I grew up in a small cabin built by none other than my parents themselves. They had help here and there, but Dad drew up the blueprint, we moved hundreds of miles away, and they got to work. The home has yet to match the blueprint, but that's no surprise considering that a work of art is never fully finished—just as our lives will never fully finish.


I can remember using kerosene lamps for light, washing and drying clothes outside, hand-pumping water, carrying loads of firewood in from the snow, and chinking between each hand-raised log.


Change was slow and beautiful and paced. And then, one day, it wasn't.


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About Shelby Hughes

2017 Shelby L. Hughes | Greensburg, PA | shelbyhugheswriter@gmail.com

Ideas In July

As we go through seasons of change, I think it's important to make sure that we are focusing on family. I hope you find these monthly posts helpful as you live life fully with those in your home. At the bottom of each post, you will find a Pinterest board with several ideas for the month. Take one or two or more (if you are ambitious) and spend quality time with your family.




I remember July's as a kid. School was out and everyone I knew was on vacation while I waited for church camp. Though many summer weekends were filled with fun, many weekdays went by slowly. Busy or bored, July offered the chance to do many things that I was too busy for when school was in session. Below you'll find a list of things to do with your family this summer,  and you'll find a few more ideas on my board. 


1. Make homemade ice cream.

At least one time each summer, we tried our hand at making homemade ice cream. We used an old ice cream maker that you had to churn by hand, but you can find a 10 minute way to make your own ice cream here. I suggest adding toppings once its made. Sprinkles. Chocolate Chips. Caramel. Yes, please.


2. Have a scavenger hunt.

I now realize my mom used scavenger hunts as a way to have a few minutes to herself. I get why now that I'm a Mom. Scavenger hunts were a common occurrence until I was around 10 years old. If you have little ones too young to read, you'll find a great scavenger hunt idea using colors on the board at the bottom. 


3. Learn a new skill.

Summer doesn't mean we have to stop learning. On the contrary, I think it allows the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill. Teach your kids whatever skills you know, and be willing to learn together. The time spent together will be appreciated for years to come even if they don't use the skill taught. I haven't picked up a bow and arrow since my dad taught me archery, but I have years of memories stored up that I won't easily forget.


4. Volunteer somewhere.

Listen. I can't stress volunteering enough. Life is not about earning a paycheck, nor is it about gaining fame. It's about working hard and helping others, and it's especially rewarding when money nor fame have anything to do with the time and effort taken. Volunteer as a family or allow a teen to volunteer on their own. There's a great list here.


5. Read books. 

It seems as though you should have time to read  books when school is in session, but that's not always the case. In high school and college, I was assigned many books at once and rarely felt like I could enjoy what I was assigned to read. Summer is just a great time to read for the sake of enjoyment, especially when it feels like there's nothing else to do.



When all else fails, go outside! The possibilities are endless. You can find a great list of things to do outdoors on one of the pins below. 




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