Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Fun Friday: Lake Pleasant

Welcome back to this week's #summerfunfriday
here at Almond Place!

I can hardly believe we have a week of summer vacation under our belts!  I don't know about you, but these first couple of weeks are always ones of transition...ones where we learn to readjust by having everyone home all the time....we've had lots of great moments together and lots of rough patches too.

One of the reasons why I LOVE making a list like this is that it gives us something to focus on.  In a couple of weeks, our boys will start a morning camp for a few weeks but everyone will be home by noon.  Rather than just have them come home and "do nothing", this list is giving us great ideas to go out and have fun together!

We kicked this first week off with a little trip to Lake Pleasant.  This was totally unintentional. We tried to get to the Pioneer Village just north of Phoenix, but we ended up having a ton of rain last weekend and they were closed due to flooding when we arrived first thing Saturday morning.  I had to do some quick thinking and knowing that hitting up the lake was on our list, I decided to head that way.

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I hadn't been out to this lake in well over 10 years and my original plan to get to one of the lakes here in town was to head east instead....we will still get out to that lake, but this was the next best thing.

We spent about 3 hours here...first just driving around to get some bearings....then we pulled over at an inlet and I let the kids out to check things out.  We happened to come across a group of scuba divers in training, so that was pretty cool to see them getting ready and beginning their dives.  This was a cool spot but the problem I found with Lake Pleasant is that it's not really like the lakes I'm used to.  While there was a lot of accessible shore line, there was no actual "beach" designated area.  Everything was very rocky and quite littered. The kids were eager to take their shoes off, and I initially said yes but then I had to back track when I saw how much glass, rusted metal chards, and old fishing hooks were laying around.  It was kind of a bummer and in the end was stressful for me because they were less than thrilled with having to listen to mom kill their fun!

So, we picked up and drove around a little more.  We eventually made our way to the day use area with bathrooms and several picnic tables.  This had a little hike along the ridge of the shore and the kids were super excited to take Mom on a hike down to the water.  Here again, it was super rocky, but this time the rocks were huge and we had a great time tossing rocks into the lake.  This didn't take a long time, but it was the highlight of the day....

**note to self: let kids throw rocks more often**

"Don't Touch!!!"...heard from every mom around us every 5 seconds!!

Because I had not planned on venturing to the lake, we came ill prepared with food.  Luckily, there was a restaurant down at the marina.  While taking all 3 of them by myself to eat in a restaurant is always a risk, they were stellar.  It was cool to eat right on the water and watch people drive their boats up, tie up to the dock and walk right into the restaurant.  Andrew was especially interested in how much all of the boats cost.

We headed home after lunch and all 3 kids were asleep before we made it back to the main freeway.  It was a GREAT day together!!

Link up your activities below!  I can't wait to see what you've done or hear what you've got planned!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive: Guest Post

Hello Almond Place readers! It is such a joy to be over here sharing today. I have loved getting to know Mandy and am so excited to be here today. A little introduction... My name is Keri and I share over at Living In This Season. It is a passion of mine to share about living fully in our current seasons of life. As a mama to three little ones, I know how crazy some seasons can be, but I have also seen how beautiful some seasons can be as well. Stop on over and say hi. As summertime is approaching, I have been preparing some fun summer activities. Yesterday, I shared our family bucket list. I love making bucket lists as a family because we can make it uniquely for our family- focused on what we enjoy and love. As we enjoy the various activities, I want to be able to record and remember them. Something I have learned from Mandy is the beauty of treasuring photos. I love her Project Life posts and find them so inspiring. Just as we all will enjoy different activities, we will all record our memories differently. Here are some fun ways: Summer Memories 1) Use a Project Life Album- My new goal is to print photos from my phone on a monthly basis and slide them into our Project Life Albums. Mandy shares so many wonderful tips for using Project Life. 2) Start a Memory Jar- Get a jar and label it for memories. It could be for the summer specifically or for the rest of the year. Have some slips of paper ready to record fun memories on and then put into the jar. We have started doing this for this year and I am looking forward to going through these at the end of the year. 3) Keep Treasures- Sometimes keeping a physical item can be a special treasure. Elizabeth shares beautiful ways to store these treasures- read more HERE. Sometimes a container of shells can be a lovely reminder to a special family vacation.
These are just a few ideas to get you started... what are some ideas you have?
You may be reading this and wondering how you could possibly think of recording the memories, when you are simply hoping to survive each day. I know how exhausting the days of motherhood can be. I know there are challenges and unexpected things that happen daily. However, I also know that there is so much more than survival mode. You can thrive as a mom- it is possible! I have learned some simple steps to follow to assist me in my journey to thriving as a mom and have shared them in an eBook, Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive. If you are interested in purchasing or reading more, go HERE. Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Fun Friday: Our List

I'm so excited to launch this series today!  It's my oldest kiddo's last day of school and we are all chomping at the bit to get summer started.  I'm looking forward to a modified schedule, fewer commitments and really making sure the kids get a summer BREAK.

That being said...we are not letting everything fall by the way side.  We will be doing some homeschooling.  We are focusing on handwriting, reading and exploring our surroundings...the kids have a handwriting curriculum to work through, we are in the process of selecting 10 chapter books for each of them, they have Financial Peace Junior to work through and I'm putting together some materials for our Canada trip.

But mostly, I want to focus on having relaxation time and FUN!  This past week, we brainstormed and came up with a list of ideas to do this summer.  One of the things I made sure to do was to let the boys actually write their ideas.   They LOVED doing this! Andrew wrote his ideas, Jacob drew them!

Here's what our list looks like:

We're getting started with some fun things this weekend....Come on back next week, on Friday, to share your adventures!  If you're linking up, be sure to grab a button and share the link up with your friends!!

You can follow our adventures on IG with the #summerfunfriday link at Almond Place on IG

 I can't wait to see your lists!

Link up here: