It's Monday, the day after our third, non-stop weekend of busyness. Three weekends ago our oldest son graduated from high school. The very next day we hosted somewhere between 150 and 200 guests at his graduation party. The next morning Jay preached at both services at our church, followed by a graduation luncheon, a graduation party for one of our students, and dinner with in-laws. And while it was an amazing weekend, it was a bit exhausting.
Two weekends ago was almost as busy. It started with a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Friday night. Jay had the privilege of officiating the wedding of a former student. Saturday morning we woke to a list of errands before the 4:00 ceremony followed by reception. On Sunday, Jay again preached at both services at church. After church, Amy went to visit some friends who have a son in a local hospital, while Jay ran errands and prepared for a church function we were hosting at the house. It was another amazing weekend, and almost equally as exhausting.
This past weekend was spent getting ready for Vacation Bible School at the church and Day Camp which Amy is running at our favorite summer camp. Needless to say, we were fairly busy.
We want to share with you, three simple reminders that could make this your best summer ever!
1. Plan Your Summer Before Your Summer Plans You!
Just like any other season during the year, life can quickly become overwhelming and out of control. What makes summer unique is that for most of us, our kids are out of school, at home, and looking for something to do. We have found that having a plan for your summer is a great way to stay in control and on top of your activities.
At the beginning of your summer, sit down with the calendar and a piece of paper. First, make a list of all the things you want or expect to do over the summer. This list might include activities such as a family vacation, summer camps, weekend trips, visits to museums or local zoos. You might even want to include trips to visit with grandparents or extended family that require travel.
Once you have your list, use the calendar to plan what you will do and when. Be sure to avoid overbooking with your regular daily activities. For example, we have to be careful not to schedule a trip that conflicts with work schedules or appointments
With your calendar carefully filled with your desired activities, post the calendar in a place where everyone can see it. This will help build excitement with the kids as the activity approaches, but also help with scheduling of new or unexpected activities. Having a plan for the days and weeks to come will help you stay in control of your summer, and provide you with a little structure and balance. And, that will help you to slow down and really enjoy your time with your family.
2. Realize That Time Can Be Your Friend!
We are a family of 7. That means, that someone is doing something almost every minute of the day. Too often, we wonder where the time went? But these next couple of months don't have to end with you wondering where your summer went. Time can be your friend.
So, you've already created your summer calendar, right? Great! Now go back to the calendar and let's create time. How? By setting time aside. What?
Every year we race through summer and never slow down long enough to appreciate or enjoy our time as a family. Just recently, we found ourselves doing this very thing. While at a graduation party, Amy and Jay found themselves surrounded by all four boys as they sat around a table and talked with us. It's been a long time since we have been able to enjoy time like that.
This summer, we want to create more opportunities for our family to sit and enjoy being together, so we are making sure to add time to our calendar. Time to sit by the fire at the end of a day. Time to enjoy a good story. Time to laugh and share. Time to just be. As you work on your summer calendar, make time your friend, set aside time to enjoy time.
3. Make Memories Be Your Motivation!
A couple of years ago, we determined that we wanted to do things a little different. After noticing that the kids were spending more time in their rooms and on their devices, we decided that we needed to be more intentional. So we set out to make memories.
As parents, we want to see our adult children gathering and remembering their childhood with stories, laughter, and joy. We realized that unless we made some changes, there wouldn't be many stories. Memories became our motivation. We started planning family activities and events that would lead to great memories. From thinking about how we would use our time on vacation to what we do around the house as a family, we looked for opportunities that would lead to the kinds of stories we hoped our kids will share.
As you look ahead at your summer, think about how you want your adult children to look back on their childhood. If you want the laughter that comes from stories packed with memories, then you need to think about how you can begin creating those memories.
We want the best for our kids. We want them to enjoy their time together as siblings. And we want them to have great memories. So we're doing what we can to create those moments.
Don't let summer just fly by. And don't let busyness dominate your time. Take the steps to plan ahead, use your time wisely, and make memories that last.
- the higham family.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.