Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Highlights

What a summer!  We still have a few more weeks of summer left since our kids aren't in school yet, and we're definitely going to make the most of it!  But here are all of the fun things that we've checked off our Summer Bucket List so far:

Zoo Trips
We've been able to visit 2 different zoos this summer, and we had a blast!  We got to go to the Toledo Zoo for the first time, and we loved it!  They have many big animals we've never seen before, and nearly everything has been renovated recently.  The aquarium was brand new and was AMAZING!

Drawing her first flower all by herself

Sidewalk Chalk
We played several games from the list of sidewalk chalk activities I made at the beginning of the summer...and even came up with a new one: drawing on a box!  I just love how sidewalk chalk brings out their imaginations!

Picnic at the State Park

We had tons of picnics inside and outside all summer long!  We love picnics!

Splash Park
We've only been able to go once this year, but it was so much fun!  (I definitely underestimated how hard it would be to take 3 kids to the splash park alone, so we could only go when Daddy was home!)

At the Splash Park with friends

Taking Walks in the Neighborhood 
Several times a week - check!

I love how J loves to carry her baby on our walks too!

Ice Cream Shop Visits
We did this way more than I thought we would. :)  It is just such a fun surprise for everyone!  It's hard not to keep stopping for ice cream when the kids are being so good!

Planting a Garden 
Technically, we did plant a garden.  But did we harvest anything?  Not really.  It rained nearly everyday for 6 weeks at the beginning of the summer, so it killed all but one tomato plant.  Guess we'll try again next year!

Fairs and Festivals 
We just got back from the Indiana State Fair, and it was so much more fun than we all expected.  We ended up staying for quite some time enjoying all the animals and exhibits.  I especially loved seeing all of the beautiful horses.  And of course, eating a funnel cake!

The kids' favorite part was the "Little Hands on the Farm" Village for Kids.  They got to pretend to be farmers, go from station to station picking up corn, soy beans, veggies, etc. to put in their basket, then at the end, they turned them in for "money" and got to buy a little snack at the store.  They loved it!

Finish Landscaping
Well, we started.  And we did get a lot done.  But then the rain came...and didn't stop for a couple weeks.  And once it did stop, it was fiercely hot!  So landscaping is on hold til the fall or next spring when it's cooler.

Laying out a new landscaping bed with field stone this past Spring

Garage Sale
Katie and I had a garage sale weekend at the beginning of the summer.  It was a lot of work, but we both sold quite a bit.  It was so nice to purge a lot of stuff that was just lying around the house!

Outdoor Concerts
We had sing-a-long dance parties in the driveway...does that count?  We originally thought Switchfoot was going to be at the State Fair...well, they were in Indy the day we went, but not at the Fair.  Boo.  So we didn't get to any concerts this summer - maybe next year!

We only got to go to the beach once (and it was really fun!), but we did get to go swimming a lot.  We went to several pools this summer and even an outdoor pool with an awesome water slide.  They played in their kiddie pool in the backyard a lot.  And the kids took swim lessons for the first time.  That is a lot of swimming for our family since we don't have easy access to a pool!

State Parks
We got to visit 3 different State Parks this summer and go hiking and swimming, play on the beach, watch the birds and animals, grill out and have lots of picnics, and explore a cave and a pioneer village.  We love the Indiana State Parks!

Outdoor Game Nights
We ended up spending most of our evenings
taking walks,
riding bikes,
playing on the swing set or at the playground,
grilling out,
blowing and chasing bubbles,
reading books for the Summer Reading Program in the swing set fort,
playing in the driveway...
So instead of game nights, we just had family fun nights!

Reading books in the fort

Enjoy Family and Relax! 
We had a very trying summer since our grandma passed away, and we had a couple other things happen in our extended family (we're all ok, just bad news), but we still had a lot of good times too:

We got a new nephew - Ezra!
We celebrated several family birthdays.
We had a bridal shower for our sister Kelly and her soon-to-be husband Paul.
We had our first vacation as a family of 5.
We finalized L's adoption.
L was baptized!
And much more!

My 32nd Birthday, complete with pots and pans ;)

So how was your summer?  
Did you complete your Summer Bucket List?  
What were the highlights?

Happy Wednesday!


P.S. We have an awesome birthday giveaway going on right now: you can enter to win a $30 gift card and an 8x10 print!
Then, enter here and good luck!

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

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