to them because they love them so much yet we never seem to make it there! Thanks so much for linking up!!

  5. What great ideas! Love all of it!! I loved the zoo in Lansing when growing up and the Detroit and Chicago one :) Have fun!!!

  6. Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}May 16, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Awesome ideas! We try to do as much as we can in the few short months we have warm weather here in Seattle. Love going to the zoo, camping and the state fair.
    Thanks for sharing on the Shine Blog Hop!

  7. Susan Burfoot MeadMay 17, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    LOVE this post. Ready to get some friends littles ones and act like a gramma with them (My son is still single at 30!) Would you like to share each week on Friday at #DanceWithJesus? if so. Would love to see you there.

  8. I am loving this glimpse into your life! Jess, you have a beautiful family, and you have been richly blessed! I like Switchfoot in concert too! :-)

  9. Ive started compiling my Summer To Do list and can't wait for warm weather!

  10. And now I am totally amped up for summer too! Bring on the summer fun. That Splash park looks amazing! You should see ours baha ha ha. It is pitiful.

  11. I can't wait to do ALL of those things as well. Fun times indeed.

    Thanks for linking up to "Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me" today.

    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

  12. Your list is PERFECT! I love it so much! We will make our list this coming weekend, its a our Memorial Day Weekend tradition. Your babies are sooo cute!!!! xo Amanda

  13. What a great list of fun summer plans! Great photos too!

  14. What a great list! Make the ordinary extra-ordinary - that's my theme for this summer! Thank you for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday!

    Holly @

  15. This is a great list! I want to do all the things. :D :D

  16. Rebecca Diemer-MclellanMay 20, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    With summer just around the corner this is a great list !!!! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Raising Homeakers Link Up.

  17. These are great ideas. My husband and I have talked about how we need to hit up some state parks soon! We love the outdoors.

  18. Oh, gosh that all looks so fun!! Those are some of my favorite things to do in the summer as well! I love fairs and festivals, outdoor concerts, visiting the zoo with kiddos, and splash parks!

  19. What a great list of fun ideas. Your little ones are too darn cute and I can see they are having so much fun. Thanks for sharing this great list at the This Is How We Roll link party!

  20. Cara, he was so funny that day - he loved it, but it shocked him every time! Haha It'll be busy, but fun! Hope you have a great summer too! -Jess

  21. Going to the library! Great idea! We have a Summer Reading Program we can do too. :) My 2 are getting old enough now that they're starting to get on each other's nerves too. I hope I can keep them occupied enough so the summer is mostly peaceful! Good luck and happy summer to you too!!!! -Jess

  22. Those are great ideas too! I love taking little road trips around the state to explore. And new grilling recipes...I hope you'll be sharing some on the blog because all of your recipes always look seriously amazing! -Jess

  23. I hope we can make it to the splash pad more this summer too! They love it sooooo much!!! -Jess

  24. The Chicago one is on our list of ones to visit in the future. I'll have to add Detroit too! -Jess

  25. I feel like that is what we have to do too. It's been a chilly spring here in Indiana, so we only have a few short months to pack it in! Thanks for hosting - the Shine Blog Hop is one of my faves! -Jess

  26. I'm sorry that you don't have grandkids yet, but I'm glad your friends will share! Those kids sure are super blessed!!! Thanks for the invite - checking it out right now! -Jess

  27. Thank you, Cathy! Sometimes I can't believe the beautiful life I've been given. And Switchfoot...the best ever :) -Jess

  28. I loved making ours! It's so fun to see what's ahead - it makes me so excited for the warm weather too! Darn chilly Indiana spring week it's supposed to be more summer-like! Yay! -Jess

  29. This is a fairly new one (I think!) so it's pretty nice. I'm picturing yours as a hose on mister mode hooked up to the top of a swingset lol I hope it's not that bad! -Jess

  30. I know - I can't wait! Thanks for hosting! -Jess

  31. Awww, thank you! Can you believe it's already Memorial Day weekend?! Have fun making your list - you'll have to share it with us! -Jess

  32. Thanks, Julie! We are so excited (obviously!)!!! -Jess

  33. That is a perfect theme - I might steal this! Holly, you always have the most creative ideas...thanks for sharing! -Jess

  34. We can't wait!!! Thanks for visiting! -Jess

  35. It is so fun and really inexpensive. And (at least in Indiana!) they are so varied and unique - we have sand dunes, beaches, waterfalls, an Old Grist Mill and pioneer village, a canyon, old covered bridges, and trails and trails! I hope you get to enjoy some state parks this summer too! -Jess

  36. I think those are my favorites too. I can't wait to see the kids reactions at the fairs, zoos, and splash parks again - seriously precious and priceless! Thanks for sharing your faves too! Have a beautiful summer! -Jess

  37. Thank you! We can't wait to work on having fun this year too! Thanks for hosting! -Jess

  38. Great list. We are trying to do lots of budget friendly things this summer while still making sure the kids have fun.

  39. Can I tag along on your summers? You've got such a wonderful collection of summer to-do activities! :) Thanks for linking up!

  40. Happy to share! I'm sure I borrowed it from someone else! ;)

  41. I love your list!
    Especially outdoor game nights :)

    Mila (idea box)

  42. i LOVE what summers entail--all those outdoor activities, camping trips, etc. sounds like you're a pro summer-er ;) so glad you posted this on the circle linkup! :)

  43. Agreed! There really is a lot you can do for free (or very cheap!) in the summer! -Jess

  44. Haha, sure!!! The more, the merrier! Thanks for hosting! -Jess

  45. Thanks! Game nights are so fun! -Jess

  46. Aaaahhh, camping! I forgot that one! We usually "camp out" in our backyard too. (I'm too high maintenance - aka I need a real bathroom haha - for "real" camping!) Thanks for your ideas too! I hope you have a fabulous summer! -Jess


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