This morning I sit alone at my computer with my cup of Blueberry Bliss (I am a Teavana convert). The kids returned to school this morning and now I must return to my various volunteer duties and toy with the idea of getting a job (the guilt of a SAHM with no kids at home...it is fierce). It is time to declare summer over and move on to the joy that is autumn (my favourite!).
We had so much fun playing along with The Happy Family Movement and their Summer Bucket List Challenge this year. It was our first year and it was so fun to plan out our summer wishes. I also made new friends on the facebook group and even won one of the blog giveaways. Yay!
We're not great goal setters, we're more pantsers (as in "fly by the seats of our"), so how did this little experiment in ultimate summer planning go?
Here was our list:
Canada Day in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick Done and blogged here
Ice cream for dinner We did this a few times, but our first opportunity was back in May.
Movie night with snacks We managed to do this a couple of times too, but I didn't take photos.
Get a penpal This was N's item, and she met some new friends at BFF camp and exchanged addresses with a girl from PEI. We'll see how it pans out! A also made a penpal at BFF camp and has already sent off her first letter.
Plant a garden I built a garden (thanks Pinterest) and planted herbs and marigolds, but I didn't get the lettuce and peas and carrots planted. So I'm calling this a half success. The good news is that I have the garden ready to go for next year. And my flower beds are doing pretty well. I'd like to add some new fall bulbs, but that's for a different list.
Read 100 books We forgot to keep track! Whoops! I've read probably 50, though many of them were short free reads (I like you, kindle). Hubby probably only got to 15-20, but he prefers non-fiction, so he doesn't devour books like potato chips the way I do. The kids read every day, but they often re-read favourites, so if you count each time through as 1 book, they made 100, other wise it's probably 50-75. Still a good reading summer!
10 Random Acts of Kindness We found this one hard to keep track of too. We didn't manage any co-ordinated family acts of kindness, but every now and then someone would report doing a personal act of kindness. I'd like to take another, more focused, run at this. Perhaps this will be the year we finally do the 12 Days of Christmas Kindness.
Watch a meteor shower We tried, but we either had bad weather or we were away. We were really looking forward to the Perseids shower in August but it happened while we were at camp. The girls and I caught a bit of the show but I don't think the boys did. Next year!
Vacation Bible School Yes!
Play in sprinkler Yes...sort of. We hooked up the sprinkler and it didn't seem to do much, so the kids decided it's more fun just to spray each other with the hose...while bouncing on the trampoline. They did that LOTS this summer. We were given a new sprinkler by friends and couldn't get it to work either. We think it's a water pressure problem. We've been having water troubles (again).
Sleepover A had a sleepover at a friend's house, but the other two weren't invited anywhere and I wasn't up for throwing something. We did have house guests a few times, so we had sleepovers then!
Scrapbook (complete an album in progress) Another summer has gone by with me not getting to my scrapbooking supplies. Argh! I miss it.
Family hike We went on a few walks, and a few of our waterfalls (Hayes) involved a decent hike, but we didn't get around to doing a separate hike.
Make a basement playroom (clean basement, put up shelves, etc. we're not renovating, just organizing) We cleaned out all of our recyclables, and I cleaned up and out the pantry, but we're not there yet. Still a lot of organizing and cleaning to do.
Swim in a lake We didn't make it until July, but what a swim it was! Got a couple other good swims in too.
Swim in a pool The girls and I got some pool time at BFF Camp, but the boys didn't make it and we didn't get to swim together. Another half tick.
Swim in the ocean Just the once, but it was lovely.
Stargazing A little, but my vision in my head of us lying on blankets looking at stars never really happened (too many mosquitos!).
Family camp We didn't get the opportunity to camp as a family. Sad.
One week unplugged We did this all last week and may make it a back to school tradition. It was so nice to just hang out with each other. Add in the week unplugged for the girls while we were at BFF camp and I'd say we did pretty good. Even if the blog suffered. (sorry)
Make a new family playlist and listen to it a lot! Made in time for Canada Day. Great list! Our favourite summer song has been "Brave".
Go spelunking Sadly, no. We did some internet research and it seems the province isn't the best spelunking spot. I've bookmarked a couple of ideas of places we might brave, but it's looking like a guided tour might be best.
Karaoke Party with Cindy Yuppers!
Camp Chip Yep! Great camp this year!
Rainy day PJ party We had a lot of rain and we're very lazy, so this got checked off a few times.
Read a chapter book as a family I really, really wanted to start Harry Potter together, but we just didn't make time. :(
Visit a farm The girls and I visited a Dairy Farm while at BFF Camp. The boys could use a farm day still though. Fortunately Open Farm Day is coming soon. We'll just slide this to a fall list.
Create paper dolls The girls did this as soon as we had the office cleaned and organized (you can't tell that it ever was. Should have taken a photo of THAT.)
See MaryLou Nichols and Lennard Nichols Yes. Yay.
Watch a sunrise I watched a few, but we didn't wake up as a family specifically to watch.
Campfire with s'mores The girls had s'mores a couple of times at camp, but we haven't had our own family bonfire yet. Fire bans were plentiful this summer.
Go biking (A and I did, and we were the ones that wanted to)
BFF Camp (girls) DONE
Man Camp (boys) DONE
Make 100 friendship bracelets We made it to 40 and ran out of steam.
Library program We signed up, and the kids read every day, but they didn't fill out their passports and we didn't make it to any of the program days, so this one is another half check.
Board game night We had a board game night when my Mom was visiting in July, and then last week when we were unplugged we had one every night...and we taught the kids Euchre. Good times.
Watch a sunset We enjoyed a few, but I only photographed our lake time.
Make cookies A few times! Also multiple batches of fudge and a loaf of banana bread or two.
Playdates with at least 2 different friends/families The girls each did, but C only had playdates with one friend. He says he's ok with that though.
Play on 3 different playgrounds 4 at last count. Fun!
Wii Marathon As with rainy day PJ parties, there were plenty of rainy days for Wii marathons.
Picnic for Daddy's birthday Indoors, but it counts!
Hide and seek The kids played lots, the kids and I played a couple of times, but we haven't done a massive family version. We did come up with Hide and Go Teddy though, where I hide Blue Teddy and the kids have to find him. This is C's new favourite game.
Kingsbrae Garden Concert Loved it.
All in all, we've all declared the summer a success. There were some things we forgot to put on the list, like Harvey Community Days and blowing bubbles, but we did them anyway. We kept finding reasons to hang out in St. Andrew's and renewed our Aquarium Membership, something we weren't sure we would do. We had unplanned visits from both my Mom and Stepdad in July AND my Dad and his family in August. We developed waterfall fever and fell a little more in love with our province. We laughed a lot. We had late nights and early mornings and long, lazy afternoons (often with naps). We looked for Northern Lights, marveled at fireflies, caught frogs and grew pretty flowers. We made new friends, we cherished old friends. We made memories. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, but when we look back the good far outweighs the bad and hopefully will be the part we remember.
We enjoyed the Summer Bucket List so much that we're going to make a shorter Fall Bucket List, which will include a few little things that we didn't get to this summer (like our bonfire with s'mores and visit to a farm). I'll keep blogging here and there so we don't have radio silence again too (I still have a few summer things to blog).
Thank you summer. Thank you bucket list. Thank you Happy Family Movement.
Bring it on, autumn!