Summer's over... whomp whomp (sad trombone). Today is the first day of school, so to relive all the summer magic, I thought I'd post a little summer recap for posterity's sake. Also, so I can prove to my children that they had a fun childhood.
Here is our Summer Bucket List, as it stands today. We didn't knock everything off our list, but most we did. We would still like to take Noah to the Kroc Center in the next month, because he was awarded four passes for having perfect attendance last school year. We want him to feel rewarded. We didn't end up doing a lemonade stand because midsummer, the city closed our road due to repairs, so we didn't have any traffic! We just ran out of time for the rest. Here's a picture recap, in no particular order:
1. Grand Haven Beach on Lake Michigan
After the beach, we walked down the road and ate lunch at Pronto Pups (aka the world's MOST DELICIOUS corndogs... from a gal who's not particularly fond of corn dogs). The line was super long, and people walked away with fistfuls of corndogs. Not joking.
Eating on the hill beside Pronto Pups, overlooking the river
2. Bus ride to John Ball Zoo
The kids received free admission and round trip city bus passes at the end of the school year. We took full advantage and rode the bus. It was really fun! I was a little nervous trying to figure out where to get off the bus, but the bus driver was really helpful. Bonus: the city bus did not disappoint and was full of lovely and strange characters (some requiring explanations from mom once we were off the bus and out of earshot).
3. Splash Pad
4. Visits with Uncle Michael and Auntie Alycia
We got to see them twice this summer! The girls were thrilled that Auntie let them play dress up from the clothes and accessories from her closet. Noah loved lego building with Uncle Michael.
5. Painting, Sewing, Drawing, and General Craftiness
A beloved past time for this crew
6. Too Talls
Our family's new favorite! This is a block from our house, so it is a nice walk or bike ride away. I think we made it there for treats every couple of weeks.
7. The National Rowing Competition
Since we're still kind of new here, I'm not sure if this is an annual event here, but it was so much fun to watch. It was held at the park across the street from our house. There were thousands of boats (shells? rowers? whatever they're called), and the athletes were so friendly, and answered lots of questions about the sport. We watched the co-ed pairs, and women's teams of four. Gary took Mylie down another day and watched the mens' teams of eight. Gary has his sights set on rowing now, and the Grand Rapids Rowing Club boathouse is just a mile from our house.
8. Bike Rides
I think we went on bike rides nearly every day. We road along Riverside Park, sometimes over the river and down around the minor league ballpark. Sometimes we stopped and took a closer look at some of the cool things we spotted, like this turtle below.
9. Our First Annual Yes Day!
The rules were
1) Mom and Dad will say YES to anything for one day only
2) Your YES couldn't infringe on someone else's YES
3) It couldn't cost money
One might think that our kids might get out of control on this day, but they didn't. We were very surprised to see that they really collaborated on the whole event. They spent a couple of days leading up to the big day talking about what they wanted to do. They even gave me a list of meals they wanted (and all agreed!). So here's how it shook out... CocoPuffs for breakfast (they had never had them, but were thrilled to try them. They ate the whole box in one day), They wanted to eat in the family room, Noah wanted to go to Target to look at toys, while the girls wanted to go on a bike ride to the park. They wanted ice cream for dessert after dinner. There were requests to play cards, watch a movie, and stay up late. They also chewed a lot of gum. That's it! Given almost free rein, this is what they were content with! We will definitely do this again.
9. Farmers' Market
We had so much fun! We got so many fresh berries, sweet corn, soups, napa cabbage, and raw honey. The kids' favorite part was eating a fresh, raw piece of sweet corn. So good!
10. Fishing Tournament at Grandma and Grandpa's
a.k.a "Krull Lake Bluegill Derby"
This one was checked off our list, kind of. A lot of work was put into planning this event, and everyone was SO EXCITED! We had teams picked, award ribbons, team champion plaque, games, goodie bags, homemade ice cream, and a sleepover. The day of, we got round one in (out of five) and then the sky opened up and the deluge of rain began. We had to postpone the rest of the tournament, hopefully in the next month or so.
Right before the rain
Luckily a really nice group of families have included us in their circle of friends. What was dubbed "Grill and Chill" was a weekly BBQ, rotating at various houses throughout the summer. We met almost every Wednesday night for dinner. It averaged 10-14 adults and 19-23 kids. For The Crazies, this was the highlight of almost every week. I didn't get many pictures, but there were usually marshmallows on the fire, catching lightning bugs, lots of running, and usually a few casualties among children.
12. Vacation Bible School
We did two rounds of VBS with friends. So thankful!