What Defines a Good Summer?

Hello! As happens most summers, I disappear off the blogging radar. That is never my intention. In fact I picture, as school ends and summer gently drops its bags inside our front door for a good long stay, myself often sitting on our back patio sipping a cool drink, creatively forming my thoughts into titles and paragraphs while my children are doing something productive but happily entertained.

Why do I picture that which never occurs?

In reality, the transition from school to summer feels more like being dunked into a basin of shockingly cold water. One day our three mostly teenage age children are all very busy with tests and school and end of year activities, and the next they are sleeping until ten…ish, and then needing forty-two rides around town, and eating all the food in the house. It’s normal, and I am happy to stock up on extra food and up my gas budget, but It. Just. Happens. So. Suddenly. And I find that any agenda I had for the quickly passing hours in my day, blogging or otherwise, gets sent to the back of the line. Why do I forget this?

This pace continues for a week or two while I let them catch up on rest and the fun reconnecting of friendships outside of school, and then I introduce what the kids call, “That which no other mom ever does to their kids:”

Chores and some structure to the day.

This requires monitoring and checking on my part, usually a chart and some rewards dangling out there. It also involves a camp or two, a little volunteer work, and lining up some babysitting jobs, etc. This year I spent quite a bit of time before the kids began their occupation of the house, on-line, carefully picking out bible studies for them to work on during their lazy days of summer (I’ll share which ones in another post).  It’s my attempt to infuse some degree of productivity into their days—and to feel better in my mothering attempts.

Then, somehow, it’s the beginning of August. We have traveled as a family, gone to the pool, driven miles upon miles to activities and friend’s homes, grocery shopped, traveled some more, navigated how to get along, mowed lawns, BBQ’d, worked at our jobs, roasted marshmallows, water skied, done countless loads of laundry, dropped off at camp, picked up at camp, hugged, walked the dogs, and dealt with spiders (my summer nemesis).

And it’s already almost over?

Here is a snapshot of some of the things we’ve been up to!


Dinner On A Restaurant Patio–one of our favorite things to do in the summer!

summer 14.7

Hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness with Family and Friends

Summer 14

Hunter’s Baking Skills


A Sweet Church We Toured Outside of Lake City, CO

Summer 14.9

Camping with Friends

summer 14.12


A little Summer DYI Project—New Backsplash in Our Kitchen

summer 14.11

Picking Up Kids From Camp–this is Maddie and her wonderful leader Maddy!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                               My Husband and Son on Mission Trip In Albania

In the end, what defines a good summer? I think a little bit of all of the above. Some new experiences, some regular life, some structure, some fun and just doing all this together.

….And we are making our school supply shopping list in just a few days.








Written By Amy

Hey There!

Our family is wrapping up the school year like so many of you are too…getting ready for the transition of kids home for the summer.  For me it’s the yin with the yang!  No more 6:00 am wake ups, dreary-eyed lunch packaging, and hustle out the door mornings (yay!).  We can now enjoy lazy summer days at the pool, camping trips, and family dinners on the patio.  BUT welcome to messy house twenty-four-seven, copious snack consumption, and the two week how-to-get-along-with-eachother-in-eachother’s-space-and-life-again-sibling-boot-camp that we go through each June.  “I’m bored” all of a sudden enters my children’s repertoire of language. Family field trips to the grocery store….(Anyone?)

A few years back someone said to me, “Life can be hard but good at the same time.”  It was such a freeing statement for me.  It freed me from my thoughts of: “When things are hard in life, life is bad.”  I was enlightened!  I started to say, “Some things in my life are hard, but that doesn’t have to negate the parts of my life that are good.”  I can have both, and feel both.  This summer, I can feel overwhelmed at the state of my house,  non-existent time for myself, and hearing many, many, more little voices shouting  “Mom!” BUT, I can also be grateful for the time I will share with my family this summer.  We will swim and take walks and travel together.   I will appreciate eating frozen yogurt with my daughters and seeing the joy in my son’s eyes when he catches a fish.  For three months, we will reconnect as a family in deeper, stronger ways.

While these examples of the good/bad in life  may be surface compared to the challenges you face today, remember in all circumstances there is joy to be found.  You can be happy even when the unhappy lurks in the next room.  Failure and success can ride in the car with you, just let success have shotgun.  Disappointment and satisfaction may both be your neighbors, but you can  invite satisfaction over for dinner more often.

May God be with you and His blessings upon you.

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