August 26, 2015

And the Award Goes To: A Summer 2015 Best-Of List


Several posts ago, I went on the record that I'm not a big fan of summer. I'm a fall and winter girl myself. I file this under "Things I'm Not Crazy About That Most Other People Love." 

But, I have loved this summer in so many ways. And not just because I haven't had to pack school lunches. A lot because of that. But not just.

In appreciation and gratitude, and to give the season its due, here are 10 of our bests from summer 2015. 

Best Gooey Chocolate Mess in a Pan That You Can Make in About 10 Minutes: Inside Out S'mores BarsSo I was at our annual church picnic, surveying the dessert territory. I found a pan of chocolate gooeyness, which I felt called to sample. Then I felt called to take a second serving so I could wander around the picnic and find out who'd made it so I could get the recipe. I took my plate and randomly surveyed the first person I came to. "Did you make this?" I asked without much hope. "Yes, I did," she answered. Well. If that wasn't divine intervention, I don't know what is. A few ingredients, a few minutes, and a lot of chocolate heaven. **Late-breaking news: I just made a pan of these and used Jet-Puffed S'more Marshmallows instead of the mini version. My daughter lined them up like a fluffy marshmallowy comforter over the graham crackers, and we are very, very happy.**

Best All-in-One Quintessential Camping Experience: S'mores + sunset + campfire combo at Wilderness State Park in northern Michigan. From our campsite that was essentially on the beach, my parents, my girls and I watched an incredible, drawn-out sunset over Lake Michigan while we watched the campfire while we ate s'mores. 

(In case you're wondering: my wonderful husband was home keeping the mortgage paid up while we camped. Which, actually, was just fine with him because his idea of "roughing it" is a hotel room with no ESPN. We "camp" with him as a family in a cottage on the lake of his growing-up years. That's "roughing it" to me because there is no dishwasher. There is, however, ESPN. It all works out just fine.)

Best Social Media Post from My Teenager: My 16-year-old and I spent a day going to the beach, buying blueberries, and eating ice cream while we waited to pick Daughter #2 up from a hang-out date. That night, my eldest posted this: "There's nothing better than spending the day with my momma. Got to lay on the beach, get fresh blueberries without the hassle of picking them ourselves, and finished the day off with Sherman's Ice Cream. I'm going to remember this day for a while." Me, too, sweet girl...me, too.

Best Mom-As-Helper-Child-As-Leader Experience: While our teen was pounding the practice field at band camp (summer camp on hormones), our tween was leading a dance workshop at our church's Adventure Camp (VBS on caffeine). Because my 11-year-old was not much older than her students, I hovered around as the "mom presence." Watching my baby plan, organize, teach, lead, love, and inspire ranked right up there with my all-time great mom moments. 

Best High-Flying Memory-Maker: Wherein one intrepid grandma (my mom) took her granddaughter (my daughter) parasailing over Michigan's Straits of Mackinac. 

Best Non-Toxic Weapon-of-Mass-Weed-Destruction: Homemade weed killer that really works. One more reason to buy vinegar in bulk.


Best Game-Winning Scrabble Move: My husband and I were playing Scrabble while were away on family vacation. (As if we would have been sitting around playing a game if we had not been on vacation.) Yore and yon were already down. And directly under yore's "o" and to the right of yon's was a triple word score. And I had an x. Double "ox" = 50 points. I'll take that (rare) victory, thank you very much.

Best Sister Moment/Photo-Op/Post: Daughter #1, about Daughter #2. "I know my sister loves me when she's willing to join me on the Ferris wheel at Michigan's Adventure, even though she's afraid of heights." 



Best Party Game/Craft Revision By a Clean-Freak Mom: My younger daughter hosted 3 friends for a birthday sleepover and wanted to play the Twister/shaving cream game that apparently makes frequent appearances on Pinterest. I envisioned food-coloring stained everything and had a sudden longing for a Chuck E. Cheese's party. Thank goodness for a brainstorm at the craft store: paint that specifically promised to be "washable from hands and most machine-washable fabrics." We found a 6-pack with all the required colors that was, with my coupon, only about $3. My older daughter, bless her soul, mixed the shaving cream and the paints in disposable foil trays and loaded the Twister palette. The tweens loved it, and no one ended up with dyed digits. 
Best New Ice Cream Recipe: Lemon Frozen YogurtJeni's Splendid Ice Creams-style. You have to know that if I put a recipe on a best-of list, and it doesn't involve chocolate, it must have other redeeming features. This does. Among them: creaminess, lemony-ness, and lick-the-ice-cream-canister-with-your-finger deliciousness.

Thank you, summer...see you next year.

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Thanks for reading this far! What's on your summer bests-of list? Nominate your favorite in a comment or on Facebook

Gladly shared with Fellowship Fridays!

   







14 comments:

  1. OH, MY, My summer best was being present at many of daughter Elizabeth's summer best! Next came time with all my family here at Cattail pond. My family of 16 is the best!!! Oh, and photo of eight grandkids lined up eating their root beer floats was right up there at top!

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    1. Mama, I'm so grateful you and Daddy were part of--and, indeed, made possible--so many of those bests! Thank you, thank you.

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  2. It's hard to believe that summer is basically over and fall is upon us. I'm sitting here having a hard time thinking of what we did. It all becomes a blur so fast. That's why I have my "Blessing Jar" sitting on a shelf in my kitchen. we write things that we did and events that happen through out the year on slips of paper and put them in it all year long. on New Years Eve we get out the jar and take turns reading the slips and reliving the year. I then take those and write a chronicle of the years events and print them out. I have one from each of the 25 years we've been married. It's a great way to remember all the small things that are so easy to forget! Thanks for the post! Visiting from I choose Joy linkup!

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    1. Love the blessing jar and your ongoing chronicles, Karen! My daughters have the jars and recently had to clean them out because they were so full. What a wonderful "problem"! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm not a big summer fan, either. I love this post, though. What a great idea! My husband and I are big Scrabble players. Although, we haven't played in forever. Remember when Words with Friends was the big thing? I kind of miss that! :) I'm so glad you had a great summer! I hope you have an even better fall and winter!

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    1. Thanks, Kelsey! I do dearly hope you and your husband can get in a Scrabble game again soon. :) Blessings on your fall, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. I can't stand summer either. Scrabble is a lot of fun to play. It's great to hear how you got to enjoy seeing your daughter take on the leadership role.

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    1. Heehee, Crystal...it's always nice to meet someone else who doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I say summer isn't my favorite! :) What's your preferred season? Whatever it is, I hope you love it when you get to it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Fun way to do a summer recap! The s'mores bars look aaaaammmaaazzziiinnnggg!

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    1. Thank you, Claire! Those bars are fairly addictive. ;) So glad you dropped by!

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  6. Aww this is such a sweet list! I haven't been to Michigan's Adventure in so long even though it's so close to me!!
    Thanks for sharing at the Welcome Home Wednesdays link party; we hope to see you again next week!

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    1. Thank you so much, Just Cuz! :) My little list DID rather turn into an homage to Michigan, but that's where my home and heart are, after all. I LOVE Welcome Home Wednesdays and look forward to the party every week!

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  7. This is such a great way to capture the summer memories. We had a good summer although it's hard to be in the baby season so most of our fun was confined to the backyard :) I am looking forward to fall though, it's my favorite time of year!

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    1. Thank you, Victoria! I well remember the backyard days...fondly! And I SO share your sentiments about fall. Thanks for taking time to drop by!

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!