While I’ve still got a few more weeks left of school, the Graham girls are officially on summer break.
Their first day, we took off on our inaugural camping trip of the season. It was the best kick-off to a summer of sun, travel, and rest. As the school days counted down, I began making a list of things we hoped to accomplish before the weather turns cool again. This is the first year I’ve made an official summer to-do list. I mean, I always have about forty-seven lists going on in my head at any time, but this means business if I write it down, post it on the door, and write about it to the blog.
You know this is serious, people.
So here it is, what the Grahams hope to tackle this summer:
-Meet our new niece/cousin, Savannah Graham
Chris’ brother and wife had a baby a few months ago and because they live in Maryland, we haven’t gotten to snuggle her yet. That changes very soon.
Confession: I could spend hours watching slime videos on Instagram. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. I want to try and make our own so I can stop watching other people’s videos all night.
-Spend a weekend at Kings Island
The girls are just now brave enough to ride roller coasters and are finally able to hang for a full day of running around an amusement park without breakdowns (I probably just jinxed myself). Kings Island was a yearly trip for my family growing up and can’t wait to experience it with our daughters.
-Get through the first four Harry Potter books with Ellie
We started Harry Potter this spring and are half way through the second book. I’d like to be done with number four by the time Ellie goes back to school.
-Swimming at a pool with a diving board
This is Ellie’s contribution to the list. She finally braved the diving board last weekend in Tennessee and can’t wait to show off her new-found skill.
-Explore our new community on bikes
We live in the country now. Like cornfields, bean fields, sheep, and pigs. Country. There are no sidewalks or busy intersections to cross. We’d like to get out and explore the country roads around our house so family bikes rides are on the agenda.
-Visit The Waterpark in Carmel
This place looks amazing.
-Catch an Indians game
It’s not summer in Indy unless you see the Indians in action at least one. More is encouraged, of course.
We’ve accumulated quite the nice burn pile from cleaning up the yard, ripping out landscaping, and cutting down trees. We’re going to have an epic bonfire at some point this summer, and we’ll invite friends and family to come over for s’mores and fun at the new house.
-Bible study with the girls
I just ordered this Kids Read Romans study from She Reads Truth, and I can’t wait to start it. It’s interactive, full of biblical truth and fun activities for the girls to complete. I ordered two so they could each have their own. I also ordered the She and He versions too so we could study Romans as a family. (The Family Bundle is a great deal!)
I feel like this is cheating because it’s always a summer (and spring…and fall…) goal, but this summer camping will be shorter, local trips as we continue to work on the house and gear up for a longer fall break trip. So Tennessee, southern Indiana, and Michigan are on the calendar with more to come.
-Road trip to the Fort Wayne Zoo
Word on the street is this place is amazing. And I don’t think I’ve even been to Fort Wayne, so there’s that.
-Backyard camp out with Rojo girls
When our friend Claire turned five, we didn’t get her a traditional gift, but a coupon for a kid camp out at our house. Once the evenings warm up a tad bit more, we’ll get on that. We did this two years ago with moms also, but my BFF Krissy bailed in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping and I found her the next morning on the couch in the warm house. Best friends are the worst.
Harper wants to make sure we spend at least one day on a canoe trip. They normally do this with Chris (and sometimes my dad) so I’m okay with sitting this one out. But they love being on the water so we’ll be sure to make this happen.
-Learn how to French braid
We’ve always let the girls cut their hair short or grow it long as they please. I don’t have strong little-girl hair opinions and it’s their hair, not mine. But currently, they’re both growing their hair long (which is so cute), but they refuse to pull it up or let me give them a simple braid or two. So I’d like to up my braid game this summer and finally convince them to wear their hair off their faces. We’ll see how that campaign goes.
-Once a month date night with Chris Graham (or suitable stand-in)
Just kidding, just kidding. Chris Graham only please. Summer means six-day work weeks for Chris and when we add in traveling and kid stuff, time gets away from us. I’d like to spend some time with my husband before the leaves change.
-Creek stompin’ as often as possible
This seems so simple, but my kids could play for hours with a few kitchen toys and a bucket. I don’t want to forget to take advantage of this season.
-Chatbooks for our adventures
I’ve been saying for YEARS that I need to make a little book from each trip we take and THIS IS THE YEAR I WILL ACTUALLY DO IT. Someone suggested a private Instagram account you can upload all your trip pictures to and then order it from Chatbooks on your way home. I think this is brilliant because once I’m home, I’ve got four million things to do, but trapped in a car on the way home from a trip means I can get it done immediately. I started this on the way home from Tennessee and it was the easiest thing ever. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. (Is it too ambitious to try and catch up on all out past trips this summer too? Probably, but CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.)
The list is posted in our mudroom so we can see it when we come and go this summer. I don’t want to get to October and suddenly remember all the things we wanted to accomplish during the warm Indiana days. This is serious business and I’ve made it official with a giant Post-it Note in the mudroom. Signed, sealed, delivered.
I’ve also got a house summer to-do list and a book to-read list going, but those are in a notebook, not posted on the door. Anyway, we’ve got a lot of stuff to do–see ya soon.