Summer Home – Refuge Haven

Yay! Summer time is here. 

The days are growing hotter during this is the time of year. 

In the morning, the sun is up early.

Each evening, the sun retires late. 

Enjoy the weather's dance, from the warmth of summer to the cool of autumn. We can experience cool mornings and hot days, during the weather's dance. 

Your home can be a Refuge Haven from the busyness of life and during the heat of summer, if we take the effort to do so.

33 Ways to Make Home a Refuge Haven

1. Plan simple- summer family traditions at home.  Caution: Resist the urge to overschedule summer with loads of community prepared activities and private lessons. Try not to plan too many activities back to back in a day. Just take summer slowly, and enjoy summer. 

Inside the Home

2. Open the windows and air the house in the cool of the early morning. A aired house smells good. A cool house, feels good!

3. Dress comfortably during the summer. Wear light-weight light-colored breatheable clothing in the heat.

4. Simplify housekeeping routines. I like to do the dishes, wipe the counters, sweep the kitchen floor, and tidy the main living areas before bed. That way we wake to a clean house.

5. Work together when it is possible. When you work together, work can go faster.  Consider doing routines in the cool of the morning, so your day is freed up for creativity, reading, activities and time together.

6. Place wet and wrung out hand towels or wash clothes in zip lock bags in the fridge. When you are too hot, slip it out and place it on your neck.

7. Plan quiet time during the day to be in out of the sun and just have down time.

8. Cool foods do not take long to prepare and can be refreshing in the heat. Foods in season during the summer tend to help us clean our digestive tract from the heavy winter foods and help us prepare for the next season. Summer foods are full of color, flavor, and ten do be nutrient dense. Enjoy more salads, vegetable and fruit dishes. 

Prepare veggies and cubed fruit; have them in jars or containers in the fridge. This makes for quick healthy snacks, salad meals, smoothie breakfasts, and is a great way to beat the heat and nourish your family. 

9. If you do not have a refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser, consider using a Coleman Jug or a drink dispenser. Fill it with ice and water, fold a towel and place the folded towel on the floor below the spigot to catch the drips. Label cups for the family members and visiting children and they will only use one cup! This will keep everyone hydrated and cool without making a mess or lots of dishes. If your water tastes off because that is how it comes out of the tap, consider a water filter, it is cheaper than bottled water. Also, you can add cleaned sliced citrus or mint leaves to the water.

10.  Make frozen bananas!  Freeze them on a stick. You can dip them in melted chocolate and roll them in nuts. They can be frozen in chunks, pureed, re-frozen in a bread pan and scooped out with an ice cream scoop for a healthy ice cream substitute.

11.  Freeze peaches, berries, or small melon chunks for a refreshing cool treat.

Inside the In the Yard

12. Always take time to embrace the season!!! Enjoy a farm to table kind of life. Consider planning for and starting a garden. Even if all you have space for are containers on the patio or a rain-gutter garden or container garden of lettuces, gourmet veggies, and herbs.  Work in the garden for thirty minutes in the cool of the morning. Most summers in most places lets you plant even late in the season for a fall harvest. You'll love the fresh flavor of food from the garden.

13. If you have planted flowers in your yard, bring some in and place them in a vase to enjoy. Our have some growing inside in a sunny windowsill. In the past, I had pink impatiens and purple petunias growing in a narrow planter on the window sill above my sink! This year I have three aloe vera plants on my window sill and petunias in planters out front.

14. Use your yard to improve your health over the summer, preparing our bodies for the respiratory season that follows the summer. Vitamin D3 is so important to respiratory health. Our bodies are efficient makers of vitamin D3. Between April and October is the best time to build your vitamin D3 reserves. It only takes a few minutes, four times a week, to build up our stores! So, get some sun each day. Sunblock does partially block this process. All you need is 15 to 20 minutes of unblocked beta rays (which are available 10-2 each day). Do not shower right before sunning, the sun makes vitamin D3 with the oils of your skin. Wait an hour after sunning to shower or you will wash off the benefit.

15. Create outdoor spaces for retreat around your home. Spaces between homes are often underused and can be made into a secret garden.  

16. Plan to eat outside on good days. If you do not have lawn furniture of a picnic table, look for an old beat up dining table and chairs at a garage sale. Put a new coat of paint on it and use it in the yard. 

17. If local laws permit, consider building a fire pit or using a table with a built in pit. We like to gather round ours with family and friends to tell stories, roast hotdogs, and marshmallows on summer evenings.

18. Purchase ot build a hammock or a porch swing, or both. 

19. Turn on your sprinkler during the day and pretend it is a splash pad or go regularly to a splash pad.

20.  Have summer movie nights. These can be indoors or outside.

21. Clean the inside of the car and vacuum before you wash the car together. That way you are not using electricity and water. 

22. Stargaze in the back yard.

23. Host your own neighborhood art show.

24. Camp in the back yard.

25. Plan and have a block party.

26. Do a summer carnival with the neighbors.

27. Learn the art of BBQ.

28. Make s'mores.

29.  Try solar cooking.

30. Have a water balloon fight.

31. Learn the art of Dutch-Oven cooking.

32. If your family has skills or if they just want to have fun, to a concert or play in your yard.

33. Get some yard games, crochet, badminton, Frisbee, yard bowling etc. When not in use, store them in a large Tubtrug.

Summer Bucket List

 Plan a summer bucket list of things to do with the family. Take advantage of FREE events and activities!
- Attend a parade.
- Go to an art festival.
- Take walks in the cool of the day.
- Take nature walks.
- Take a hike.
-  Go to a park in the cool of the day.
- See fireworks.
-  Have a library hour once a week. Create your own reading incentive with your own rewards.
- Prepare something at home for the State Fair.
- Attend a community celebration.
-  Go to garage, yard and estate sales. Look for items that can be repurposed, go early & avoid the heat.
- Go swimming.
- Go to a farmer's market.
- Enjoy a cultural event.
- Attend an outdoor concert, play or musical.

ON the Go Sneaky Mom Natural Summer School Hacks

Make a travel tote for each child. A simple canvas bag from the craft store will do fine. Let them decorate the bag! The bag keeps it all together. Even if money is tight and most of the time is spent close to home, or in the yard, they will have things to put in their travel journal and nature notebook.

Hint: This can be any season! 

Include a travel journal (a composition book they can decorate) for each child and a passport to your activities for the season. Let them keep the ticket stubs and take pictures and write about their awesome activities. 

Include a nature notebook and nature notebook supplies for each child. 

Remember that large Tubtrug full of outdoor games? It is a great place to store those games, and it makes them portable. It can be grabbed and thrown into the car when heading to the park or for a picnic!

Now, with the things you can do inside home and outside in your yard, you can turn Home into a Refuge Haven!  As you simplify your summer commitments and enjoy your Refuge Haven, you have time to do a few fun Bucket List activities. If activities away from home become too much, because you have minimized commitments, you can just pull back and enjoy Refuge Haven. You may find more often, that Refuge Haven is a place you want to be!

Take time to enjoy the season!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Merari S - June 29, 2018 Reply

This morning, my daughters and I read this article together during our devotional time. I asked them how it made them feel. Some of the responses were, "peaceful", "excited", "happy", and "like sleeping in a good way". It was nice to see a topic we have been discussing for some weeks explained so well. It captured my feelings precisely. My habit is to overdo things in order to feel productive so the girls are already enrolled in some summer lessons. Thankfully, they're short in duration but we will need time to just "be" right after. Yesterday, we placed bird feeders around our yard. Today, the birds are having a feast and we've spent time looking out the window and their different varieties, colors and songs. The impression keeps coming that I ought to simplify – to stop the hurrying about. This article has strengthened my resolve to accomplish just that and I feel grateful.  

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