Let me preface this incredibly long and full of photos post with this. I went into summer 2014 thinking my kids would have an 'old fashioned' summer. You know the one with playing with friends till dark all day every day. Apparently, we live in a completely different world where there's only so many friends that hang around for the summer and don't have much else to do but play. Thus, my kids got bored very easily, and were not in fact easily amused by cleaning the house, doing laundry and running errands with me. My anxiety levels increased dramatically trying to come up with cheap and easy plans to keep them entertained. I figured out that what we needed next summer was a plan.
The plan for 2015:
Have a family council meeting to plan a weekly list of things that are free or cheap. Keep in mind, my off work days were limited so a lot of the days of the week were already planned for me.
This weekly list should include 1 act of service, 1 fun activity, and 1 educational activity.
We started out pretty strong. Educational? Coke and Mento's activity. Check! Service? Taking a cake to an elderly lady for her birthday. Check. Fun? See pictures below. We have A LOT of pictures.
The summer concluded with me redecorating the toy room and the kids watching/helping, with no service nor educational activities ever involved.
Hey, we tried.
Hey look, playing with friends! Learning how to draw fun characters. Wahoo!
A traveling lemonade stand. We picked up a few kids along the way. The kids all agreed to set some money aside from their earnings to donate to a random act of kindness day. (Which has yet to happen.)
Playing at Classic Fun Center. Grandma D bought us some dollar day passes!
Using our free passes to the rec center.
Stake Conference at the tabernacle.
My friend had some buddy passes she so generously let us use. It was a fun day at The Treehouse.
Swim day at Pineview. All free! Yay!
This right here picture does not do this tree justice! It's my favorite favorite tree! It happens to live right along the path I walk/jog on at the park. I love this tree! It makes me happy. We played at the park a few times as well.
Hiking Waterfall Canyon. Free!
Father's Day Fun. Man, am I ever grateful for the father's in my life!
Sleepover at grandmas and birthday shopping! Mom's favorite activity for the kids. ;)
Carson's Farewell. These two found something very productive to do whilst in Sacrament meeting. Selfies!
Carson's endowment was a bit surreal!
Raptor's game. Allie won the dance contest!!
It was pretty cool that an old neighbor moved into an apartment complex with a pool and shared her resources! These girls are all so stinkin cute together!
First ever Build a Bear for her birthday!!
24th of July parade.
Cherry Hill. Many thanks be to my brother and sister-in-law that allow us to use some of their passes every year! The kids LOVE this place!
She's like a little spider woman climbing up this thing. Gets up to the top like it's nothing.
The little Mermaid Musical at the Hale Center! Minus the fact that it was a musical, it was fantastic! Grandma D and all the Beaut's bought tickets (holy cow that's amazing right?!) for all the girls in their lives and we all got to go together! Fun day out! We almost took up an entire row in that small theater. I particularly LOVED the costumes!
Allie was invited by a friend. She got to go twice!
Halloween decorations in July? Yep! We had to send this photo to daddy as he was left out of the fun.
The Toy Room Makeover. And oh boy did it ever need a makeover! See those walls, all wood paneling painted.
The broken closet and my kids creative way of making a dressing room in the toy room.
I got all Tim Allen on the walls and ripped it all out! By myself! I was so proud.
Until I realized, I'm was going to have to mud and tape the ENTIRE room because of the remnants of the crystallized glue.
I mud and taped the entire room!! It was no joke. When I found out I had to do it all over again in order to get a smooth finish, I decided on a textured wall instead. Thus, the tissue paper effect with a glaze over the top happened.
And finally, about a month later, Ta Da!!
Finished!! Mostly. I did most of it myself but Jason helped with the heavy stuff. He did the crown molding on the top and bottom of the walls. But wait!?! That's not all!! Did you see that he constructed a stage in the corner for the girls?? It's freaking sweet to have a husband that knows his way around a saw and is super nice to help a damsel in distress. The girls love it!
Conclusion: Friends and family that are super generous with their resources and time saved our rear ends this summer! Many many thanks to everyone who allowed us to hang out with them and were super duper nice in inviting us along for the ride! We had a fantastic summer!