In which we are colouring in summer

A few weeks ago, I noticed a summer bucket list on Pinterest. It looked like fun, and so one grey and rainy June day, the tinies and I entertained ourselves by creating a Summer Fun rainbow.

We filled the rainbow with all of the things we wanted to do this summer, everything that would make the summer fun. Everything from riding in a boat to swimming, root beer floats to camping in the backyard, we put it all on there.

Then we decided that every time we completed something on our list, we would colour that row in. By the end of summer, we’ll have had a rainbow of fun.

Cheesy, true, but thankfully, when tinies are just three and five and 15 months, they are not yet too cool for school. I can get away with being corny.

One of my favourite days was July 1, Canada Day. We crammed in a bit too much but it was sloppy and hot and fantastic. We started off the day with a pancake breakfast at the Optimist Club, a yearly tradition. Then we went to the parade – there are few things to delight like a small town parade. That night, we left Evelynn with our babysitter, and took the older two to Granny and Papa’s for a marshmallow roast and s’more-making rituals. Then we went to the fireworks. Joe was very tired, probably too young, but Anne danced to the music past 11 o’clock. The delights of the show made up for the traffic snarl on the way home. And then they both slept until 9:30 the next morning, glory and hallelujah.

I’m getting into the spirit of summer, too.

In the evenings, I’m sitting out in the backyard, with a good book and an iced tea, reading until it gets dark at 10 o’clock. I re-read “Leaving Church” by Barbara Brown Taylor and she writes, among many brilliant things (seriously, read that book), that she was restored to the practice of Sabbath. And something in me reached up and said YES. So I’ve taken my Sundays this summer and, on her advice, pretty much ignored any work or job that is prefaced with the statements “should” or “ought to” or “must.”

It worked.

Brian wakes up with the dawn and heads to his garden to work in the cool of the day, comes home bearing lettuce and we eat it for supper that night.

I feel lazy and hot and happy, and that’s just about right.

My washrooms will survive without a scrubbing for a while longer, and who needs clean clothes?

We’ve got a date with the spray park and a picnic to pack, you know.

Question: What’s your favourite thing to do during summer days?


  • HeatherKopp_SoberBoots

    Sarah, I’d just left a comment on the previous and here you are again–no wait, it’s me that’s late. Then again, we are none of us late, really. I love this post and it makes me miss my kids–not as they are now but as they were then. Then when I didn’t do as much of this kind of thing you describe and capture so beautifully. Oh to get a redo. But in a way, I will sort of get that when my babies have babies, which will hopefully happen almost any second since two of them are getting married a week apart in a few weeks. Babbling. Anyway, I appreciate your posts so much and love getting a peek at your kiddos now and again. H

  • Jen Hatmaker

    Can I please be your kid? 

  • Renee @ FIMBY

    What I’m doing and what my favorite thing to do are two different things this summer. Moving into a “being renovated” house is what I’m doing. No berry picking this year. 

    I love your rainbow page and I think it’s not corny in the least. I’d like to make one. But I can’t have any expectations for our summer other than – move, clean, wash, organize, stack wood, swim a little etc. Oh, there is the trip to NS for 2 weeks which will be a nice break for moving in, we’ll live summer there. 

  • Louise

    I wish you could send some of your hot weather over to England! One the one sunny day this week my mum went cycling by the canal, which was rather idyllic…all pretty cottages and lush vegetation (seems like the rain has been good for something then!). My favourite thing is to enjoy the hot summer evenings when they appear. 

  • Tiffany Norris

    I’m not a fan of the heat, so I keep trying to make friends with summer. We’re eating a lot of fresh fruit, taking home big stacks of books and movies from the library, and talking about riding our bikes. :)

  • HopefulLeigh

    I love that book! Such a breath of fresh air. I love her approach to Sabbath.

    One of my favorite ways to spend a summer day is going to Musicians Corner on Saturday afternoons in a nearby park. They have a handful of bands, food trucks, and a beer and wine garden and it’s great fun. They take July and August off since it’s so hot here, sadly. But free music in Nashville abounds!

  • Linda Stoll

    Tall glass of sun-brewed iced tea with sugar and fresh mint?  Check.

    Stack of mindless magazines?  Check.

    Quiet neighbors?  Check.

    Shady awning on back porch?  Check.

    And I love this Party in a Jar for the kids –

  • the Blah Blah Blahger

    S’mores are one of my favorite parts of summer! : )

  • Steph

    “My washrooms will survive without a scrubbing for a while longer, and who needs clean clothes?”
    Exactly. Clean clothes are overrated anyway. We just been here in the southern US (from Michigan via Massachusetts) for a year now so I’m still trying to figure out this whole ridiculously hot weather thing. Unless it involves copious amounts of water, I’d rather stay inside if it’s going to be 100 degrees and crazy humid. That said, we’ve been hitting up friend’s pools and a nearby lake quite a bit lately.

  • Jenny

    i love your summer list! what a cool way to add some color into your home!

  • Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm

    Swim, swim, swimming. It’s approximately 9 million degrees here (ok technically only around 100-105, but STILL). So the only way I venture outside with the kiddo is if we’re both slathered in sunscreen and wearing swimsuits. :)

    We’ve also been doing tons and tons of puzzles – she’s suddenly obsessed, which makes me quite happy.

  • Mama in the City

    Love the idea of a summer bucket list! I just declared to my family that this was the summer of picnics in the park! 

  • Kyndra

    I love the expression on Joe’s face in the top photo: so serious and interested, I see it from my boys quite often. Have fun and enjoy even the too tired/too young moments you never know what memories are being made…K

  • Amylee

    this is awesome!  that’s for a great idea to help spend time with my family this summer – you’re not corny at all!  you’re a GREAT mom!

  • Helen Cottee

    I love the permission to sit and be. Not have to do jobs and chores and all the other things which always seem to take priority. Unfortunately I live in England. And at the moment our summer is awash with rain but today I am going to sit down and do a summer fun list with my children before it’s too late for them to want me in their days. Thank you for the prompt.

    Helen xx

  • Christie Purifoy

    Love Leaving Church. One of my favorites. Also, thanks to you, I finally picked up The Shipping News. I’d had it on my shelf for a few months after finding it for 50 cents at my local thrift store. Wow! Amazing. So glad I didn’t let it sit, unopened, any longer.

  • Maya Resnikoff

    We’re enjoying reading and getting some exercise and learning together, this summer.  Up next- moving.  It won’t be as much fun, but it will be a relief to be in an apartment with fewer umm, quirks, than this one.

  • Handsfull

    We do lists like that at the start of almost every school holidays.  We always come up with more ideas than there are days to do them in, but that provides plenty of options!
    And can I just say that every time I see a photo of your beautiful Anne I have to check – does she still have a face like a pixie?  And she does, every time! 
    I don’t know why, but there’s something about her face that makes my heart smile :)