Summer of Fun 2016: July Recap

I can hardly believe that summer is almost over! My kids go back to school at the end of this month… CRAZY! Summer is flying by, and our daily “Summer of Fun” activities are definitely helping us make memories and spend quality time together.

Here’s a glimpse of what we were up to in the month of July! ūüôā

 

July 1st: We visited the Dungeness Spit! This is such a fun¬†and affordable activity¬†for our family of 6… to get out there and enjoy nature,¬†and¬†it only costs¬†$3! PLUS we found two kind strangers to take a picture of our family all together!

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July 2nd: We love going to the Goodwill to find a great deal, so for this adventure each kiddo had to pick an article of clothing at the lowest price. Pink tags were 50% off that day, and Ava ended up winning the challenge!

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July 3rd: We went berry picking at Graysmarsh! It’s the perfect way to kick off our July 4th festivities… picking fresh berries for a patriotic dessert!

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July 4th: We celebrated Independence Day with sparklers, yummy BBQ food, and homemade GF¬†shortcakes with our fresh-picked¬†blueberries & raspberries! ūüôā

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July 5th: We had a quick visit to Grandma and Granpa’s… Grandma gave the girls pedicures, while Granpa took the boys to get their hair cut (“High and Tight”)!

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July 6th: Our oldest had an appointment in Bellevue, so while he and I went there (and had a special Starbucks date), Jon and the younger three kids went to a local park!

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July 7th: Another shopping trip! This time to the clearance section at Walmart to see who could find the best deal! It was a little chaotic, but we survived – full of smiles and awesome deals! I think Jon won this challenge… he found a headlight restoration kit for his car; originally $14.97 marked down to a $1!

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July 8th: Today the kids each got to plant a new tree in our backyard, and we finished the night off with some GF S’mores! (We found the graham crackers on Amazon!)

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July 9th: We went to the local Farmer’s Market! We had a blast! We got to try and buy some of our favorite¬†fudge, get some fresh blueberries, and sample amazing honey and buy a jar! PLUS, it was National Sugar Cookie Day. (Yes, I looked online for all the silly National Holidays and incorporated some into our Summer of Fun.) My friend Judi sent me an owl cookie cutter a while back (I LOVE owls!), and we finally got to use it to make some delicious GF sugar cookies. Click here for the recipe we used!

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July 10th: We played Hula Hoop Croquet, a returning favorite from last summer (thank you Pinterest and Crafting Chicks)! And we enjoyed our fudge that we got from WeDo Fudge at the Farmer’s Market!

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July 11th: My family loves puzzles. So every summer we attempt a 1,000 piece puzzle together. The goal? To finish it in a day. And to teach my kids perseverance. This activity carried over to the next day, but we did finish it within 24 hours! I think next year we need a simpler design… this one is tricky!

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July 12th: We could have called this “B” day! We baked some¬†GF banana bread, then¬†blew bubbles in the backyard! ūüôā

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July 13th: My family loves music, and we also love our local library. They have some fun kits to check out, like the Lil’ Rhythm Bucket. My kids took turn leading a marching band to their song of choice with the different instruments. Also, it was National French Fry Day! Since half of us have Celiac and most places around here don’t have dedicated fryers for GF, we made our own!

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July 14th: Another thing we love to check out from the library – the Birding Kit! Today we spent some time bird-watching in our backyard! We befriended a White-Crowned Sparrow, and we also spotted a Bald Eagle!

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July 15th: Today, the kids got to garden with Grandma Tami! ‚̧

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July 16th: Jon and the kids got to visit Grandma Terri and Papa Earl at their new house! And they got to play with their cousin!

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July 17th: National Ice Cream Day! We happened to be in Edmonds, and decided to celebrate with ice cream from Dick’s Drive In.

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July 18th: Today’s activity was another favorite from previous summers… building structures with toothpicks and mini marshmallows!

 

July 19th: Recording Session with Dad! Jon is a gifted musician and has the ability to record music from home. The kids got to¬†pick an instrument from the library’s rhythm bucket and play¬†along with the music!

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July 20th: After dinner and baths, we made Frozen Hot Chocolate! We used this recipe, and it was delicious! Basically a chocolate milkshake, but there’s something about it that makes it amazing! ūüôā

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July¬†21st: Our church recently got a new playground, so I took the kids to play on it during Jon’s lunch break. They had a blast!

 

July 22nd: Today I surprised the kids with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

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July 23rd: We went to a¬†BBQ with¬†a ministry team from¬†our church! The hosts had some toys and games¬†for the kids… and ours LOVED the dress-up clothes!

 

July 24th: Today we went to John Wayne Marina and explored at the beach! The kids love to lift up the bigger rocks and watch the tiny crabs move around! Except Ava. She warmed up to them a little, but she was pretty terrified of the crabs. If you go, make sure you check the tide chart first! The kids had also been taking turns pet-sitting for a family from our church, so today we all went and took care of the animals together!

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July 25th: Tonight we had some very special dinner guests! We made a breakfast feast and enjoyed the company!

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July 26th: Our new friend Sheri joined us for dinner and games! We had chicken tortilla soup, chocolate zucchini bread, and we played Whoonu & Guesstures!

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July 27th: I found an idea on Pinterest a couple years ago to make animal artwork with handprints. We tried it last summer and the kids loved it! So we decided to¬†do it again, and they turned out great! We ended up with a butterfly, eagle, giraffe, peacock, Stegosaurus, and Baymax! ūüôā

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July 28th: Water fun at our friends’ house! From pool to sprinkler to water¬†table, it was the perfect way to cool off on a HOT summer afternoon!

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July 29th:¬†The kids had some money they had earned burning in their pocket, and¬†they all agreed to buy a pet fish!¬†After dinner we headed to Petco and settled on a¬†female Crowntail Betta. She’s white with pretty blue and pink highlights!¬†We already had a bowl and food, so the kids bought the fish, rocks, water treatment and a plant. We named her Tiny Queen. (At the beginning of the month we discovered¬†three baby Violet-Green Swallows¬†living in one of our vents. Jon rescued¬†them but only one survived.¬†We moved him to a birdhouse with its nest, and his mom continued to feed it! Miraculous! Anyway, we gave him two names:¬†Donald Duct and Tiny King. He recently left the birdhouse and we miss him! So Tiny Queen was a natural fit… Crowntail Betta, the colors reminded us of¬†Queen¬†Elsa, and¬†we already had a Tiny King!)

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July 30th: Over Memorial Day Weekend we went to Sunriver in Oregon for my sister’s wedding! ‚̧ The kids brought home some wood to write on¬†as a souvenir. It’s been sitting in the garage for two months, so we figured it was time to break out the Sharpies and get writing! They put their piece next to the tree they planted!

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July 31st: We went to one of the local parks! This one in particular is a favorite because it’s fully fenced! AND it has a tire swing! ūüôā¬†It was a¬†fun way¬†to end our month of July!!

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As mentioned in the June Recap, I hope you’re inspired and encouraged to get creative in how you spend quality time with your kids! Even if it’s a stressful day (or week, or month!) there is an opportunity waiting for FUN! And yes, these are the highlights of our summer together… tears, sibling rivalry, and yelling are interspersed throughout our days as well, but my purpose here is to share the good and uplifting!

 

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