How to Make a Summer Bucket List With Your Kids

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

How to make a summer bucket list with your kids. Make the most out of your summer!

How to Make a Summer Bucket List With Your Kids

Bucket lists are popular. I know I personally LOVE a good checklist. I once made a 1,000 things to do in my life because I’m an overachiever like that. Then I realized it was weighing on me so I deleted it. Quite a freeing experience. My kids have inherited this love of checklist making (and checking it off!).

Here are some quick tips on how you can make a summer bucket list with your kids.

Ask Them

First step is easy, just ask them if there is something they have been wanting to do, but haven’t had the time for.

Talk About Money

I know, I know. Not fun, but neither is adding a cruise to your bucket list, only to discover later you only have enough funds to cover a canoe trip. Set a budget for your summer fun. This is an awesome time for you to model financial stewardship for your children.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Anyone know where that cliche came from?! Maybe add some of these to your list:

  • things to do, read, watch, and experience
  • places to go
  • crafts, recipes, and projects to make
  • think of rainy days, touristy things in your area
  • is a day trip or long weekend in your budget?

Put Others First

Add things to your list that include serving others. Summer is a great time for service projects. Use your summer to make a difference. Try a few of these:

  • sew pillowcases to donate to a children’s hospital
  • collect and decorate flip flops for children in Nicaragua
  • collect change to donate
  • collect baby items for your local pregnancy care center (host a baby shower!)
  • do yard work or small home repairs for an elderly homeowner
  • bring a meal to someone who is sick or just to bless them!
  • volunteer at a soup kitchen or other ministry
  • pack a care package for a soldier

If you are crafty, a great resource with lots of projects to make and places to donate them is the book Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause. I read that and was rather inspired by the good people are doing with their God-given gifts. I like to pin ideas for service projects to my Make a Difference Pinterest board, be sure to check that out, too.


Speaking of Pinterest, be pinspired by Pinterest and all the fabulous things you can find. It is my favorite place on the web (after this blog, OF COURSE!) and it has gobs and gobs of ideas just waiting for you. Gobs, I tell you! See what I mean?

Summer fun ideas Pinterest board!

Now, go talk to your kids and take advantage of whatever time you have this summer!

Everything Summer: The Ultimate Summer Link-Up {Mom Tested, Family Approved}

Everything Summer the ultimate summer link up from Mom Tested, Family Approved

Everything Summer: A Mom Tested, Family Approved Home Link-Up

Our homeschool year has ended and the schools around here let out for the summer this week. What better way to start of summer than with a Mom Tested, Family Approved link-up for Everything Summer?! If you are looking for summer activities to occupy your kids, let us help.

Bloggers, this is the time to link up all those fun summer games, crafts, recipes, and other activity posts. When you do link up with Mom Tested, Family Approved; your post is in the running to be featured in the next month’s link-up in on multiple blogs.

Everything Frugal Features

Last month’s theme was Everything Frugal. We had a lot of AWESOME contributions, so be sure to check out the post for those. Here are the three features for Mom Tested, Family Approved Home link-up’s  Everything Frugal

Mom Tested, Family Approved Home Co-Hosts

Please be sure to see what Dollie at Teachers of Good Things and Jamie at Walking in High Cotton have to say on their Everything Summer posts!, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Link Up!

Saving Memories Forever {a review}

Saving Memories Forever {a review}

Saving Memories Forever Introduction

It is time for another Mosaic Reviews review. This time I was given access to an app called Saving Memories Forever. I received no other compensation and the only return expected was a review on me ol’ blog.

Saving Memories forever is a way to record precious memories with your family members forever. Have you ever wanted to hear the voice of a loved one who has passed? Or wished you could remember the details of the stories Grandpa told? You can preserve those stories for yourself and your children with this program.

Saving Memories Forever has two parts, a website and an app (available on Android and iPhone). There are user guides available for both parts of the program. The app and registration on the website are free. There is also a monthly paid option ($3.99/mo.) that gives you more options.

How Does it Work?

It is easy peasy lemon squeezy (you can thank my children). Once you have registered on the website (you can do this through the app or your desktop) and have the app downloaded, it is as simple as pressing record, asking a question, and letting them answer. Really. Once you have finished, you have the option to playback your recording, re-record the story, and upload it to your account. There are about 10 questions per section already loaded into the app when you get it, but you can add your own.

Saving Memories has many resources available to help make it easy for you. Be sure to check out the How It Works, FAQs, and Tips pages.

Free Vs. Paid

With both options you receive the option to add transcription files to your audio, add a photograph for your storyteller, add tags to stories, search the site for relatives’ stories, uploading MP3 files directly from your PC to the website, and the use of the free app.

The paid version gets you the following: unlimited storytellers, unlimited story listeners, unlimited number of stories you can listen to per day, the ability to add photographs to your stories, and attach Word documents to your stories. Plus, you can search tags to find other stories.

My Experience

Personally, I found this simple little product to be fun. I answered a couple questions on my own to get familiar with the app (more like getting used to hearing the sound of my own voice). Then I asked my kids to answer some questions. I loved hearing their answers. This product that will enable me to hear those little voices long after they are grown. I like that. It was easy to use and my kids had a blast answering my questions.

You can try it out for free yourself. If you do, be sure to stop back here and let me know what you think!

Dear Guilty Mom – Give Yourself Permission

Common Bond

There is a series of “Dear Mom” posts by Rachel Martin at Finding Joy that are very popular (for good reason). It is through these posts and the feedback on them, and the popularity of my own transparency post (popularity is completely relative, of course) that I came to realize one of the biggest struggles moms deal with is GUILT. The tremendous pressure of the things we think we should be doing. Sometimes we think we should be doing something simply because we see other “good” moms doing it.

You are Not That Other Mom

Here’s the thing. God created you to be the mother you are, to seek His will for your life as a mom. We are to train our children in the ways that God has laid out clearly in the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:7, Exodus 20:1-17) and to seek His will for the areas that are not “black and white” issues. In that order (see Matthew 6:33 and 7:7-11). He will answer our prayers and grant us guidance (Psalm 9:10). And, while there are some very good resources out there, not all of them are for you and your child.

Your path through motherhood will look different to another mom’s, even if you share very similar beliefs and convictions. I’ll give you five good reasons:

  1. Your backgrounds are different.
  2. Your children are different.
  3. Your ministry specifics are different.
  4. Your husbands are different.
  5. YOU are different, which means you do not have the exact same giftings from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

God has created each of us uniquely. Honor that. See 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 for encouragement on this.

Know the Difference

See the thing about guilt is, it’s not always a bad thing. When Christ left us, He promised us that the Comforter would come. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us. The Holy Spirit’s job?

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more. Of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, buy ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:8-15 (emphasis mine)

Conviction tends to come at us in the form of guilt because we realize once again just how far we are from the perfection of Christ (Romans 3:23). This is a GOOD thing. What becomes the problem is how we respond. The correct response is to humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, repent and obey what Christ has laid on our hearts (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9).

The incorrect response can come in many forms – hardening our hearts because we don’t want to change (Hebrews 10:26-29) and lashing out at those the Holy Spirit is using in our lives to bring conviction (Matthew 5:12) are two examples.

So, sometimes guilt is good.

Other times, though, we feel guilt based on “worldly” standards.

Worldly Guilt

This is where we need to give ourselves permission to be the mom we are at the moment.

Feeling guilty you don’t do enough crafts with your kiddos? Give yourself permission to stop trying to constantly entertain or “challenge” your kids.

Feeling guilty you don’t get up before the sun and start each day with quiet time? Give yourself permission to get the rest your body needs and get up with the kids.

Feeling guilty you don’t have exciting meal plans? Give yourself permission to keep it simple.

Feeling guilty you don’t sew your children’s clothes? Give yourself permission to buy them without guilt.

The funny thing about “worldly” guilt is, when we give ourselves permission to let go, oftentimes the very thing we were trying to make happen, starts to happen naturally. I don’t have any profound reasoning why, but I’m guessing it has to do with grace.

Again, Know the Difference

To find your balance between good and bad guilt, you need to know the Word of God. If the guilt you are feeling lines up with scripture, you need to seek God and what He has for you there. If you can’t line your guilt up with scripture, it’s not of God and you need to let go of it.

Give yourself permission.


The purpose of this blog is to encourage and bless, if this post or any other has done so, would you consider leaving a comment and/or sharing the post with others? I would greatly appreciate it.

If you would like some scripture encouragement to help you overcome procrastination, please check out this post.

If you would like to change up your housework routine, this post may help.

Linking up with The Ultimate List of Mom Resources at Mom’s Mustard Seeds

Say Yes to Popsicles!

Summer time is a time for cool treats. Make your kids happy and be a yes mom with easy, healthy popsicles you can serve them without any guilt. Happy kids + guilt-free mama = win!

Say Yes to Popsicles This Summer - Tips to make homemade popsicles you can give your kids without any guilt.

You know how us Moms (parents in general?) have the tendency to say no to our kids requests to craft/play a game/have a sweet/insert random request that children repeat over-and-over? Well, Jessica over at Bohemian Bowmans has started a new blog meme, Saying Yes. She’s challenging you to say yes as much as you can.

Say Yes to Popsicles!

This past weekend, I made a bunch of popsicles in ice cube trays. Popsicles that I could say yes to when my kiddos asked many times a day to have one. Popsicles that didn’t have things like “high ferocious corn syrup” in them.

Say Yes to Popsicles!

Want to make some popsicles you can say yes to?

Grab a blender (or not, see below). Toss in some fruit, juice (or water or milk), and some yogurt (or not). Blend it up, pour into ice cube trays (or use awesome molds), insert a toothpick and freeze.

The two my cutie pie is holding above are strawberry and banana blended with pineapple juice, and crushed pineapple mixed with coconut milk and pineapple juice. For those who like specifics here is the pineapple coconut breakdown:

  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple

Mix together in a measuring cup and pour into molds. Freeze. Easy peasy.

I’d give you specifics on the other one, but I didn’t measure. To make up for my lack of measurements, I shall share some tips for making awesome popsicles.

  • If it makes a great smoothie, it makes a great popsicle.
  • Don’t have a blender or don’t want to get yours dirty? Chop, dice, slice, or smash some fruit up, put it in your mold, and pour juice over it.
  • Apple juice goes great with just about anything because it does not have a distinct flavor. White grape juice also works well.
  • Try putting whole blueberries, grapes or raspberries in your mold with juice.
  • Blend some fruit, nut butter and almond milk for a popsicle with some protein. Banana with peanut butter. Apple with almond butter.

Want more healthy, yummy popsicle ideas? Check these out:

For more popsicle idea, check out my new Pinterest boardSay Yes to Popsicles!

If you have a blog and want to join in, please do! If you don’t have a blog, no worries. Just tell me, what are you going to say yes to this week?

Be a yes Mom! Say yes to popsicles this summer!

What Parenting is to Me

Nine years ago today, I was impatiently waiting for my first child to be born. She was due on November 9, but decided that was about a week too soon for her. Next week, my oldest turns NINE. It’s funny how we can go from “can’t wait til we outgrow this phase” to “holy crap, where are the brakes on this thing?!” in such a short time.

For me it was the realization that my oldest child will now be halfway through her childhood years (well, legally and I realize that it’s not a magical *poof* now you’re an adult thing, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll stick with 18 being the age of adulthood starting).


Suddenly I’m seeing things that I’ve always looked ahead to staring me in the face.

Suddenly she’s actually help in the kitchen.

Suddenly she’s asking questions that really don’t have a concrete answer. Trying to figure out life.

It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s humbling.

It’s looking at her and realizing that she’s really studying the things I do, now she’s REALLY paying attention.


It’s hearing the voice of your child calling you on an inconsistency in your words and your actions.

It’s knowing that your child knows you better than most because they are with you all day, everyday.


It’s realizing how thankful you are to know that the one who is actually raising your child, investing in your child, shaping your child, guiding them on figuring out this life is YOU because no earthly being could love them more than you.

It’s realizing how thankful you are to know that you have not missed these vitally important years.

Life can get so busy for all of us, BUT it is never a lesser choice to invest in your child.

Good Read on Parenting


Sally Clarkson has written a great post on parenting. A quote that resonates in me:

“And so, when we discipline our children, we must learn to look at their hearts. Is their heart rebellious? Are they being willful? Am I expecting too much for them–their age, their level of over-stimulation, the circumstances, their maturity level, their abilities? A child should not be punished for being exhausted, immature, a boy, or for making a mistake. I make mistakes all the time, again and again. And yet scripture teaches in the new testament and the old that maturity is as a result of training, time, growth, heart and will.”

And another one:

“But Really? Can you cite me verse and give context that says God always requires first time obedience without mercy? I am thankful that He is much more patient with me than that in my own life. I have made so many mistakes over the years and done such foolish things, and still He is there loving me, instructing me, showing me his compassion and gently leading me daily to better understand His holy and righteous standard for me.”

And a final one (the emphasis is mine):

“We had very high standards for our children, but our discipline was always viewed through a lens of relationship as the strong basis of our discipleship of our children. Without a close relationship, discipline is quite unproductive.”

This article coincides with what God began speaking to my heart a while ago. Then I read a book (Loving Our Kids On Purpose) and things clicked. I highly recommend the book and Sally’s article. Great food for thought.