Lightening Bugs, Picnics and a CONTEST!

Still buried in boxes, but finding a wee bit of time to knit and blog. It’s good stress relief. That’s what I keep telling myself. We have a nice deck that is perfect for knitting. I’ll have to take a picture and show you sometime. I did start a Citron with Kauni and I am having fun working on that when I can steal a few minutes here and there.

During our summer of Camp Loopy, we’ve been talking about fun memories we have from past camping and summer experiences. One thing I remember is catching lightening bugs. Did you do that, too? When you’re little, it feels like you’re catching floating stars and putting them in a jar. There’s just something magical about lightening bugs.

When our kids were little, we did something that we called Adventure Club each summer. We made a list of different things that we wanted to do and made sure to schedule something out-of-the-ordinary, each week. I took photos of each weekly event so that I could put it in our Adventure Club Scrapbook. At the end of the summer, instead of saying, “Where did the time go? We were going to do so many things this summer that we never got around to!”, we could pull out the scrapbook and see all of the fun times we had and the things that we did. One of the things we did one summer was to have a Lightening Bug Picnic.

The kids were in charge of catching a jar full of lightening bugs to “light” our picnic. I made up food to go with the theme. We had Moons (croissant sandwiches), Worms (pasta salad), Stars (Jello Jigglers cut into star shapes), Flower Pot Dirt (cinnamon muffins baked in mini flower pots), Clouds (popcorn) and Twigs (Twix candy bars). Of course half of the fun was that the kids got to stay up until 9:30 for dinner, because it didn’t get dark enough until then! It was a fun summer adventure.

This month’s contest is about summer memories. What is one fun thing that you did in the summertime when you were growing up? Maybe you did it once, or maybe it was a summertime tradition? Leave your answer in the comments below and we’ll use the random number generator to draw for a few $35 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificates next week.

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  1. Playing hide-and-go-seek after dark with my neighborhood friends. My parents would sit out on our porch swing and be our safety tag.

  2. I’ll always remember the summer we stayed up until 3 watching the late movie while playing poker and rummy every night.

  3. My favorite summer activity was tying together white clover flowers to make necklaces, bracelets, and chains. We would use them to decorate our porch and the trees in our yard. Every now and then we’d find a four leaf clover!

  4. I never got to camp as a kid but one summer I spent several weeks with my grandparents at their house on a lake and that was a lot of fun. Nowadays though, I like this kind of camping better.

  5. We did so many things to make summer fun. We made tents out of blankets over the swing set to sleep out. We made up a game where a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil was the “diamond” which would get hidden in the woods or the yards of my family or our nearest neighbor. One set of kids were the jewel thieves, the others were the detectives. Sometimes, things got a bit serious, like the time the smallest kid got tied up with my jump rope to “get him to talk.”

    We would stay out and procrastinate even when our parents kept calling us to come in, waiting until it was completely dark.

  6. We used to run around at dusk catching fireflies (we didn’t call them “lightning bugs” 🙂 and playing things like “ghost in the graveyard”!!

  7. We played “shoe golf” at camp. You start at one end of the camp and have a destination pretty far away. You have to fling your shoe off of your foot towards the goal until you eventually reached the goal. It was a blast until people started getting their shoes stuck on top of buildings and we weren’t allowed to play anymore.

  8. We used to spend time at my cousins house up North. It was on a river, they had a pool, tennis courts, ATVs….lots of fun!

  9. We had a sleeping porch that overlooked the back yard. Best memories would be of sharing that space with friends, watching the last few lightning bugs, and sometimes even the lightning from a storm coming up. There was something safe about those days.

  10. My favorite memory is going to the Jersey shore – Sandy Hook with my family and friends. Salt, sand and sun – there’s nothing better!

  11. Best memories of summertime had to be riding our bikes down to the lake. We lived in a small mountain town, so the bike ride was filled with hills and vales, exciting in itself, but culminated in a pair of lakes, Twin Lakes, one for fishing and one for swimming. So much freedom and so much Fun!

  12. My Mom and Dad would take my brother and I down to the river on really hot nights. Mom brought a bar of Ivory soap and we would get washed up and put on our p.j.’s.

  13. I remember going camping at Mammoth Lakes in California as a kid, sleeping in the old canvas tent, my grandparents went with us often too. We camped plenty of other places too, it was a cheap vacation for my parents with all of us kids ( I have 5 siblings)

  14. We don’t have lightning bugs here. I’ve never actually seen one! I did alot of summer activities that I loved – swimming, going to the lake, summer camp on an island in the middle of a large local lake for a week with our church. . .but my favorite memory, I think, is my dad setting up the tent in our back yard and us living out of it for the week. He print of fake camp cash with his face on it that we used to buy our meals and such and we could earn extra for doing things (like being nice to each other and laughing) and once during that week, mom prepared food fight friendly foods. We were sitting out back at the picnic table and I got hit in the side of the head with mashed potatoes 🙂 Lots of fun.

  15. We used to bbq on the back patio, but it was after dinner I loved the most. It would get very dark and my dad would sit and point out the different constellations to me. I loved that.

  16. I used to go gold prospecting with my dad every summer. My parents owned shares of a gold mine in California and we would drive from Vegas to the mine and camp for the weekend. We would bring big tubs and fill them with water and pan for gold.

  17. Each summer we went swimming in the lake and grilled hot dogs on a camp grill. It sounds simple but it wasn’t close. The women in our family are geographically challenged so each trip was an adventure and I swear we never took the same route twice. We all tried to help my mom navigate. We’ll never forget that my youngest sister’s sage words of encouragement were “This is the right way, Mom. There are trees on both sides of the street.” If you’ve ever lived in New England you know that could apply to any street!

  18. The simple summers were my favorites. Long days in the pool, hanging with friends, staying up way too late snacking and watching old reruns.

  19. Every 4th of July, my mom would make a special dessert, Ice Cream Peanut Butter Pie. We looked forward to this all year with the really tall creamy slices.

  20. My brother was a big baseball star in a small town. We spent most of our summer chasing after him to all of his games. This was fine with me because I loved baseball, got almost all the snacks I wanted from the popcorn stand, and each trip away from home was like a mini-vacation all throughout the summer.

  21. For many summers, it was a vacation out west. Wyoming was my favorite, because of the horses. I remember the lodge that we stayed at. It accomadated a couple of families. It was run by a local family. The food was from scratch ie pancakes in the morning and fresh fish ie rainbow trout in the evening. There were horses to be ridden and the trails were so beautiful. I could hear a little gurgling creek as I fell to sleep at night. I was around age 9 or 10. Best summers ever! Lynn

  22. Spitting watermelon seeds and eating half a watermelon– fresh from the field in the morning and then cold from the freezer in the late afternoon heat. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina… but we could do without this 100 degree summer!

  23. We’d often spend a week with the grandparents in Indiana – playing Old Maid and Chinese Checkers out on the porch in the evenings, looking for that elusive breeze – and of course, catching lightening bugs!

  24. We used to go camping at the beach every summer. I can remember jumping off cliffs into all the icicle plant, playing ditch ’em in the cliffs of San Clemente, and of course body surfing at all the beaches we went. I will always remember the fun we used to have and stories that went along with every trip, since it seems like something funny happened on every trip.

  25. I loved trips to the library for the annual summer book reading contests! I was always the winner of the most books read during the summer break. I could crochet almost as fast as I could read, but it was hard to buy enough yarn to complete the afghans that I always had on the go. 40 years later, those Red Heart blankets still look good– I actually have 3 still from my childhood!

  26. Spending 2 weeks on Martha’s Vineyard in the 70’s when the rental properties were dirt cheap! My parents were not wealthy by any means… But they always managed to take us every year!

  27. I always spent a month (without any siblings!) with my Grandmother and Papa. I learned a lot from them – gardening, sewing, baking and golfing. And now, looking back, I was so blessed to have that time alone with them every summer!

  28. Taking our family suburban up to Canada for a 10 day road trip. We had a mattress in the back and baked monster cookies for the trip. We had a tent for us kids to sleep in and mom and dad slept in the back of the suburban. If we could not find a place to camp we all slept in the suburban that night.

  29. This is an easy question for me…FIrst of all, I love Summer and all the outdoor fun it brings with it! My parents owned a cottage on a lake in New York state. We spent almost every weekend there during the summer and often weeks at a time. We had a boat that pulled 6 water skiers at a time; so we spent time with the family and friends showing off our great nautical abilities (ha-ha). We swam, had picnics on our dock, and campfires at night. They were all cherished moments that bring back a host of wonderful memories. Thanks Sheri for prompting a few moments of nostalgia. Good luck with getting settled in 🙂

  30. I lived in Thailand for a few years during my childhood, and attended summer camp in Pattaya. One time, we took boats over to a tiny island that had NOTHING on it, and we pitched tents and really camped out there. It was pristinely beautiful, with crystal blue water and pure white sand. Something I will always remember.

  31. My whole life I’ve been an outdoors person. In my younger years, I spent most of my summers climbing different trees on our property, figuring out how I could make a little tree “nook” into a “clubhouse for one.” I employed a bucket and jump rope to get my books, crayons and snacks up to where I made my scattered about tree clubhouses. If I wasn’t doing that, I was smashing leaves and berries with water using a carefully chosen stick, trying to make my own “painting potions.” I will never forget the one and only time I fell out of a tree and broke my right arm. You can’t forget something like that! I was only half upset about my arm, more upset that I couldn’t climb for the rest of the summer! Oh… kids!

  32. I earned my swimming badge for Girl Scout Troop 1390 during summer camp. My best friend Carin Christensen taught me, and our friend Virginia Stringer cheered me on.

  33. I remember going to summer camp every year for about 10 years in a row. My family went with my uncle, aunt and cousins. We did crafts, swam, hiked, horse-backed, and everything else you typically do at camp. Some years we got to stay in cabins, and some years we had tents.

  34. We swam on the swim team every summer… up at the crack of dawn each day to practice, and then swim meets on Saturday mornings. So much fun!

    Also, waiting for the Good Humor man to come jingling down the street. We’d grab our nickles (wow, I’m dating myself!) and run after the truck, buy a popsicle, then sit on the curb eating them until the sun went down and the street lights came on — the signal that it was time to head back home.

    Ah, summertime. 🙂

  35. We lived across from a park that had name entertainment under the stars in the summer Bob Hope for one ( I know I am dating myself). There was limited parking on the street, so my neighbor and I would park cars in our driveway of 25 cents a car. I would always fill up first being a girl. We thought a $1.00 was a fortune.

  36. When I was a teenager (back in the late 60s) we had a party at my house during the evening. We had several friends over and we were outside, listening to a Beatles album. It was dark and we could see all the stars shining. And I was just so happy and acting silly, dancing the night away — so much fun!!!

  37. The best part of my youth were my friends. We were best friends then and still are today, over 35 years later. We could have fun with a box of rocks as long as we were together.

  38. I remember catching lightning bugs and running around the neighborhood with the boys who lived nearby (I was the token girl on my end of the street……). And playing in our little pool in the backyard!

  39. Growing up we went to the pool just about everyday, or at least it felt that way. It was my favorite part about summer, splashing around in the pool, taking swimming lessons, etc.

  40. Oh! My favorite summertime activity was plucking smooth stones from the creek and rubbing them together to make “face paint”! We were able to create some lovely shades of red and brown and painted our faces in all sorts of funny looking patterns :).

  41. My mom and my favorite aunt arranged summer swaps for us and our three cousins. Each of us spent a week at the other home, and it was the absolute highlight of any summer. I loved my aunt’s cooking, a week away from garden and normal household chores, and all the adventure that went with living in a different family, not to mention the fun of having my cousins come visit one at a time at our house. If not for these summer exchanges, I doubt I’d have ever learned to ride a bike or that vegetables can actually taste good. ;o) We didn’t even have to do anything “special” during visit weeks. Just the novelty of it was enough. That’s probably the one thing I miss most from my childhood.

  42. My favorite childhood summertime tradition was, after the ridiculously loooooong flight from Los Angeles to Israel, arriving at my grandma’s house and being welcomed with fruit parfaits and our favorite cartoons. My brother and I would veg out in front of the TV for a few hours so the grown-ups could relax from what must have been a hellish flight (we were not easy children to deal with) and wake up the next day ready to go swimming and do all the fun stuff we did in Israel that we never got to do in LA.

  43. Every summer, for our vacation, we would drive from Alabama to Toledo, Ohio to visit my grandparents. Even though money was tight, our parents always stopped off to let us do something fun. We went to Cedar Point, Ruby Falls, and even thought we went to Mammoth Cave until we were underground and the tour guide said, “a few feet on the other side of that wall is Mammoth Cave.” We were in the wrong one! I can still remember the songs that were popular on those car rides (when we were listening instead of complaining that “he/she is on my side!).

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