Friday, August 9, 2013


When my kids were little, they were very creative and full of imagination. I looked for ways to keep them in that imaginary world when they were having playtime. I don't know if they look back now and say, "Wow, mom was silly." But, I do know their faces lit up with all my crazy ideas.

Indoor Camping

I'd take the four dining chairs and create a square in the middle of the living room. Next, I'd take a white sheet and tie each corner around each of the chairs. An extra blanket would be placed under the "tent". Hot dogs, popcorn, and snacks would be prepared in advance. Campers need camping food. A few times I made S'mores and my daughter, Jeru, helped make them. I filled the inside of the tent with flashlights, turned off most of the lights and let them tell stories, scary or funny. This became a family favorite when friends came over with kids. I wish I would have taken pictures of these moments. I miss them so.

Pool Party Bar BQ

There was a time I was able to buy the kind of pool you blow up with air. My dad cringed inside as he saw the amounts of water we poured into that pool. It was so big, we all fit inside. My son, Aaron pretended to swim in. The kids had a blast in their pool. Mom prepared Iced Tea and I brought down sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fries and snacks. We didn't put out the grill, but to my kids, it was a Bar BQ. The radio served as backyard DJ and we danced and swam to the rhythm playing. Summer heat gave way to night time breeze and huge towels were used to wrap the tired party kids and take them inside. Just saying, you don't need much if you use your imagination.

Hide and Go Seek

At one time, we had a pretty big apartment with many rooms. This was perfect for hide and go seek. My kids were small but they loved to play this game. I don't know why? They always ended up choosing the same hiding spot and most of the time, they were so scared, they would hide together or close by. I would walk around pretending I couldn't find them. Their voices usually let me know where they were, again. But, I'd take my time, sometimes, sitting down for a few minutes before I'd say, "I got you!" They'd blast into high pitched screams, running around the room like crazy kids, and then say, "OK, now you hide." or, "See if you can find me again."
I remember being so bad. I'd look for the most difficult place to hide. They would count to ten and then start searching. After a few seconds, you'd hear, "Mom, where are you?" and "Mom, are you here?" or "I think she's gone." I can't keep from laughing so many times I'd laugh and they'd find me, or I would move something nearby or make sounds, so they could have hints to where they should look, or I'd jump out if they didn't find me and they would jump up screaming then attack me! "AAAHHHH!" Yeah, I was bad. So bad, they'd say, "Let's play that again!" So, think about it, hide and seek, your version, your rules, but have fun!

Movie Night

Having a movie night will take some preparation in advance. If you really want to get fancy, you can buy the popcorn cups. You will need, if you want, popcorn for popping or a large bag of popcorn. (K mart has a great one usually for $2.00) You're going to need the kind of goodies you usually get at the movies. The m&ms, the soda or bottled water, Nachos with cheese, and any other snacks or meal you plan on serving (pigging out on) during movie.
You will need to rent movie (redbox, netflix, amazon, etc.) and check rating to make sure, if you're like me, that it will be a good, family movie with no worries or naked women running through or constant cursing during each conversation. 
I like to throw pillows on the floor, turn off all the lights, and put the TV on as loud as possible. (if you have surround sound, awesome!) My neighbors do it everyday, so once in a blue moon for us is ok.
Prepare a table with easy access in middle or side of living room with all the snacks and drinks. Don't forget to put your cell phone on vibrate, just in case of that emergency call, and enjoy!
Sometimes we do two movies in a night. A kid friendly one and a more adult one that the kids can still watch and enjoy. It's up to you. It doesn't take a lot of money, if any. Improvise with what you have and enjoy family time. You will need about one hundred dollars for a family of five to go to the movies, and more if you go out to eat afterwards. Family Movie Night is super economical, the kids can put it together, and it is great fun!

Last, but not least, 

Beach Walk

One of my favorite things to do, even in the fall, is taking walks on the beach. We wear shorts or roll up our pants. We wear sandals so we don't get sand in our shoes or sneakers. We take towels to leave in the car so we don't make a sandy mess getting back in the car. We love taking photos and writing our names on the sand. I love watching the kids jump up to beat the incoming waves. Loving nature, we usually stay until the sun sends an assortment of burning colors throughout the sky as it begins to set. Our family tries to see how many different colors fill the sky. Time on the beach is relaxing and we see God's glorious masterpiece as we look out into the vastness of the ocean. It is a great time to reflect on God's glory and beautiful handiwork.

Well, these are some of my favorite family moments with my kids when they were younger. We still have great family times when we can. I'm hoping today is one of them. I hope you have a great one also, even if it's just you and your friends, you and your hubby, but take the time to plan something and have a great Friday!



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