Water Play - Audra's Favorite
Jordan and I have always enjoyed lake trips since even before we were married. Fishing, tubing, playing hard all day in the sun. Now our kids love it too! In fact, Asher's first trip to the lake took place before he was even born. This is a picture of him with a friend when they were 4 years old. He was teaching her how to fish. Whether with friends or family, we always have a great time!
Slip-N-Slide - Laura's Favorite
Oh, how we love Summer! You won’t even hear us complain about the heat...well maybe if it’s over 100 degrees! We have an amazing hill at our house that’s perfect for a slip-n-slide and it’s by far our favorite thing to do in the summer. Whether it’s just our little family of four or if it’s lots of friends, there is always so much laughter and fun as we race down the hill and end up in the mud and grass! All you need is an industrial roll of plastic from a hardware store, a water hose and we prefer Dawn dishwashing liquid. We have tried many different soap/baby oil alternatives, and nothing does the job as well! Our kids ask for plastic and soap as gifts now for their birthday or Christmas! Ha!
Amusement Parks - Rebecca's Favorite
My family loves summer! Summertime is when we thrive!! Lots of quality time and togetherness! We especially love spending long days at amusement parks. This thrill-seeking family hasn't met a roller coaster that we haven't wanted to ride again & again! Strolling through the parks, drinking endless refills, and laughing all throughout the day makes amusement park days memorable days indeed (as long as the heat is tolerable, lol)!
Mission Trips - Tammy's Favorite
For most of my life mission trip was not something I would have put at the top of my summer to do list. That was until 7 years ago. Seven years ago, my man and I took a leap of faith and traveled 18 hours south to a small town on the TX/MX border. Our lives have never been the same.
Our kiddos were 5, 8, & 10 at the time. We traveled across the Rio Grande each day to one of the most dangerous cities on the North American continent. But in this dangerous area were pockets of precious families not sure where their next meal was coming from. They were in desperate want of basic needs such as medicine, and diapers, and a kind word. Most of all, their hearts needed the good news of Jesus. Our world was rocked.
To see my children be the hands and feet of Jesus does something to a momma's heart. To see my man used in ways out of his comfort zone made me love him more. To step out of my own little, selfish world changed me. I was hooked.
This is our 7th summer we've taken a week out of our summer to be in one of our favorite places on earth, a place that stretches us and grows us and gives us a little taste of heaven. That is why Mission Trips is my Top 5 choice for summer. I challenge you to make it yours, also. God truly catches you and grows you when you take a leap of faith for Him.
Homemade Pizza and Game Night - Kaci's Favorite
I love summer. I love everything about it and I always have. However since having children I have quickly learned our summers look a lot different than they did in the past. I have 2 little boys, one who just turned 4 and the other who just learned to walk. As a new mom one thing my husband and I do is declare Fridays for family. My 4 year old now refers to them as “family fun nights.”
One of our favorite things to do as a family is just a good ole’ fashioned game night and a homemade pizza contest. It’s a great way to beat the heat but still be intentional on how we spend our time together. I'm learning, as a new mom, there are lessons to be taught in almost everything we do. Game night and pizza contests are a great way to teach our 4 year old the value of teamwork, creativity, how to follow direction and that we don’t always win, and that’s ok. Simple family games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos, Operation, Kerplunk and Chutes & Ladders are some our all-time favorites . We grab our favorite snacks (usually consisting of sugar cookies and M&M's per my 4 year old's request) and deck out our dining room table. In a world where technology and social media is constantly robbing us of our time, taking it back to simple moments is just what this momma heart needs.
Homemade pizza contests are something my husband and I have done for the past 8 years and have since turned into a family favorite. We all make a trip to the store and pick out our favorite toppings. (I lose this contest every time but will never admit it to my boys) Pillsbury makes an easy dough to roll out and bake. Grab your favorite marinara sauce, and toppings and then let your kids do the rest, even if that consists of your kitchen looking like a bomb went off when you are finished .I love watching us all make our pizza with our favorite toppings. Each is so different. While mine is loaded with veggies, my husbands with meat and my sons with cheese only, I am reminded once again of how God creates us to be different. To like different things. To be our own person.
“Family fun nights” don’t have to be expensive, they don’t have to consist of even leaving your home, it just takes a little effort to make the choice to put the phones away and to love each other. To invest in one another. I look at my “family of boys” and love watching all our different personalities come to life through old fashioned board games and simple pizza making contests. Friday nights have easily become my favorite day of the week and I think it’s safe to say they are my boys, too.