Summer bucket list

Summer bucket list

Every summer, the 4th of July seems to be the signal that summer is halfway gone. I guess it all depends on your school schedule and perspective. But if summer begins at Memorial Day and school starts 12 weeks later, this is, in fact, the halfway point.

We always start the summer with a long list of places we want to go, people we want to see and things we want to do. This year, we actually got a jump start because our academic co-op ended on May 15. It’s the first summer in a while that we have a real deadline for going back to school. We will start again on Aug.23.

I’m already feeling like our summer bucket list is well over half full. We’ve had some great adventures, and the list of things left to do is shorter than what we’ve done!

Here’s a list of some of our summer adventures so far:

1. We went to Cantigny (a couple of times). The kids love playing hide and seek in the beautiful gardens and climbing on the tanks. I love taking photos. It’s always a nice relaxing day.

2. We went to Brookfield Zoo.

3. We visited the Chicago Botanic Garden for the first time. The place was so large that we only had time to see half of it. I guess we’ll have to plan another trip there!

4. We took our bikes to the BMX dirt track.

5. We got to visit my side of the family at my sister’s place in central Illinois. This trip was extra special because we got to bring a cousin home with us!

6. The boys went to Survivor Camp.

7. The girls and I went to the Morton Arboretum

8. and Blackberry Farm.

9. We got to visit our good friends in St. Louis, go to the Arch and see Busch Stadium.

10. The 11-year-old got to go to his first Junior High event at our church!

11. My parents came for a visit and we headed back to Cantigny.

12. Kent’s parents came for a visit and got to see one of Matthew’s baseball games.

13. We took a train into the city, went to the top of the Willis Tower, visited some other Chicago landmarks and rode in a water taxi!

14. We got to go to work with Dad for a day.

15. We spent five days visiting family on the farm in southern Illinois.

16. We went to Holiday World.

We also spent lots of time at the pool, finished a full season of baseball, had play dates with friends and spent time with several families we’ve been wanting to catch up with! We also cleaned out our basement and transformed my son’s bedroom down there to be a cool place to hang out.

Some of the things I still hope to do this summer:

1. Go to Starved Rock.

2. Go to a beach.

3. Go camping.

4. Take a short vacation. (We would love to go to Michigan or Wisconsin for a few days, but we’re not sure if this will be able to happen.)

5. Take the girls to the American Girl store in Chicago.

6. Send the three big kids to summer camp (in late July).

7. Go for a few bike rides at my favorite forest preserve, Waterfall Glen.

By the time we have completed the list, I think I will be feeling good about sending the kids to school for the first time in three years. We’ve already had a fantastic summer, and I’m so thankful for all the things we’ve been able to do!

What has been the highlight of your summer so far? What would you still like to do?

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Family on 4th of July

Family on 4th of July

When I saw Uncle Kevin’s big field of corn, it was calling me to take a 4th of July family photo. We took these right before the sun set on July 3. I attempted to copy a photo idea I had seen on Facebook. The one I copied was at a wedding. The bride and all of her bridesmaids were jumping in the air in the background, and the camera was focused on their pile of shoes in the foreground. Ours isn’t perfect, but it was worth a try!

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Can you hold the moon?

Can you hold the moon?

The weather has been crazy the past few days. I think the temps hit at least 100 degrees every day we were on the farm, and we also had some storms with hail and lightning. Each evening, I looked for the sunset across the cornfields and on the last night of our visit, I finally got what I had been waiting for!

As soon as the sun went down, we got to see a beautiful full moon. I tried to take some photos of the kids “holding” the moon.

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More farm adventures

More farm adventures

On Monday, we actually spent the day in Holiday World, a big amusement park and water park in southern Indiana. However, it was so hot that I couldn’t even bring myself to get my camera out of the bag! I only took a few photos in the park!

Instead, here are photos of some of our other adventures on the farm. The boys loved helping with chores by feeding the cows in the morning. They also got to drive a tractor and spent lots of time riding on four-wheelers. If this is what farm life is like, they are IN! 🙂

 

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Views on the farm

Views on the farm

I loved looking for snapshots of beauty during our stay at the farm. Here are a few of my favorites. Click the thumbnail to view the full photo:

 

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