The first blog I ever read written by someone I’d never met, was by Jen Murray. Jen writes about her faith, food & life with her quadruplet boys! Since her 4 boys were the same age as my 2nd son (Price), any time I went through a hard stage…teething, for instance…I’d think “but Jen has this x4.” Sadly it always made me feel better.

The longer I read her blog the more I realized Jen & I had in common…she lives in Indianapolis (where I grew up)….she loves Jesus (me too!)…she studied speech-language pathology (yep!).

When I met Jen face-to-face a couple years ago I was one of those “trying to be cool” blogger fans. Okay maybe I didn’t play it too cool, but Jen was so gracious and fabulous to talk with. Her faith is genuine. Her heart is pure and lovely.

Even though we didn’t have our 4 boys exactly the same way (I’m convinced her way is 1000x harder), there is something special knowing another 4 boy mama who loves Jesus and writes about it.

A little while ago Jen told me about this book she was putting together. I’m sure you’re convinced everyone is writing a book. Maybe everyone is, but Jen’s book stands apart in my mind. Because in this case she is helping make our Summer 2013 more awesome.

Click here to visit KidVentures – by Jen Murray.*

Her book is called “Kidventures”. Inside are 50 different exciting outside activities to do with your kids.

What I love about Jen’s book:

  1. The activity organizational charts (my type-A side drooled a little):

Jen has the 50 activities listed on two (easy-to-reference) pages. For each activity she marks the applicable categories–cold weather, creative,  DIY, active, food, explore, night, warm weather, etc.

Click here to see larger copy of Kidventures activity chart

            2.  Lots of new activities I’ve never tried before

             I was shocked to realize about 98% of the activities she included in this book I have never done with my boys. Not to say I’m some super mom, but I have found my guys need to be kept busy. The alternative is not pretty. So in keeping them busy I’ve set up a lot of Pinterest inspired pastimes. Jen introduced me to so many new ideas or ones I’ve considered but never executed (a.k.a. geocaching).

            3. For each activity she includes a supply list, step-by-step directions AND helpful tips/resources (if it’s a more complicated activity she even includes diagrams/drawings). 

           The very first activity I read about was the toy zip line. I was home with Watts that day so we gave it a shot (we tried the “indoor” version).

Oh my goodness was this a huge success.

Not only did he play on it for a solid 45 minutes. When his brothers got home they started experimenting with different toys.

And then that weekend they got even more creative with Bruce and extended a line from the top of the stairs to the front door (making it slightly tricky when someone comes to visit…but worth it).

Now that I have Jen’s book (thank you Jen for the copy in exchange for my thoughts!) I’m planning to take out my summer calendar and write in two activities a week to try with the boys. I have a feeling we will end up doing more than two…but I’ll start there.

I know if we don’t have a little bit of a plan for the summer it’s going to be a wrestling-watching-too-much-T.V.-frustrated kinda summer. So thank you Jen for help making our summer awesome! (my boys say “thanks” too!).

Do you have an approach to planning out your summer? Would love to learn more helpful ideas.

* affiliate link