Summer plans, part one

So, I have three ideas that I am wanting to implement this summer. My kids still have six days of school left, so while I might be a bit behind the eight ball for sharing, I am still going to make it on time!
One year from now, Clark will be preparing to leave home for college.
One year from now.

This first idea then is for me–it is called, My Favorite Summer and it is an attempt to freeze in time, my family–but most especially, my children.

I want to remember who they are and what they love, right now–as we teeter on the brink of major change.

The basic idea is this: 10 weeks of summer break, 10 weekly themes, 7 family members and 7 mini-books that document our “favorites” and any activities that grow from them.

Here are the themes I’m considering at this point.
I am (naturally) hoping that you’ll enlighten me with other possibilities!


Flavor of Ice Cream







Scripture/Quote & Hymn (or primary song)


I vividly remember the summer before I left for BYU, my mom gathered us around the table–I had just turned 18, my brothers were 14 and 11 and my little sisters were 5 and 3 — we went around the table and shared what we all had planned or hope to plan for the upcoming months before school started again. I of course thought everyone should be focused on me and getting me off to college. Theron wanted to go dirt biking, Cougar was probably all about skateboarding? Both boys had scouting activities (and if I remember right, a jamboree to attend.) Darci was in a singing group (Jim Valley?) that was all about performing at area malls and festivals and when we got around to Chanda, she said, “I just want to know if we are ever going to Disneyland?” I have never forgotten this conversation which was a bit of a wake up for self-absorbed me. I realized that while we were a family, each one of us had an “agenda” and that I really didn’t know what was going on in the lives and hearts of my siblings.

Hopefully, My Favorite Summer will capture a similar snapshot for me, now.

I’ve selected the NEW 6×6 board book, from Close To My Heart, to house this project. If you have a consultant, this board book is on page 94 of the Summer 2010 catalog. The price and order # are pictured above. If you don’t have a consultant, you can find one here.

I have one board book for each member of my family and the photos pictured above are on the way to me from (in 6×6) so that I can adhere each person’s “headshot” to the cover of their book.

Since there is always so much going on in our house, and so many people going in different directions, I won’t be scheduling weekly themes ahead of time. About the only thing we ALL do together, is what we have recently termed the Sunday graze. We attend church for 3 hours on Sundays, beginning at 11:00 am. By the time we get home, it is 2:30ish and we are HUNGRY. No one wants to wait for mom to get dinner on and mom (generally) doesn’t have a clue what to fix anyway. So, we stand around and graze. The chips & salsa, peanut butter & apples, bagels & cream cheese (etc.) all comes out and we stand around grazing. It is during the Sunday graze that I think we could potentially discuss and select a theme for the upcoming week (consulting the calendar, of course.)

When we select or invent a new theme, then we will discover and document each person’s favorite and do it, eat it, watch it, visit it — you get the idea — during the upcoming week. Yes, I know this means we will potentially eat an inordinate amount of ice cream or cookies during a 7-day period, but, as I was raised to say, What the Heck! In fact, when I was little, we celebrated good times at Ferrells Ice Cream Parlor. They made this giant ice cream sundae, called The Zoo. I can totally picture us (during ice cream week) making one of those giant ice cream sundaes with everyone’s favorite flavor. We could invite another family over to share it with us. During cookie week, we might make  or purchase a different kind of cookie each day, or we might make them all in one day and deliver cookie plates to our neighbors. I think we can get CREATIVE with how we celebrate and document. Whether we read a favorite children’s book or a couple of chapters from Harry Potter — we will get to know each person a little better and experience something they love.

I will do my best to record our ideas and progress, here on the blog.
If you have ideas or questions for me, leave a comment!

My summer’s end, I should have a mini-library of “My Favorite Summer” board books, to keep in on our upstairs bookshelves.
I’m happy about this.

DON’T FORGET to check the BPS blog each day this week, for another goofy video and great idea from me.


  1. Kris with a k says:

    We used to go to Farrell’s too! And for a friend’s 16th birthday we “kidnapped” her and took her there blindfolded, then we all shared a Zoo! Loved that they brought it out on a stretcher and rang bells!

  2. I would suggest cupcakes as a theme! So fun and so creative!

  3. Heather says:

    Love it! I’m not sure if we’ll do mini books like you, but we can definitely play along. The only thing I see missing from the list is Music. Music is a big part of summer and life. That and smells trigger all kinds of memories. So I would definitely add Sounds of Summer to our list. Loving the inspiration as usual.

  4. Heather in Tx says:

    We have a couple weeks that it will be hard to do anything (2 camp weeks). So I’m thinking I might add in favorite memories or family traditions. A couple things that are more remembering than doing so that the one night we’ll be together on those weeks we can still do it.

  5. I totally forgot about Ferrell’s – I had butterscotch on vanilla ice cream there for the first time and I’ll always remember that. You’re my hero – I don’t know how you do all you do and be such a great mom to five kids. I care for my mom full time and I can’t imagine that times five. Thanks for the daily inspiration.

  6. good idea (you really do have good ones!) I think I may have to borrow this one! I usually make some type of mini book about our summer activities, but I like doing one about each person in the family!

  7. You mean the Farrell’s in Portland, OR? That place was fun. Never got the huge trough though.

    Hoping you are letting us know how to buy those books soon!

    Also, do you mainly do mini albums? Do you find those to be easier to do and more motivating to do? I have been a chronological scrapper, but find I am in a rut and not motivated at all. One reason I am looking for your book since I missed your LOM class.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Sounds like a really fun idea Stacy and I love that you’ve chosen CTMH’s new board books. They are great. As a consultant I got to order one about a month before the product went “live” to all of our customers and I used it to make a little “Welcome to our Family” book for my new “niece” who just became a member of our family officially yesterday when her mom married my little brother. She’s almost four, about six months younger than my twins so I thought something simple would be good. First I did pages about my parents her new “grandparents” and then a page about my family since I’m the oldest, followed by pages about her new dad and then finally her other aunt and uncle or my baby brother and his wife. Then I had two pages left so I did a page just about her new cousins…my kids. There’s also a new recipe box and recipe card kit in CTMH’s line-up and I made one for her mom who is staying with my parents for the next six months while my brother is deployed to Iraq. I put a few of my favorite recipes in there for her and I’m sure my mom will add more to it before she leaves.

    Around here there’s so much going on each summer that we are often off and doing something at least once a week. School doesn’t let out until the end of June here so we really only get a two month break. My daughter has camp scheduled for the first two weeks off, first dance camp and then girl scout camp. My husband is in Alabama until mid-july so it’s just me and the kids for most of the first month. I’m planning on doing “Kidding Around” with my daughter but since I just entered to try to to win a spot at Ella’s blog I haven’t signed up just yet. We also go strawberry picking and blueberry picking in July so that always makes it fun. Usually we go to the drive-in at least twice during the summer months too. In August there’s a maze cut into a field of sunflowers that we always visit and we finish summer break off by visiting my husband’s family in Michigan and walking over the Mackinac bridge on Labor day. We also visit the ice cream shop several times over the summer which is always fun.

  9. Jenny McGee says:

    WE had a Farrell’s here in PA too. It was in the local mall. That place was a fun place to go. I remember being in college and going there for a sorority party. Memories…

    Great idea about the Favorite Summer mini books. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your blog posts about this.

  10. Awesome, as usual. I remember Farrel’s and their ice cream. I also remember the candy shop where you could get those extra large rainbow lolly pops. There were two styles foot long or round. Good luck with the mini books!

  11. Sounds F-U-N Stacy! My 9 & 7 yo daughters and I are taking Tami’s Kidding Around class. I’ll have to steal this idea. I’ll stew these ideas around for a while and see what else I can think to add. The girls aren’t out of school until June 28 and only for 8 weeks, so I’ve got some time.

    We are working on some ideas (sort like your bingo) to get jobs done, keep screen time to a minimum etc. Still ironing out the details.

    Usually around the end of August I think: OH MY summer is almost OVER!!! What happened?? ‘What’ did we do exactly? With these fun weekly themes it would add in some fun all summer long.

  12. I love it Stacy! My first thought was what about the people? How about a week you celebrate your favorite people? It could be someone you know or someone you don’t like, I totally love the Xmen movies and would want to celebrate Wolverine on my day!

    Don’t forget to have a color week!

    Pig Trough was my favorite Ferrell’s treat! LOL

    • See, knew I would great ideas from my readers. Favorite people day will be added to my list! thanks!

  13. Stacy – I know this is a great idea – because I started this tradition in 2008, the summer after my husband was home from his coma and hospitalisaton. I got the idea from Kolette Hall and the class I took on BPS called The Art of Becoming More and adapted many of her prompts to the kids – created templates that they could fill in. The kids were responsible to keep up with their journaling and scrapbooks. I had themes, too – but I spaced them over the week instead of devoting one week per theme and everyone – all 6 of us – were in charge at least three times. For example, themes could be Game Night, Favourite Meals, Visit a local historical site. If my youngest kid wanted to play Candy Land on Game Night – we did- just like we might play Texas Hold-em on the teenagers night. It was a great start of a tradition for us, it took A LOT of pressure off of me to plan and do stuff, scrapbook stories, collect pictures and be a “Camp Counselor” all summer. This year, we are starting Family Field Trips – and we each have a place to visit which we will put in a hat and draw out. Disneyland comes up every summer – but we try to stick to local sites that have less crowds!! I look forward to seeing your books – and i will try to post my kids pages on the at the Blue Barn blog.

  14. Angie F says:

    LOVE the idea of theme weeks! Should keep my girls from getting bored and help me out when I am not sure what to do after summer school hours and after summer school is over and before we start all over again this fall! THANKS!! :)

  15. What a sweet memory for you! I hope it goes well and your children don’t roll their eyes at you and say “Really?!” every time you suggest something creative to them (like my 7 year old son!). Have fun!

    • Oh, there’s eye rolling going on all the time these days. I gently remind them that I pushed them out and changed their diapers and they will cooperate!

  16. Kelly Driver says:

    What a fabulous idea. As I was reading your topics I thought of a few myself…


    T.V. Show


    Character (ie. Harry Potter, Homer Simpson, Sherlock Holmes, Backyardigans)

    Fave Color

    Can’t wait to see some of the finished work.

  17. Susan R. says:

    Shout out to! You turned me on to that site and I use it regularly for odd sizes of good photos I don’t want to crop. One of the best tips I’ve gotten from you…and there have been many!

  18. Peggy Leland says:

    I love this idea, not sure if I’ll do multi mini albums or try a small ring album 6×6 and just do summer memories 2010. I’m a stampin up fan and they have 2 cute albums in their new summer mini.

    I also love the themes the others are coming up with. Going to add these to my BPS idea notebook.

  19. Renee J. says:

    This is an awesome idea! Hmmm-what about a “quote of the week”. It could even be original. I always think those are so inspiring.

    Oh, BTW, Stacy, thanks for all the inspiration you always give us! It is so appreciated.

    Take care,

    Renee J.

  20. Hi Stacy,
    Yikes is right I remember when Clark was born. You were Sarah’s YW president teaching her all of your great ideas. Now I have grandchildren older than him. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. It goes too fast. Fun to see your family on your blog. So glad you are doing well!

  21. Maureen says:

    So cool – I can think of several things to add:

    Song, Piece of technology, prize possession, friends, fav way to spend free time, pet peeves, favorite memory, what they want to be when they grow up.

    I have three little mini books that have been screaming for a theme – here it is, thanks Stacy!!

  22. I love this idea! I think I’m going to take your inspiration and do a mini-album for me, using your themes as memory triggers. One extra idea I have is to share “Favourite Summer Memories From the Past” – I think your kids would have fun reminiscing about other summers. I look forward to following the fun all summer long!

    P.S. You are such am amazing source of inspiration every. single. day!!!

  23. Thought of one to add – favorite summer reads!

  24. Okay, this is where I need major help. I just submitted this, in fact, as an idea to Noell for a future episode of PCL roundtable. Nostalgia. Just the mere mention of your son being a single year away from college makes me feel desperate to freeze time and cling madly to the remaining moments (or even fragments of moments) before he flies away. And he’s not even MY son. A mental (and very emotional) montage of “through the years” begins to play in my head and I feel kind of emotionally overwhelmed. And it’s not even MY child. How will I ever handle it when it IS my child (who will be 11 in less than one month, sniff sniff). But I do truly love this Favorite Summer mini book idea. Can’t wait to see future blog posts about it.

    • I’m with you Toni — but, I try to remind myself that desperation and it’s cousins, fear and anxiety do not come from a positive source. What we can do is choose to completely engage with some of the everyday moments we have now– essentially making the MOST of them. It is the memories made (whether or not they are scrapbooked right away) that will bring us the joy and peace we seek in times of change!

      • Such wise words, Stacy. Thank you for reminding me of the need to stay close to the source that brings us joy and peace (and great memories made therein.)

  25. What a fantastic idea. I too have a child that will be off to college a year from now, and I was just saying yesterday how a year from now I will be wishing that I had these days back.
    I’m going to sit down and make a theme list as well. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration Stacy!

  26. What wonderful ideas everyone has! Thanks for the inspiration.

    I started implementing Summer Bingo last week and the kids have been really busy. And that makes me a happy mom. Stacy, you truly are an ambassador for Gross National Happiness. Listen to this NPR clip to see what I mean:

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  27. Angel Koch says:

    Have you thought about clothing styles? Every person, no matter what they choose to wear, wear their clothing in specific ways, and everyone has favorite articles of clothing that they wouldn’t be caught dead without. Have a fashion show, with lots of camera flashes, maybe an impromptu runway, and capture some of everyone’s styles as they are right now.
    You always see hair in photos, but you never see shoes. Maybe it’s a hat, or earrings or fun socks that make the outfit. Maybe it’s something that is always blue, or that tshirt that’s been worn through.

    • Totally cool idea. Favorite accessory — perhaps when we go to someone’s favorite movie, we’ll all have to wear our favorite outfit and accessory!

  28. Laura J says:

    I remember Farrell’s! Thanks for the trip down memory lane…

    Love your mini-album idea!

  29. What a fun idea Stacy! I want to be at your house this summer! Hee hee. Your list is great…this only thing I noticed is the color girl forgot “my favorite color”. Enjoy! XO

  30. Candace B. says:

    Great idea…I would probably add little stuff like receipts (copies), and some kid quotes just because it is such a focused book and maybe some wrappers, etc. How fun! As for my own boys, one is off to the National BSA Jamboree and one graduates on Monday and has to get ready for college. My summer will be quiet (and maybe full of of scrapping!)

  31. This is a fabulous idea and I can’t wait to follow you through the summer. I miss Farrell’s! I often wish we still had an “ice cream parlour” where we could celebrate major accomplishments. Cold Stone and Baskin Robbins have great ice cream, but it’s just not the same without the booths, table service and the whole atmosphere.

  32. Kary in Colorado says:

    This is an amazing idea, Stacy. Our oldest just moved 1000 miles away to work on a PhD and our second is spending the summer in Thailand (yikes), so my birds are already in flight. My last two are 13 & 15 and a little lost without their sibs. So first of all, enjoy this summer. The end of an era is definitely coming. Your great idea may be just the thing to interest my 13 & 15, and the other two could weigh in at least occasionally from afar.

    I was thinking that a riff off the five senses might be a fun addition to your list. Like taste (not a favorite FOOD necessarily–could be salt water while bodysurfing), feel (sand between your toes, lying on your back in the grass), smell (lilacs blooming), sight (fireworks, thunderclouds) and sounds (ice cream truck, meadowlarks). You get the idea. The smell one might be a challenge with boys (!) but it would be interesting to see what they could come up with. Can’t wait to see your project in process!

    • See, my blog readers have the BEST ideas! I’m going to chew on this and see how I can incorporate the senses too.

      thank YOU.

  33. how about favorite thing to do with the family? Or would that be to much activities if everyone chooses something else? You could make an extra list in the back of the books with favorites that didn’t get a week of their own.

  34. I love this idea also. I am going to modify it a touch to make it more doable for our family. I have eight children so there is no way I could do a movie week for example because my husband would not be happy to watch 10 movies in one week!!! This is how I think I am going to solve it—I am going to pick 10 categories and make a questionnaire for eveyone to fill out with answers to their favorite 10 things (once I choose my categories). No one will see there answers but me. That will give me a little more flexibility and I can spread out things like favorite restaurant over the summer. I will try to reveal one or more of someone’s favorites everyday which will hopefully add some excitement to this project. For example, on Monday we wil have Maggie’s Favorite Ice Cream, on Tuesday we will watch Mitchell’s favorite movie, On Wednesday we will hear about Stewart’s favorite book, etc….. I am looking forward to this. Thanks as always for your inspiration Stacy!!!

  35. What a great idea! I will have to modify it a bit but I absolutely want to capture the things that are favorites in my family and the things that my kids say.

    Thanks for mentioning Farrell’s! I hadn’t thought about them in what seems like forever. I have great memories of that place. We would go as a family for a treat or have a party there. I thought they all closed. We may have to make a day of it next time we are down visiting Grandma and Papa!

    • I know. I was so tickled to Google them and hear that FUN music. So many amazing memories are tied to places we visited as children!

  36. I can always count on you to come up with something creative for summer. We’re already two weeks in to our ‘summer vacation’, but I can easily start now. Thanks for sharing your always amazing ideas with the world!

  37. Oh my gosh, Stacy! That is so cool! I am so excited to do this with my family, that I’m (practically) bouncing up and down in my chair. The inspiration you have, dear Lady! I am SO excited, and I thought that it might be just a hum-drum boring summer of too many cartoons, and annoying neighbor kids continuously knocking on my front door. Planning a family meeting in my head, as I type this. As always, thanks!

  38. great idea!! i might downsize and do a “favorites week” the last week before school!
    ferrells – yum :)

  39. I remember the zoo I loved going there they made a Hot Fudge sundae with spanish peanuts on top my favorite thing chocolate and salt yummy….

  40. another GREAT idea Stacy! It’s a great little book with many possibilities!
    Can’t forget the cute new summer sandals and shoes in there, too.

    I’m already trying to figure out how to decorate some bookends for them…

  41. Barb in AK says:

    What a cool idea! Stacy, is there ANY TIME you are not creative??? LOL!!
    Thanks for the idea and I will be looking forward to your updates about how the board books are coming along :-)

  42. Margaret Burton says:

    We spent my graduation from College one night at Ferrels in Salem We ordered the Zoo. The next night we went to Ferrels after my cousin graduated in Eugene and ordered another zoo. Brings back so many memories. We took our son there once and then they were gone.
    Stacy I love this idea. For an introduction I thought I would add Who am I? and What do I like to do?

  43. I adore this idea. I have been tossing around something like this. My kids are changing their clothing styles. It seems to creep up on me. So I’ll be adding that. Along with food they make with me. I try to get them cooking with me every week. And my oldest is getting her first summer job. (sniff, sniff – my baby’s growing up) So much to document about this summer. And that’s without any vacations.

    I miss Farrell’s. I loved the fanfare when someone would order the Zoo. All the bells, and whistling and the parade to get it to the table. Fun times.

  44. That is an awesome idea. Can’t wait to see how it all works out.

  45. I am SO totally on board with this! My oldest daughter is leaving for college THIS August, then I have a son (junior in HS), a daughter (sophomore in HS), and a daughter starting middle school (6th gr.). Time seems to fly by SO fast! They actually love it when we do “favorites” or when I interview them, so I can see this would be a lot of fun. We’ve got to cherish the time we’ve got with them – celebrate the small things as well as the big things, – and always add some sprinkles! :)

  46. Stacy, I love how you are using our Board Books! I love the 10 theme Idea and how it will be different for each member of the family (for some themes anyway). What an easy way to document a whole summer! Maybe one for fall, winter and spring too :0)

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by stacy julian, Cameron. Cameron said: Hey CTMH Consultants, check out what @stacyjulian has planned with the My Creations Board Books! [...]

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