Posts Tagged ‘family time’

Within our family there’s a tradition of having a family night once a week. It’s called Family Home Evening. Historically I’ve heard many people hold it on Monday nights, but there’s no hard and fast rule stating that’s when it should be.

Today, I’m sharing some photos from our most recent Family Home Evening with you, and our favorite new snack to enjoy while doing so: Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP microwave popcorn. It comes in Sea Salt, Lightly Sweet Kettle Corn and my daughter’s favorite, Real Butter. I like that it is super easy for her to prepare, and there’s zero cleanup involved for me given that it pops in its own “fresh pop” bowl…amazing!

Some families have a super formal structure for their Family Home Evening, but my family is a bit more casual. We don’t schedule other activities, work, or outings with friends. It’s our night to be together as a family. It’s looked differently over the years too. Sometimes it’s a weekly game night. Other times we take turns choosing a movie to watch. Or take turns deciding on an activity. It always includes a fun snack and good quality time.

Whenever it’s Lil’ J’s turn to plan a night together she is the best host. She’ll prepare the Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP microwave popcorn herself and get us all drinks, and she’ll set up the game or movie.

Our kids look forward to it, and know that nothing should get in the way of this family “date night.” I didn’t set a goal to build my dream house so we could have a big home filled with lots of stuff. I do want a little more space for three kids. But more than anything I want a place we can make memories together inside and in our own backyard.

In our new home I’m hopeful for family nights like this as time spent with family is worth every second. The sooner you make a family night with no exceptions, the more likely your kids will be to stick with it when they’re older. Hey, their friends can come over and join us too.

As much as I wish I had it within my power to give them a happy life, I can’t promise that. But I can do this: give them a night each week to look forward to spending all together. It’s not about having time, but making time. And if we make family time a priority now, it can be a habit later.

Do you have a regular family night?

I’m a list-maker. I love making vision boards, setting new year’s resolutions, and other ambitious goals. So when Juicy Juice expressed interested in sponsoring my thoughts on a summer bucket list I naturally said yes. All opinions are our my own, but I may have gotten some awesome ideas from my friends in our #Cherish365 group.

How to make a family summer bucket list.

I decided we should make a summer bucket list because while we have the best intentions and so many ideas of what we’d like to do, executing those things is another story. I used to look forward to my husband’s days of because it meant we would spend time together and get to do something fun. Lately I look forward to his days off because it means I can get some uninterrupted work done while he goes out with the kids. Problem is I miss my husband, and I wish I was there for the fun too. We were each taking turns doing things with the kids, but rarely all doing them together. It was time for us to make a list, and get to crossing them off.

We each wrote down some of the things we want to do this summer. Here’s most of what we’ve come up with so far:

-Go kayaking
-Visit a water park
-Go on a family bike ride
-Have a picnic
-Ride a train
-Collect and create art rocks
-Have a family Disney Movie Night
-Have a water balloon fight
-Go to movies in the park
-Volunteer together
-Family workout
-Make our own drink umbrellas
-Build a fort
-Go out to eat together
-Make popsicles
-Stop the ice cream truck
-Have 3 date nights (sans kids)
-Take family photos
-Build a fort
-Sleep in

How to make a family summer bucket list.

You can pretty much guess who wrote each one. My husband and the kids love their water balloon fights in the backyard. They’re usually on the trampoline. I’ll join in now and then but I’m usually off limits cause I’m holding the camera (see my strategy?). I’ll refill the balloons or during their breaks bring them water or some Juicy Juice Splashers which are a 50/50 blend of fruit juice and filtered water.

How to make a family summer bucket list.

My kids aren’t adventurous at all so some of these things will really be a stretch for us. Like kayaking for example. I am all about trying the “firsts” together. There’s a great lake in Austin that my husband and I kayaked on with Snoop before we had kids. I’d love to take our kids to try the same. On the same trip we can have a picnic and ride a train and all of us will be happy.

Movie nights are an easy one, but movie nights in the park will be new. It’s been something I’ve wanted to go to for years, but I keep forgetting to execute. And some of the other goals are already in the works.

I also love this idea to take a park crawl:

What’s on your summer bucket list?

How to make a family summer bucket list.

I’m teaming up with Juicy Juice this to share our family adventures and inspire others to enjoy family time this summer. All Juicy Juice products are made from real juice, with sweetness that comes only from the fruit and no added sugar. My kids love it and I feel good about it. All opinions are mine and my family’s.

 

Holy crap where did summer go? Sorry I fell of the face of the earth for a minute. We took last week off to really soak the last bit of summer in. I took time off work, the blog, and even a break from our summer homeschool sessions. We went swimming. We hit the beach and stayed at a beautiful hotel (more on that later). And we enjoyed watching the Olympics together. The summer we had is not quite like the summers I remember having growing up.

Springfree-Tgoma-1-copy

My parents were both very busy, so I spent a lot of time playing with my sister and when my parents were home–neighborhood kids. I remember when we got our first gaming system. It was a Nintendo. I loved Duck Hunt and Super Mario. Then I felt like a cool kid when we upgraded to Sega.

All summer I’d play the handful of games we had. Those were the days where we’d run to Blockbuster to rent a new game for a week. And one year my mom even signed up for the Sega channel, so we had all kind of games to play.

I spent a good amount of time inside playing video games during my summer breaks, until I became obsessed with reading. Then we’d go to the library and I’d check out a stack of Sweet Valley High books and devour them by the next week.

I’ve been holding off on buying a gaming system at my house. I passed on the new PlayStations and Xboxes, even the Disney Infinity games. The closest thing we have is an Apple TV, which can work like a wii for some games, and of course iPad games, which I approve and regulate.

I’ve always been intrigued by the games that have some kind of movement involved. I’m convinced I burned all kinds of calories playing Dance Central on the Xbox Kinect at my mom’s house. That was something I could get behind.

Spingfree-tgoma-2-copy

Springfree Trampoline reached out to me a couple months ago and asked if we’d like to try one of their trampolines and a new interactive game. I knew if I said no my kids would probably never let me live that down.

I didn’t think a trampoline would really fit in our backyard but the large oval shape is perfect to fit on our annoyingly slanted yard. They’re deemed the world’s safest trampoline and now you can add on an interactive component called Tgoma. (It stands for Take Gaming Outside and Make them Active).

Spingfree-tgoma-4-copy

I connected my iPad mini using bluetooth, and Lil’ J helped me choose a few games to download for her and her brother. Once you select the game to play you become the controller and bounce where the characters are on the screen. It sounds complicated but my 3 and 6 year old figured it out pretty quick.  They like “Whatzat?” the most right now which has animal and vehicle sounds play when you jump on different spots on the trampoline. I like Alien Stomp which is like a life-size version of whack a mole. Here’s a video so you can see it in action.

Spingfree-tgoma-3-copy

My husband at first wasn’t thrilled about something else taking up space in our backyard. But you know what? I can’t tell you how many evenings I’ve come home to find him outside jumping with them on it. There’s nothing like seeing him act like a big kid with them and hearing their hysteric laughter.

I hope this is a summer our kids remember and enjoy. I mean dude, from Disneyland with mom, to a family beach trip, water balloon fights in the backyard, and gaming outside on our new trampoline… We’ve made a lot of good memories.

Now, on to a new chapter. First day of homeschool!

How was your summer?


*I love spending quality time with my family and getting active with my kids. I love it when companies make that easier for me with inventions like Tgoma. That’s why I’ve partnered with Springfree Trampoline for a series on getting outside and playing with our kids. All opinions are my own. 

Kids are naturally interested in learning. It’s us adults who manage to squander that passion by making it too ridged or not conducive to the way our individual child likes to learn. In my quest to find ways to keep a strong love of learning in my children, we’re stepping away from the table more and even out of the house entirely.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

I’m still in the process “deschooling” myself. This basically means re-working my brain to see schooling differently than I have my whole life.–Outside of a structured and traditional environment. It has been an interesting process in and of itself.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

We don’t get outside enough. Just speaking for myself. That’s all changing now.

Some friends introduced us to a park nearby with a dam and I’ve been in love with it ever since. During the week it’s deserted and feels like our own private beach.

I’m constantly reminding myself that learning isn’t all done in books. It’s done through observing and discovering the world around us, meeting new people and asking lots of questions. It’s done in the heat of the summer, and dead of the winter, playing in fall leaves and picking spring flowers.–Or while wandering around a sculpture garden completing a scavenger hunt.

umlaf-sculptur-garden

This is all new to us. But we’re learning each and every day everywhere. 

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.
Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.

Learning outdoors with kids, deschooling and re-learning how to have fun while learning. Homeschooling adventures.


To read and learn more about our summer learning outdoors check out my Tampico is Color photoblog

In my blog reader survey there were a number of people who asked something to the effect of “How do you do it all?” in regards to work, home life, and keeping up with the blog. I feel like the answer is complicated.

For one, have you seen my house? If you have, or know me you know that keeping it neat and tidy around the clock is not one of my top priorities. And my “cooking” doesn’t extend much further than boiling pasta or grilling the cheese (as in, grilled cheese sandwiches). I get my work in when my kids are at school and whatever is left at night after they go to bed. The challenge for me comes when I haven’t been able to finish all of my work and I’m faced with a tight deadline while the kids are home and awake.

When my husband is home and off of work when I have a looming deadline he will take the kids into the garage and play, or take them out to do something so I can work.

My office is in the playroom for a reason. When my husband isn’t home (well, even when he is) they like to be near me, and I tend to be able to get more done when they’re distracted yet still nearby. But it stresses me out when I attempt to do this for long.

I recently told one of my friends considering leaving a full-time job to be a stay at home mom that I felt like I enjoyed my kids more when I worked full-time outside of the home. I was joking, but I think there’s some truth to it. I was able to compartmentalize work with work hours, and really focus on quality time when I got home. Now we see each other all the time, but I don’t always make time for those quality experiences. When I plan them ahead of time I do ok. But day to day it’s pretty routine.

We're on spring break!: Black mom hugging her biracial kids.

This week is spring break. I cleared my calendar and made some plans to make magical memories as a family. My husband has half the week off but was against going out of town, so I made a long list of local places I’ve been dying to take my kids. A Dinosaur Park, a drive-through zoo, maybe a trip to an aquarium or planetarium, and some things around the house we’ve never tried like gardening. My husband and daughter are most excited about hitting the pool. It’s a little silly how excited I am, but I can’t help but feel like these are some of the moments we’ll be talking about for years to come.

I won’t be posting too much here this week, aside from updating my Cherish 365 photos. I’ll probably share more on my Facebook page, and next week I’ll post updates from our adventures here.

The break will be good for me. And good for them. A chance to compartmentalize work away and just enjoy my family like we do on vacations. A chance to reset and come back refreshed (I hope). And above all, a chance to enjoy some quality time with the three people I love most.

What are you spring break plans?

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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