Our Summer Seven

Landmark Park Fortville | SimpleKids.net

I don’t know about you and your kids, but after the way the past couple of seasons have gone for our family we’re in need of a “less is more” kind of summer.

Of course, there are some other things going on this summer that are filling in all of the squares on our calendar pretty quickly. There are reunions and weddings and graduations. We’ve been planning a family vacation and I’d also love it if we got a little more organized and did some downsizing and decluttering in the next few months. I’ve got to get ready for the upcoming school year, too. And we have a handful of activities, sports, and clubs we are participating in.

Still, I don’t want this season to be all about To Do lists and going here and going there.

This season needs to be simple, wide open, slower, savored.

So, a few weeks ago I did what I usually do when I need to gather my thoughts and get focused: I made a list, a handful of things that I’d really love to see us do this summer and the rest? The rest will be wonderful, but it isn’t going to dominate our summer. That might mean I’m saying “no” to things I might normally commit us to, but that’s what this family needs right now.

Seven simple ways we want to savor summer:

1. Try making new flavors of ice cream. We want to expand beyond the usual homemade vanilla bean and strawberry. We’ll share our favorites here on the blog, and I’m sure will have a lot of fun enjoying the successes and laughing together at the failures.

2. Read, read, read. And then read some more. Hellllllllo, library!

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146 Miles this Summer for Love146 (update)

Fleck Feet for Love 146 June update | SimpleKids.netThis summer, the kids and I have even more incentive to walk than usual. We have extra pep in our steps because we’re raising money for Love146 and have pledged to walk 146 miles this summer in order to raise awareness and funds for the fight against child trafficking.

May saw our feet hitting the pavement (and the trails and the fields) for a total of 19.7 miles. That was pretty good, considering the weather didn’t exactly cooperate with us (we don’t walk on stormy days).

However, so far June has seen us log in even more miles. The skies are sunny, we’re eager to get out and about, and there are plenty of fun things to do and see in June. I think it’s going to be our best walking month yet!

May miles walked for Love146 | SimpleKids.net [Read more…]

Creating Simple Elements for Backyard Fun: Our Wist List

a blank slate and our backyard 2015 wish list | SimpleKids.net

Once upon a time, Christopher, Jillian, and I moved here to our home and planted a little garden and a few trees. Not knowing exactly what we were doing, and perhaps too excited about our finally having our OWN place, instead of taking the time to slow down and research things, we just plunked things wherever we felt like it. A tree here, a garden there, a play area for our toddler over here.

Flash forward to 2015: our household of three is now a household of seven, including four kids ages 3 to 13 and a special needs adult, and we own a dog. Between the parents who would really love a thriving garden and a backyard oasis and the kiddos and doggie who would love a wonderful place to play, our backyard should be the place to be.

However, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.  All these years later, and we still have a pretty blank canvas out there. And those plunked down trees grew just tall enough so that now our small garden is in the shade most of the day. The little play area that was perfect for one child long ago doesn’t really work as well for us now.

So, what is a family to do? Well, we’re getting back to our roots and I’m reminding myself of an older post from the archives about the simple elements of backyard fun and how to how them even when you don’t have a backyard.

We do have a backyard today, but do we have all of those elements at our home? No, we don’t. But they are certainly on our wish list.

So, how are we doing to make a 2011 blog post turn into a Summer 2015 reality?

One step at a time …

Note: this blog post is going to be a little different than the ones I usually write. I’m listing our goals here, the BEFORE, as of May 15, 2015 and then, in real time, I’ll be updating with our projects and the AFTER. I’ll be sure to let you know about each update as we work our way through completing our Backyard 2015 wish list with some simple elements for fun.

(Totally crossing my fingers that this is going to turn out as neat as I think it will, ha ha!)

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