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Friday Favorites: Healthy Summer Recipes

April 19, 2013

It’s time for my Friday favorites once again! This week we’re going to talk about some easy, healthy meals that my husband, kids and I absolutely love to have for our family dinner nights.

One requirement to continue reading past this point is that you keep an open mind to the recipes I’m about to give, okay? Okay.

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust{Thanks to Closet Cooking for this photo!}

First up, BBQ chicken pizza with a cauliflower crust. Remember, open mind! It sounds like the strangest thing ever, I know. I can only imagine what my face looked like when my sweet friend Laci first introduced me to this interesting food choice, but I promise you it is delicious. And it’s healthy. A win-win!

Here’s the recipe so you can try it for yourself…

1/2 Large head of cauliflower (= 2+ cups of shredded cauliflower)
1 Large egg
1 Cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Teaspoon of oregano
1/2 Teaspoon of dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 Teaspoon of onion salt

To make the crust:

1. Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. You can use a food processor, just be careful not to puree. I use a cheese grater and it works fine. You will need 2+

cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place the cauliflower crumbles into a large bowl and microwave them dry for 8 minutes. Let the cauliflower cool.

2. Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles with the remaining ingredients. Pat the “crust” into a 9 to 12 – inch round shape or a rectangular shape on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.

3. Prepare the Pizza: Decide what toppings you want on your pizza. I chose to make BBQ chicken Pizza (see topping recipe below.) Top the crust with the barbecue chicken mixture, add red onion and top with cheese. Broil the pizza for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with fresh cilantro. Cut and serve immediately.

This pizza is best served on a plate with a fork.

For the BBQ chicken topping:

1/2 Cup barbecue sauce
1 Cup cooked, shredded chicken breast
3/4 Cup shredded Gouda cheese (you can use mozzarella or any kind of cheese you
like – Gouda goes well with BBQ Chicken)
Thinly sliced red onions
Fresh cilantro

You can really tailor this recipe to whatever kind of pizza your family likes – pepperoni, veggie, extra cheese, etc.

And then for dessert… drum roll, please… avocado chocolate ice cream!

Avocado Ice-Cream{Thanks to Vegan Culinary Crusade for this photo!}

Y’all. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me there’s a healthy way to get some chocolate into my system, my excitement level rises. I love chocolate. My family loves chocolate. This is perfect!

1/2 Avocado
3/4 Cup coconut or almond milk
1/3 Cup hot cocoa mix (You can use sugar-free if you’d like. You can also switch out the chocolate for frozen strawberries)
2 Cups ice, add more for thicker mix
4 Baby carrots
1 Rib of celery

Blend on high speed of blender for about 45 seconds.
Serve immediately.

If these recipes just saved your mind a whole lot of trouble in deciding what to have for dinner tonight, you won’t want to miss my FREE Summer Sanity Savers webcast on Tuesday, April 23 at 8pm (EST). My friend Crystal Paine and I will be talking about how to save money, time, and of course, your sanity! Just sign up below to receive a reminder about the webcast.

Unglued Summer Sanity Savers

Type your email address
here to receive a reminder
about this free webcast.

Here’s some more exciting news… today I’m giving away a $250 Amazon gift certificate! Yes! You can win a $250 gift certificate (that would be crazy fun, hunh?!) There’s a whole lot more on Amazon than just books. You could use that credit toward new kitchen appliances to whip up some healthy meals this summer. Smiles.

All you have to do is leave a comment below giving me your summer sanity saving tips. I will announce one blog commenter as the winner on the webcast Tuesday 🙂 See you there!

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  1. Nicole wilkinson

    I love the recipes! I’ve been trying to change my food choices. Thx!

  2. debbie giese

    Try a different park each week, even driving a fe
    w hours to one. Be a tourist in your own corner of the world.

  3. BethA

    My sanity saver for this summer is making enough of a dinner to put half of it in the freezer to thaw and reheat quickly for my family. Hope this works, because right now, it’s the PLAN, not yet the accomplishment! Smiles.

    I’m loving this series, Lysa. Thanks!!

  4. Dawn Kaser

    My summer sanity saver is just to remember what summers meant to me when I was a kid…they were FUN, relaxed, laid back, stress free…and let’s face it…not having to get the kids up for school means a morning I can do my devotions BEFORE they get up which makes for a better day. Can’t wait to hear your sanity savers Lysa!

  5. Jennifer

    I will preserve the sanity of myself and the kids by making as few commitments as possible! No regular sports, swim teams, etc…leaving us open for relaxing family time in the mornings and some spontaneous fun!!

  6. Pam

    Empty nest, no grand kids yet so we kind of don’t have the summer sanity issues right now. BUT, I’m so excited about the pizza crust. I have made some cauliflower crusts before and the biggest hassle was getting the cooked cauliflower drained WELL. This idea is brilliant to cook dry. The flavor was nothing like cauliflower so it is one of my favorite healthy subs. Now, about the ice cream. That sounds so bizarre. I was okay until the carrots and celery. CARROTS and CELERY???? I just can’t imagine the flavors. I will have to try it but just so hard to wrap my mind around that. So thankful there are people coming up with healthy alternatives to yummy foods.

  7. Julie Anderson

    Summer is my favorite ~ my sanity saver, a pool membership!

  8. Lisa Mais

    My summer sanity saver is Sunday grill out day. I generally do my grocery shopping on Saturday. When I get home, I prep all grill meet (usually3-5 pounds of chicken breasts or tenderloins-favorite marinade is a cheap Italian salad dressing. Just pour the whole bottle into the bag that the breasts come in! Let sit overnight). Sunday afternoon I wash and package fresh veggies for the week, as well as wash fruit and leave it strategically on counters and in frig for an easy pick me up. We fire up th grill late afternoon, cook all if the chicken, brats, burgers, etc. eat your favorite Sunday evening and store the rest in the fridge for easy meals all week! My favorite left over is grilled chicken on a romaine salad topped with sundried tomatoes in olive oil, avacado, black olives, sunflower seeds or wasabi peas,…Yummy!

  9. Jennifer

    My summer sanity saver is to plan ahead for meals . Make enough to have left overs!!!

  10. Amber

    The outdoors with the kids is a sanity saver. It gets us out of the house plus all the fresh makes them sleep great!

  11. Jeanie Kelley

    My summer sanity save tip is to plan meals at least two weeks ahead and go to the store only once. I know that this sound strange, but with the way things are with us, I do this and it saves money for us.

  12. Jennifer Nish

    My summer sanity saver is going to be buying a 3 month pass to the waterpark that’s 5 minutes from my house and taking my girls as often as possible. We all LOVE the water and it will be good exercise too:-)

  13. Becky Brickman

    That pizza sounds super yummy!
    My Summer Sanity Saver has a little bit of planning involved. Throughout the colder months, I collect pinterest ideas, leftover containers (yogurt, sour cream, cereal boxes, etc), bottle caps, magazines, broken crayons, anything that could be crafty. I print out the ideas, and store everything in a large plastic bin. Then on rainy summer days when we can’t go outside with the kids, we have an instant craft activity!

  14. Jayne Patterson

    Sanity saver: never use the oven in the summer months. It heats up my kitchen, makes me hot, which makes me grumpy and irritable.

  15. Margaret

    My kids are grown, so I don’t have to deal with ball games, camps, etc. any longer. To save my sanity around my house, I try to stay out and ahead of the weeds!

  16. Donna King

    Last summer, my cousin put a pool in and invited me to come swim….every day! Although I didn’t make it every day, I went at least 3-4 afternoons a week after work. I quickly realized it wasn’t about the swimming, but about making time for myself doing something I enjoyed. And, that made such a difference in my sanity….and, how my jeans fit!!

  17. Carrie Brown

    Our 5 year old twins like having routine and structure so they know what to expect. (ie: Our No-Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays, Friday Game Nights) My summer sanity idea is to have each one of them pick one or two activities each week for all of us to do. Whether it’s just playing a particular game or sport outside, going to the library, heading to the Zoo, etc. The idea is not so much what we do, but that they are “in charge” for the day’s activities. I know I often have such high expectations on trying to plan fun things to do, hopefully this will remind me that kiddos really love simple pleasures.

  18. Sally

    Acutally enjoying my summer sanity as my son graduates and enjoying every last minute of his senior year baseball games. Time really does fly when your havin fun!
    Praise God!!!

  19. Susan Knight

    My Summer Sanity Savers are easy! I have three boys ages 13, 10 and 6. They love to be outside but at times need a referee! So, I plan to do yard work, flower planting, weeding and outdoor activities when they are outside. I like to use my crock pot for cooking in the summer. It does not heat the house up. I like to make two of the same dish and freeze one without cooking it. It can be used for another day. Some days we cook out on the grill while the boys play outside. We enjoy outings to the park on many days and often take a picnic. My boys also enjoy movie night and we have Netflix, which is a great money saver and more convenient than having to leave home to rent a movie. Summer is about fun and relaxing and not being in a rush. I am thankful to have a job that allows me to be at home in the summer, although it gets really crazy at my house! I enjoy all your devotions and posts. They are a tremendous encouragement to me as a mom. I appreciate that you are real and you do not mind showing it!

  20. Kathy A

    My Summer Sanity is listening to the birds sing. I know that there will be pretty weather ahead. We can get out and garden and do outdoor stuff.

  21. Nancy

    One of my biggest sanity savers is to have the kids do more chores than during the school year. During school, their time to be a kid is already so limited (without much in the way of extra curriculars even), I ask for help as we go, nothing much set. During the summer, each has assigned chores and helps with all aspects of laundry. I emphasize that the quicker we get done in the mornings, the more time we get to play…including mommy. One other sanity saver is cooking on the grill often means fewer dishes to wash and keeps the kitchen cooler.

  22. Brenda

    That sounds so good. I can have as much of the crust as I want and not worry about what I just did to my waist line. There are no kids home anymore so I don’t have to worry about the ewwww’s when I get caught making it that way. When I switched from potatoes to cauliflower in potato salad; Oh what a ruccas.

  23. Tracy

    I always feel better mentally and physically when I’m getting adequate exercise. So I’ll be taking frequent walks outside this spring/summer and drinking lots of water!

  24. Sheryl

    My summer sanity is to make a menu on Friday, shop on Saturday and begin marinating meats for the next three days (at a time) on Sunday. No need to run to the grocery store when we don’t have to. And, we put healthy snacks (portioned controlled) in small plastic bags on Sunday night so they are available and ready to go anytime!

  25. Carol

    My summer sanity savers are the swimming pool & VBS hopping! We go to 3 or 4 VBS at different churches.

  26. Cassandra

    My summer sanity will be walking more and using our grill as much as possible!!

  27. Sara Williams

    My summer sanity saver is to prep as much of the meal as I can in the morning or during the day so that there is little work at dinner time when things can be so hectic

  28. Marlene Brewer

    Summer Sanity tip…
    Meal planning with one day of prepping & cooking for the week. make meals that render leftover that you can turn into another meal the next day. Make meals ahead & freeze. Wash & cut all your produce when you get it from the market.
    Not only does this save time but allows you to make better choices when you have food prepped & ready to go.
    Being prepared for the week will allow me more play time with my kids & cut back on the stress of cooking!

  29. Kathy

    Summer Sanity Saver? Three words – sunscreen and water!
    We spend a lot of time in the lake! So thankful to be living where we can do that.

  30. Heidi Underhill

    Sounds yummy!!

  31. Natalie D.

    I am reading your book, “Made to Crave” and I have signed up for your 21 day challenge. It has “ME” written all over it. First chapter describes me to a T. I am praying through it all now, Lord help me crave healthy! And praying, “Lord I don’t want my stomach to be my God.” I have made it through 4 days!!! I even turned down pizza last night. Thank you for the pizza recipe, just in time.

  32. amie

    I know this probably doesn’t sound save to most, but my son is heading into 2nd grade this year and he really wants to be on a level 3 reading level, so my summer of sanity is to air sown next week and write up a 30-45 minute, fu lesson plan to help him get there! I would like to say, i am not a teacher, but in order for me to not lose my sanity, lesson plan is the way to go! Thanks for your tips!! We are going to have that pizza tomorrow!

  33. Esther

    We are members of our states historical society. The family membership is cheap and includes access to over 20 sites and museums. The membership lasts a year, but we make the most use over the summer. We are also members of the zoo and visit there frequently as well.
    Thanks for the recipe, we make GF dinners at our house so this could be useful!

  34. Tracy

    My summer sanity saver plan is to cook/grill many different meals on the weekend and have leftovers and/or non-cooked meals during the week 🙂

  35. Lauren

    My sanity saver for this summer… get my workout in bright and early so that I can get it out of the way! then I can spend the day with my kiddos without having to worry about it 🙂 also, try and get my meal plans taken care of BEFORE I go shopping… really have to work on this one!

  36. Michele Carter

    A few of my summer sanity savers…
    1) I also cook for two meals either putting one in the freezer for another time or having the leftovers for another meal.
    2) FRESH fruits and veggies from the garden! It limits what produce I need to buy from the grocery store and allows me to walk outside to pick straight from the garden for the meals coming up.
    3) You cannot beat the timesaver of picking up a rotisserie chicken or two for dinner, making chicken salad, BBQ, tacos, burritos, topping a quick salad or just shredding and freezing in portions to use in upcoming recipes. HUGE timesaver!
    4) Grilling on Saturdays or Sunday afternoon to cook the meats for several nights.
    5) Don’t forget the crock-pot for summer. Let it cook for you and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

    Summer to us means lighter and quicker meals to allow the time for what is fun and what really matters.

  37. Gail

    With younger Grandchildren, anything with water, sand, and toys, are the simple pleasures they enjoy. Happy laughter is my reward! How I love my Grands! Simple meals, grilling out, lots of hugs, makes for peaceful homes. Stories read, lessons from God learned, prayers at all times, hearts entwined! This is love!

  38. Jan

    My summer sanity is doing the Unglued Bible Study. Just started it last night with a group of 18. Most of them have never heard you speak and loved it. Praying for life changes for all of them!

  39. Marie

    Sanity saver…parks. State park or even your local town park. Do a picnic, fly a kite, great place to eat ice cream. Enjoy the great out doors.

  40. Deana

    My summer sanity saver is bringing the kids to the local swimming park! Everyone is happy playing in the sunshine and swimming all day! Also, keeping a routine through the week to make sure what needs to get done does.

  41. Christi

    I have been wanting to try that pizza crust for a long time and I am going to do it this weekend! We have six kids so my summer sanity is eating on the deck (no sweeping) and camping as my husband does most of the camping cooking! Thank you!

  42. Tammy P

    My summer sanity saver is to take some time before the last day of school and plan out the things my kids would like to do. I make a list of trips, crafts, games, etc and then make sure I have the materials/directions needed for everything. I also look at the calendar and try to write everything down so I can be as organized as possible. It really helps me out when the kids are yelling “I’m bored” to have a plan and all the supplies needed.

  43. Elena Haskew

    My sanity saver is to make dinner early in the morning before the craziness of the day begins. I sometimes use a crock pot or get everything prepared and ready to throw in the oven or on the grill at supper time.

  44. Kathy

    For me, my summer sanity saver is deciding to wake up with a good attitude (and not leave my room until I HAVE a good attitude) and then doing everything in my power to make it a fun day with my kids! Swimming at local lakes, fires with smores (no cauliflower involved :-), summer camps, walks and bike rides, summer book clubs…especially for the prizes. We always load up on water toys and a pool for days around the home with little ones. I can’t wait for summer!

  45. Linda H

    I am going to have to try the pizza : ) wish me luck!
    My summer sanity saver – plan the weeks in February…. I work full time, so summer day camp is required. A lot of the camps are full by March.

  46. Lexie Smith

    A fun and easy summer snack is to take green grapes, washed, and place in the freezer. They are great frozen, like little pop cycles. Thanks Lysa for the new recipes.

  47. Tricia

    My sanity saver: implementing a period of quiet time every day. With 5 kids running around, friends in & out, & trying to keep up with the regular day to day things in life, it’s barely-controlled chaos. Just 30 minutes of quiet time in the early afternoon has saved us. It gives the kids a break from each other & they come back having forgotten the silly arguments they’d been having, & it gives me a little time to catch my breath & get ready for the rest of the day.

  48. Gretchen N.

    My summer sanity saver is a summer bucket list. Each family member comes up with 4 or 5 things that we could do together as a family and then we try to choose 1 or 2 of those activities to do every week. Some might be as simple as making ice cream and some might require more work like a day trip to a favorite place. It gives the girls something to look forward to and lets us all be together as a family making memories 🙂

  49. Nancy Avery

    My trainer at the gym just gave me a similar cauliflower crust recipe- can’t wait to try this!!

    My summer sanity tip is similar to other- pre- planning meals, doing some freezer meals, keeping the kids schedules light and flexible and a heavy dose of FUN. But one thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet- is I lOVE my crockpot- coming home to have dinner done is the best feeling ever! Many people doesn’t crockpot cook in the summer so it doesn’t heat up their homes- I never used to either. A couple years back I started puting my crockpot out in the garage- and letting it cook out there all day 🙂

  50. Margie

    The cauliflower crust sounds great – I have a similar recipe for a crust made of zucchini!

    3-1/2 cups grated zucchini
    3 large eggs, slightly beaten
    1/3 cup unbleached flour
    1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
    1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp basil
    Sauce (note – I buy jarred sauce – I didn’t like this sauce and takes time!)
    8 oz canned tomato sauce
    6 oz canned tomato paste
    1 tbsp ground oregano
    1/4 tsp honey
    Toppings (I use onions, fresh mushrooms, low fat shredded cheese – whatever!)
    4 oz low fat cheddar or Colby cheese
    4 oz canned sliced mushrooms

    (Note – ingredients are listed for weight watchers – can use other cheeses)

    Mix zucchini and eggs, flour, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and basil. Spread on Pam sprayed cookie sheet (use a jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 until dry and firm.

    Simmer tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, honey and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Put on top of baked zucchini. Top with cheddar cheese and mushrooms and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let sand for 5 minutes before cutting.

  51. Larisa

    In the heat of the summer my kids often ask for freezies and store bought popsicles. Hanging with kids buzzed on empty sugar calories on a daily basis… yikes! My summer sanity solution is to have lots of popsicle molds on hand and fill them with our left over smoothies. My kids basically hate milk, but love homemade smoothies mixed with just milk, yogurt and frozen fruit. The kids love their homemade ‘smoothie pops’ cool treats and I love that it is not just colored sugar water.

  52. Nicola

    My summer sanity plan is to complete the Made to Crave Bible Study and to committ to as few things as possible. With the extra time I want to spend that in God’s Word to refresh and revive me for my college students returning for the fall semester.

  53. Susan

    My sanity saver is to have frequent no cook meals involving a smorgasboard of foods on the table to choose from like good breads and cheeses, lots of fresh fruit, veggies and dip. This is a favorite of my kids!

  54. Jeanne

    A few years ago myself and some other ladies at our church decided to start VBS a 1/2 hour early and serve supper during the week. We have one lady who is super coordinated and gathers fixings for tacos, sloppy joes, chicken tenders, hot dogs, pizza – lots of kid friendly options. It always brings in lots of kids to hear the Word, and helps the workers have one less thing to worry about during our week of VBS. It makes a busy week much more enjoyable.

  55. Becky D

    I’m new to your posts but love them…great reminders throughout the day. Summer Sanity Tip: Cook up an entire package of frozen chicken at one time (grilled or on the stove). Then cube or shred and place in portion size freezer bags and freeze. It’s then ready as you need it for tacos, salads, pizza etc without starting from scratch with uncooked meat. Thaw and add the seasoning depending on what you’ll be using it for. More time to be outside enjoying my girls and my flowers!

  56. Kirsten

    My summer sanity saver is to grill at least once a week since that doesn’t requre much prep work, and i also double a meal once a week so I have an extra dinner to put in the freezer for the future.

  57. Jenny Corlett

    Now that I am in the twilite years, I enjoy looking back. I remember one my mother’s sanity savers was a trip to the beach followed by ice cold watermelon (with salt, of course) served from the trunk of the old Ford. How happy we were.

  58. Tina B

    My Summer Sanity Saver is to check out the free programs offered by the local library and park system. They have a magician, summer crafts and reading contests at the library. Through our town’s park system we have summer kids concerts every Thursday, many of them interactive.

    Bonus: I am blessed with very active in-laws who take the kids to the park and the zoo for the day giving me a little sanity time for myself. 🙂

  59. Angela

    My sanity saver is to get outside and play with kids after supper. Great family time to enjoy each other and get some exercise.

  60. Tandy Sue Hogate

    My favorite summer sanity saver is that my dear husband and I just decided last night to take one whole day each month this summer to get away together to laugh, reconnect, and relax. He and I both work full time and we own a farm that gets crazy busy during the summer so we’re going to have to be deliberate to make it happen. But that one day of escape per month with him will surely get us through. 🙂

  61. Melany Boone

    I’m a junior high and high school math teacher so summer IS my sanity saver! 🙂 I’m also a single mom of a teenage daughter who, at the moment, still likes me. My sanity saver during the summer is getting up and having my “coffee & chat” time with God outside in His creation…sort of reminds me that this life and this world are not all about me.

    Love the blog, Lysa! (By the way, our Ladies’ Bible Study on Wednesday nights is going through your “Unglued” study. One of our sweet “seasoned-in-life” sisters commented the other night, “I believe that in my earlier years, I was a stuffer of my emotions, but my stuffing manifested itself physically as I began to suffer terribly from migraine headaches. It took many years for me to realize the cause of my pain.” What wisdom there is in that little woman!)

  62. Jodie

    I love these recipes! Thank you Lysa!
    My summer sanity saver is a pool membership! And a nice long run every morning since we don’t have to rush to school! I get rid of stress before the day even starts!

  63. LaDeana Anderson

    Love the recipes Lisa! My summer sanity saver is a good book. Right now I’m reading Living the Dream by Pastor Daniel Floyd. I’d love to use that Amazon card to buy copies for all my friends. 🙂

  64. Krista Fogle

    My summer sanity saver is grilling alot and then eating dinner outside on the deck. The crumbs are left outside and very little mess for mom to clean up! My kids love it and so do I!!

  65. Trish

    I love summer! I work in the schools so I get summers off so we enjoy spending time at the pool!! 🙂

  66. Julie

    I love these – can’t wait to try the pizza. Sounds super yummy! I have 2 little ones (2 and 5) so one of my sanity savers is using the quarterly Kraft magazine for easy recipes – I love these, and they normally only have a handful of ingredients so they are quick and easy. I am really enjoying reading (and stealing :-)) everyone else’s tips and tricks. Thank you!

  67. Jenny Himes

    I think these recipes sound totally yummy!!! My hubby on the other hand would never even try it!!! He hates cauliflower 🙁 and avacados! Maybe I’ll get a chance to try these with my momma! – One of my sanity saving things is my crockpot!!! I love being able to just throw stuff in in the morning and not worry about dinner for the rest of the day!

  68. Stacey S.

    My sanity saver is training for a fall marathon – I know, squeezing one more thing in the schedule may seem a bit daunting at first! But nothing tops that incredible feeling of accomplishment and achievement when I look back over the week and tally my miles and look ahead to the next week’s plan knowing that I can and will do this. That and my weekly long runs are the ultimate description of a sanity saver. No matter how frazzled and frustrated I might be when i start out, I always end content and happy – it’s a fabulous way to recharge and reconnect 🙂

  69. Carol Kirby

    My summer sanity saver is keeping a food diary. I just started this and it makes a difference. Also change my reaction to my family members when they make comments I disagree with. Sometimes they are just stateting there own point of view and are open to hearing what I have to say. I don’t always react to that positively.

  70. Christina Darnell

    I’m excited to try the pizza (I’m just not going to tell my husband the crust is made from cauliflower until after he eats it :)).

    My summer sanity saver is growing a small garden. We only grow the things we love – cucumbers, multicolored peppers, cherry tomatoes and lettuce. It doesn’t take much time to maintain, and it means fresh food, less trips to the store (which means saving money!), and I’ve always got food staples to work with when I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner.

  71. Mary@ The Calm of His Presence

    My summer sanity saver is having the kids do all their chores in the morning so we can play in the afternoon. Looking forward to the webcast Tuesday night!

  72. Teresa

    Now that we’re empty nesters we can have the grand kids over anytime and give my daughter a rest. We enjoy camping my grandson is four he doesn’t care if we just camp in the backyard in the camper. If we go to a campground our rule even for our grown children is no TV just to enjoy the outdoors, pool, and each other!
    I think the next rule might have to be no texting or cell phones unless emergency!

  73. Angela W

    Travel with water bottles. When out and about in the heat, you (and the kids) will get thirsty/hungry/cranky. Having something handy to meet the needs beats having to make a plan for a stop and will save $$$ too.

  74. Diana

    My summer sanity saver is to make as many whole meals on the grill as possible. So, I grill the meat, like chicken or fish, and always also throw on a couple different veggies, or diced potatoes for a side dish. I have found that most vegetables are great grilled. So, there’s no mess in the kitchen. Also, last year I discovered grilled romaine, which makes for an awesome salad meal when you throw on some grilled chicken, blue cheese crumbles, red onion and a light vineaigrette. Oh, and one last thing…..paper plates!

  75. Heidi

    My summer sanity saver is to get the big kids to help around the house. We dont have them have much during the school year due to school and extra cur activities but in the summer our schedules are much lighter so have them help w cooking and cleaning.

  76. Patricia

    My Summer Saver Sanity Tip= one good BBQ and a patio set with great friends and family!! Now that’s a recipe y’all should be able to wrap your brain around!! Enjoy!! P.S. totally gonna try the pizza …. it sounds yum-alicious!

  77. Brenda

    Hmmmmm there are a lot of ways I try to save my sanity, but even though I can’t do them all the time, I am relatively normal. By my standards anyway.:0)

    My favorite food sanity tips and tricks are: grilling a bunch of chicken breasts and veggies, making whole wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice, etc at the beginning of the week and prepping as many veggies and fruits as possible. I also make a big batch of hummus. That way when we come home, we can have a great pasta or quinoa salad, homemade pizza, green salad, panini or wrap ready within 15 minutes of walking in the door.

    My hubby and I both work full-time outside the home and anything we can do to make life simpler, healthier, and less stressful, we do. Have a great day all!

  78. Melissa Worthman

    My summer sanity is making as few plans as possible so we can just relax and do things as they come up. Lots of pool and beach days are mixed in there too!!!:)

  79. Tracy

    My summer sanity saver? I would have to say my alone time with God. It’s when I come in my special room in the evening and close the door to the days problems. I turn on my relaxing DVD of cars going over a bridge at night with the natural sounds of crickets and water splashing from the bay. I open my window to enjoy the smell of fresh air, turn off the lights and sit in this atmosphere that has become our space. We talk as if he is sitting right next to me and other times to simply Be Still in his presence is so refreshing. It’s our special meeting place that I truly enjoy, I turn inward from the days events and he meets me there.

  80. Ronda

    I love cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, so why not a pizza crust! I think I will try it with buffalo chicken instead though. Not sure I am brave enough for the veggie chocolate ice cream. Lysa, I love your posts and emails they are an inspiration. Just finishing up the Made To Crave Bible study too.

  81. Nichole

    Great recipe! Actually just ran across the same thing in a new book, Trim Healthy Mama. I’m devouring this book right now and trying to change my eating. Just praying my family will go along with it too!!!

    My summer sanity saver is to get house work done in the morning hours so we can enjoy the pond we put in in the afternoon! I love it when my hubby comes in from working and says “Go outside, swim and play in the water! That’s what we dug a pond for!” We enjoy having friends over to use what God has blessed is with. And if the work is done first, I enjoy the play time even better!

  82. Katie

    Great tips everyone! I have to agree that grilling a lot in the summer is a must-it is quick, easy and you don’t have to worry about heating up the house!

  83. Brandy

    Egg carton sicles!!! Crazy right!! My kids love those pickle pops you get at the ballfield….you know….the ones they make with the juice AFTER they make a gazillion dollars on the actual pickles!!?? They were always filling up my big storage bowls and hacking at the “popsicle” throughout the day. Frustration for them and a mess and smelly freezer for me! So….props to a super amazing and dashingly handsome hubby…pour the juice in a clean plastic egg carton! Perfect bite size popsicles for the kiddos! Easy to grab and fun for little hands! You can also use lemonade, juice, or crystal light!!

  84. Mary Beth

    I like to marinate chicken in Italian dressing and grill it for dinner, making enough for leftovers and then I chunk up the leftover to go into a pasta salad for another night of dinner.

  85. Ang

    My sanity saver is to put family first and not over plan but to rest, relax, and enjoy!

  86. Ellen Cole

    My Summer (and Fall, Winter, Spring!) Sanity Saver is to come home from the grocery store and immediately prep all my fresh fruits and vegetables for consumption. If I put them right into the refrigerator as is, that’s how they stay until I clean out the fridge on garbage day! Wasteful, costly, and…guess what I’m eating instead? The easy-to-grab-junk! I chop all my fresh fruit and make a wonderful fruit salad, which I keep in clear containers in the fridge (better to notice it when I’m “browsing”). I take one container to work and keep one home. I then prep my salad ingredients…washed lettuce in the spinner then into the fridge, cucumbers chopped and in a container, Spring Mix, Mann’s Rainbow Salad (one of the best inventions ever, if you haven’t discovered it!) ready to go. When it comes time to make my salad…it’s under a minute prep time just taking hands full from each container.

  87. Julie Hensley

    My summer sanity saver is to go for an early morning walk when the temperature is still cool and breathe in the beauty of God’s creation. Sets the tone for the rest of the hot day.

  88. Erica

    Thank you for the recipes and the Summer Sanity topic in general! The recipes sound so delicious and I hope to try them this weekend!

    The first Summer Sanity tip that comes to mind is to “buy stock” in sunscreen. We go through it so fast! So, I usually have a bag for all activities…pool/beach, summer camp, suitcase for Nana’s house, etc. I have 1 bottle of sunscreen in each bag and extras in the house and car so that I can replace immediately. It gives me one less thing to worry about everyday. This year, I plan to do the same with the suncreen sticks (cannot remember the formal name) because those are great to keep in your purse for easily touching up little faces (and big faces). 🙂

  89. Melissa

    Sounds fabulous! As a new, full-time working mom, I need some time saving tips!

  90. Elis Brashear

    Our summer sanity saver is.anything free…bowling, summer movies, local parks, and libraries. Vacation bible school also helps!

  91. Halona

    One of our sanity Summer Savers is the drive in. Packing our favorite goodies and watching movies under the stars. What a Blessing!!

  92. Kellie

    Mmmmmm, those recipes look yummy! Just may have to give them a try.

    My sanity saver is to sign the boys up for as many Day Camps as possible. Our Extension office always has such great camps lined up for the kids and my boys love them. It keeps them busy and helps keep some sort of routine going.

  93. Jenni Hudson

    My summer sanity saver is to have fewer commitments this summer – no swim practice every day and meets every weekend like we’ve had in the past! To have time we can all be home together (I have 3 girls), and do spontaneous activities that we can’t do during the school year.

  94. Mona Huston

    My Summer Sanity is lots of time by the pool and making memories with my kiddos. They are older now so anytime we get to be together is a good memory. Not sure about those recipes but probably need to give them a try.

  95. Becky Hassloch

    My summer sanity saver is so simple I hesitate in sharing…but then I remwbered…thats the point! My whole family loves frozen grapes! I will buy a of them when they are really cheap and ripe. Immediately take them off the vine and wash them and put them in baggies and throw them in the freezer.

  96. Cynthia

    My best summer sanity saver is a smoothie. When I’m gonna be on the road and don’t want to stop at a fast food restaurant, I throw a smoothie in a thermos with some ice and drink it on the go. My new favorite is this: 2 c frozen blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c almond milk, 1/2 cup pomegranate or red currant juice, 2 TBSP cocoa powder and 2 medjool dates (or 3 of a smaller variety–make sure you take the pit out)…This recipe is delicious!

    • Cynthia

      oh and obviously: blend all those ingredients in a blender til smooth.

  97. Erica

    Summer means lots of yard sales where I can find lots of used items for my family’s needs! I have found so many great and cheap clothes & shoes for my boys! Thanks for sharing Lysa, maybe ill give the healthy pizza a try!

  98. Jacinta

    My sanity summer saver tip is CAMPING! We try to camp out as much as possible in the summer, great memories for my girls.

    Btw, loving those recipes.

  99. Robyn

    I had Gastric Bypass 4 months ago. As of today I am down 65 lbs, with just 10 lbs to meet my nutritionists goal. Any more after that is a bonus! I feel great!
    I am always looking for new food choices that will be even better for me than the traditional options. I need to get as much protein as I can each day, so if I could still eat a piece of pizza and get both my veggies & protein at the same time that would be awesome!

  100. Wendy

    We are a softball family! With two of my children playing travel ball on the weekends and my husband playing softball with the church league on weeknights, visiting the concession stand can be expensive. I have gotten my family involved in helping to pack a cooler and “picnic basket” before every game or tournament. For the one child that doesn’t play softball, this helps her feel a part of the family and gives her something to look forward to. We save money and get some quality family time! The kids really enjoy coming up with new ideas for our “picnics” as the ball park. And oddly enough, they’ve begun helping me find “sales” on the items we frequently pack, like sports drinks and bottled water!

  101. Sally

    We pick out skills to learn each month & go for it, mistakes & all. Sometimes a cooking technique, sometimes a new flip style into the pool… I’m the facilitator, but the kids are the active ingredients.

  102. Leanne

    My family spends a lot of time at the ball park in the summer time.

  103. Shannon

    My summer sanity saver is to take a moment to sit still outside on my deck (when it’s not blazing hot) and enjoy the weather and the beautiful nature aspects that our wonderful God made.

  104. Natalie

    Our summer sanity saver is our 4 foot collapsible pool. When all the neighbors are making payments on their inground pool, handing out ice pops to all the neighborhood kids, and cleaning their pool, we are enjoying a swim in the backyard. When no one is in the pool we take the ladder out for safety and at the end of the season we take the pool down till next year! Best $400 ever spent 😉

  105. Sue

    SO looking forward to ‘Summer Sanity’! I can use some pointers & encouragement- some way to stay sane this summer!
    Love your blogs, Lysa, and enjoy your humor and human outlook on things.
    Blessings as you continue to (in)courage us!

  106. Laura W

    Sounds yummy! I’m going to see how many Weight Watchers points this all would be!

  107. U Zach

    My summer sanity saver is to prepare the kids lunches and camp backpacks the night before. That way we can sleep in a little and pretend like we’ve got the summer off (it take a lot of imagination to pretend we’re off for the summer, but at least we can try….) Thanks for all your great tips. As much of a veggie lover that I am, I’m going to have to skip the cauliflower crust. It just defies the nature of pizza!! ; )

  108. Nancy

    It’s so hard to have a meal together as a family, but when we have “dinner on the deck”, everyone is sure to join in. Workouts, video games, TV and cell phones all play second fiddle to dining al fresco for both my teenage sons and my seminarian husband. I serve (and grill) outside as much as possible in warm weather. Less clean up and family around the table together, what’s not to like?!

  109. sue

    My summer sanity saver is my 300.00 “red-neck”(no offense to anyone) blue temporary pool. Best 300.00 My husband and I ever spent…that and water balloons!!!!!!!

  110. j. mills

    we love going to state park during the summer, camp out for $10 a night, fishing, grilling. wonderful memories made.

  111. Angie

    Summer Sanity Saver–homemade popsicles filled with naturally sweetened teas or pureed melons with added fruit means an easy cold snack for the kids to enjoy on a hot carolina porch! They are all access all day long since i can control how sweetened they are!

  112. Crystal

    My summer sanity saver is the water park that we have. It is just a little area with streams of water coming out of the ground and from the top. The kids run around and play all day and I sit under a tree and read and relax.

  113. Renee

    My summer sanity is to play tennis with my teenagers. It doesn’t matter how good (or bad) we are because we have a great time together, getting exercise and enjoying the beautiful weather.

  114. Lisa Rettig

    The pizza sounds yummy, I would love to try that! Not as sure about the ice cream. 😉 My summer sanity saver is our grill and garden. We love to put fresh veggies in foil packets w/ olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. Haven’t found a veggie yet that doesn’t work for!

  115. Ruth

    We have 8 children. That’s a whole lotta “I’m bored” whining coming at me. So to save my sanity (well, it helped, anyway!) we made an activity book. I got a red binder and we filled it with all kinds of creative ideas. We took time to sit and look through magazines, such as Family Fun, and my kids would cut out the things that looked fun or interesting to them. We put them in categories, such as “Outside games”, Rainy Days”, activities needing “Mom’s help”, activities to do “By Myself”. The kids also remembered their favorite games or simple activities, such as making a fort or drawing pictures, and they wrote directions and illustrated their ideas on paper. Voila! A bountiful supply of special activities, custom made for my kids! Whenever someone would come across another great idea, it was added to the book. Then, when that dreaded statement “I’m bored!” resounded, I simply reminded them of “The Red Book” and they were off to entertain themselves!
    Now let me assure you, this Red Book started out nice, and neat, and pretty – but through time it became messy, and unorganized, and dirty. But it was well-loved and well-used. And it helped get us through many endless summer days – with my sanity somewhat intact.

  116. Lisa Brewer

    Honestly, I’m not the mom that needs my sanity saved in summer! I love my 3 kids being at home and look forward to the breaks from school to have them around. I love my house filled with laughter, praise singing and even the arguing that ends up benefiting myself due to consequences that include cleaning the house;) lol!
    I love “summer structure” as I like to call it. I guess that’s why I look forward to summer instead of dreading it, we keep our days filled with activities and service to others. My plan this summer is to help my children see the Blessing that comes when we have a Servants’ heart by doing small service projects for unbelieving neighbors:)

  117. Melissa VD

    My summer sanity saver was purchased last year….a pool! It was worth every cent! Not only did it give us something to do in the heat outdoors, it also brought family and friends to our home more often 🙂 Another family favorite for summer is camping. It gets us outdoors and away from home; even if it is just the campground 5 miles away!

  118. Xiomara Tucker

    My summer sanity saver is the public library. We take a break from the summer sun and enter a place where the possibilities are endless. My boys play educational games while my daughter puts on a puppet show. I get a piece of mind browsing through books. No worries about what’s for dinner there are plenty of recipe books! But the fun doesn’t stop when we leave. We each take a little piece of the library home with us in the books we check out. The library is a safe place for the whole family to enjoy. And like salvation It’s Free!

  119. Sherry Rea

    Love the tips! We spend a lot of time in the pool during the summer and movies in the evenings. Last summer we made home-made ice cream for the first time. It was so much fun and a huge hit! We would come up with different recipes and everyone would try them.

    A healthy recipe for you…it’s a weight watcher recipe. Chocolate muffins.
    1 box of chocolate cake mix
    1 small can of pumpkin
    1 cup of hot water

    Mix the three together. Pour in muffin pan. Bake at 350. 12 minutes for mini-muffins and 15 minutes for regular size. They are super moist and yummy!!! Enjoy!

  120. jennifer

    Summer sanity for my house is a bottle of bubbles. Color them with food coloring, or use cookie cutters, hand made bubble wands, or noodles (anything with a hole) to blow bubbles, dump them out and slide on them, use them to wash the car, the deck, each other. You can even make your own with common household items. For older kids, ask them why bubbles are always round and let them research the answer.

  121. Dianne Ewin

    My summer sanity saver for my grandkids would be water balloons!!! And then a brown cow or purple cow afterwards. (That’s an ice cream float with root beer or grape soda. YUM!!)

  122. Kelley

    oh my goodness sounds yummy

  123. Chris

    This is a MUST-do sanity saver… MEDIA BLACKOUT for a day (or a week, or one day a week, or the weekend… whatever the need)!!! Everyone must turn off all electronics… No TV, no computer, no video games, no phones, no radio, etc! In other words, a FAST from the world of distractions and diversions that steal our peace and quiet, that keep us from the inner life of thought and prayer and abiding with God!!!
    We used to do this regularly when our kids were growing up… They did it kicking and screaming, but then would end up enjoying actual conversations, games, cards, naps, crafts, outside play–all kinds of things they would not do if they had all the other media. In use!
    Try it… You’ll love it, too (adults must also do it!), and you will see such a different attitude in everyone, and a completely different atmosphere in your home!!! And it can become a good habit to instill in all of us!
    Blessings for a sane summer… A saner life all year! 🙂

  124. pAm

    My summer sanity saver is the Slip n Slide, greased with a little bit of baby oil! Kids love it and are entertained for hours on end! Get out the lawn chairs, enjoy the outdoors and have the camera ready. 🙂

  125. Dee A

    My Summer Sanity is having easy meal fixes on hand like-frozen chicken strips (or take chicken and cut up and freeze yourself) then add already cut up colorful peppers and mushrooms with low fat balsamic dressing for a quick meal, before going off to play in the sun with your family!

  126. Nanci

    Summer sanity tip for us is the barbecue. I hate to cook and my husband doesn’t mind barbecuing. Lucky break for me, now I won’t have to try that “healthy” stuff you posted today.

  127. Andi

    Summer Sanity Saver: Fresh fruits and veggies overflowing the fridge! Everyone eats healthy and advance prep makes more time for mom to join in the fun! We grow as much as we can – and much is eaten off the vine!

  128. Linda Hicks

    Scrumptious Summer Sanity Saver: a healthy smoothie that tastes a lot like a pena colada!
    1 cup mango chunks (frozen)
    ½ cup pineapple chunks (frozen)
    1 ½ cups almond/coconut milk
    2 T coconut oil or fresh coconut
    Stevia to taste
    Blend until smooth. This is yummy!!! It is one of the recipes on CLEAN program. I’m now addicted to this tropical cooler! Enjoy.

  129. Angie

    Can’t wait to try the ice cream recipe, thanks! My summer sanity saver is our own backyard. My kids and I eat breakfast and lunch outside most days and enjoy homeschool lessons spread out on a blanket in the grass. Our back patio is completely shaded by late afternoon, so even on pretty warm days, we can still dine al fresco. Everything tastes yummier outside! And even better, I spend considerably less time stuck inside cleaning up my kitchen….especially if I grill most of our dinner. We often top off our meals with a jump on the trampoline, a run through the sprinkler, or a game of washers. Enjoying the great outdoors is key for us in the summer (and super-affordable)!

  130. Karen Apple

    My crock pot and my grill are my favorite summer tools and time sanity savers! I don’t have to do a lot of prep work and we can can eat whenever our schedule allows! We like to eat a lot of fresh local produce as well to cut down on heating the kitchen up. I truly enjoy your blog. There are days that God gives me exactly what I need to hear from you. I need to read Unglued. I have had so many unglued moments lately. I don’t know that I could mentally survive another day of this week. Thank you Jesus that it’s Friday!

  131. Stephanie Carr

    DIY bubbles are always an inexpensive way to have fun. You mix dawn dish detergent, water, and light corn syrup. Pinterest has many DIY projects like bubbles, paint, sidewalk chalk, play dough. Fun to get the kids involved and it saves money!

  132. Mary Lou Kleveland

    My sanity saver is having my kids do extra chores to earn “electronic time”. This way the chores get done (and Mom isn’t left with all of the extras) and the kids are motivated to work so they can earn some electronic time. I have one child who would spend his entire summer doing nothing but video games, computer, Wii if I’d let him. This is a good way to end the constant arguing about whether the kids can use those items because they know chores have to be done before I will say yes.

  133. Michelle Angelique

    My summer sanity savers are home made fruit smoothies on hot days for the kids, preparing bags or containers of fresh cut veggies at the beginning of the week for healthy snacks, tons of salads, healthy versions of tuna and chicken salad, lots of pool time in my parent’s pool and laying in the hammock under the stars or on a lazy afternoon looking at cloud shapes, bike rides and long walks in the evening. Looking forward to summer! 🙂

  134. Sharon

    Porch time – coffee and quiet time on the porch early in the morning as the sun is rising, dinner or dessert outside, games outside, reading outside – just move as much as possible outdoors.

  135. Cristina

    My summer sanity saver is having my baby sitter at my house. My 3 boys function better at home & routine is easier to establish!

  136. Liz

    My sanity saver has been to allow my kids to give up softball and baseball if they’d rather have some lazy summer days. Not that summer on the farm can ever be called lazy days, but without ball schedules they actually have some time for unscheduled summer fun and lots of exploring, creating, swimming and playing. They have chores and we all pitch in and help each other but there used to be no free time in our days with ball schedules figured in.

  137. Charlotte Balentine

    My summer saver as the only parent is sun and pool. Find a honey hole of water, pack the snacks and grab my son and his friends and swim swim swim. On those hot summer days when all the popsicles have been eaten and they are too hot (in a whiney voice) to ride bikes outside off we go to the pool or a lake. The body movement they get while cooling down in the pool also resets their mind. If you cant find a body of water throw the sprinkler out and make fun games out of it. By the time the sun sets there are tired bodies filled with laughter and played out games. Memories and a tired child falling into bed. Happy hearts make happy mommies.

  138. Melinda

    Summer Sanity…preparing easy meals, eating out on the deck and watching the sun go down.

  139. Renee

    The pizza sounds great and I can hardly wait for the webcast to get more, great, sanity saving ideas!

  140. cheray

    Summer sanity saver here at our house are involving my son in things that hold his attention and are still “playing”. Making homemade bubbles, going to the yard on a discovery mission, planting plants he chooses and helping him help them grow. And of course with a chef mommy cooking up anything and everything to take outside to munch and relax with!

  141. Dena Masterino

    THANK YOU FOR THOSE RECIPES!!!!! I’ve been sugar, flour, wheat free for three months now and these are life savers!!! Will be fun to try it out!!! My sanity saver is ordering a portion of a grassfed beef for the freezer! For the next several months, I will have grillable favorites at my fingertips for WAY LESS than going to the grocery store for lean beef. And you know that less trips to the grocery store means saved time and saved money!

  142. Ginger

    Summer Sanity Saver: Keep the kids busy so we don’t have sibling rivalry and boredom. We do camps, VBS, visits to grandparents, free Summer movies, local activities or dips in the pool. But, screen time has to be limited or they would waste their Summer doing that!

  143. Jill A.

    My Summer Sanity Saver is a chore list! When my kids are out of school, they need some structure and a chore list gives them that. I get a clean house, my kids get summer spending money, I get a clean house. 🙂 Because when mama comes home from work to a clean house, mama is hap-hap-happy!! And when mama’s happy…you know the rest. 🙂

  144. Suzanne

    Easy summer fun – as a child we always played in the sprinkler… my grandkids don’t have the luxury of a yard, so when they come down, we’ll pull out the old-fashioned summer cooler and have a great time!

  145. Rebecca Tyndall

    What great recipes! I’m so excited about trying them out! 🙂

    My summer sanity saver is frozen miniature snickers for a sweet treat! Though, since now I’m on Atkins and trying to eliminate carbs in the form of sugar and bread, that won’t work for me anymore. So instead, my sweet treat will be frozen melon balls! 🙂 Just scoop them out in the shape of a ball, lay them on parchment paper on a pan and freeze. Once frozen, gather them together and put them in a freezer safe container and enjoy a treat from the freezer on a hot summer day! 🙂

  146. Rachel

    We got a pop up pool last year. It was great! I also ended up babysitting some of my friends’ kids occasionally… gave us some extra money, plus extra playmates for the kids! This year I’m also going to try having somewhat of a daily routine but also maintain some flexibility… daily chore times, craft times and outdoor times. I’m hoping it will limit the tv time and the “I’m bored” whining somewhat. Maybe I can organize the chaos a little bit. 😉

  147. Julia Melatis

    I don’t like heating my house up with the oven in the summer, so I’ve converted some of my favorites to skillet dishes, like my Chicken Casserole. I even punched up the healthiness by adding veggies. SKILLET LEMON CHICKEN CASSEROLE: 2c. Small diced veggies (whatever you want, like onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper). Saute veggies in EVOO until tender. Add 1 clove crushed garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add 12 oz. Shredded chicken breast (leftovers, rotisserie, ocanned which is what I usually use-drained). Add 2-14 oz. Cans reduced sodium chicken broth & 1/4c. Lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir in 1-1/3c. Long grain rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in 2c. 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese just before serving (Optional). If you like stuffed peppers here’s my UNSTUFFED PEPPERS SKILLET. Saute in EVOO until tender: chopped bell pepper (I like red) 1/4-1/2c chopped onion, & 1-1/2c. chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, mushrooms, green beans…even add in some corn). add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic saute another minute. Add lowfat ground meat-turkey breast or 96/4 ground beef (Trader Joes). Drain excess fat. Add your choice of sauce: 2-8 oz. Cans tomato sauce + 1 can water OR 1 jar meat-flavored Ragu pasta sauce. add 1-3t. Worcestershire sauce (to taste). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes to meld flavors. Add 3c. Cooked rice (I use 1 bag from a 3-bag box of the frozen rice from Trader Joes, either Jasmine or brown rice, microwaved according to package directions). Stir together. Serve immediately topped with 1-2c. 2% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional). I hope you enjoy!

  148. CA

    Make-ahead meals! A friend is hosting a meal prep party. When we’re done, we’ll have 12 meals in the freezer! I’ll use a couple each week for a break from nightly dinner meal-prep!

  149. Shelly

    I am definitely going to try these recipes. Yum!! My husband has given me permission to “sneak” healthy stuff by him so I will have to do just that with this recipe. He won’t eat it if I tell him there’s cauliflower in it. 🙂 I’ll tell him after he says he loves it! My summer sanity saving tip is to enjoy my coffee and quiet time on my enclosed front porch in the warmer weather (way to cold in Wisconsin to do it now). It completely relaxes me just being out there early in the morning watching the world wake up and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation all around me.

  150. Mindy

    This summer will be our first swim lessons for our kids since our littlest one is old enough now! And we live in Montana so camping and rodeos are always a summer must!

  151. Leigh

    The recipes sound good! My sanity saver is just having a lazy few “staycation” days where I don’t have to do anything in particular at any certain time. It’s good to just have that free time to accomplish whatever I want to (and absolutely nothing if I so choose) 🙂

  152. Ljv

    Due to some health issues I have just started (last Wed) a healthy eating plan that cuts out gluten,sugar & dairy. So far so good, but only one week in it is already a challenge to find what else I can eat! Thanks for posting those recipes! They are speaking to my taste buds & I will be trying them for sure! I have been looking at a Bendtec blender on Amazon this past week, but don’t have quite enough to get it. Will keep saving, but a gift card there would be wonderful!
    Thanks for the recipes Lisa & please post more!!

  153. Amy

    My summer sanity saver is the pool and the lake. I work where it’s not air conditioned and on those really hot days I can hear the pool calling me when I get off work. We also love to go to the lake. My easy summer meal is teriyaki chicken on a nice salad with mandarin oranges and poppyseed dressing. Good stuff!

  154. Ljv

    Oh, and my summer sanity saver tip…freeze fresh fruits cut up in a single layer in a ziplock bag for a quick & healthy refreshing smoothie!

  155. Julie Walsh

    Summer Sanity Savers:
    Planning ahead. Weeding out short shorts and finding flip flops before summer camp arrives. Formulating a healthy meal plan for packed lunches so we don’t get caught with last minute convenient unhealthy alternatives. Scheduling a few long weekends so I can enjoy the summer with my family. We have been doing “staycations” the last couple of years. Instead of one long week or ten days, several long weekends feels like a greater break from the routine. During the already stressful last weeks of school I kind of ramp it up by adding extra pressure to be “ready” for summer then I can really kick back and say “aaahhhhh.”

  156. Rose

    I use the crock-pot and try lots of fun sandwiches for summertime dinners!

  157. Carmen

    My sanity saver is to have a few small chores for the kids to do in the morning and afternoon to add a little structure to our mostly structure free summer days! We also spend a lot of time outside!

  158. Wendy Vaughn

    Our summer sanity saver is our pool! A must for those hot summer days to wear out those kiddos with bunches of energy! We have recently made a fire pit and I think we will spend many nights hanging out and making memories! Another is our garden. Love having fresh produce!

  159. Barb

    My Summer Sanity Saver tips are co-op or trade a day or two a week with a friend for a day without kids. I used to do this when I had a toddler/preschooler, but now with older kids it’s fun too. I have fun with the kids, not just kid-stting, but exploring (geo caching is SOOO MUCH FUN! – google it). Then they do something with the other mom. Camps in my area have gone OUTRAGEOUSLY insane with cost per week, but with some thought we have had two incredible summers at Camp Mom! I also make a calendar like NOW – print cute ones on > freebies – let the kids make a list then make a plan a few days a week and relax the rest!

  160. Bobbi

    Yard sales save money AND provide entertainment. And we make a lot of chicken salads – make your yummy salad – meanwhile, bake some frozen french fries. Using a rotisserie chicken, cut some bite sized pieces. Assembly: Salad in an ovenproof pan, the cooked french fries and chicken on top, cover everything with shredded cheese and broil VERY briefly just until the cheese is melted. Add dressing of choice. One dish complete meal!

  161. Kim Freeman

    One Summer Sanity Saver that I am implementing for this Summer is an “I’m Bored” jar or box. Every time I hear “I’m bored” I will direct my kids to said jar or box and inside they will find lots of slips of papers with ideas of things to do and they are required to do whatever is on the slip of paper!

  162. jess

    One of my favorite things about summer is yard sales! It is a bonding time for my mom, my sister, my niece, and me. We enjoy almost every beautiful Saturday morning of the yard sale season together. It also gives us our “shopping” fix and saves a ton of money. You never know what sort of original and interesting things you will find that you can’t
    live without!

  163. Crystal

    My Summer Sanity Saver is beach days. We are blessed to live right by Honeymoon Island, Tampa Bay Area. We pack our beach chairs, hats, sunscreen, towels, and a good book. Between swimming, reading, and listening to the waves, it is my own Eden 🙂

  164. Trisha

    Field Trips! Take a day off of work and take your kids somewhere fun! Waterpark, zoo, etc. And my boys love smoothies! Always have to have frozen fruit on hand to whip some up! Can’t wait to try the pizza!! 🙂

  165. Adrienne Terrebonne

    Some of my summer sanity tips is scheduling reading time, outside play time, craft time, park playdates, pool time, etc… I’m not rigid with our schedule but it helps if the children sort of know what to expect each week. I also like to have a jar with different activities written on slips of paper (ice cream parlor, have a sleepover, etc) and we draw one slip each week for an extra special activity.

  166. Sandy Wilson

    Attitude is everything, so my Summer Sanity Saver tip is to Accept, Agree, Admire and Amuse, and you’ll have an A+++ Summer! ACCEPT the heat, mosquitoes, whatever! It is what it is, and most times out of our control. AGREE to disagree…most times that’s the easiest thing to do. ADMIRE God’s creation…take time to thank him for the beauty that summer brings. And AMUSE yourself with fun! I can’t wait to start my A+++ Summer! 🙂

  167. Debi

    My favorite summer sanity saver is camping with my family. There is nothing that compares to sitting around the campfire with my husband and kids and just relaxing and laughing. Love it!

  168. Selina

    My Summer Sanity Saver is exercise! I am a stay at home mom and my husband works long hours. My daughter and i take long walks, go to the park, and go on bike rides. I love the beautiful bouquets of flowers (weeds) she makes me along the way. 🙂

  169. Charity

    Unfortunately, the reason I have already signed up for reminders about the webcast is because I have no summer sanity saving tips 🙁 Unless you count Grandma (my mom)! 🙂

  170. Cathy Tankersley

    These recipes sounds delicious and easy for the summer months. I have read your book, Made to Crave, 3 times. The first time was so enlightening about why we are meant to crave God. The following 2 times of reading the book, I needed some reassurance and more intense reading of what God was calling me to do about obedience in my food issues. So, could you include calories and nutrition information for these recipes? Thanks.

  171. Nancy

    I’m a grandmother of 12. This tip is for other “grannies” to provide summer sanity to daughters and daughters-in-love. I have Granny Camp during the summer for 5 days at a time to provide a fun, get-away for my grandchildren. I break it up into two or three groups and run it multiple times for my sanity! It’s something we all look forward to that is building precious memories.

  172. Janet Worthy

    stay inside and READ! Occassionally I venture out to my cedar glider on my backporch to read! works for me:) By the way, my babies are 32, 30, and 22!

  173. Lori

    We live 8 miles out in the country and running to the store for things on a whim is just not an option! I shop for groceries only 2 times a month and have since my children were little. It takes some planning, but it is worth it! My Summer Sanity tip is to cook up things like hamburger and sausage and put in bulk containers so that when you need to fix a quick meal or you don’t want to heat up the house cooking for a long period of time, just go to the freezer and dip out the precooked and frozen meat that is needed for your recipe. You save time, energy and believe me, it is soooooo much more convenient!

  174. Lisa K

    My summer sanity saver is my screen porch. Not only is it my favorite place to talk to God and have my quiet time. I also love to go out when the kids are hitting or throwing baseballs and hook my phone up to my speakers and blare our favorite tunes! Before long, everybody is in a great mood and singing along!!! Bring on summer!!!!

  175. Tonia

    A big one for me is to relax around a big camp fire. Just looking at the flames rising can put you into a trance. So soothing.

  176. Allison C Bayer

    OOooo, weeeeeee . . . I got me a mess of avocados that are about to become ICE CREAM!!! My favorite summer sanity saver has to do with doors. Grand kids love to SLAAAAAMMMMM doors going in and out of the house. So, our decorative wood door is removed with a “bumper dot friendly” aluminum wood core door. The back slide glass door is left open with one of those break away funny screens with magnetic closures. Saves my sanity!! Hope is saves yours!!!! Hugs and blessings, Allison in North Texas

  177. Mary

    We love lounging on our old boat down on the Mississippi river. It’s like stepping out of the city into an amazing wilderness! Makes me feel like Mark Twain!

  178. Ann Rigby

    Thanks for the different recipe. At Work this morning we were talking about putting healthier meals on the menu and this one looks yummy. I need to start eating healthier and I am stuck with unhealthy recipes. I am going to try this one. Last night at work they cooked a turkey patty melt and it look yummy also.

  179. Yvonne

    Just finished making organized chore charts for all the children to help out with the small things that they are capable of handling. The older ones teach the younger ones how to do those small jobs well. That leaves me with more time to focus on meals, and the bigger projects!

  180. Juli

    My Summer Sanity Saver is my grill. I am learning how to grill to perfection. We are a meat n taters family not so wild about the veggies. I am always looking for some new ways to cook veggies on the grill with very little prep!

  181. Amy E

    Two words- afternoon naps:)

  182. Julie W.

    After 10 years of living in Phoenix, I have found the secret to Summer Sanity!! It’s all about staying cool/indoors when it’s 110 outside! I cozy up with a huge stack of books and a pile of quilting & craft projects. A Cool Mama is a Happy Mama. And if the Mom is happy- Everyone is happy. 😀

  183. Teresa

    I try to make sure I have chore charts. Try to arrange play dates or get together’s, But most importantly lots of water guns, slipping slide, and water balloons to keep the boys busy!

  184. Anita

    Our good ‘ol slip ‘n slide is a huge fave!!! 🙂

  185. Kim

    I make sure I have plenty of Healthy Fudge on hand! Makes everyone happy. 🙂

  186. Lisa

    summer camps-VBS- and air conditioning!

  187. Carmen

    My summer sanity savings tip.. plant an edible garden feast! Whether it is in a porch pot, a raised bed, a small patch of lawn, or the landscaping areas around your home… grow your own veggies, fruits, and healthy meals for so much less and to support good health. Tending to something that grows and produces fruit is an amazing and peaceful time to connect with God and meditate on our own personal growth and spiritual investments 🙂

    John 15: 1,5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener..”; 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

  188. Laura

    We escape to a nearby beach after dinner – it’s just a small lake front community beach, but something about watching the sunset over the water just makes my heart calmer & give the feeling of a little mini-vacation.

  189. Tonya McCoy

    I so can’t wait to try these recipes. I am always looking for something new & healthy to try. My biggest tip for summer survival is to stay on a schedule just like you would the rest of the year. I babysit out of my home so even though my kids are out of school I absolutely have to maintain some sort of schedule. I still make the kids get up early (not quite as early as a school day) & I do make them do some chores to help me out. I also plan some fun activities & outdoor fun to keep them busy. A couple more tips I could give that you really can do all year round is first, plan a menu for the week before you go to the grocery. I will plan a week’s menu & then I just have to pick which meal I want to make on any particular night. That saves a lot of that “oh what am I going to fix for dinner” dilema. The other tip is in regards to cleaning. I divided everthing that needs to be cleaned & divided it up in days. That way I am just doing a little each day instead of spending hours cleaning. Now, I will spot clean if needed but this just making keeping your home clean so much easier. For instance, on Mondays I dust & sweep, Tuesday’s I mop all mopable floors, Wednesday’s I clean the bathrooms…..etc. Hope my few tips will be of some help to someone.

  190. Marla

    Weekends at the lake help bring our sanity back!!!

  191. Bethel

    Here is a tip we use with our three children each summer, and it’s completely FREE !
    Take your kids to the library before the end of school and let them each check out a couple of books to read (longer chapter books if they’re older). Then beginning the first day of summer break, each morning begins with all of you reading for 45 minutes. This bonds the family together, keeps the kids focussed and calm first thing in the morning, and helps to sharpen their reading skills over the summer. Make sure they get books they have an interest in! It WORKS!

    • Kendra

      Ooh, this is great! We often read before bed, which has a calming effect, but some nights it gets away from us because of other summer activities. I am going to file this away for summer. Only 8 more weeks – yeah!!

  192. Cami

    Swimming lessons, library summer reading program, lemonade stand and finding fruit to pick! And last, but certainly not least (!) a few more chores on top of the regular chores to get some money for yard sales:)

  193. Carol

    May sound crazy, but my summer sanity saver is simply down time. Since we have an only child, I’ve always felt like he needed to be in camp week after week which always puts me on the go to make ride arrangements, clothes, snacks, etc, etc, etc. As he’s gotten older, there are two or three camps he wants to do, but other than that and a week visit from a cousin, he simply wants a slow, laid back, summer – maybe the pool, maybe some bowling, maybe a few day trips, but mostly just time void of a stricter schedule and something always on the calendar.

  194. Jennifer Walker

    My summer sanity saver is to simply take time to enjoy. My husband is a pastor and our summers are often very hectic. I have two small kids and I’m learning that it is important to let some other things go or sometimes to have to say, “no I can’t commit right now.” Sumer Santy Saver……take time to enjoy your kids, enoy the weather, enjoy time to read your bible.

  195. Dana Kennedy

    I like to have lemonade and healthy snacks in easy reach for the kids all summer long. For example, I make up lemonade and strawberry slush punch and wash fruit and veggies so the kids can help themselves to a refreshing snack after playing in the hot summer sun. I prepare it at the beginning if the week and the kids can just come in and grab it. I don’t have to go into the kitchen every few minutes because someone wants a snack:)

  196. Lana

    I use chore charts for the kids and chores must be done before we play. My children enjoy getting up early and riding horses. It is peaceful and calm time.

  197. Heidi

    We plan to have “structured” lounging and easy going days. Structured in that I want a list of free and fun things to choose from and easy going in that we don’t have to rush somewhere or when we get somewhere we don’t have to rush while we are there. There is too much busyness in our lives and it just needs to s l o w d o w n!!!

  198. Connie

    Unfortuately I do suffer from “Summer Insanity” so I loved reading these tips. My kids routine has been to stay up really late and sleep in the following day. I don’t mind because if they are asleep it keeps them from fighting with each during the day while Im at work. One of the things we do in the evenings is go to the neighborhood pool when I get home from work and stay until dark around 830 or so. Come home and make oven sandwiches (grilled cheese, mix it up sometimes and will add pre-cooked bacon, tuna etc.) this way you can make all sandwiches at the same time. Cut up tomato & cucumber add a little italian dressing and that is dinner at least twice a week.. also use the crock pot to help out with meals.

  199. Jen meulemans

    My summer sanity saver is keeping the 31 bag in the back of my car stocked with rain gear, first aid supplies, sunscreen and of course healthy snacks and drinks so we aren’t tempted to eat the vendor food at all the baseball games the kids play.

  200. Audrey

    Our middle daughter hits up the farmers market on Tuesday afternoons keeping us stocked up with fresh local produce, keeping the propane tanks filled for the barbecue and ending the day watching the sunset at the beach after dinner.

  201. Ivy

    How exciting – i love new recipies and especially ones that I can hide veggies in and get my boys to eat! i get married next week and we are blending two families together – we will have four boys ages 15, 12, 8 and 5 all under one roof! Our summer is going to be crazy busy with tball and baseball games but full of lots of love a laughter! Can’t wait to start our new life with my sweet sweet man! Blessed!

  202. Nicole

    Grilling on the BBQ! It’s super easy to plan for dinner and my husband does the actual grilling, which he enjoys and gives me a little kitchen break 🙂



  204. Denise from Iowa

    Abide, abide and abide some more with the Lord. Make it your first priority every morning and you will be amazed how smoothly the day goes!
    Then be flexible and allow God to make changes to your plans each and every day.

  205. Robin

    An evening around the firepit. No electronics allowed. Sometimes we have our meal there (hot dogs on a stick/veggies wrapped in foil/s’mores), other times we just hang out and talk. It is sooo relaxing! We try to do this 1-2 times per week in the summer.

  206. Liz

    I really look forward to the summer to recharge before the fall (I am an elementary school teacher :))
    Summer sanity tips for me include some down time for sure! I love just planting my 3 tomato plants in barrels on my front porch (watching those little sweeties develop always makes me smile!), sometimes going out and just looking at the stars to find the big and little dippers, and I love to hear the call of bullfrogs…reminds me of childhood. What I REALLY look forward to is time with Jesus—unhurried, just He and I!!! I want to be in the Word more…I want to know my Savior more and more so that when He calls me home, we aren’t strangers. All of this restores my sanity…then, I will be ready for my little ones and they will have a teacher who is ready to go!

  207. kim

    Chore charts, kids plan and prepare a meal several times per month, doing a Bible study with my daughter, outings to the lake with the boat, and just much downtime!

  208. Brandi

    I use for planning our dinners it saves me money and time at the store

  209. Melanie

    My kids are still little, ages 3 and 4, so fortunately, they still nap. That’s when I start dinner and get most of my housework done. One of my sanity savers is always having fresh fruit cleaned and available and ready to eat, so all they have to do is open the refrigerator and grab their snack.

  210. Vonnie Kronk

    Weekends camping help bring my sanity! Getting out & enjoying doing things with others

  211. Doris

    One of the great things about summer that we enjoy is sitting on our deck with the big sweet gum tree for shade while sipping on iced tea. It’s a GREAT place to be early in the morning while watching the sun rise before our day begins, or after a long day of work….. I love listening to all the sounds of nature all around, frogs singing their songs from the pond, birds harmonizing in the trees, june bugs, jar flies, horses and cows joining in on the chorus. A wonderful time/place to sit and do what the scripture says: “be still and know that I am God”.

  212. Jody

    At the end of May we have each family member write out what he/she want to do during the summer (big or small). Things like sleepovers, mini vacations, pool parties, books to read, etc. are usually included. Then as a family we plan them in the calendar and check them off the lists as we do them. That way the summer doesn’t slip away without all of the fun things happening!

  213. JoniG.

    Choosing to walk to watch the sunset and keeping my bedtime on time. It’s harder to do when the sun goes down later, but it makes a big difference in my energy level!

  214. Diane Knipple

    I llive in North Carolina, my grandchildren ages 5 and 3 live in Florida. Since we don’t get to see them on a normal basis my summer sanity saver is to “steal” them for a month in the summer. My husband takes the whole month off of work and we devote every minute to the kids. We become kids ourselves as we ride bikes, fly kites, swim, play board games. And we usually plan an overnight visit to a fun place. Last year it was the zoo in Asheboro. This year it might be the Marble Museum in Raleigh. They grow up so fast and you can’t get that time back. AND the best part: grandchild #3 is on the way.

  215. Amy Patterson

    Just enjoy it & try to help your kids enjoy it! It is summer – the best time of the year! Be a kid with your kids and remember they are only kids for a short time. Say yes as much as you can. Do some planning to make things easier.

  216. Lydia Edgy

    I love the warm summer weather so we try to spend lots of time outdoors. We have a lake not far from us and it’s nice to go there and cool off as much as we can. I try to keep a good supply of popsicles in the freezer too. Summer is much more sane when I just enjoy all the things we don’t have time for during the school year, especially spending time together to slow down and relax a little bit.

  217. Kendra

    As a teacher, I love the opportunity to sleep late in the summer, but I know that it saves my sanity when I get up early and get something done first thing. Then I can spontaneously play a game of Mexican train with the kiddo or go to lunch with my sweetie or just sit on the deck swing enjoying the day without feel anxious inside for not being “productive”.

  218. Leanna

    Summer saving tip- it’s ok to let the kids have pb&j for dinner sometimes. Especially when it helps you stay focused and not get overwhelmed w cooking and cleaning. I’m learning to let things slide and look at the big picture. I.e. my husband is in Afghanistan. When the kids get pb&j for dinner, I have more time to play airplane and read to them before bedtime. Win-win.

  219. Wendy

    Choosing to do nothing at least one day out of the week! No Schedule allowed! No work allowed! Spontaneous trips to the library, walk through a garden center and stop and smell the roses! Call a friend and have a play date, kids included! Have a picnic lunch, take a blanket, read books laying on blanket, or just plain watching the clouds. Even as I type I’m anxious for summer to come!

  220. Harmony L

    Just being outside as much as possible. Being in my garden and seeing my flowers is the best sanity saver ever.

  221. Perri

    Lots of fruit and veggies!!!! Keep them out all day long! Join a local farm share!!! Oftentimes they give recipes out with their produce! Community gardening… Mental and physical! Get the kids to help! Grill… From veggies to meat… Easy! Thnx for all ur great tips

  222. Scarlet Evick

    Summer survival with our family includes lots of relaxation for all! Lazy Muffin Mornings, fun afternoons, grilling on the patio , and Family Firepit evenings with S’mores ! Hearts full of Thankfulness to our God for His provisions!

  223. Kim Seebach

    Summer is a time that we loose most of our structure, purposely. Our weekly commitment of worship service, AWANA and VBS remains intact.
    After school is out we take advantage of our local attractions and go to the Zoo, Dollywood, Splash Country, the library or one of the many parks in our area. We have fun during the week and have downtime on the weekends.
    We visit with family more in the summer as we do not live in the vicinity of our families.
    The local farmer’s market supplies a lot of our suumer food…healty, organic & yummy. I grill several times each week.
    My biggie….leave the stress behind (no heavy cleaning, daily small clean up…)
    I do not want my children to be bored or to “feel that everhthing” must be done. As a teacher, parent, active church member & doctorate student I love a carefree summer!

  224. Noelia Evangelista

    Thank you for the recipes, they look very yummy and easy enough to execute. One of my sanity savers is my crockpot/slow-cooker. I don’t use it very often except for the summer. We have a little trailer in a beautiful Christian camp and I love setting the crockpot and head out for our summer activities and not having to worry about supper. And of course reading my Bible at the beach or any other faith building book is always an indulgence and much needed sanity saver 🙂

  225. Paige

    This summer, we are giving the kids (ages 13, 12, and 10) a budget and they will come up with their lunch menu, shop for the ingredients (with my help, of course!) and prepare their lunches. The end result should be good. In the beginning? We will see!

  226. Sandy

    A hammock, lots of books and I keep the fridge always stocked with watermelon sliced and ready to eat!

  227. Amy M

    We love to take advantage of all the free parks including water parks in our area as well as a membership to the zoo. The kids help me with a garden to save us money and eat fresh healthy food. We do math a couple times a week (because they always seem to get bored and drive each other and me crazy) and reading almost everyday which helps them retain what they have learned. And we try and make play dates for the kids to have fellowship and me so that I can stay sane! We have also started doing backyard VBS for a week to meet and share the gospel with the children in our neighborhood and my four (15, 12, 8, and 3) children help with decorating, telling the Bible Story, singing the songs and doing the actions as well as the crafts. I love this because we grow closer together and more importantly we grow closer to God as a family and they have hands on experience sharing their faith with others.

  228. Mindy B

    Lysa- my summer sanity tip is to visit the local library with your kids- they usually have fun activites all summer long and it is also a place that the kids “have to” be quiet, so you can certainly get some peace there!!!

  229. Apryl

    I’m pretty simple sometimes – just relaxing by the water with a good book, glass of something yummy like strawberry lemonade, and something chocolately for snacking on. I do like to make sure to try to make everything so I know what’s in it and save some $$ hopefully. [=

  230. Brenda

    letting the hubby grill outside helps a bunch!! Also, I try to keep cooked hamburger and chicken in the freezer, that way, I can quickly thaw it in microwave, and put into casserole to save some time! Had snow flurries this morning here in Illinois….come on spring, please come back! 😉

  231. Mary Jo

    We like to grill up a whole grill full of chicken breast and/or hamburgers, and pack them into freezer bags so that I can just toss together a salad, bring the meat out and microwave it, and dinner’s on the table!


  232. Heather

    We’re on a budget, so always looking for free or low-cost things to do. Two favorites are our local library, which has special things on certain days of the week as well as wonderful books, DVDs for rainy days, and even toys. Another favorite is the splash pad at our community ball park. We get there as soon as it opens before it’s too crowded and play for about an hour or so. By then, everyone is tired and ready for some quiet time when we get home and when it’s the hottest part of the day, so a good time to be inside. I love reading the replies of others – great ideas!

  233. Janet Axelson

    Morning devotions, daily exercise, fresh fruits and vegetables!

  234. Paula

    Making sure we get outside. Sometimes I forget that I need a breath of fresh air too. Also, having some quiet time after lunch. The kids can read books, color, or work on puzzles. It gives me a chance to relax too…and I need it keeping up with the needs of 5 kids!

  235. Jessica Hopkins

    Our family loves camping. Its a get-a-way from the house time! Our Zune is the only electronic thing we have. Just sitting around the camp fire at night listening to tunes and chatting together is just the time we love away from the house!

  236. Diane Knipple

    I live in North Carolina and my grandchildren, ages 5 and 3 live in Florida. Since we don’t get to see them on a regular basis my summer sanity saver is to “steal” them for a month in the summer. My husband takes the whole month off of work and we devote all our time to the kids. We swim, ride bikes, fly kites, play board games and pretty much become kids ourselves for the month. We also try to take them on one overnight trip. Last year it was to the Asheboro Zoo. This year it might be the Marble Museum in Raleigh. They grow up so fast and you can’t get this time back. AND best of all, grandchild #3 is on the way.

  237. Andrea

    I use my covered gas barbecue to cook during the summer. I have made everything in it – meat, vegetables, bread, rolls, pizza and even brownies! This way, I don’t heat up my house during the hot months of summer, yet I can make delicious, satisfying food for my family. Keeping the house cooler definitely improves our sanity in the summer!

    My other tips: letting the kids run through the sprinklers or play in the pool -it’s a great (and cheap) way to cool off when it’s hot outside!
    And you can’t beat homemade ice cream during the summer! 🙂

  238. Lisa P

    Love the recipes though they do sound a little wierd. Wierd can be good though 🙂 Key to summer sanity… finding something new and different to do with your kids. Explore the area right around you. There are fun and cheap things everywhere you turn. Same ol’ same ol’ makes for being bored, fighting, lazy. I have teens so I don’t want that for sure!

  239. Sara

    Making time to enjoy the beautiful summer sunsets! Even if all I have are a few seconds I let it soak over me and thank God for his beauty and faithfulness. It’s very calming after a super crazy day!

  240. Rennae

    Love it healthy Pizza and Ice Cream God know we all need or veggies what a great way to sneak them in.

  241. Jamie Jobe

    I’m trying the pizza recipe this weekend! Interesting ingredients. I can’t wait to try if!

  242. Sharon Newman

    Gardening—-flowers, veggies, foraging in the woods. Heaven on earth peace for me!

  243. Kristin

    Join the community pool! We go just about everyday in the summer.

  244. Kelly

    My favorite summer sanity saver is getting up at the same time even if I don’t have to wake the kids. It keeps me on a routine and gives me time to myself each morning 🙂

  245. Cindy Strawderman

    Grilled veggies, with a healthy hot dog or burger!! Fresh fruit for desert! Love it!

  246. Megan

    Sanity saver: Can it really be saved??? LOL I like to give my children something to take ownership of, that will help them learn a new task, help around the house and give them something to be proud of. Weekly, each child gets something new to be in charge of for that time frame (i.e. vacuuming, coupon clipping, etc). Gives them purpose and with everyone working together, time saver!!

  247. Amanda

    Weekends at the lake with good friends and kids are always so fun and relaxing. Helps us getaway from the madness/hectic schedules during the week.

  248. Melissa

    Summer kids movies $1 on Wed. and Summer Library program for kids! Then not to forget Sonic Drinks half price during happy hour. They love slushies!

  249. Leigh Ann

    I love summer and our summer sanity saver is just having a slower pace, stress free meals, and lots of swimming and hanging out together. Don’t forget movie nights and fireworks = cheap entertainment! 🙂 Thanks Lysa…it is always such a blessing to me to read your blog and Proverbs 31 ministries. Looking forward to Tuesday night!

  250. Kymster

    A sanity saving quick and easy treat – Pineapple Whip

    1 large fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1″ chunks
    Freeze the chunks overnight
    Put chunks into food processor or blender
    Serve immediately, with a sprig of mint for garnish (you can even add fresh mint in with the chunks before blending – but don’t overpower the pineapple).

  251. Sherry

    Popsicles in the backyard! Kids love eating outside and less cleanup inside!!!!

  252. Erica

    My husband and I plop our lawn chairs right in the middle of the creek and spend summer evenings together in the calm quiet away from the rush of everyday life.

  253. Ruth

    That pizza crust is sooooo good!

  254. Ami

    Taking my 3 1/2 year old to the local farmers market. They have everything there and he learns that our food comes from what God gave us from the ground or trees. He loves it and learns so much. It also encourages him to eat all the good, healthy food. He has a great time and we save more than half price on organic fruits and veggies.:)

  255. angela palmer

    I love when the pressure of hours of homework are done for the year and I can sit down at night with the kids,windows open, crickets singing, breeze blowing and read them one of there favorite books. We read a chapter a night!

  256. Kathy

    Taking a boat ride at sunset, or just sitting and watching the lake restores my sanity!

  257. Wendy Hudson

    This may sound crazy but I absolutely love the summer because I love to can and preserve food I grow in my garden. There is nothing more rewarding, calming, and fun than making a batch of my homemade pickles to save for enjoying during the winter months. <3

  258. Jenni

    This pizza sounds great and is something that fits in with my eating plan! Thanks for sharing : )

  259. Candy

    Late night swim looking at the stars is my sanity saver

  260. Angie Lloyd

    Keeping our summer’s sane requires us, like many others have mentioned, to maintain some sort of schedule. The girls still have to do their chores every day – first thing. Our motto is “Get done what you HAVE to do so you can do what you WANT to do.” Once the cleaning/animal feeding/laundry tasks are done for the day, the kids have the freedom to do what they please and I can enjoy the day knowing that chores aren’t piling up!

  261. Stacie

    Flexibility is what keeps us sane during the summer. Sure I plan meals, trips, or activities for the family, but allowing for some spontaneity and flexibility helps my family. For example lets say I plan a trip to the zoo and a barbeque for dinner but it’s so hot and humid that all we want is AC and ice cream. Then it’s off to the $1 movie (with Air conditioning) and at dinner yes we have dessert first. Dinner can wait until the sun goes down and we cool off.

  262. Michelle S.

    My husband, our two girls, and I grow a garden for fruits and vegetables. We also plant flowers. We do a lot of grilling, which my husband thoroughly enjoys. One of our absolute favorite things to do is listen to the peep frogs (I’m from Wisconsin) that come out middle-to-late spring (my husband heard some already!). For us, that indicates that summer is near. We make sure to enjoy the thunderstorms that roll in as well. We go to Little Amerricka, which is located not far from Madison, WI. It is a “throwback” amusement park and is incredibly reasonably priced. It’s such a gem. We enjoy going there every summer.

    • Patrice simmons

      My summer sanity saving tip is. making more salads like seafood salad, egg salad,tuna salad, healthy meals that does cost alot of money.

  263. Sarah Humes

    My summer sanity saver that is super cheap? Fill up plastic bags from walmart or the grocery store with water. Tie rope to the handles of the tied up bad and loop it over a tree branch! Blind fold the kids and let them hit at it like a pinata! The kids love the water play! Last summer I had my two kids, plus two I baby sat two others and all four kids (ages 3-12) LOVED IT! And, Lysa, I love the cauliflower pizza!!! It’s one of our favorites here!

  264. Kellie

    My summer sanity saving tip is an oldie but a goodie. Use the sprinkler as double duty! Around here our summers can get really dry and our yard needs watering. I set up the sprinkler, get the kids in their swimsuits and sunscreens and we have an hour of free entertainment while the lawn gets watered too! Just do 30 minutes in the front yard and 30 minutes in the back and you’re good to go 🙂

  265. Lindsay Radle

    We always have freezy pops, sprinklers, and water balloons…We like to be the light for JESUS so always sharing God’s word when we can!

  266. Jenna

    My husband is a teacher and during the summer he teaches drivers education. This can keep him very busy. So in the past summers we have done several things to help keep my sanity with three small children. One we sign up for a triathlon or some other race and train together as a family, two: we do large group activities with our siblings, nieces/nephew, and our parents (camping in the backyard or a cow pasture :), going to water parks or amusement parks, and going to the local splash pad. three: going on a vacation with my husband’s family. there is plenty of extra help with the kids, lots of down time, and yummy food.

  267. Tara

    We save money by buying meat in bulk, then the hubby bbq’s most of it (like a few pounds of chicken, a few links of sausage, and some ribs or pork), then we eat on it the entire week! It’s tons of fun (because cooking is EASY 😉 ), and tastes delicious!

  268. Laura

    Flip flops… Need I say more!

  269. Melanie Dorsey

    My summer sanity saver – I live 10 minutes from one of the prettiest beaches in Florida. During the late spring and summer I try to go at least once a week for an hour or two and just sit and unwind. I call it “beach therapy.” You’d think that living this close I’d go more often (and I do try) but all the “stuff” of life gets in the way.

    My SSS – go to the beach!

  270. Karen Gaudet

    Summer Church camp for the Girls. Time for themselves building lasting friendships and relationship with Jesus.
    No School.. 🙂

  271. Bethany

    We have pizza night every Friday and BBQ chicken is our favorite! Can’t wait to try this!!!
    We have pizza/movie night every Friday and this summer we plan to take it outside for pizza/bonfire night. We are loving staying home as a family, inviting other couples over and keeping money in our pocket!

  272. Valerie Price

    You don’t have to convince me to have an open mind on that pizza crust idea… sounds fabulous!! Can’t wait to experiment with other toppings too 🙂 Happy spring & summer y’all!

  273. Alison Gillaspie

    I plan my summer out with one or two activities a week. They aren’t expensive activities but they are planned. I put the activities on a calendar so the boys can see what is coming up. I also have an afternoon rest time for both boys. They don’t sleep but they do have to read and stay in their room for a designated time. This helps everyone regroup before the craziness gets to be too much during the day.

  274. Debbie

    I will be sitting on my deck soaking up the vitamin D from the sun and drinking a green smoothie or some green tea, or even both. 🙂 While watching my raised bed garden grow.

  275. Brooke Lyon

    I love fresh fruit smoothies in the summer! Cools me off and is so refreshing!

  276. Hannah

    Hands down, the BEST sanity saver for me in the summer is that my husband pulls out the grill and cooks our dinner at least once a week. Yummy grilled dinner and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING! 🙂

  277. Tonya Ingram

    One of my summer sanity saver’s is grilled chicken. I grill lots of chicken during the summer and use it for several days in different meals: Grilled chicken and pasta salad, grilled chicken wraps, grilled chicken salad…. you get the picture. So yummy.

  278. Mary Cordle

    I became a share cropper with a local farmer. I paid a one time fee and get fruits and vegatables all summer. They are chemical free and they specialize in strawberries, blueberries and cherries along with all the typical garden veggies. I am really excited and praying they have a really good harvest!

  279. kelley

    My summer sanity saving tip is to use the Crockpot at least 2 times a week! Its a great way to get dinner made with minimal fuss and not heat up the house using the stove or oven. We love shredded bbq chicken and sweet n sour meatballs made in the crockpot.

  280. Wanda

    I keep my extra tank for my gas grilled filled. That way I never run out. Easier to switch tanks than to run and get a refill.

  281. Corrie

    Take some quiet time with The Lord. 🙂

  282. Heather

    Love Summer time!!! Perfect to take my little one to the park and the water park right next door. Good to get the sunshine and who doesnt love a free picnic in the park =)

  283. Anita Szaller

    My parents have a vegetable garden every summer with lots of my favorite veggies. So as soon as they grow I’ll go over there and they give me handfuls of veggies. I love it! Lounging by the pool with my little niece is fun as well. She loves the water! Summer is so much fun with my family. Grilling, always outside and spending time with my family.

  284. Stephanie Romero

    One of my summer sanity saving tips is teaching my children a new skill. The busyness of the school year tends to get in the way of that. So each summer I take advantage of the extra time by showing my children (now teens) a new life skill, such as laundry or even creating a budget. My husband also gets involved, especially with the boys and teaches them skills like how to change a tire.

  285. Juli Kernodle

    Roving neighborhood dinners! We love our neighbors and are outside most of the Summer anyways- so instead of heading back into a hot kitchen, we potluck! Anything goes- left overs, grilled items, desserts- YOU NAME it! It decreases the stress of “what’s for dinner?” and gives us more time to be close to the people that we enjoy!

  286. Kelly Johnson

    Cook on the grill as much as possibly – grilled fruits and veggies are delicious and hardly any prep or clean-up!

  287. Sharae Crouch

    The SUN is my summer sanity saver! I love and need my vitamin D!

  288. Becky Jackenheimer

    Spending as much time as possible outside when it’s cooler – early mornings and late evenings. And gotta have that iced coffee!

  289. Brenda Rebbec

    This is a Pinterest idea but one my kids absolutely loved!! We freeze water in a Rubbermaid tub- you choose the size depending on the room you have to freeze it- toss some cheap plastic toys in there also and let them chip away at it on a hot summer day! It kept the 4 here busy for an hour!!!

  290. Karen S.

    Me and my family love to sit out in the evening around the fire pit and watch the lighting bugs take over the fields its so relaxing and alot of conversations are started during this time that make it even more enjoyable 🙂

  291. Carol

    Summertime sanity? Flip flops and popsicles. Playing with the kids in the creek. Large glasses of ice water. 🙂

  292. Keli Zsolcsak

    Oh boy! I am trying to use alot of coupons to save some of my grocery money! I looks at my ads fins sales and clip coupons! Where I live not many stores double coupons any,ore so it is good to search the sale papers each week!

  293. Monique Sellers

    Family Summer Saving Tip: We grill and smoke brisket, chicken, and loads of veggies, and make homeade jerky. Then my husband has lunch for the whole week and a nice protein jerky snack for his “t.v. time ” 🙂

  294. laura

    Grill grill grill to keep that kitchen cool!

  295. Robin

    I love to use my crock pot, steamer, or George foreman. This way I don’t have to heat up the oven and make the house even hotter. Also lots of salads:)

  296. Tricia Munger

    My stay sane summer plan is to keep my four boys really busy! We have a garden growing, have signed them up for a few vbs weeks, and lots of beach and back yard water play! We will continue doing a little school all summer. Taking a family vacation mid summer to visit family! I could really use this gift card to buy homeschool curriculum for next years school!

  297. C.J.

    Picnics…they are great sanity savers (and don’t forget to bring your frisbee) 🙂

  298. Lauren

    My family loves to take walks around the lake in our neighborhood in the evening, our son enjoys feeding the ducks and we enjoy quality time together away from any distractions!

  299. Laura Hoevener

    I plan one day a week with another friend, write it on the calendar and plan to do something fun with my kids each week. We try to explore new places and act like a tourist in our town. We’ve created some great memories and found some really unique places. We’ve been doing this for the last 10 years! We look forward to it every summer…and so do the kids!

  300. Kelli

    I have gotten some great summer fun ideas off Pinterest! We are always looking for free or low cost fun! For rainy days the library is a great summer activity and many movie theaters do low cost morning movies for young kids! We live near an amusement park with a water park attached so we buy passes and spend many days over the summer on thrill rides or in the wave pool! Just being together and finding fun things to do makes the summer unforgettable!

  301. Darla

    To stay sane during the summer we just try and not plan too many activities and instead just go with the flow. It helps us stay free to enjoy many things that pop up that we would otherwise miss out on if we have every moment scheduled. We keep suppers light as well.

  302. Stacy Lahm

    Visiting the YMCA five minutes from our house. Great activities for my kids and two hours to myself to work out and get rid of any stress that I might be having. It really helps me not to have those unglued moments.

  303. Laura Scott

    My Summer Sanity Saver is my Mom! I’m so fortunate to have her keep my kids every summer while I work my full-time job. The kids love spending time with Grandma & Grandpa and they get to do so much more than if they stayed at home!

  304. Robin Snider

    As a mom, I will let my kids out on the back porch (in full view) with a large cup of crushed ice & a spoon…..they live it! Keeps them busy for quite a while so I can get things done 😉
    My husband, when grilling will grill a weeks worth of meats & veggies at a time so we only have to do it one day, then have grilled chicken, steak, sausage ready for the rest of the week! Brilliant man 😉

  305. Gina

    We get a lot of aluminum foil and toss all the veggies in the aluminum foil with olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper. We put that on the grill with chicken, steaks, or pork tenderloin. It is super easy, easy to clean, yummy, and healthy!

  306. Cheryl Salser

    My son is a bundle full of energy so in the summer we keep a sand and water obstacle course set up – I can sit in the shade and cut coupons or have devotionals while keeping one eye on him. The obstacle course starts with 4 small tires that he can jump through…then he moves on to the sand box where he has to put sand through an array of shoots and slides to fill a bucket….sometimes this takes longer than others depending on how long he wants to stay in the sand….then it’s over to the playground where he climbs up to the stand and across the rope bridge..don’t worry the weave won’t let him fall through….over to the slide where he slides into the pool…then he gets up gets a drink and starts all over again… it can entertain for hours -just remember to use sunscreen….

  307. Kelly McNamara

    Play dates for mommy and kids! It’s fun to meet up with other moms…then the kids have fun playing and moms have fun chatting!

  308. Chris

    My SSS tip: I assign each of my kids a set of 3 age appropriate chores that are theirs for the next year. We use the summer as training time on how to do those chores. When school time rolls around in August, they are experts at their chores and need minimal supervision to get them done.

  309. Liz Lanza

    My boys and I grow a garden every summer, so they can learn about sustainable food. There is such a sense of accomplishment when we go out in the mornings and pick dinner from our garden. I also make tons of homemade pops that the kids can just grab out of the freezer. Shirley Temple, Coconut Cream and Root Beer Float pops are some of our favorites.

  310. Pat Semeraro

    We keep the air conditioning on and the ice tea flowing! Pacing ourselves and avoiding the mid day heat. God bless!

  311. Kelli

    I have gotten some great summer fun ideas off Pinterest! We are always looking for free or low cost fun! We live near an amusement park with a water park attached so we buy passes and spend many days over the summer on thrill rides or in the wave pool! Just being together and finding fun things to do makes the summer unforgettable!

  312. Cindy

    Long deep breaths of fresh air somehow slows the rush and the hectic dose not seem so hectic and my eyes can once again turn upwards-best time saver I know !!!

  313. goodideamomma

    We turn off technology for the summer and go outside. Explore the woods, ride bikes to the park, sidewalk chalkapalooza in the neighborhood. Visit the library every few days. I’m so happy to have my kids home for the summer. I miss them when they are at school. It’s nice to sleep in, have a relaxed breakfast, and go enjoy Gods great earth!!

  314. Rachael

    As a stay at home mom of two wonderful children, the best advice I can give to anyone during the busy summer months – is to always make your bed!! I love giving this as advice. It seems so very simple, and something many people may take for granted, but it’s true. Every mother, and father, need a place to call their own. Everyone needs an area that they can retreat to after the seemingly endless summer days that are full of swim lessons, baseball games (or other sporting events), VBS, Trips to the Zoo and amusement parks – you get the idea . 🙂 “Make your bed” is just an example of where I consider “my space”…my bedroom. Pick a place of your own….patio out back, a little corner of the basement. My point is that I take a little time out of the beginning of my day to make sure this area is ready and inviting for when I do need to just take that moment to myself. 🙂
    God Bless!

  315. Lynn C

    Summer sanity saving tip # 1 – Reading! …..the Bible, your favorite mystery, anything that makes your soul soar right out of your doldrums! # 2 – Choose to laugh more and look at funny cartoons on Facebook instead of negativity. # 3 – Get rid of junk… your house, in your life and in your head!

  316. Ashley Taylor

    Being outside every day! And home made Popsicles. Cleaner house (minus the dirt influx) and happy kids!

  317. Julie W.

    After 10 years in the desert, i have discovered the secret to a sane and happy summer! And it’s all about staying cool/indoors. Before the mercury hits 110, I acquire a stack of good books and a pile of quilting & craft projects. If the Mama is happy, the kids are, too. 🙂

  318. Stacy

    One thing we do to take a break in summer is a freezer full of popsicles. The cheap ones that make you want to eat ten at a time, are a perfect way to take a break and calm the kids down! Also, we live about two hours from the ocean, so we will just take daycations, this save us money on hotel rooms!

  319. Shelly B

    One way we keep summer sane is continuing a schedule. Getting up early and not sleeping the day away. We also make a plan at the beginning of the summer, deciding which days of the week we want to go to the library, the park, the beach, etc. It helps! We also give each child a day a week to plan and prepare dinner. It’s great training for them and makes them feel so good to accomplish this and contribute to the family.

  320. Kelli

    I have gotten some great summer fun ideas off Pinterest! We are always looking for free or low cost fun! We live near an amusement park with a water park attached so we buy passes and spend many days over the summer on thrill rides or in the wave pool!

  321. April Smart

    My summer sanity saver is my mom. 🙂 Does that count? My mom lives about 10 minutes away so she keeps my 2 small boys during the summer so I don’t have to stress about who will keep them and are they being taken care of adequately. Other than that is the crockpot. Throw something in before work so dinner is ready when we come home and we have more time to spend outdoors in the evenings.

  322. Cassy

    We live in Alaska where the summers can be much too short. My sanity saver when it feels like I *should* be doing this or that, or when I’m worrying about the dirt on the floor instead of enjoying the sunshine with my family, is to remember that winter and indoor time is right around the corner.

  323. Julie Wolf

    I like to freeze my fruit, whether it be berries, bananas or pineapple. It’s always a cool, healthy refreshing treat.

  324. Elaine Bell

    My summer sanity tip: I plan meals that use the outdoor gas grill and either salad or fruit. That way my retired husband does part of the cooking and the house doesn’t get all heated up from the stove or oven. Plus it’s my birthday today and I would love to win the $250 Amazon card for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Enjoyed seeing you in person at Concord Baptist in Clermont, GA.

  325. Christy Glidewell

    We have 5 kids, some of whom have summer sport practices and games, others with camps, and then vacation Bible School…. All that overwhelms my regular family calendar. So, in March or April, I start a separate “summer” calendar. Having all the “fun” marked in a special places, keeps me from stressing over the full calendar.

  326. julia fortenberry

    We do container gardening and I basically plant salads. I love going out and picking the fresh veggies to take in and make a salad. We pray with our grandkids when we plant to instill in them our dependency on God for our food.

  327. Candy Moreland

    My summer sanity is having a set time, during the hottest part of the day, that my kids know they have to come into the cool house and help do our daily chores. We have a pool which we spend most of our day playing in, but it’s also important that everybody pitches in and helps tidy up the house just a bit before dinner time!

  328. Stefanie Boe

    My summer sanity saver is swimming lessons for the kids! Our local town offers them for a pretty incredible price. Last summer we went for several weeks in a row, they swim while I sit on the sidelines soaking up the sun!

  329. Kelli Watson

    I have gotten some great summer fun ideas off Pinterest! We are always looking for free or low cost fun!

  330. Marilyn

    Meal planning. With three kids in sports, meal planning and being prepared saves my sanity. Packing food to take to all the sporting events saves my sanity and wallet so we don’t have to spend lots of money and the kids aren’t begging for junk at the concession stands.

  331. Jen

    Girls night once a week.

  332. Cheryl Armstrong

    I am looking forward to summer time. I enjoy the warmer temps in comparison to the colder temps. My job keeps me very busy during the summer but I enjoy taking a few days at the beginning of summer and end of summer when my son gets out of school and right before he goes back and spending quality time with him. We don’t have to go anywhere but sometimes we do.

  333. Aileen Burke

    My greatest summer (or any season) sanity saver is taking the time to stop and see the beauty all around me at any given time. Especially with all that is frightening and sad in this world, it is crucial for me to seek the beauty that God has created, and thank Him for never leaving nor forsaking us. Once my soul is again feeling His grace, then I can move on and try to pass on the good in my crazy-busy life.

  334. Jodi

    With 7 kids, our summer sanity saver is water, any kind: ocean, stream, sprinkler or hose!

  335. Brandie

    After a busy week, we unwind at the beach! We pack a cooler full of goodies, stop at Sonic for a drink and spend the afternoon relaxing by the sea! I’ve resolved the fact that my life will always be crazy, so making sure I spend time to unwind is the ONLY way to save my sanity!!

  336. Emily

    Run, lay out in the sunshine, read, and make fruit smoothies with my husband.

  337. Abigail

    This will be my first summer as a stay at home Mom to three kids ages five and under. I need tips, lol!

  338. Maryann Maxson

    Trips to the library for books and craft time. Water activities. Riding bikes. Vbs. play dates and a beach trip!

  339. Tonie Rayburn

    So loved the ice cream receipe! Yum! My family & I love Patio eating in the summer & i will try this receipe! Cant wait for summer! Grilling, fresh tomatoes, juicy watermelons & no kitchen clean up! Sometimes when the kids get really messy from watermelon & ice cream, I just take the water hose & squirt them off! Ha! They love it! I lost my patio set to a storm so I am praying to get another one! I love sitting outside on summer mornings with my coffee, bible & journal! Thank you for the receives & always sharing your life with us!

  340. Kelli Johnson

    One of my sanity tips is that I make my children have outside time!! This gives me some quiet time in the house!! We have lots of games to attend in the summer with 3 boys in baseball. One of our saving tips is we pick just one game each week that we can eat at. The other games we either eat at home or pack something to take a long to the game. This helps save money and helps us to eat healthier!

  341. Paige

    Summertime! No homework is our first sanity saver! 🙂 We also do a lot of grilling in the backyard- My husband is a great cook, and he takes care of most of the summer meals and it sure is nice for all of us to be outside, playing basketball, painting or just hanging out around the grill while he cooks! So nice to have that family time with a lot less strict schedule! 🙂

  342. Louise Abele

    Sanity savers? What’s that? We love fruit smoothies. All kinds! What a refreshing way to end our day on a warm summer night!

  343. Brandy Cason

    I stock the cabinets with pre-packed snack bags for the kids. You can do this with a simple zip lock bag. That way when we are heading out, I don’t have to waste minutes packing a snack pack. Super easy and convenient!

  344. Kerry

    My summer sanity tip – get to the pool and stay there!!! 😉

  345. Cyndi Langhans

    My sanity saver..getting your household chores are always a challenge when your kids want to go play! I would make chore time fun & interesting..treasure hunt to find what chore you’ll be doing..filling your plastic pool for the young ones putting it in the kitchen..when they splash water out no biggie..just do your weekly beat the clock…setting a timer for everyone to race & pick up every toy or clothes anywhere in the house. Your home will be clean in no time so you can go play! No one wants to clean at the end of the day..

  346. Suzy Will

    My summer days are complete after a trip to the local swimming pool for water aerobics & family swim time…relaxing, cooling, kids laughing…awww…summer stress release = summer sanity. 🙂

  347. LaShonda Gray

    1.) Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze. At the least, prepare a menu for the week. A little organization can save money, time and sanity
    2.)Keep yourself and children engaged: research and prepare a list of free activities and places to visit, become immersed in new craft, hobby, etc that each can become passionate about, give children creative “challenges”: write a story, write and perform a play, create a project with pictures, etc.
    3.) Allow “Just Be” days or “lazy days”.

  348. Rhonda Yerkey

    Spend time outside…breath in fresh air, soak up some sunshine, listen to the birds, marvel in God’s glory!

  349. Kirsten

    With my youngest daughter: We learn a new game every summer. And we have at least one new recipe that we perfect each summer. One year it was a soufflé..a trifle, etc. We end the summer with one movie that is just the two of us, mother and daughter. When she was younger we took in the dollar summer movies at the local theater and we both love the library where we rent movies and books together. There are so many festivals, fairs, free outdoor concerts and movies that we have more than enough to keep ourselves busy.

  350. Tammy

    Simple pleasures of summer! Sitting on the porch with a good book and a glass of sweet ice tea.

  351. Rachel

    My sanity saver is exercise and laying out by the pool!

  352. Mary Ann

    Taking a Hike in the mountains to a cool lake.. Exercise and refreshing at the same time. A bag of trail mix or a nut bar and my camel back.

  353. Melissa Fordyce

    GET OUTSIDE & MAKE MEMORIES – saves my sanity-
    . We have long winters here & 9 children ages 17-2 .

  354. Christie

    Crock pot and grill! Don’t heat up the oven and stove.

  355. Bree

    I make huge pitchers of tea.

  356. Belinda

    Working in my garden. Great stress relief plus wonderful bounty.

  357. Laura Couch

    The higher prices of gas in the summer create a necessity of combining trips to town. Often, my list gets longer and longer of errands to run and pantry staples to replenish. I bought a 3-day cooler which I pack with ice and ice packs. I set it in the back of my van, load up the five kids and off we go. If I want to buy milk and eggs or anything that needs to be refrigerated, into the cooler it goes. I don’t have to rush home. I can finish my errands and even stop at the park we love that has silly frog sprinklers the kids and I can run through for a refreshing cool off.

  358. Shawna

    Simple, fresh delicious meals using local produce and minimal cooking! Or, using the crock pot keeps the house cool! Thanks for your tips. Can’t wait to try that pizza!

  359. Sandra

    Thank you for this opportunity and for your daily encouragement! My tip is to try and set somethings up for the next day the night before. For example, we have breakfast shakes every morning. I wash and cut the veggies and fruits the night before. You can also set out the bowls and cereal, run the dishwasher…etc. As well, I have a 6 month old so in the morning I prepare her 5-6 bottles for the day (by measuring out the water for the aprox. amount I know she will eat each sitting. I don’t mix the formula as I like it fresh for her:)). That way when its time for her meal I simply add the formula to the already measured oz. of water. It doesn’t sound like much… but any little time saved really helps when you got a hungry crying baby 🙂 It is also so key to have the bottles clean and ready and not be stuck having to wash some (while baby is hungry) due to the dishwasher/sink filling up:)

  360. Stacey Monaco

    Simple saves the day! Throw over my head dresses with a flat sandals; bathing suits, towels and sunscreen always in the car, farmers market fruit rinsed and on the counter to grab throughout the day, lemonade and water bottles always chilling in the fridge.

  361. Hope H

    Hopefully this summer, our garden will be a success. We stressed over it last year and nothing grew. We are trying a different approach and praying for a bountiful harvest! Other than that, we have a couple of vacations planned with the kids and one weekend for just me and the hubby!

  362. Rochelle

    VBS for sure! They learn about Jesus, sing, craft and burn off energy all in one fun morning. My kids love it and I get a break too!

  363. Ginger Harrison

    We love summer! Summer in it self is a sanity saver because we no longer have to get the kids in bed by a certain time! They get to stay outside way past dark catching frogs and lightning bugs. We don’t get to vacation so we do a lot of “staycation” things. We always have a great time. One thing to remember in the Summer is just to relax. It saves your sanity not to have a melt down getting baths on time and proper clothes laid out, chill out so what if they missed a bath this week. 😉

  364. Laney

    I have three kiddos and I try to plan a trip to the library once a week. We also go hiking at a park that is really close to our house. Getting the kids out of the house a few times a week definetly aids in my sanity keeping.

  365. Bonnie

    Using the Crock Pot to save time and keep from heating up the house so much. 🙂

  366. Jody Winfield

    I buy season tickets to our local amusement park. They are paid for in less than two visits. They give you free parking and you can pack a picnic lunch in the cooler. Its a great day of fun for the price of gas money. The park also has a water park which adds so much value and fun! I also buy the tickets while they offer them on a payment plan, so I have six months to pay for them, so less stress on the pocketbook!

  367. Felicia Wormley

    THE GRILL!! We have a very small galley type kitchen that gets incrediably hot during the summer. My husband LOVES to grill, so we save time (and sanity) by cooking as many things outside as we can.

  368. Minnie Sutton

    Our best & favorite summer saver tip is we grow veggies & sometimes fruit…..the freshness cannot be beat.

  369. Jenn Bachman

    We grow our own veggies and some fruits too! It saves us so much at the grocery store not only in the summer but all year round because we freeze the veggies we grow and make jams out of our berries!

  370. Darcie

    I use the pool as a bribe to get all of our other work done quickly in the mornings. Then we have the afternoon to play!

  371. Vicki

    It’s just me and my husband, our children are grown. We like to take his motorcycle out for long rides and see the sites and stop at different types of places to eat and sight see. What a way to see what God has created.

  372. Kim

    These sound good . Can’t wait yo try

  373. Beth

    I have to admit when I saw cauliflower crust I wanted to move on! Bit it actually sounds good and doable! My summer sanity saver is a hike in the mountains where all you see and hear are God’s beautiful creation.

  374. Laura

    My favorite summer tip….bath time in the pool or sprinkler!!! :):)

  375. Michelle

    My summer sanity saver is to get outside. Have some fun things for the kids to do. And most important, play WITH them!! It really brightens MY spirits. 🙂

  376. Jennifer

    We spend as much time outdoors as possible! Swimming, camping, etc. lots of grilled dinners & garden fresh veggies. We also go to story time @ our local library for something educational. Thanks for the recipe!

  377. Stephanie

    Summer Savers? Shish kebabs, water guns, library summer reading programs, a few fishing trips, picnics (especially 4th of July picnics with friends at concerts). My hubs is a soldier, so the last 3 summers have been spent in New York. This summer will be spent in Alaska; lots of new memories to be made enjoying our old traditions with new friends in a new locale.

  378. Andrea

    My daughter and I spend many days and many hours at our community splash pad and its free it has a picnic area so I pack a healthy picnic and there are always lots of kids for her to play or we make a playdate to meet there with a friend and we walk or bike there on the days that its not so humid and it costs me nothing but our groceries we buy and time. On days that i drive because of the humidity it takes 2 mins n free parking…We get to be together and have fun. That’s the best part. 🙂

  379. Deb C

    My Summer Sanity Saver is being able to mow my neighbor’s yard. Our neighbor is a delightful 50 year old Single Mom who has MS and is unable to do things for any length of time. My husband and I thoroughly enjoy being able to sneak around and do things for her as well as our other neighbors. This is a great way to share the love of Jesus by serving others and it definitely takes care of my sanity and saves in helping others! Thanks for allowing the opportunity to share a glimpse into our lives. Praying for you today!

  380. Andrea B

    During the summer, I like to get out and take the kids to the library. We get some exercise, they get to explore and search for some new books, then we go home and read (aka a little bit of silence for a good cause). I also like to have days where nothing is planned and let the kids choose what to do. I know this may sound opposite of saving your sanity, but if the kids get to be kids – and PLAY USING THEIR IMAGINATION, they are happy and tend to get along better. Plus, in our world today, we are just rushing around to different things and taking the time to stay home and enjoy each other adds to everyone’s sanity – because the kids feel the stress of us parents too!

  381. Sharla

    If you can’t afford a big family vacation, find interesting places to take your family and explore your own neck of the woods. I’m amazed at the things people travel many miles to see and do….and the people who live an hour or less away have never taken the time to go see or do it! Gas isn’t cheap….but it saves the overnight expenses. And if you pack a lunch you can save even more money. You can make just as many and just as fun memories an hour from home, exploring something new and different, as you can traveling across the country. (Maybe more! Less stress for sure!)
    If your kids are younger, make sure you take some time for yourself and time for you and your husband, every week, ESPECIALLY in the summer. If you don’t homeschool, you probably have had that time during the school year. And everyone is busy. Time is not just going to appear and make itself available to you. Make that time and use it!
    If your kids are old enough, alternate with a friend where she takes your kids for a few hours one week, and you take her kids for a few hours the next week, so that you each have several hours in a row every other week to run errands, do those extra things, schedule a massage, go for a walk with music, or whatever it is you need to do.
    Another thing to do if your kids are old enough: assign each of them a meal (lunch or dinner, depending when everyone will be together) that they are responsible for planning and preparing. When they have cooked, everyone else cleans. Same rule for mom: when you have cooked, let them do the clean-up! Or at the very least, do it together and visit while you work.
    Do a little reading ahead of time online, and find a book or two that is age-appropriate and that you think your child will enjoy reading. Make sure they read over the summer! In this technology age, reading too often gets left out. As a former teacher, I saw many students “lose” so many skills over the summer because they did not practice. Go to the beach and read, go to the park and read, everyone camp on the living room floor and read….but make sure you all read!!
    Community service projects are wonderful family together-time activities during the summer. Is there a Habitat for Humanity House nearby if you have kids 16 or older? Is there an elderly person who needs their lawn mowed? Even if they make money mowing lawns, find an older person if not a grandparent, or a church, or some yard they can mow that is NOT for profit….do it as a service. Pick up trash in a park. Volunteer to read to the elderly in a nursing home, or to small children in a hospital. There are many lonely people out there; especially elderly people, who would so enjoy a visit or even a handmade gift from a child who needs to be productive. Find things they can do a few times throughout the summer that are not about what they will get, but what they can give.
    Keep a tub or basket at the bottom of the stairway or some central location where things can be placed that a child has left out. Make sure before they go to bed, they go to the tub or basket and get the things they used or that belong to them and put them where they belong. Sometimes it is easier for us just to pick up after them and put it all away; but this doesn’t teach them responsibility.
    Keep your schedule and routines, but be more flexible. One of my kids’ favorite things to do in the summer is a surprise pajama trip for ice cream. I never tell them when it’s going to happen, but after everyone is in their pj’s and in bed, I round them all up and we load up in the car to go get an ice cream. Something so unexpected and so simple, yet so fun!
    A garden is also a wonderful summertime family activity. There is something so rewarding and planting that seed or tiny plant and caring for it while it grows, and then enjoying the benefits of being able to include it in your summer meals. Pick a few things you want to grow in the garden; then let each child pick 1-2 items they want to plant and be completely responsible for. Let them water and pull weeds. Take lots of pictures along the way, and especially take pictures at the end. One of my favorite pictures of my youngest son is him at 5 years old holding a load of carrots he had just pulled from his area of the garden — so many his tiny 5-year-old arms could barely hold them. He looks so proud! And he was proud, when we ate them in a meal and shared them with friends and family. He turned 18 this week, but he still remembers the year he picked carrots to grow.
    Limit the amount of tv/vidoe games/computer time. It has to be reasonable for their ages and personalities. But whatever you do, don’t lose that precious summer time with your kids to modern technology. You need your time. They need theirs. But above all, you need to spend time together. All too soon they will be grown up and gone. You will wish for a summer day to spend with them. Remember when you get frustrated “This too shall pass”. But please, enjoy the little things! You will never regret the time you spent playing with, or holding, your children once they are all grown up!!

  382. Joyce Howerton

    We stay sane by having an hour quiet time each afternoon where everyone reads, 6 kids ages 7 to 14 can just be too noisy sometimes!!!

  383. Tonya

    Hmm…summer sanity savers. Summer itself brings me sanity since in MN I tend to go a little stir crazy in the winter! Love love love spending time outside with my kiddos…blowing bubbles, after dinner bike rides, planting and harvesting our garden, walks to the park, and bonfires in the backyard. I can hardly wait for the snow to melt so we can get started!

  384. Randi

    I wish I ha a better one, but for us it’s the neighborhood pool.

  385. Conessa

    Lots.of time at the pool and grilling …then the kitchen stays cleaner 🙂

  386. Brittany Martin

    No school, so we sleep late. Also, my husband grills a lot. We do lots of fun activities like going to the splash pad and the zoo.

  387. Amy Seay

    We have lots of sanity savers, but most of all we go camping many weekends! It is great family time together. We go on nature hikes, ride 4 wheelers, do nature crafts, bon fires and lots more. we also have counsins, aunts and uncles and grandparents all camping together. The kids would live at the camper if we let them 🙂 There are no electronics while camping just outside activities and family fun!!!

  388. Kirsten

    With 4 littles running around we use lots of summer sanity savers!
    A few of ours include:
    -sponge bombs: you may have seen these on Pinterest they are basically sponges cut into strips and then zip tied together to make a ball like shape. These are like water balloons with all the little pieces to pick up!
    – we use a lot of chalk and bubbles in the summer too. It’s a nice relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon
    -for those rainy stormy summer days when were all cooped up inside, I keep a whole closet full of easy art activities and card games. crayons, coloring books, scissors, play dough, beads, lacing outlines, paint and puzzles.
    Hope you have a blessed summer!

  389. Breanna

    Summertime is so much fun with 4 small children! When I find meat on sale, I like to stock up and freeze it with the marinade on it. The bag with it. Then as it thaws it is marinating. Then we can quickly grill it! The kids love to play outside in the backyard with sprinklers! We love to take a family beach trip (8 adults and 8 kids), and each family has a night to prepare dinner. We freeze it ahead of time and take it so there’s minimum cleanup and we save money this way. We take all breakfast meals and lunches. We usually only go out to eat as a treat one night. Even thought the days can get long in the summer with my crazy crew, I try to remember to enjoy this precious time that the Lord has blessed me with!

  390. Elizabeth G

    Walks, extra family time, trips to the pool. 🙂

  391. Lois

    Nothing better than after a long day at work to go outside and armed with my I-pod to just disconnet from the world and just worship and sing prsises my to my Papa my Lord and Savior. I am always refreshed and renewed.

  392. Jessica Dromgoole

    Our plans for this summer are to spend time at the local water park with our friends.

  393. Jennifer D.

    I try to keep my sanity by planning one big thing a day. It may just be taking the kids swimming or having a movie day if the weather is bad. We try to do one thing together every day. I also make my kids have quiet times in their rooms each day for just a short time.

  394. Sonja Bailey

    With having 5 grand children being a widow and on disability I do have sanings tips…lol
    buy ice cream and toppings to make our own yummies … or make our own smooyies with dry jello, ice cream or yougurt and always take our own drinks and snakes to ball games, or the park…in the end, they appreciate when we do get to go out for the real deal… Also I try to have movies from Netflix here, popcorn that we can try newe coatings on or make our own cookies …
    on a great day we play ladder ball, pain on concrete pavers, and we still blow bubbles they range from 19 months to 15 years…yes we still blow bubble

    most importantly , I try to give one on one as muchh as I give in a joint gathering…
    Love is free… it grows with out water…it is the best money saving tip I have

    and I try to plant the seeds… as often as I can…

    thank you
    for blessing my days

    you are amazing and so important in my life right now …


  395. Michelle Silveous

    Water ballon fights, squirt guns, hose fights, etc! Everyone has fun and makes great memories!

  396. Molly Coble

    I’m out on medical leave from work due to a running injury to my knee, so a budget we are on. We love the library reading times, kids activities, and we weekly get a stack of books for bedtime reading. We also have a garden in the backyard that helps us keep our produce bill down and also helps us eat healthy. Our backyard is our summer heat retreat with a kiddie pool and slip n slide instead of paying for pool passes.

  397. April Babb

    Working Out more and eating healthier 🙂

  398. Patti Stevenson

    My Summer Saving Sanity tip is that I have daughters who are 8 and 11. I go to the dollar stores and stock up on fun outdoor activities like chalk, paint, water balloons, and bubbles for lots of fun. Summer can be fun with the proper fun for my girls!

  399. Wendy Maxwell

    Try and spend more time with family, My husband and I work away from home, so any get together is a blessng!

  400. Melissa Morris

    Grill as much as possible! Doesn’t heat up the house, healthier & saves on cleanup time!

  401. Sarah B.

    After a long winter we spend as much time outside as possible! Lots is swimming, baseball and softball!

  402. Summer

    We try to take advantage of every free activity in our local community. Between libraries, museums, splash parks and more, we stay very busy and maintain a decent budget.

  403. Stacy

    My summer sanity saver is planning for some activities out during the week so we don’t get bored being at home, but also to have some days at home with fun things planned and just having time to relax as well.

  404. Amanda H

    My family enjoys the cool summer evenings, sleeping with the windows open, listening to worship music. These simple things give us pleasure together. As for saving, my children and I Will be growing our first LARGE GMO-free vegetable garden! They are even more excited than I am!

  405. Sonya

    Early walk, breeze on the porch, sipping fresh lemonade, prayerfully Blessed and grateful!

  406. Maggie S

    We love to get away for a few days and camp on the lake~ peaceful, restful, a way to connect with new people~ and also the main reason we chose to start camping at our age is to create a place that the kids and grandkids will come for family time~ love it and so do they.

  407. Becky

    We save our sanity by keeping summer low key. We don’t try to jam pack our days with activies. We try to focus on spending time with each other and enjoying time that is not scheduled. Loves those lazy summer days!

  408. Ashley

    My summer sanity saver is fresh fruit, grilled meals and lots of sunshine. In fact, I think that’s what keeps me sane the rest of the year. I stock up in the summer months on all of these wonderful aspects of summer. Ahhhh…

  409. Kelley Minor

    Sanity saving tip? PLAN, PREPARE, IMPROVISE! Now is the time to be researching cheap home fun (ice cream bucket filled 1/4 of the way with water and waterproof toys tossed in, freeze, pull out, and dump another quarter full of water, more toys, freeze…continue until you have a solid block of icy toys…pull out on the most sweltering day and make a race with your kids…it will distract and keep them cool!) …there are so many sources fir cheap and free home activities…don’t forget playdates for sanity saving fellowship! Prepare with quick, healthy cheap meals (cold pasta salads (gluten free, whole wheat, whatever) are a huge hit on hot days! And improvisation is key! There will be a chilly day here and there. There will be rain. In your plan,have rainy day, “one child sick” day, and we need a break day plans!

  410. Laurie Sullivan-Clasen

    HaPpY FrIdAy!! Love my summers, but the craziness of work, heat, humidity, and life in general, can take a toll. I take “Me and HE” time, when I can, in short spurts. It revitalizes me thr~ out the day. One treat I allow myself to have/do, involves a good book, or my Daily Reflections Book, and a refreshing bevie. At home or work, I take these “Me and HE” moments & enjoy tea or water. AND so to treat myself. I take fruit that is close to expiring, cut it up, and make it into ice-cubes. SO REFRESHING and such a TREAT. I take it in my water bottle to work also. CHEAP, and good for the soul and body to keep me refreshed in more ways than one <3

  411. Carrie

    My family of 5 sit down at the beginning of each summer and make a “Summer To Do” list together, with everyone contributing 2-3 fun things (within reason and budget) for us to do during the summer. Last year, our list included “Have a water balloon fight, Have a picnic at the park, Plant flowers, Go see a baseball game, etc.” We marked off the things we had done as we did them. It gave us all plenty to look forward to and helped our kiddos feel “in charge” of the summer plans!

  412. Shawna b

    Summer will be busy…I am gonna be on the hunt 4 free fun for a 2 year old and a mamma;) I will be hopefully on the mend after an ankle surgery in a week’s time, so I can participate in the Dempsey challenge 5k in October…God is good! I want to be a healed, happy, busy mamma chasing after my baby boy!

  413. Renee Causey

    Always keep a big pitcher of sweet ice tea. And make homemade ice cream .

  414. Jo

    My family plants a garden and cans the veggies.

  415. Leslie

    My family just planted a vegetable garden that should be producing by the summer. We grill out, swim and work in the garden. It keeps the kids busy and outside. Plus it’s quality family time! Plus I read your blog daily that gives me great advice, scripture and perspective. Thank you for what you provide for women!!!

  416. Kim

    My summer sanity saver is our local pool! My 4 kids are so energetic and spending days at the pool is fun for them to play with their friends in the water and healthy for their bodies, too 🙂

  417. Judy

    Summer time means nice relaxing dinners on our back porched (screened in). I look forward to the opportunity to get the family together out there because we always linger at the table longer when we’re outside! We always eat lighter during the warmer months so food prep is also much easier which means more time to spend with the family.

  418. Mary Beth

    My summer sanity comes from lazy days at the pool, $1 movies, library reading programs, roasting marshmallows in our fire pit out back, and just spending down time together!

  419. Robin

    I keep sane by planning activities for my kids-beach trips with a fellow mom and kids, free summer bowling, swimming at grandmas.

  420. Dawn Urman

    In the past I organized a “summer sanity” with some friends. We rotated houses and dropped all the kids off at one house (with one to two adults and an activity and a snack) freeing up us other moms to go out to coffee, run some errands, go home and clean or whatever we wanted for 2 hours. The kids did art, played with friends, had water fun on hot days and loved it. The rotation was wonderful, you can host an extra 10 or so kids one day for several breaks in other weeks 🙂

  421. Kim Lawson

    I have five children. Youngest to oldest was only seven years apart. So over the years I learned that summers were for no demanding schedules. Play, sleep in and have some fun! We certainly did chores and kept things organized but time flies too quickly!!

  422. Christy McNeal

    TWO WORDS! Summer SCHOOL!!! LOL that’s my summer sanity tip LOL! I live in Texas so you know we have some pretty HOT summers! Frequent trips to the beach, those yummy popsicles, water and lots of cool foods, sandwiches, watermelon, YUMMY!!!! We also participate in the free bowling summer program. Two games of free bowling each week for kids 15 and under, it’s awesome! That’s about as good as it gets for a single working mother :))

    Good luck everyone.

    Lysa I love your blogs and I love your books!

  423. melissa

    Argh… I can’t make it to your blog cast. Bummer. But I wanted to share my sanity saving summer tip… one thing that will keep my kids entertained for hours is water… namely the watering hose. They fill up buckets, they spray each other, they water the grass and flowers… there’s just something about water that they love! And when I’ve had enough of that, a friend introduced me to balloon ice. Take a balloon and fill it with water (the bigger the better–don’t just stick with those tiny little water balloons–go for the regular sized ones). Put it in your freezer. Take it out once it’s frozen, cut the balloon off, and let the kids play with the giant ice cube (outside of course). It takes them a long time to melt completely and they’re fun to side around on the concrete, etc. It can also be fun to “hide” a little prize inside of the ice for them to discover once it has melted far enough.

  424. Chele Hamilron

    Sleeping late everyday, no rigid daily routines, and taking my kids out to play with their friends and swim in the pool are my summer sanity savers.

  425. Lauren Johnson

    We joined a gym with a pool and a spray park!

  426. Lauren Skelton

    I work from home and my sanity break is taking a lunch break with my friend Pam and going “thropping” as we like to refer to checking out thrift stores nearby……

  427. Rebecca Foster

    I have a few summer sanity tips for you! Number one is to have one big chore day every week! Everyone get assigned and age appropriate chore, and must complete it before they can do anything fun that day! Number two is a laundry tip, everyone gets assigned a day of the week their laundry must be done and anyone over 10 years old must do their own laundry, younger kids can just help with the folding and putting away! Number 3 plan two fun activities a week, we do one swimming day and than one other thing the kids want like a picnic in the park of dollar movie thursdays! Fun days can be cancelled if numbers one and two aren’t done! Number 4, take care of yourself, summer can be crazy with kids all over and sleep overs, cook outs, and VBS, so set aside time for yourself each day! I usually have my husband put the kids to bed and take a walk in the evening, or take a bubble bath! I usually also have the kids each wash their own breakfast and lunch dishes, and they must reuse the same cup all day, so it cuts down on what i have to wash! Hope everyone has a great summer!

  428. Shannon Giuntoli

    My summer sanity saver is that I married a teacher!! Every summer I get to enjoy quieter mornings of sipping coffee, there are 2 of us to run kids to swim lessons and activities, there are more mama pedicure moments and lunch dates with friends… tell your daughters — MARRY A TEACHER!!! 🙂 You may not be rich, but you will have amazing family memories every summer!!!

  429. Heidi

    Healthy and chocolate? This I have got to try! Thank you for the recipes.

  430. Jamie Davis

    Serving others takes the focus off our insanity!

  431. Amanda Bliss

    Throughout the year, I wash and save all our plastics that have squirting capabilities (ie. shampoo, dressings, etc.). Then we use them for family fun, cookout extinguishers, crop and flower watering, pet washing, you name it! The kids love it and we are reducing our waste and having fun with our summer chores! WIN-win!

  432. Joleen hatcher

    We spend a lot of time out by our pool with family and friends. We enjoy a much needed break from homeschool.

  433. Kelly M

    Lots and lots of pool time and playing outside!!

  434. michelle jones

    I have two boys, ages 4 and 19mths. When I make casseroles it is enough to make a 9×13…but we always have a lot of leftovers that go to waste. I have started making (2) 8×8 cake pan sizes instead and I freeze one of them. With the 8×8 pan there is usually enough for my hubby to have lunch the next day for work. It makes the next week SO much easier when I have something I can just pull out of the freezer and cook…especially with summer here, beach trips are great but exhausting and last thing I want to do when we get home is work hard in the kitchen.

  435. Kim

    Summer sanity involves as little structure as possible:) Stay up late…sleep in…make plans on the fly. I have two boys, 9 and 7, and my older one has autism. He is a sweetie pie but prefers Mario Cart (at the moment) to everything, including swimming. Well with the exception of food:) Thankfully he will eat just about everything , so thank you for the healthy recipes. Be blessed!

  436. Amanda

    The first thing that came to my mind was mandatory separation. haha! I am homeschooling my 3 kids for the first time this year. They love spending time together laughing and carrying on, when I force them to go to their rooms separately for “quiet time” they experience the feelings of “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

    It will come in very handy when summer gets hairy! 🙂

  437. Beth Crawford

    My savings tip is having my own small garden. Tomato prices are so high now a few of those & pepper plants & you can do wonders. 🙂

    • Christy

      Having my husband take the kids outside to play while I go for a much needed walk/break 🙂

    • Tami cox

      I have MS, so cooking can be a challenge at times. Summer time brings fruit salads. Nice and cool things. Watermelons and strawberries! Cool ice tea!!! 🙂 and swimming!

  438. Wanda

    Summer sanity saver…..AC and iced coffee!!! These two things in my home make any summer day bearable!

  439. Jill Louk

    During the summer to keep everyone’s sanity we spend a lot of time outside and at the pool. My girls are younger, so walks and swimming is extremely good for everyone. We live on a farm and being outside playing, planting a garden and flowers, and taking care of things is a lot of fun. A lot of play dates keeps me sane and energized for everyday tasks.
    I have been reading your books and they are becoming a great source of encouragement as my family is struggling a lot right now with some huge issues. I am involved in a mom’s group at church where we are discussing one of your books and spending a lot of time praising God. It is a lifesaver at this point in our lives, both my kids and mine.

  440. Joy Turner

    My summer sanity is bug spray, sunscreen, pizza dough in the fridge & fruit in the basket. God is good all the time! All the time God is good. Be blessed in heart 🙂

  441. Amanda Carnes

    We are coupon clippers! Not the “extreme couponing” type, just the “we-get-what-we-regulary-use” coupon clipping type:) We also shop at our local farmers market for fresh veggies and fruit in season!

  442. Ashley S

    We give summer its own routine. While not having to be up and out the door early is one of the greatest perks of summer, those warm, sunny days can disappear in a cloud of sleeping in, watching (too much) TV and being lathargic. Before you know it summer is gone. We have a routine of getting up, breaky, dressed, sunscreened and on with our day with our girls. That way we can plan playdates, play in the backyard, still have a clean house and enjoy the time we have together!

  443. Kelsey Gossett

    I have two children, ages 2.5 and 4. I try to keep summer simple. No school, sports or organized weekly obligations for us. No big plans, except playing outside, freezer pops and lots of trips to the zoo and pool. We also use the grill as much as possible, less of a mess to clean up in the kitchen.

  444. Karen

    Hmmm………longer, warmer days always seem to call for some SWEET TEA! A nice cold glass of tea, good book, hammock and a breeze….

  445. Lala

    Always keep almond butter in the pantry and celery and carrot sticks in the fridge. Quick & easy snack at home & on the go.

  446. lerissa

    For summer time sanity savers, we do a lot of out side activities. Going to the park, play at the lake, play in the hose at home. We have popsicles often, and learn about how god made everything while were outside.(i have a 4 yr old)

  447. Jennifer H

    We live in northern New England and have no A/C. That is fine for most summer days, but for 2-3 weeks it make for a scorching hot house with no relief. To get some relief from the heat and have some family fun I set up a “drive-in” theatre in the coolest part of the house – the basement. The kids get to hang out in the cool temperatures for the afternoon and chill out for a few hours.

  448. J

    my summer sanity saver — heck my all the time sanity saver is a good night’s sleep. Seriously though we fill the summer with a balance of activities and rest and for our family it is the best time of the year.

  449. Robyn Seamon

    I stay outside as much as I can, enjoying the beautiful weather, birds, flowers, vegetables and sights and sounds of summer and savoring it!

  450. Ann Holder

    Lysa, I think my GREATEST “sanity saver” advice as remarried mother of now adult children, and my age (Uhumm!) almost 1/2 a century old 🙂 is to walk with the LORD. He is our source of strength and peace. Also, to be “content” in whatever circumstances you’re in. God has placed you there for a reason. Trust His heart. My sanity saving tip is to spend time alone with God, His Word, and a journal. This time alone with Him is precious and easily overlooked when the business of the day sets in.

  451. Jennifer Davis

    Believe it or not, ours is structure. I still have a toddler who naps and our other 2 are 8 and 6. There is a tendency to let the schedule completely go when summer time gets here but I find my kiddos do SO much better we operate on a “loosened” schedule. It’s much easier to transition back into school mode in August too. 🙂

  452. Stacy

    My Summer Sanity Savings tip is to go out for daily walks. I love to go out just before it gets too hot and walk, enjoy God’s nature, and listen to some encouraging music or an encouraging sermon. Happy Summer Everyone!

  453. Tammy

    my summer sanity- go to the beach

  454. Tina

    Super summer sanity saver…with 2 kidz, 15 and 8, I like to take them swimming as much as possible…and take friends so each one is occupied…we try new lakes, pools, and splash pads so it doesn’t get boring. A short trip we’ve already planned is to the Indiana Dunes…Hiking then a cool off in Lake Michigan.

  455. Dori

    Newly married with a blended family of 5 boys.. (Yes I said 5 BOYS!) we love spending time outdoors. Frisbee Golf, Hiking, Volleyball and Bowling! Lots of sports! My husband and I send out a morning prayer, via text, to our entire family. No better way to start the day!

  456. Belinda Garcia

    One of my summer savings tips is to keep popcorn kernels for air popping in the house. So while the kids are home from school we have a cheap, healthy, easy, snack available. And you can do so much with popcorn!

  457. Sarah Pearman

    At our home, we love to grill out in the summer! One of our favorite quick and healthy summertime meals is BBQ grilled chicken with fresh pineapple. 🙂

    And, I would LOVE to win this gift card. We are expecting our first baby, and I would use the gift card to order a stroller off Amazon!

  458. Michelle J

    My summer sanity saver – no schedule! Just enjoy the moment and the time together. 🙂

  459. amanda taylor

    During the summer we hang out clothes to dry, eat supper outside to enjoy the cool breezes to save money on power. Not a lot but it sure helps us out. The little things is what matters.

  460. Amanda N.

    Gotta have sun tea! Put 8 bags of black tea in a glass jar, put it in the sun for 4 hours or so, then pour over ice, add some lemon wedges, and about 6-8 drops of liquid stevia…delicious!

  461. Darlene Garvey

    We like home grown veggies. Simple gardens can give great rewards, money and health wise.

  462. Natalie pennington

    Variety and friends. Swim days, movie nights and crafts.

  463. Emily

    Savings tip- Kids Dine Free card! You can use it at lots of places! We love to go to Sweet Frog and get frozen yogurt at a discount due to this card! So leave the over turned off ( its too hot to turn it on anyway) and head out for a cool treat! 🙂

  464. Chrissy

    Summer welcomes us with the heat, excitement of vacation, no homework and lots of play time… and lots of practice for mommy to keep her cool and not come unglued! A few things planned for summer include surprise trips for ice cream on really hot days.. sprinkler afternoons… and library trips 🙂 Might re-do the Unglued devotional during the summer to keep it fresh!!

  465. Jill

    I have three children ages 8,5,and 2. My husband is a youth pastor and gone a few weeks in the summer. The whole family goes to camp with him one week and just our son the second week. They love being around the teenagers and the teens are awesome about keeping them entertained and letting them in on games they are playing. We then do 2 weeks of swim lessons. We also have a great library with a kids section with a puppet theater and there is story time and special guests(last year we met a baby kangaroo!). We also live by an airport, so we like to take our cool treats outside and watch the airplanes. These activities keep us sane by giving us something to look forward to every week even if it is something small. 🙂

  466. Laura

    My summer santiy saver = the grill. When the weather is beautiful and it’s too hot inside the house to cook, the grill is wonderful. Not only is it easy to operate, there is a multitude of things you can cook.

  467. Tami Joyner

    My summer sanity tip is: Quiet Time. Since our girls were little toddlers we have always had quiet time. This was in the beginning just another name for “mommy needs you to take a nap”. lol Anyways, over time the girls would say I do not need quiet time. We just tell them that everyone needs quiet time so they can hear what God wants to say to them. We tell them that they do not not have to fall asleep just spend that time praying, reading the word or another book that is encourages your walk with God, spend the time listening for his voice. It for an hour everyday after lunchtime. We usually schedule things to do either early in the mornings before quiet time or go to the pool or other activities after quiet time. The house is totally silent. No music, no electronics, no phones during that hour. We put a note on the door saying “Please not disturb and no visitors until after 2:00pm” I have already had my devotion time before they arise in the mornings so this hour allows me to rest. It has worked out great for our family. Even when family and grandchildren come for summer visits we still practice this daily. Everyone comes back refreshed, refocused and ready for the second half of the day. 🙂

  468. Stacey

    During the summer I try to plan events near or around splash pads or cool zones so we can cool down after a warm day out and about. Or bringing along squirt guns and spray bottles so we don’t overheat. We always bring water and snacks – it’s healthier and way cheaper than stopping while you’re on the road!

  469. Tiffany

    We live in a very remote area. I love to plan themed nights at my house, and spend time with friends. I also keep ice cream on hand for the neighborhood kids.

  470. Mary Jo Oliver

    For a long time, I have not been able to walk our dog. I am looking forward to walking him this summer to start the day off right with some quiet time and exercise.

  471. Lisa Osterlind

    We are looking forward to beating the heat by setting on the deck in the evenings with a glass of tea!

  472. Ashley

    Summer swim days are my summer sanity savers…they are super fun and the kiddos are exhausted by the end of the day! 🙂

  473. Missy Hall

    Summers are crazy for us and so I try to start prepping for the gallons of water that I will try to pour into my family! So I purée fresh strawberries and cherries and oranges and lemons too! I mix them with the concentrated Crystal Light flavors (or your favorite brand) and make tons of skinny ice cubes with them. I put them in buckets labeled…viola! Yummy water! I also take the puréed fruit and mix into premade crystal light to create some unique and fun flavors and I seal them with my sealer and we have frozen pops! No sugar, healthy and yumm. By the way Lisa my family loves
    Cabbage ice cream that I freeze as pops too! Mmmm

  474. Lydia

    My summer sanity tip is not just for summer, but it is a super helpful tip for whipping up healthy meals on a limited amount of time and money! Once a week (for my family of 5 with 3 little ones who don’t eat a whole lot) I drop a whole chicken in the crockpot and let it cook on high for about 4 hours! Then, my husband and I spend a few minutes shredding it up and putting it into containers to be used throughout the week. We use it for sandwiches, skillet meals, burritos, and salads! It is a perfect way to have your meat ready to go and save lots of time when putting together a yummy, healthy family dinner!

  475. Tara Saxon

    Free bowling! When it gets really hot and no one wants to be outside we go bowling. The kids are free and I purchase a family pass. We are still being active and not spending a ton of money.

  476. Karen Nelson

    We grill and eat out on the patio a lot during the summer. Afterwards just sit and talk, watch the fireflies, and let the grand kids play in the sprinkler. Good quality family time and making lots of memories! That’s what it’s about.

  477. Leslie

    I can never get my cauliflower crust right. I will definitely try the recipe you posted. I was introduced to your book Unglued by a dear friend of mine. It’s so wonderful knowing I’m not alone with my feelings. Recently, my mother came to visit and I caught her reading it. She told me she loved what she was reading. Mother’s Day is coming and this book will be amongst her gifts! Thank you!!!

  478. Mirinda

    Mine is to grill as much as possible and eat lots of salads, fresh veggies. Anything to keep from having to cook inside and heat up the kitchen!!

  479. Marci Spaulding

    My biggest sanity saver for summer is to assign my kids weekly chores to do Mon-Thurs. They don’t mind because they earn a little spending money and by having a the chores done by Friday it leaves that day open for a fun free (or almost free) outing.

  480. Veronica

    Summer saving tip is a garden. Plan on canning for future use.

  481. jamie

    My summer sanity tip is…good friends who let me use their pool! With 3 very active little boys we will be outside a lot and the pool just makes it cooler:) Also, I am going to attempt my own garden. A little me space to enjoy God’s creation!

  482. Monica

    My summer go-to mealtime sanity saver is that at the beginning of the week I will make or prepare several large salads that keep well in the fridge. Then all we have to do is think about something to accompany them (usually chicken or sausage or steak on the grill), and cooking is soooo easy. That, plus homemade lemonade in the fridge!

  483. Kari

    Lots of sandwiches! All different kinds!

  484. Ricci J Bachar

    Keeping the kids plugged in with fun activities like play dates, playing at the park, library story times, trips to the zoo and all things water activities outdoors!

  485. Mandy

    This year my summer sanity saver it to be completely organized before school gets out!! Closets, drawers – purge, organize and clean! So when the kids get out of school I won’t have that nagging feeling that those things need to be done and we can enjoy our days at the pool, golf course and park! Now, I must get busy!

  486. Dori DeVuyst

    I am a teacher and have the summer to prepare for another year. The summer is time for me to get outside and spend alone time with God. I also have a toddler who goes on walks with me as I tell him about God’s creation, his questions light up my life.

  487. Heather H

    Our Summer Sanity Saver is grilling out! We love the taste & it makes less of a mess in the kitchen, leaving more time for us to spend together as a family!

  488. Leslie

    One tip I am going to try to use this summer is to say “no” to outside commitments and say “yes” to my family!

  489. Kimberly Collins

    My summer sanity saver is taking the kids outside swimming!!! I have 4 children so getting them outside at all is a sanity saver!!!:)

  490. Lauren

    My chickens + my kids = fun family time.

  491. Judi

    I planted tomato plants in the beds I already had, in between my azaleas. They were huge and I got a lot of tomatoes.

  492. Amy

    My summer sanity just requires me to remember that the kids are on vacation and I shouldn’t get upset at their lack of interest in chores or even organized fun. They want to enjoy some relaxation. I try to set weekly expectations but not do daily inspections. And then just keeping the frozen treats in good supply.

  493. Keo

    As the weather gets hotter in Florida its early morning beach time. Love doing my bible study at the beach in the early morning hours. Love watching Yehovah’s creation and reading His word at the beach.

  494. Ann Jenkins

    My summer saver is keep it simple, enjoy this little things that make you laugh and let the house go, Just try it and see how much fun it is not to be tied to the chores always! Blessings

  495. Simone

    My summer sanity saver is to breathe, inhale and exhale deeply because our school year has been heavy. I say put your toes in some God-made water or lay back in the grass and gaze at the wonder of the heavens, remembering the keeper of heaven and earth who never sleeps nor slumbers. Happy Summer!

  496. Nicki

    Two words: THE POOL!!!

    I think my son is part fish, so a great way to burn off some energy is to take him to the pool, that we can walk to from our home, and let him swim his little heart out!! They have a great children’s area with a cool dinosaur slide and mushroom that rains water. He loves it, and I get some good Vitamin D intake myself 🙂

  497. April Horner

    At 30 years old I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, so I’ve become a little planner obsesed 🙂 I found a GREAT website where a Mom put together an entire summer plan with each day of the week being a similar type of event. Tue – Technology Day, Wed – Wet and Wild day, Thu- Learn about something day, etc….It has been A HUGE help in giving me the tools to keep my kids learning and growing through out the summer and since I clearly know what they are doing I can schedule some me time in there too!

  498. Bree W.

    Starting summer out slow and enjoying just relaxing with the mini’s. Then we will gear up and end our summer strong and busy to discourage those nasty end-of-summer-boredom-battles. 🙂

  499. Holly

    Having a short but set routine for the mornings so we can pick up and then play the rest of the day … and the GRILL easy, time in the sunshine, doesn’t heat the house and not as much clean up! 🙂

  500. Sarah C

    Summer sanity, hmmmm….well as a mom of 3 boys, summer break can get a little crazy!!! However, we try to meet of with friends once a week, to let the kiddos play and let the mommies chat, take a weekly outing, play outdoors as much as possible and have a daily quiet hour. This daily quiet hour allows all of us to regroup and catch a breath 🙂

  501. Katey

    My summer sanity tip is through all the hussle of activities to remember to have some “mommy time” to relax, to rejuvinate, and to spend time in the word of our Lord.
    Happy summertime!!

  502. Loretta Pearson

    My tip: I BBQ on Saturday and do enough for the next week! Then we microwave it during the week after work. I might do a couple meats like: hamburgers, steak, chicken, fish, or ribs, and vegies. What we can’t use that week I wrap in foil and freeze.

    On hot summer nights it’s so nice not to have to cook but still have hot (microwaved) BBQ and salads!

  503. Amy Moe

    Summer sanity tip: get out the crock pot. I spend a lot of time outside in the summer – with farming summer is not really a relaxing time, (winter is more for that). I can put in a meal and head out for the day and I don’t have to cook at the end of the day while everyone sits around asking when supper will be ready! And…it doesn’t heat up the house. I try to find lighter recipes for summer. Can’t wait for a sign of summer since we just had another snowstorm in SW Minnesota yesterday! Crazy weather – but it’s moisture we desperately need – so praise be to God!

  504. Tally

    Spending time in our vegetable garden this summer is what I am looking forward to the most this summer. It brings great happiness and peace. It reminds me to be grateful and it leaves me in awe of God’s creation. Watching the garden grow is amazing. Plus, it’s a family project we work on together. A great glass of lavendar lemonade is always a winner as well. 🙂

  505. Brooke Lusby

    Summer sanity means pool play dates for sure! Texas is hot and my four year old son loves to be outside!

  506. Brenda Hodges

    I have 2 different sanity savers, one of them just coming together last summer but boy is it a good one!!! For many years, to keep myself from becoming unglued, I’d turn up the music a little (or sometimes extricate myself from the house & go for a drive with music!!) and belt out singing!!! ALWAYS improves my sanity! Newsboys was my fave! Starting last summer….it’s to go out on our new deck, sit in my comfy chair, turn my head up to the sky and talk to my Father out loud!! Sometimes it calms me do much I fall asleep!!! 🙂

  507. Tammy Prosen

    Since my kids are grown and there are no grandchildren YET summer is a time to slow down for me. I like to drive with the top down, on my car if course, and soak up the sun. Take time for me and read a book, do a home project, or maybe take a walk to get some ice cream. Keeping the windows open as much as possible to bring in fresh air is a must.

  508. Kristi

    We live in Montana, so when the weather gets nice (finally) we go outside! I love picnics at parks or at the lake, and we grill lots of healthy food and eat outside whenever possible! Keeping a flexible schedule during the summer is a sanity saver too! It should be fun times for the kids AND Mom and Dad. 🙂

  509. Loni

    I like to make ahead different sandwich fillers, such as chicken salad (with nuts and grapes in as well); egg salad (recently posted a recipe of egg/avacado sandwich) and veggies we can put into tortilla shells. I try to do as little hot heating in summer to keep house cooler, and will make ahead things in the late evening. Then if kids want to do a picnic, it’s easy to pack up and go.

  510. Kara

    Summer Sanity saver…walking. Even if its just around the block; I feel so much more relaxed and ready to take on the rest of the night (which usually includes some form of homework for my B.S.) or if I walk in the morning, ready to take on the rest of the day. And plus to walking, I usually take our son with me so he calms down as well; makes the night a bit more relaxing instead of frustrating.

  511. Melissa A.

    My sanity saving tip is to actually have a daily schedule for kids so they can help with housework and still have fun and be kids. When I worked we did this so I got help with the house since the kids were here so I’m gonna keep it now that I’m blessed to stay at home and can use the help so I CAN have some fun myself! Lol

  512. Amy Touchstone

    Summer Sanity Trip… We sweat the small stuff with weekly Public Library visits! This was something I loved to do with my grandmother! Now… I do with my kiddos! We all take time and read to each other and often color or create something crafty afterwards! We save electricity by not using the iPad, TV, or computer! We utilize the FREE Public Library & sometimes we read @ the park then play there!

  513. Marielle Medina

    My summer sanity saving tip is– being outside! I LOVE going to the farmer’s market in Union Square on weekends, buying a lot of absolutely delicious, amazing produce (the quality of which conventional produce could never touch I’m convinced). I like to try out new vegetables and incorporate them into our meals. It’s a fun way to experiment with ingredients! Awesomely priced produce + everything being organically/locally grown = YAY. There’s a lot of festivals/street markets in NYC when the weather is nice and I love just to stroll around and maybe buy some plants or jewelry– you never know what you’ll find. Also, since I visit my family in NJ often, that means beach time! They’re only a 30 min. drive from the shore. 🙂

  514. Bobbie G

    My Sumer saver is to fix easy light meals which do not turn the oven on to heat up the kitchen. Tx is so hot and our air bill is terribly high. Getting out early when it is cooler to do the yard work. Blessings to all & thx for the opportunity to win this card:)

  515. Maja

    My goal this summer is that one night each week I’m going to let my kids take the lead. If that means swimming for 2 hours before even thinking of dinner, do be it! They are gems in my life & I want to give them my full attention in this way since I can’t spend the whole summer with them.

  516. Sasha

    Grilling and eating out on our patio! We love the relaxation of summer!

  517. Susan

    My sanity saver is to not get too caught up in plans. Some of the best times happen when plans don’t work out.

  518. Shelli

    My tip is to find time for a hobby – work on scrapbooks for vacation photos, card-making, knitting, etc. Plus, spending time on a hobby is useful for those of us who are trying to control our eating habits!!

  519. Samantha

    Faith, family, and BBQ! Oh, and I can’t forget a big juicy watermelon! 🙂

  520. Trudy

    At the beginning of the summer we have a family discussion about our expectations for the summer and make a list of things we would like to do. Sometimes the “treats” are tied to home/family projects completed. It helps everyone have our hearts and minds in the right place. Also, we go for a family walk as often as possible after dinner. The evening stroll is refreshing and relaxing – a great way for kids to wind down.

  521. Natasha

    Summer can get really hot! I love a nice tall homemade glass if lemonade and tuna fish on crackers. You don’t want to turn the oven on with all that heat! You can also make homemade Popsicles with the kids to keep them nice n cool as well! Natasha

  522. jenny navas

    Our summer saving tip is checking out local free events and activities. When there isn’t anything going on we check out fun places to walk trails, ride bikes, and swim in creeks. Nothing quite like getting our fun in while enjoying creation! Blessings!

  523. Linda

    I care for my elderly momma (87) in her home that she and my dad had built, I am grateful he was a health nut and installed an inground pool. When she lays down for a nap I do laps, float around and soak up some sunshine and quiet time! This is truly now my summer sanity saver 🙂

  524. Lindsayloucks

    Super savings tip-water hose! Lots of fun for cheap 😉

  525. Laura

    We love to grill out as often as possible in the summer. My sanity saver is to grill extra when we have the grill fired up — chicken, steak, whatever. Then the extra meat is ready to go for salads or a quick meal another night.

  526. Glori VanBrunt

    My ultimate favorite summer saver is using 4oz dixie cups with sugar free punch in the freezer for ice pops. My children eat TONS of these and I save on the cost! I use paper cups so the kids can easily peel away the covering, cut straws as “sticks” and a cookie sheet to keep them from spilling in the freezer. Easy to make and the kids like picking their sugar free flavors! 🙂

  527. Marne

    We make a summer fun list. It’s our go to guide all summer long!

  528. Catheryn Kunz

    This isn’t a money saving tip for the summer, but a way for your kids to be a little healthier. I am sure your kids do this, but I remember coming inside from playing in the sun on a summer day asking my mom if I could have a popsicle. My mom would then say I could if I ate three carrots (or another vegetable, or healthy food). After eating my healthy snack and then getting my sugar treat I would usually be full and not ask for another sugar treat. I hope this is a great idea for you moms this summer as maybe not going through sugar treats so fast 🙂

    • Latash Alexander

      Thank you Catheryn,,,great idea!!!

  529. Amber Gaddie

    A good summer tip I could give is, make sure you have plenty of Ice pops in the freezer! They are delicious and a cheap way to cool down from the rising temps outside!

  530. Jeannie Roberson

    Summer Sanity Saving tips: eat lots of watermelon, homemade icecream, and veggies straight from the garden; get some Vitamin D, and spend lots of time with friends and family! Yay! Summer is almost here! 🙂

  531. Tamara Snitkin

    My favorite summer sanity savor is a day off work, large glass of sweet tea, no schedule for the week, sitting in my backyard with my family and a nice grilled meal and watching the chickens and the dogs…did I mention no schedule for the week?!!! Yes, that would be my SSS!!! Love your blog by the way. 🙂

  532. Sarah Norton

    I say shut off the TV, step away from Facebook, and get outside for a few hours each day to take in some vitamin d. Soak in God’s beautiful creation! My husband and I take a few nights each week to take the kids on a bike ride or a walk.

  533. Stefannye P

    Know when to hire a sitter and go out with your honey. Have a well stocked kids-grab-on-their-own snack bin. Cut back on laundry by insisting play clothes be worn over and over until truly dirty. FREEZER. MEALS. the end.

  534. Stacey

    My Summer Sanity Saver is spend More Time Than Money On Our Children….It Is Your Time They Ctave And Remember!

  535. Jamaca Thomas

    We grow a garden and eat fresh veggies!!! Saves me money and is healthy.

  536. Sandra Salisbury

    Hi Lysa! My summer save-your-SANITY tip is to pray, pray, pray while digging in that dirt and tending to those veggies! There’s nothing like dirt therapy! Also, at the home we are renting, there is a beautiful row of raspberries and a strawberry patch. Those summer mornings are the best when we head outside for breakfast, starting our day off with God and His amazing food!

  537. Pam roberts

    I hav hiking & camping trips planned to preserve our sanity! Nothing like basking in God’s creation to relax & unwind!!!

  538. Jessie

    Longer days and no school means dinner time doesn’t have to be so rushed, which is this mama’s sanity saver!

  539. dorothy

    My tip would be to have a plan each day. I just make sure to think about the next day each nite and mentally make a list of what needs to get done and what things i want my kids to do
    . If I don’t have a plan I end up wasting a lot of time.

  540. Vanessa

    My summer sanity saving tip would be to try to remember to keep things simple when it comes to meals get the whole family involved. There is something even the little ones can do(setting the table, filling glasses) It will be fun for them and help for you! 🙂 What a great way to work together and have good family time too!

  541. Debi Z

    My Summer Sanity Saver is to spend as much time outdoors with my grandchildren and family! It has to last; as we are apart all winter.

  542. LoveNevaFails

    Christian music!

    Loved seeing you share healthier recipes Lysa! 🙂
    I have a few I’d love to share with you. Try the Papaya Punch juice recipe I created on my Facebook page! It’s so refreshing. Great healthy drink to share this summer or anytime with your friends.

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  543. Kathy

    Ooh didn’t know you could make some of your fave foods healthy. Will def have to try;) Please post some more!!

  544. Holly F

    I keep a pitcher of water & plastic cups outside for the kids so they don’t have to run in and out so many times when they’re hot and thirsty.

  545. Stephanie W.

    Lysa…I love the pizza recipe. What a healthy meal. Not sure my family will go for it, but I am willing to try!! Definitely going to add to my list. Thanks!

  546. Toni

    I am so excited to try this BBQ chicken pizza with a cauliflower crust pizza recipe! I have just had a BUNCH of medical test and basically I’m allergic to GLUTEN so I have been looking for anything to replace the normal “carbs” in my life! My tip for summer is to get outside and grill, not only meat, but you can grill veggies, pizza (unless you are making BBQ chicken pizza with a cauliflower crust), and desserts! So fresh and yummy!!

  547. Jodi

    Summertime seems like go go go! Trips to our library helps to break up the day and helps the kids reading while on break.

  548. Kimberly

    We take advantage of local free concerts in the park, cheap matinees at the theatre (usually only $2 for last year’s kid flicks) and farmers markets. I try to stay in a flexible frame of mind so I can not get flustered when my plans take a detour, and enjoy my family regardless of the agenda.

  549. Latash Alexander

    Organization and planning are what I do during the last few weeks before school is out. I create a chore schedule for my 4 daughters since days we have longer days and I assign certain areas to each one to supervise cleanliness. I also create a calendar of outing/activities of things they would like to do (go to park, fishing, swimming, etc.) so that they have some things to look forward too. Most importantly we have a morning devotional/bible study (which you can get one geared towards girls, boys etc at your local Christian book store) so that we can start our day with the God’s word, good attitudes and an open heart~ necessary when you have 4 girls ages 8, 9, 10 and 11 LOL!!!

  550. Leigh Ann

    Love time saving tips!! To save time I like to brown large amounts of ground beef at one time and then freeze it in zip lock bags. I put one pound per bag (1 pound of ground beef = approx 2 cups). Then anytime I want to make spaghetti or tacos etc. I just put one bag, still frozen, in the microwave for 2 min and I can start preparing quickly!

  551. Ruth

    Don’t over-commit! Summer is about relaxing & spending time w family & friends. Don’t spend your time running to games, events, even too many “vacations.” Reduce the amount of “go” in your summer.

  552. Loretta Lineback

    My sanity saver is year round for me. As a recovering addict and a sinner at best, I look to my Church family. I attend Bible studies and Worship services. For a little exercise, because I have a weak heart, my Dr. allows me to attend a dance class once a week. Belly dance, hindu, Egyption, Hula, and Flaminco. I pray through out the day daily and read scripture, and tweet and use FB to spread the word of God.

  553. CJones

    I like to keep my kids busy and also have rest time everyday. It helps them to have quiet time away from each other. Another sanity saver is premade meals(homemade and frozen by me) and a stash of crockpot meals. I love using the crockpot during the summer especially so I don’t have the hot stove going.

  554. Leah

    My summer sanity savings tip is having a bunch of pool parties with my friends. A chance to get us all out of the house and get some great Vitamin D 🙂
    Also having our first garden this year so excited to eat healthy fresh vegetables without all the junk on it that they use in the grocery stores to keep the stuff looking good!

  555. LuAnn

    I make popsicles that the kids can snack on and cool off with. We have a lot of water guns and sprinklers to play with here, instead of paying to go somewhere. And we have a rule of no electronics in the morning. I send the kids out to play before it gets to hot, and then we have some quiet time in the afternoon. Lots of library books and lots of water.

  556. Amanda

    Every Sunday I cook a roast of some sort in the crock pot, I then use the left overs throughout the week to save time and energy for other dinners… shredded meat for sandwiches, veggies as a side dish for another meal, etc… I also grill just about anything in the summer… 🙂

  557. Sara

    Grilling. We grill as many meals as possible. It’s fast, it’s easy, it keeps my house cooler, and my husband mans the grill keeping me free to prep side dishes and deal with kids. Grilling also cuts back on dishes and gives my husband a reason to be outside and play with our 3 year old.

  558. Gina Stanford

    My summer sanity tip is to finally get a pool! We’re planning on getting a small one that the kids can swim in and adults can not only relax but cool off in. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy!

  559. Shannon

    I love letting the kids be outside as much as possible during the summer. Get out paints and sidewalk chalk, play with shaving cream and “pud” (cornstarch + water + food coloring), and I’m okay with messes when they’re outside and washable!!!

  560. Holly Keeling

    Put frozen fruit in your water instead of having sugary drinks and exercise to release stress and stay sane! 😉 Of course spending time in the word is the number one stress reliever!

  561. Audra Stegman

    My summer sanity savior – swimming! My parent’s have a lovely pool, and we just bring the kids over and let them swim out all of their energy. 🙂

  562. Toni Stehling

    A super summer saver tip:, you can sign your kids up and they can bowl all summer for free 🙂

  563. Jeannine

    My tip is to go camping on the weekend! It’s forced relaxation, much needed after working all week. We go with our church life group, always a wonderful time.

  564. Barbara Rivera

    Enjoy the warm summer evenings for outdoor games. Summer afternoons spent on the porch reading out loud a great book to my kids.Lots of sidewalk chalk!

  565. Beth

    On rainy days, I include my children in making baking mixes. They are productively occupied, and our sunny days are easier when the pancakes and bread are pre-mixed! (Then we play games or play in the rain 🙂

  566. Penelope

    Iced Coffee and being outside as much as possible is a must.

  567. Dean Jones

    I love chocolate and pizza!! Yay for Friday’s too!!!

  568. Lisa Albright

    I live in CO and am so looking forward to summer, I like to buy pre cooked chickens, no heating up house and more time to get outside and this summer I get to play with my grandson. I can use for pizzas, salads, sandwiches, pasta salads, and dips! New to this site, loving it! Thanks.

  569. Amy G

    Summer seems so much easier to me than any other season because we spend so much time outside. I guess part of what saves my sanity, though, is that we don’t over-schedule ourselves. We want the summer to be full of fun family time rather than running hear, there, and yonder.

  570. Angel Parnell

    I am super excited about the ice cream receipt. It only will save me tons as my son and I have milk allergies and store bought dairy free ice cream i expensive. Another way to save when visiting theme parks is to bring your own lunch and return to the car to eat. We do this and save a ton from not buying the expensive park food,

  571. Leida

    Saving tip: I grow my own vegetable garden; I can and freeze after the harvest. if we can’t grow, then we try and buy things in season as they tend to be cheaper (local farmer market as well). Also, I ask neighbors or friends to trade what we grow in the garden, like a co-op type thing. I share my zucchinis and tomatoes, and they turn the favor with peppers or potatoes 🙂 As far as summer activities, we rarely pay for organized events; we hike, we play in the parks and enjoy the sunshine. Pool and water splash in the backyard does the trick as well. Oh, how I can’t wait for summer!

    P.S. Hope I win the Amazon giftcard; my hubby turns 40 and would love to buy him a new grill to enjoy our summer veggies and chicken :)))

  572. Melissa I

    I make a double batch when preparing one of our favorite meals and I freeze one for later…

  573. Heather Hickman

    save your sanity summer tip?? simple meals on the grill, salads from our own back yard garden, and as a family that lives 10 minutes from cape cod…make sure to head to the beach at least once a week!

  574. Sara

    Hy Lysa! My summer sanity saver is to make sure I spend some quiet time with God BEFORE the kids wake up! I never get it done if I wait until later. Also, it is always good to have a routine in place for all of my kids. Plus finding time to get out of the house for a little exercise each other day really helps me a lot (I thank God for my teenage daughter who babysits the younger kids)! She is paid well and she is worth every penny. 🙂

  575. Marci G

    My summer sanity saver is having activities planned for and the supplies already on hand at the beginning of summer. Then we can pick and choose as we go.

  576. Cynthia Branim

    With 4 kids ages 6 and under, playdates are our sanity savers! We had many 100 degree days last year, so early morning gatherings, indoor places, or anything involving playing in the water ourside! It would be too easy to get cabin fever trying to stay cool otherwise!

  577. Amber

    I love summer! With identical triplet boys that are now 6, we stay super busy in the summer. We homeschool, so I get to spend lots of great time with them. We go to the beach a lot and explore, play and thank God for his amazing creation!

  578. Tina McAdams

    Summer is a great time to get outside! We BBQ more which equals eating healthier because we tend to do lean meats and vegetables over burgers, dogs and mayo drenched salads. We tend to walk more, which means better health for us and our dogs! Since my husband and I are overweight, I’m looking forward to shedding some pounds with the hope and joy summer brings.

  579. LRC

    Shaving with lotion!

    • LRC

      sorry, I mean lotion instead of shaving cream – helps keep my skin hydrated

  580. Latisha

    Take time to enjoy each moment as it comes. Don’t get caught up in the busyness that can usually come with summer. It is an incredible busy time for most people, but most of it can be fun if you take the time to truly enjoy the experiences. Remember, if you are relaxing and not stressing that means cortizol isn’t being released and that means less fat! 🙂

  581. J

    No hot meals! Just different sandwiches and or salads! Doesn’t heat up the house and easy-peasy!

  582. Connie C

    Make some grill able freezer meals now. Stock the freezer with quick grilling items like burgers and such. Not having to worry about dinner saves my sanity!

  583. Rachel Califf

    Down time! As an online teacher and homeschooling mom, my summers suddenly “free up” and I really treasure those months to be able to just focus on PLAY and RELAXATION with the Little Loves. This year, we’re going to make a list of the fun things we want to do this summer and truly plan them, complete with target dates and a checklist on the fridge! : ) Summer IS my sanity saver. 🙂 But I also like a few moments to myself — some new frozen smoothie concoctions and a book during the kids’ naptime are SO refreshing!

  584. Denise H

    Stay inside under the A/C as much as possible – which translates into more grilling for the hubby 🙂

  585. Leah Wehman

    Playing in the hose with my soon-to-be 7 yr. old grandson (and another grandson arriving in September!!!!). What fun we have squirting each other (and Grandpa when he least expects it! 🙂 ) Can’t wait!

  586. erin

    My summer sanity saving tip is to take walks at dusk. I love seeing the sun go down!

  587. Meg

    We love buying fruit in bulk during the summer months, and then freezing it in portions for later. We throw the fruit in pancakes or heat it up on the stove with a little honey for a yummy crepe filling. We also do a lot of smoothies during the summer, yum!

  588. Michelle b

    Get in the sunshine! Two small children and being cooped up for months, time to get outside in God’s lovey sunshine! 🙂

  589. Lesia

    Grow my own garden and enjoy lots of fresh veggies

  590. Stacy H

    My summer sanity tip is grilling. I pre-cut veggies and freeze them so they will be ready to throw on the grill. We grill and eat outside on the deck. It always helps with the clean up.

  591. Jennifer

    We are members of a lake near by and it surely works to keep everyone happy and getting along. Plus it is a great place to hang all day when the weather gets really hot!

  592. Kelly

    We have an empty nest but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun and save money! I found that Travel Zoo and Groupon have a lot of really good deals for weekend fun! You can get their daily emails. 🙂

  593. Angela Weaver

    My summer sanity saving tip to go to the state park and swim at the lake. It’s cheap and cools you off in the hot Texas weather.

  594. Amy Nimrick Johnson

    Summertime sanity – at the beginning of summer, we sit down with our kids and make a list of all the fun things they would like to do over the summer (we get responses as simple as having a popcorn movie night to going to the zoo or park or having a lemonade stand …. many are low or even no cost). Last summer we also incorporated what we called ‘letter-writing Mondays’ where we each sent a handwritten letter or card to a friend or acquaintance. It was a good way to continue our schoolwork as well as serving others through the encouragement of a card or note.

  595. Lorna

    My sanity this summer will come from my husband being well enough that him and I can enjoy some warm summer temperatures as he fights an ongoing battle with terminal brain and lung cancer.

  596. Teresa Woolson

    Summer Sanity Tip – LISTEN. Relax, stop and listen. Quiet time to be with Jesus. I am hoping to win the gift certificate to purchase wonderful spiritual books and CDs to distribute to family and friends.

  597. Zoe Ng

    Slice up some cucumbers thinly into a refrigerator door jug, add mint leaves and water and leave overnight. Cool off with a glass of the refreshing beverage while reading devotionals that I subscribe to, like Proverbs 31 Ministry’s Encouragement for Today. =)
    God bless you!

  598. April McCourt

    My summer sanity saver is prepping some meals all in one day for the week and freezing them. I will make up fried egg or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookie batter and even ingredients for smoothies so all you have to do is grab and and go or throw it in the blender or toaster oven.

  599. Kim Merrefield

    My sanity is dependent on planning ahead! I know novel idea, but I find that on Saturday when I’ve just gotten home from food shopping if I chop, package, and Pre-prepare food for the week I am less stressed! Especially important over the summer, because the last thing I want to do is spend hours figuring out what to make and clean up…I want to lounge by the pool…plus having those veggies and fruits cut up and ready to go makes it easier to stay healthy. Plus it allows my a guilt free moment when a brownie comes along 😉

  600. Heather L

    Repurpose an old laundry detergent dispenser as a “bubble refill station” for the kids. Saves lots of fights and headaches for mom.

  601. Jessaca Chelette

    Thanks for the recipes Lysa! My summer saver tip is to spend as much time with your kids. Stop all of the rushing around and getting caught up in th hustle and bustle of life! I also like to try and stay up a little longer after my children are in bed. This gives me an opportunity to get everything prepared for the next day. It definitely saves time and creates a lot less stress. 🙂 Can’t wait to have a cooking date with my babies and make your ice cream recipe!

  602. Jennifer Rumberger

    My summer sanity saver tip is having a small garden during the summer. My whole family loves fresh vegetables and for less than $20 we have vegetables for the summer and sometimes early fall!

  603. Ana maria

    Summer Time!! my summer time is now called “teen-Hungry” it is better to be prepare. Since my gallbladder extraction last summer our diet has been turn over 180 degrees, more healthy staff for all of us .I have 2 boys and you can imagine how it is handle the healthy diet with them , but so far so good for now, i wish to have my own garden as a Leida has, but we live in a small apartment ,i love organics products and everything who is involved with a healthy lifestyle.The best for my Family and for all of you too!!.

  604. Katie

    My summer sanity saver is a vanilla ice cream cone w/ the kiddies outside after dinner. Last night was the first time of the season, and it was a big hit. And as we were outside enjoying, our neighbors came home…. and my kids bum-rushed them to see if they wanted one too! So I went in to fix one more for their little girl.
    My hubby came out and asked where the Mama was (from next door.) I said, “She went inside their house for a minute, but if I were her, I’d be planning to come over here and give me a talking-to about not letting our kids rush them with ice-cream cones as they are pulling in the driveway!” (But of course they all loved it!)

  605. Debbie Owen

    Having other members from my small group bring snack when we host.

  606. Kim Myers

    My favorite spring/summer activity that saves my sanity year round is garage saleing! My spell check is telling me that is not a word, but I do it enough to know it really is! I purge stuff from my house and growing family all year, have a sale then use the money to shop at other sales and clothe and entertain my family all fall/winter! It’s a fun cycle! Thanks for the recipes too!

  607. Patti

    During summer I find myself praying more constantly throughout the day because my girls are home for the summer, which is great…but then my sanity goes out the window. I admire teachers for being able to handle them all day while in school. Your tips are a wonderful blessing for our family. God Bless.

  608. Sharon

    I love grilling and eating outside on the patio

  609. Elaine Segstro

    It is April 19, and we still have snow!! Argh….our sanity will return when we don’t see any of the white stuff!! Summer sanity in Manitoba, Canada is escaping to our wonderful lakes, and enjoying a peaceful paddle in a kayak. My husband and I so look forward to that. We paddle to at an island, enjoy a picnic lunch that we have brought, go for a walk, or just sit quietly enjoying the sights and smells. I can hardly wait!!

  610. LaRue

    Texas – stay under air conditining and drink iced tea.

  611. Amber Shaffer

    My sanity saving tip is bring your lunch to work with you. Not only do you save money in Gas but you can eat the healthy food you have already spent money on instead of spending money on more food. It is also a good time to spend in God word or reading for your bible study and using Lysa’s book Unglued happens to help with Co-workers who are just hard to love and require extra grace

  612. Amy Larsen

    My summer sanity tip would be to remember the simple things-a long bike ride, a stop at the park to go down the slide, an afternoon picnic or a day at the beach. God gives us so much to be thankful for!!!!!

  613. Sandi in MN

    It’s hard to think summer when we just got 20″ of fresh snow last night! Ugh.

    I like to keep the car stocked with adventuring supplies, like a change of clothes (cuz you never know when someone will fall in or get muddy), towels, swim stuff, hiking boots, snacks, and warm jackets. The weather changes here fast sometimes, being prepared is a must! We love adventuring up the shore of our beautiful Lake Superior.

  614. Ann Merrill

    Some of the Summer Sanity Savings tips (try saying that three times really fast hahaha) for our family are:
    *shop clearance during fall/winter to stock up on summer necessity. Summer is for relaxation!
    *quick & easy healthy meals (that taste great) that the kids can help prepare. They don’t realize it’s preparing them for the future… someday Daddy & I will need to be taken care of by our adult children.
    *drive-in movie theater only charges per car load, allows outside food & drinks and everyone is happy enjoying their own uncrowned space.
    *campouts @ home. Sometimes a stay-cation is what everyone needs after cabin fever sets in. It’s also conveniently stress free to not load up the entire house to camp away from home.
    *blanket forts are a must…they always create fun for ALL ages especially in the tragic boredom by week 2-3 of summer.
    *themed game nights…they are a lot of fun & kids don’t realize they are voluntarily using math, problem solving, etc.. It prevents summertime mush brain from video games which often surfaces two weeks before school starts. Sneaky parenting does pay off! Lol
    *ANYTHING water related…water balloons, watermelon, homemade slip n slide. We live in central Texas which is smoldering HOT. If the activity is outside after 11am it better be water related!
    *school supplies shopping the year before…for basics needed all year. It saves time & saves us from added stress of fighting the crowds. Then only shop for the non basics.
    *briskets, casseroles, etc that can be cooked & used for a few days as leftovers. This saves time, money & utility bill…leaving extra time for FUN for the kids and R & R for Daddy & Momma!
    We have more Summer Sanity Savings tips. However these are some that make the most difference for our family.

    No matter if I’m chosen…I hope this helps other families 🙂
    It’s almost that time…last 6 weeks of school is counting down!

    Have a blessed day!
    The Merrill family

  615. Darcy

    Taking a walk on the bike trail with my Bible and journal and stopping by the river. Sometimes wading into it a bit to an island. Then pouring my heart out to God, giving him all my worries.

  616. Jennifer Hayes

    Sleep in! Plan weeks out in advance with lots of FREE time mixed in and enjoy the abundance of fresh produce!

  617. Karen W.

    We love fresh fruit and veggies! We pick and freeze strawberries and blueberries and can vegetables.

  618. Karen

    My summer sanity tip is to take a ride thru the country side on the motorcycle. Nothing like it!!

  619. Brittany Lancaster

    AIR CONDITIONING!!!!! My husband has to have the house COLD at all times or else he loses his sanity….in other words HAPPY HUSBAND = HAPPY ME!!! 🙂

  620. Teresa Leonard

    I “run away” periodically to do things I like to do. Just leave for the day. Go antiquing or yard selling. Just taking a breather makes it refreshing to enter the fray once again!

  621. Brenda

    My summer sanity saving tip is to find cheap, fun family activities to do. A few examples of this is to plan family picnics in our backyard, family game nights, and family movie nights. I am thankful that my (almost) grown children still enjoy the simple pleasures in life!

  622. Cheryl

    Grilling and eating healthy with my family. Just found out I’m diabetic so I have to make some changes in my eating habits. Also I plan to spend more time on my porch reading the Bible.

  623. Jasmine

    We have our own garden which helps, but also, try to go meatless at least one or two days. But things you can mix and match so nothing goes to waste.

  624. Marie Angus

    I think reading during the summer is important and brings some sanity (quiet) to out days. We like to find programs that reward our children for their reading. Half Price Books and our local library offered rewards last year.

  625. Angelica Swindell

    My summer sanity tip is to enjoy my children every moment I have with them. My children are 3 and 2 years old and I can get caught up in doing everything “just right”. These are moments God has given me to be thankful for the time I have with my children and enjoying just how God made them. So every temper tantrum, every boo boo, every time I have to remind them to use their inside voice, I’m going to remind myself that God has given me these children and I am thankful for the time I have with them. Even when it’s time spent correcting, nursing boo boos’ and teaching them. It’s all time well spent. Being thankful is my sanity saving tip.

  626. Niya

    My tip is to make time to plan plenty of activities on the weekend with the family. Swimming, library, museums. If anyone lives in a gated community check them out, we were surprised at how many activities they offered for families during the summer.

  627. Nicole

    Lots of outdoor toys!!! Pools, slip and slides, butterfly catchers and bubbles. Also, a plastic picnic table for the kids to eat their meals at outside…no more sweeping the floor 100 times a day, a least for a few months:)

  628. Katrina Ward

    My summer sanity saver is to have light dinners in various places…..pool side, at the ocean front, back yard or botanical gardens! It is fun to see my kids faces light up when we eat some where other than the kitchen table. We create precious memories during this time and when we return home the kitchen is already clean!

  629. Katie

    My summer sanity saver is drinking lots of water … gotta keep hydrated!

  630. Lori

    I live in the valley of the sun, Phoenix AZ. So summer is here for 6-7 months. My summer sanity tip is to collect little coloring books and crayons after the holidays. Keep them and when the heat starts to really kick in, I give them to my son to give him something new to do. We will also melt crayons outside and make new colorful ones.
    We do cheap summer movies on Thursday through our local movie theatre. Keeps us indoors and out of the 110 heat.

  631. Kristin

    We plan our daily activities around the same schedule they use for specials in school. We have art, PE (aka Park Exploration), computers/game day, library and music. It helps maintain some of the school year routine and it simplifies planning for me. 🙂

  632. Beth Milinski

    My sanity saving tipis making sure to restock our summer basket: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, jumpropes, new sandbox tools, ballsect. Also buy popscicles in large quantitie. I also make sure to have new books for the kids to read. I love to read so I enjoy making sure they have new books to choose from

    • Holly Sloan

      I make a good summer chore chart. My kids and I share chores to get them out of the way. I explain we are a team and if the whole team helps I have more time to do fun things.

  633. Sherrie Setliff

    Grill dinner as many nights as I can! Lots of salads & fresh fruits & veg’s. And that Ice Cream looks sooooo good!

  634. Tonya Jones

    During the summer here in the South it can get close to 100 in July and August but you want to be outside to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. There is a smal garden in our area called Hatcher’s Garden. It has big beautiful trees with great water featured, flowers and cool breezes. So for a lunch break or afternoon off I like to invite a friend to join me there and I prepare a littel scripture to read- a littel chicken salad to eat with some frozen grapes and cool lemonade. We will sit in a quiet corner and just share about what God is doing in our lives that amaze us. Or I might do the same with my husband but change the menu to more manly food and steal kisses on that one. It is great to get out- in the cool of God’s wonder and soak Him all in with the ones you love!!!

  635. Samantha

    My Summer Sanity Saving tip for this year would be to spend lots of time with my kiddos. I battled breast cancer last year so we were not able to spend our summers as we normally would. We will plant a garden together so we have fresh veggies to eat this summer which will save some $’s as well but oh the conversations we will have as we’re planning, planting, and gardening. I also plan to take long bike rides with a picnics so we can spend the days getting exercise but relaxation as well. We also like to search for parks that are fun! Can’t beat that. Just takes leg or gas mileage to get to those! Thanks so much for this opportunity. Love your books, Lysa! Keep them coming!

  636. leslie

    summer sanity saver, relax and let things roll. fall and spring are full of to do lists so let the summer be a little more carefree. if you arent feeling inspired all the time, it helps to have a jar of suggestions for things you enjoy to do and then you can just pull them out and get started.

    also, pineapple wine by the pool is nice. 🙂

  637. Michelle

    My sanity saver is staying busy. We go to the playground and the pool and do LOTS of playdates. 🙂

  638. Lauren Foshie

    I can’t wait to try your pizza! Having a 3 year old and a 1 month old, it can be hard to fix a healthy meal at times. This summer I plan to be outside as much as possible enjoying God’s creation. We love to end a long hot summer day by grilling out. Grilling is easy, healthy, and yummy!

  639. Ann Guisasola

    For summer sanity, I always think it helpful to keep to a routine, even if that routine is different than during the school year. Our kids thrive on structure. 🙂

  640. Brandie Potter

    Pre-planning is my summer sanity tip. I like to have events, activities, extra currricular activities, vacations, etc. on my planner before summer begins! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a spontaneous moment here and there, but if I pre-plan then I know when I can and can not be spontaneous. I think its the OCD tendencies in me:)

  641. Chrislyn

    My summer sanity saving tip is weekend trips to the farmers market. Healthy fresh eating for my family. And since I am a mom of two under two getting out if the house is a treat so signed my oldest up for gymnastics and my youngest up for swim class.

  642. Susie Daggett

    Pool day with peach ice tea

  643. Marcella

    Thanks for sharing fabulous Friday food ideas. Summer sanity. Kids get hungry and are always wanting something quick and easy to get back outside to play. Keep cut vegetables ready to grab and eat, as a quick snack in between meals or to go with a quick PBJ sandwich.

  644. Jana Jones

    My sanity tip is to love on your kids in the summer! Even when they are driving you crazy and fighting and and and… Etc!! I have a daycare in my home so I have 9 extra kids plus my 3! We do science experiments (naked egg was super fun!). Play games! Lots of outside time and make yummy snacks!!! All TOGETHER!!!! They grow way to fast! Don’t count down the days til school starts again!!! Go with the flow and enjoy them!!!

  645. siu

    My summer tip is to grow lots of herbs and if not used, cut, wash and put them in a freezer bag. I have enough for the whole winter and don’t have to buy!

  646. Cari

    Our survival tool for summertime is to maintain somewhat of a schedule. I have two boys who will both be teenagers by this summer. We all make a combined list of summertime fun things we want to do, projects to complete around the house, and things the boys want to achieve during their time out of school. It keeps us from looking back on June and July and wondering where the time went!

  647. Eva Troha

    I love to raidthe $1 aisle at target and then get other things as well. I also get a few educational workbooks and have the kids do 30 min/week just so they don’t forget EVERYTHING they’ve learned. I also get the calendar out to plan activities. I make sure to include the things my children want to do instead of just what I want them to do 😉 I can’t wait for summer to get here.

  648. Beth

    If outdoor grilling is not an option due to weather, I love using the crockpot! It doesn’t heat up the kitchen and there’s no slaving over a hot stove.

  649. Suzie H

    Spend lots of time outdoors and plan for the times that just can’t happen. (Nothing big, just have supplies around for those times.) My kids love to play outside, so we’ll be out in the yard or at the park. I’ve also found a lot of fun, inexpensive ideas on Pinterest for those times when you just can’t get out.

  650. Beth

    We always go to the public library. It’s free and my kids get to pick out whatever books they want. They love it & love using their own card to check out! 🙂

  651. Nicole

    Your recipes look delish, thanks for sharing!!! To keep summer sanity we just keep things deliciously simple…bbq’s, homemade Popsicles and sweet tea! Mmm goodness that keep us spending time in the sunshine! 🙂

  652. Brandi King

    Sanity saving is my middle name, if it’s not fast it’s not on my book. So we love chicken salad (my kids call it the fancy kind) with grapes and celery and low fat mayo. This is wonderful on crackers or low cal bread, or a bed of lettuce. Wonderful!

  653. Terri

    My summer sanity saver had to change last summer since I had started a part time job last year. I have a dry-erase board on the kitchen counter. Before leaving for work each day, I write down what chores the kids (4th, 8th, 10th grade) need to do. They are supposed to have them done by the time I get home from work at noon. Then we have the rest of the day to play, relax, go places, etc. Blessings!

  654. Heather MacGeorge

    Plan nothing ! Savor the beautiful days & spend as much time outdoors

  655. Mary Anne

    On a hot day, wet down a wash cloth or small towel. Put it in a plastic baggie, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and place around the back of your neck for a quick cool down or to keep your self cooler when your outside.

  656. Renee

    My Summer Sanity Saving Tips are: Make your own popsicles, grow your own veggies and herbs, grill, use paper plates, swim in books or rivers. One of our favorite past times in the summer is sitting around a camp fire sharing stories, laughing, singing praises and eating s’mores. You can save on the wood you burn if you collect sticks and smaller trees that have fallen down over the winter. 🙂
    Note: I tried to leave a comment earlier and it didn’t go through so I apologize if this is a duplicate. Thanks!

  657. Angela

    My summer sanity rule is that everyone’s electronics (tv, computer, games) and cell phones are still on “school” time. So that means they all still get turned off at the appointed time regardless of if it is a school night or not. Mom and dad still have work schedules and still have to go to bed at a reasonable time even if the teens get to sleep in a little more than during the school year so we still have to maintain a little sanity in the night time/bed time routine.

    • Jill F

      Love your tips regarding electronics. Will definitely implement;-)

  658. Michelle C

    My summer sanity saver is to take time to enjoy all the little moments and sit outside with a glass of iced tea and the fresh summer breeze! There is something so relaxing about fresh air.

  659. Michelle Tauber

    Ahhhh…summertime! Please come soon… At our house we enjoy more relaxed, less planned days. We take advantage of free it low cost community activities. One thing that has helped us keep costs down in the summertime is to shop local farmers markets and keep lots of fresh fruit and veggie snacks in the house. We also try to grow some of our own herbs.

  660. karen cole

    Just spending time with your family is summer sanity

  661. Jaime

    For a quick energy boost, post workout snack, or breakfast I mix a jar of natural peanut butter, 3/4 small jar of honey (microwave to melt), then stir in oatmeal until desired consistency and spread in a sheet pan. The sheet pan is placed in the refrigerator for an hour and then cut into bars. Yummy and quick!

  662. Julie

    Summer sanity = extended family gathered around a large tub to plunge feet into ice-cold water while kids run through the sprinklers.

  663. Leana

    I have been wanting to try the pizza recipe for a while, now I really have to!!! Summer ideas 😉 : plan in advance! Plan one fun/learning activity a day, and don’t be a parent on the side-line during the activity; participate!!!! Don’t be afraid to be a goofball ;). You WILL make memories for a life-time!!!!!

  664. Amy J. Bennett

    Well, I don’t know how helpful this is but our pool completely saves my sanity every summer!

  665. Leslie Skeens

    Having three little boys, we go to the library ALOT! We also keep up the same rules that apply during the school year. I.E make beds, decent bedtime, cleaning up after meals, etc…this way mommy doesn’t become a maid while their little sunscreened, Popsicle sticky bodies run outside scot free!

  666. Annie Kimble

    My summer sanity tip is to be flexible. Enjoying the weather, whether its a beautiful day at the park or rainy day movies. It helps me to enjoy the little moments and not get caught up in “expectations”.

  667. Ruth

    We have 8 children. That’s a whole lotta “I’m bored” whining coming at me. So to help save my sanity we made an activity book. I got a red binder and we filled it with all kinds of creative ideas. We took time to sit and look through magazines, and my kids would cut out the things that looked fun or interesting to them. We put them in categories, such as “outside games”, “rainy days”, activities needing “mom’s help”, activities to do “by myself”. The kids also remembered their favorite games or simple activities, such as making a fort or drawing pictures, and they wrote directions and illustrated their ideas on paper. Voila! a bountiful supply of special activities, custom made for my kids! Whenever someone would come across another great idea, it was added to the book. Then, when that dreaded statement “I’m bored!” resounded, I simply reminded them of the ‘red book’ and they were off to entertain themselves!
    Now let me assure you, this ‘red book’ started out nice, neat, and pretty – but through time it became messy, unorganized, and dirty. But it was well-loved and well-used. And it helped get us through many endless summer days – with my sanity somewhat intact.

  668. Emily

    I love your blog and enjoy the uplifting, fun nature of your posts.
    For an even easier ice cream treat this summer, take two frozen bananas and blend them in the food processor for 5 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally. You don’t need to add a thing! Your little heart will dance with glee as you enjoy this yummy, creamy treat (provided you like bananas :). Just try to save some for your family!! (Make sure to blend it long enough that it is the consistency of whipped cream–that is when you know it’s ready!) This will surely save you some sanity this summer!

  669. Mandy W

    My summer sanity saver is to always have fresh fruit and veggies prepared and ready to grab and eat. I also like to have our back yard kid friendly and inviting…we just got a new swing-set to go with the baby pool, bikes, chalk, sprinkler, etc.

  670. Pammi Lopez

    Hey! Love those recipes! Here is my summer favorite drink!

    Lime Aid.

    -dozen large soft limes
    -2liters of mineral water
    -mint stevia ( liquid). To taste

    Squeeze lime juice. Put it in a pitcher. Pour mineral water into pitcher. Add stevia to taste. Enjoy and cool off fast! 🙂

  671. Christina

    Man it would be great fun to receive the gift card as our kids have special needs and I use it to get a nook for them.The pizza recipe looks very good.

  672. Rachael

    We only have bedtimes on Sat and even then it’s midnight- to ensure wake up for church Sunday morning.

  673. Joe K

    Get up before the kids. It’s tempting to sleep in when they are, but having even a few minutes of quiet to shower & talk to God really set my day in the right direction.

  674. Donna

    In the spring fix up your covered patio Paint furniture add a big vase of flowers for your table & buy ferns & plants to put out their when inclement weather is over Even put an airy throw over a chair, cute signs with sayings, hang an outdoor flag for spring & summer Fix a basket spray painted with a handle & put your Bible, journal, pen, Kleenex, index cards, & notes cards & stamps insider I call this basket my quiet time basket Keep it by the back door so if it rains it won’t get destroyed! Then when spring & summer come you are ready to grab your basket tea & be outside with The Lord!!! This space you fixed up is beautiful, peaceful & yours until company comes & then it is their escape too!! Luv the recipes Lisa!!! Blessings!

  675. Laurel

    My summer sanity saving tip: AIR CONDITIONING! Kidding. But I couldn’t live here in Georgia with out. My real tip is the crockpot. Things get so busy, I can throw a meal in the crockpot and let it do the work and I don’t heat the house up with the oven. IT’s also good because I can eat real food instead of fast food when I’m in a hurry.

  676. Candice

    As mom of a tribe of 15, my summer saving sanity is church camp. We go as a family and serve together. Serving someone else takes are minds off each other and focus on what is really important sharing the love of Christ.

  677. Wendy

    Let your kids/teenagers go to camp! I had so many “God moments” growing up, going to summer camp every year. It’s a chance for your kids/teenagers to get away from distractions and truly focus on God…while having loads of fun!!! Plus, no kids for a week! 😉

  678. Shelly perkins

    The pizza look yummy and summer is coming. We have a graduation and then moving.

  679. Melissa

    The best thing that keeps me sane are task or to-do lists! I usually tailor or create them to meet the specific needs of my summer project. This helps me chunk down a bigger task so I feel productive and not overwhelmed!

  680. VickieMcKinney

    My tip would be to use the crockpot to avoid heating up the kitchen on hot days. We don’t have air conditioning so it helps to not have to heat the oven.

  681. Tammy

    When the tension get too thick I hop in my kayak and go paddling for a while. Great exercise and relaxing too!
    Sunset is my favorite time. The water is usually calm and I can just float around enjoying God’s beauty in the sunset sky.

  682. Stephanie

    Planning is key but you cannot just make a plan, you have to follow through.
    Vacation is our favorite family time of the summer.
    This summer since my kids are older I plan to take each one out to lunch for a date since we do not have a lot of time for that.
    We also like to pick some good read aloud books (the Amazon card would really help with this!), learn a skill (like cooking or laundry) but we also really enjoy having a different pace schedule, summer is plenty busy but we enjoy down time as a family.

  683. Joyce Garner

    Summer sanity: we have lots of things set up outside so we don’t have to spend a lot of money on going places.

  684. Sarah

    Relax! Enjoy the lake! Simple meals! Reduce commitments and spend
    more time reading…….:-)

  685. Debbie Carpenter

    I enjoy the beautiful summer days and we either eat light or I use my slow cooker as much as possible. Spending time with my family and making memories is more important than a spotless house and family meals.

  686. Melanie Fredrickson

    Get outside as much as possible! Park or the pool and let the kiddos wear themselves out! 🙂

  687. Laura

    We cook and eat on the patio as often as we can during warmer weather. Less heat in the kitchen, less mess to clean up, lots of fresh air.

  688. Amy

    This summer to keep my sanity I am dedicating time first thing in the morning for a bible study with the kids. Whether we take it out side or have to stay in the house. I realize my role as a parent and how important it is to educate my children on the bible and the love of Jesus. Sure we will spend a lot of time in the sun and water but to keep true sanity all summer long we will be putting Jesus first 🙂 here’s to the best summer ever!

  689. Julie

    My tip would be to buy a case of water and keep it in your vehicle at all times. I know it seems like the water would get too hot to drink but we have been doing this for years and though it’s lukewarm, it’s totally drinkable! This has saved us so much money (and dehydration!)

  690. Sandi H.

    Grill!! We grill next to everything. Saves from heating up the house and less cleanup!z

  691. Jeanette

    Summer is the time for me to get some things done around the house that I don’t normally get to during the rest of the year. Cleaning out a closet or a drawer that has needed it, for example. I know it sounds crazy, but when I get some of the “little things” done, it energizes me and lifts my spirits, I feel like I have accomplished something! Then I feel ready to start the fall season and ready to tackle the bigger things, like the holidays.

  692. jamie

    Scheduling in a jog for mom us key and picnics are a must. I wear them out by quiet time so i can get a little time in for all your great books, that always get put on the back burner during the school year since I’m the teacher. I know a little more me and God time … helps me recharge for the next school year:)

  693. Christa Butcher

    I’m usually a night owl so during the summer my days get longer. I write at night and I usually try and put everything away at a reasonable hour but that doesn’t always work out. What I’ve found that works is throwing everything to the side after 9pm on weekends. I try to stock up and peruse all the things I have wanted to do during the week…like shopping for snacks and putting them away in single serve portions for the rest of the week. I clean the house and give it a thorough going over for the coming week and stock the pantry. I start my devotions for the week planning them out and making a list of the books I’d like to read one day…you wouldnt believe how long that list is lol. I’m a saver so the last time I bought anything that wasnt a requirement was before christmas which is really sad lol. However, my father tells me its because I’m alot like him. I say use what you buy, dont buy what you cant use and put the rest in the bank.

  694. Tammie

    To STAY at the Beach as much as possible!!!

  695. Lori Stockton

    I am the director of a preschool as well as pastors wife. I try to get a few moments on my screened back porch with a cool drink, a good read, and some alone time! doesn’t always happen but i need it!

  696. Michelle

    I love trips to the farm stand nearby to pickup yummy produce and trips to the library to get a good book. This summer my boys are working together to build a treehouse in our backyard. They have saved their money and put it together to puchase the lumber. It is so wonderful to see the teamwork and excitement as they plan together.

  697. Katie Ericson

    Pick and choose based on your priorities and well being of your family. It’s ok to say No and take time to enjoy the family instead of pulling your hair out with activities!

  698. Kathleen

    Spending daily time with the Lord is my every-season-sanity-saver!

  699. Paula

    Love the recipes! We look forward to a ‘break’ in the summer, but summer can be crazy busy with all the fun things we want to do. I like to keep things on hand that I can quickly throw on the bbq grill, with a little extra on hand so that it’s not a problem to invite friends at the last minute! Gardening can also be a great way to have plenty of veggies on hand. No space for a garden? Use large pots for those favorite few veggies. And then eat outside…I keep a picnic blanket (and suncreen) in the car for those spur of the moment picnic lunches.

  700. Jen G

    Thanks for the recipes..I have a very picky son who will not eat veggies (but loves pizza) so I will be trying the cauliflower crust pizza soon! My summer sanity tip is a simple one: making sure there are plenty of healthy snacks, board games, crafts etc for my kids. When they are happy and not complaining of boredom, this momma is happy 🙂

  701. Kandra

    My summer sanity saver is just to plan lots of easy but fun activities for them, like a day at the pool. This keeps them busy and they’re all ready for bed… early!

  702. Maryellen

    Grilling almost everything and having fun outdoor activities pre-planned for the kids! In a few weeks we will be adding a new baby boy to the family, just in time for summer. I’m tempted to be an overplanner, but will have more of a go-with-the-flow ‘plan’ this year to keep things more mellow and my sanity in check 🙂

  703. Kelly Jordan

    One things I learned last summer (which is when I found you, Lysa, because I was going insane trying to keep up with life) was that it’s okay to hire a babysitter every once in a while for some me time. I tried having the babysitter come watch the kids for a couple of hours in the middle of the day last summer, and I went to the pool all by myself! I love to go to the pool with the kids, but let’s face it, you have to be so vigilant that it’s really exhausting. So, I gave myself a trip to the pool when I could really relax, and it was glorious!

  704. Rebekah

    We’re in Texas, where summers are HOT! My sanity saving tip is to visit the pool as much as possible! We pack lunches and lots of sunscreen and our little ones get so worn out that they happily go to bed each night.

  705. Dionne Garceau

    We have a lot of lakes and rivers where we live. My daughter and I spend a lot of time going to these. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, and it is inexpensive.

  706. Stephanie Gonzalez

    I really just enjoy the time with all my kids, not really as far as vacations and such for summer but spending nice quality time as a family & being creative with what you have! Recycling is great for crafting and activities for them using cardboard boxes, milk jugs, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, etc. kids really just love the little things & quality time esp at the park 🙂 plenty of pictures for memories!! Leave all the extra stressful tasks for when they are down for nap or down for bedtime but its best to make it early & you are being productive for yourself & keeping them on track for new school year again.

  707. Janette Lange

    For several years now, my kids and I have made the month of June “Celebrate Daddy Month.” (His birthday, Father’s Day, and our anniversary all fall in June.) We make cards for him, slip him little treats, leave notes around for him, etc all month. It is a fun way to let them be “sneaky” and creative. We’ve even been known to paint rocks with letters and arrange into messages for him on the sidewalk. 🙂

  708. McKala McWilliams-Nehring

    Stay connected with other moms. Summer is the time when bible studies and mom’s groups typically take a break, so finding other ways to still connect over the busy summer months is especially difficult. We still need that fellowship in the summer!

  709. Tina Stein

    My summer sanity saving tip … play dates. I get some of my lady friends together and let the kids play. We change locations. We have play dates at my house, the splash pad, a park, the movies, or even restaurant with a play center. This keeps the kids busy and us ladies connected.

  710. Elizabeth

    Sometimes I splurge on paper plates and cups and let them have all their meals outside, and I get the added bonus of very little dishes for the day.

  711. Tracia Clark

    We live in WA state so my tip is to be outside as much as possible! Read outside, eat outside, cook outside, sleep outside (naps) and let the inside chores go until after little ones are asleep.

  712. Denny

    My sanity saver is to just plan a few things…the school year is so busy with schedules and activities, summer is our time to relax and not have a hefty schedule to follow. It really helps that my husband is a school teacher and is able to be home during the summer to help with kids! 🙂 (I mean REALLY, REALLY helps!!!!!!) We’ll plan 1 “major” activity per week, but that can be a simple outing to a different near-by city’s park or pool or out to eat at a special restaurant.

  713. Chris

    My summer sanity saver is simply keeping up with the electric bill. Gotta make sure the A.C. is going!

  714. Christine

    Our sanity saver is waking up earlier than the children, spending time in God’s Word, praying with my husband, and then talking with my husband. The children know that they are able to sit in their beds and read or play quietly, but they do not leave their room until the radio begins to play. 🙂 Priceless and necessary to keep us on track, during the summer and beyond. I’m also looking forward to preparing a means for our children to play with their cars in the dirt (we don’t have a yard); this will entertain them for hours and encourage us to be outside, interacting with our neighbors.

  715. Stephanie

    I always have fixins on hand for a cookout at the fire pit. The kids all love it and we spend time playing charades by the fire.

    • Kim Cook

      I love sitting by the fire pit, but never thought of playing charades. That sounds like fun. We like to make hobo pies by the fire pit and share them with friends.

  716. Kim Cook

    I am not a spontaneous person, I plan everything. However, I like to take the summer a little more relaxed and do things spur of the moment. Like take a picnic at the park or beach when my husband gets home from work. Take the dogs for a walk on at the park or beach. Go for a ride to find a great place to take photos of the sunset. Since it is still light outside when he gets home and we are recent empty nesters, this is an activity I enjoy.

  717. Roxana Lopez

    My sanity saving trip is a membership to the Zoo, taking the kids to the park to feed the ducks all while taking a cooler filled with goodies my husband makes (trying to keep it organic/healthy). I have 2 boys and 1 girl, all under 7yrs old. Dressing the kids in their favorite summer gear (we take LOTS) of photos, we try to take goofy ones, serious ones… just fun pictures. We will try to hit up as many “free” activities being offered. Playdate at the park, swimming at grandparents, stopping at a field and picking wildflowers.Even just taking a drive around downtown for them to see the “old” buildings gives my husband and I a moment to relax and talk, while kids are in the back with an ice cream cone!

  718. Kelly Duck

    This will be my first summer home with my children and not working full time. So I have no great ideas, I am getting them here 🙂
    Thank goodness my children LOVE to be outside!!

  719. Kristi

    My sanity goal this summer is to take one day at a time and enjoy it. I usually try to sock too much into the summer, always looking to the future. All I get is tired and grumpy kids and a frustrated mommy. I’m going to wake up to enjoy each day that God gives us this summer and enjoy my children before they are grown.

  720. dena camensky

    I let each child pick their favorite meal for dinner one night a week and have them help prepare it. We also do dinner from the garden one night a week. Picking only garden veggies and making a meal out of it.

  721. Liane Bastion

    I nanny during the summer so I always have multiple bags for various activities. I get all my bags (lunch bag, backpack, library bag) from the day cleaned out as soon as I get home and restocked with everything I need for the next day. Then it’s ready to grab and go the next day!

  722. Darcey

    Be flexible with my menu. On cool days be ready to make something in the oven on hot days cook up leftovers on the stove. Also have lots of hot dogs and tuna on hand for those really hot days.

  723. Mary Mauk

    Summer is such a hectic time. The days are longer and it only seems natural to try to “stuff” even more into every waking moment. So, I am determined to live out
    1 Peter 5:7-9, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith…” (NLT)

    I love how the Amplified Bible translates the beginning of verse 8: “Be well balanced.” A practical way to apply this is to choose to nurture myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically each day. If you ask my family they’ll tell you, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” So being well balanced is a real sanity saver at our house!

    On Thursday evenings during the summer you’ll find the Porch Pals gals gathered on my front porch. In years past we’ve used books by Kelly Minter and Angie Smith as a springboard for Bible study, and this year we’re looking forward to diving into the pages of Unglued. There’s nothing like sharing God’s Word, a glass of sweet tea, and a whole lot of laughter and tears to nurture our spirits and grow closer together! Lysa, thanks so much for inspiring women to be the best version of who God created them to be!

  724. Crystal Baker

    I have three boys ages 3,2, and 5 mo an the best thing I’ve found as a sanity saver is making time to be in the presence of God. I know it sounds like a “no duh”, but it isn’t always easy. However it IS nescessary!!!! When I have alone time with God I’m a better mom and have more peace!

    A fun sanity saver for kids is making messes outside!!! They can eat spaghetti with their hands or roll around in paint or so whatever then just wash me off by playing in the sprinkler! 🙂 Sanity saver AND good memories!

  725. Heather Profit

    Summer sanity tip: always keep a beach bag packed with towels, juice boxes & snacks. That way when you want to get there quickly (with 3 kids in tow) you can just head for the door.

  726. Angella Bledsoe

    We do as many outdoor activities as we can. Go to the zoo for a day, or run in the sprinkles. Nothing takes the anger level down then watching your kids run through a sprinkler. Or my fave, water balloons.

  727. Tori

    My summer sanity tip is to get outside! Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation…go on a walk with a friend…take your kids to a park…ride bikes with your hubby…etc.

  728. Dianne Bruton

    I hope to be able to help out with our 9 grandchildren this summer, even if it’s for afternoons at the pool or at my house, a few at a time so I can enjoy each one and have energy for it! We’re planning a week at the beach as a family, and I’m planning to try to give the parents a little bit of a reprieve with their children while we’re there. The key is to spend quiet time in prayer and Bible study before doing anything else, though!

  729. Jill F

    Our goal is to explore something new around our area on a weekly basis. Kind of like a staycation. We have a list of things we’d like to do.

  730. Karen Pattison

    Crockpot / Grill cooking
    A schedule of some sort(flexible of course)
    At least one camp to break up the summer “boredom”
    One day only set aside for laundry 🙂
    As much time spent on the lake as possible
    and lots and lots of hugs!

  731. Sheila Modine

    One of my favorite things about summer is lots of salads & BBQ, but I love to mix things up a bit & have ice cream nachos for dinner a few times. My kids love it & it helps to bring the fun if summer to dinner!

  732. Becky B

    My tip is to let the kiddos sleep in and not over-plan their schedule. I still keep them involved in some activities, but we try to take it easy so we can go on day adventures to the beach, etc. This keeps us all more relaxed during the summer and I can get work done in the morning while they sleep. 🙂

  733. Amy

    My kids have one day a week where they are home all day with a sitter. Throughout the year I keep a board on Pinterest of easy things to do and make. Every weekend the kids and I look at the board and they pick an activity, things like making goo or a new brownie recipe. I make sure we have the supplies, print the instructions and leave all for the sitter.

  734. Teresa Zellner

    Thanks for the recipes. The ice cream sounds interesting. I may have to try it.
    I’d love to be blessed in winnjng the Amazon gift card.
    Thank you, Lisa, for all you do.

  735. Kerri

    Summer sanity… I try to plan with the kids a list of what they want to do this summer… Free… Under $10… Etc! I am a teacher so we do summer bridge books to keep their skills polished…it has fun science experiments we can do! We do keep a little routine in place…of course it includes the pool! 😉

  736. Sarah C

    With two wild and crazy boys, one pre-K and one in elementary, I absolutely must keep them busy. I usually plan for my oldest to attend a local VBS and a extra curricular type camp at least once in the summer. But my next sanity saver would be this: chill out and rest! Even if you have to schedule it in like I do, create some margin in your summer months. Give your family a chance to relax and make some good old fashioned memories together, whether its cooking, crafting or camping! Life goes by too fast; don’t miss the small moments!!!

  737. Deanna B

    I usually look out for good deals to help fill our summer days. We buy 1 or 2 memberships to Six Flags, the zoo, a museum, etc. Memberships provide great savings; and we can visit that place as often as we want to all year. I also try to keep an eye out for any good family activities on Groupon, Living Social, and the other daily deal websites. You can usually find some good saving on many family friendly places. Summer is also a good time for playdates with friends and some relaxing days at home or at the pool. And, as a teacher, I always try to include activities to keep my kids’ minds sharp! Don’t forget to have some DEAR time each day – Drop Everything And Read!!!

  738. Ali Kintz

    Join a produce coop and get lots of great fruits and veggies to enjoy, and you often get as much as two bushel baskets full for around $15.

    I also like to keep a summer goodie bag in the car and stroller, that way no matter what is going on we can always take a little break and blow bubbles or play in the sandbox at the local park.

    Finally I stock up on spray sunscreen when on sale and coupons are out. I stash it everywhere, purse, car, stroller, hobby’s car, etc. This way our fun is never derailed by not having enough sunscreen when we want to keep having spontaneous fun.

  739. Holly

    With 6 kids I need lots of sanity savers! I make sure we always have a good supply of outdoor toys, especially water toys. It keeps them entertained for hours! We also like to have outdoor movie nights. Kids really look forward to them.

  740. Pat Stevens

    Pizza and chocolate: My two favorite weaknesses!!! Can’t wait to try both recipes! My summer sanity is God, mocha, journal, family, and friends.

  741. Vickie

    Hiking, relaxing and forces me to be quiet and spend time with God.

  742. Rhonda

    My kids love anything to do with getting wet… So when we stay home and they’re itching for playtime. We turn the sprinkler on the trampoline.

  743. Melissa

    Stay by the pool as long as possible and stay out of the kitchen as much as possible 🙂 we do a lot of salads and fruit and everything goes on the grill even homemade pizzas!!

  744. Tracy Hutton

    I’m a teacher so I need a schedule tip make sure the summer doesn’t slip away too fast. The most important thing is to include special fun time with my kids because they grow up too fast!

  745. Mackenzie Diouf

    I make sure we have a ”hole-free” kiddie pool and food we can pack to have a picnic at a park or even just after swimming in the backyard. We also set up the tent in the backyard when the weather is nice and have a ”camp-out”. These save money (and time if u don’t want to pack up and go somewhere camping) and keep summer fun for the kids.

  746. Kristy

    My summer sanity saver tip is spending plenty of time at the pool (with sunscreen of course)! I also like to enjoy lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Grilling out is a fun summer time activity too.

  747. Angie Briggs Johnson

    Week Day Campfires!!! The ease and joy of camping right in the backyard. It puts everyone in a good mood and it’s virtually self service. Aluminum foil packets stuffed with your choice of veggies and diced chicken, pork or beef, seasoned as you wish! Then a family game of ladder ball or bean bag toss. Getting outside brings us all closer to our Creator!

  748. Sheryl Taylor

    Frozen grapes are a good way to cool down in the summer. You can even add some grape jello mix to a bag of washed grapes and freeze them, they are yummy!!

  749. D

    Frozen blueberries are one of my kiddos favorite treats during the summer and really all year long. They also make the best green smoothies when you add blueberries with frozen spinach, frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple and some orange juice. I can get my kids to each a lot of spinach if I make into a smoothie.

  750. Lorraine

    Summer sanity: just be thankful. Enjoy it. Be mindful, always try to be aware of the many blessings He provides: iced tea, more time with the kids, outdoor church services in the breeze, sunshine, thunderstorms… How can one not be thankful? 🙂

  751. Carrie Newell

    We spend the hot summer days at our community pool- my kids get to swim and wear off some energy while I can catch up with and pray with my sweet friends! Win-win:). Then home for a simple dinner in the a/c:)

  752. Caroline D.

    finding one day a week to get up before anyone else and enjoy the quiet with open windows, ceiling fans and a cup of peppermint tea. it’s amazing what our hearts and minds can hear in those few moments of peace.

  753. Alicia Womick

    Just a good book, a hammock and a glass of tea!

  754. Debra

    Grilling, pool, library days, frozen fruit to make smoothies, salads, family, friends… ah, summer is almost here! So thankful God gives us different seasons.

  755. Gina

    My kids love going to VBS at our church, and I get a little extra time to tackle small home projects. We also like to hang out in the backyard, so I have different buckets of stuff to play with- bubbles, chalk, balls, water toys, etc. And plenty of freeze pops ready for friends!

  756. Janna D

    My plan to save my sanity this summer is to KEEP THE KIDS BUSY!!! Being that we live in south Texas and the temperature will be in 100s, we will be spending a lot of time poolside or at the beach!

  757. Kimberli Fancher

    My summer sanity saving tip is to keep a supply of washcloths which have been dampened with water and placed in a ziplock bag in the freezer for those hot summer days when you need to cool off quick. Remove and place on forehead, neck or face for a quick refresher from the hot summer sun.

  758. Madelyn

    My sanity saver tip is that the kids “to do” list must be done before they get their electronics. Hopefully this will motivate them to get moving in the morning so we can play during the day and I don’t sound like a broken record.

  759. Brenda

    Easy summer meals, a quiet rest time with a book recharges everyone, a slow relaxing pace all keep summer in balance for our family.

  760. Abigail (Mamatouille)

    Lots of salads with some sort of cold protein on top like cooked salmon! And we have green smoothies every day, not just in summer, to boost our greens intake. The kids love ’em, too. When we used to eat gluten, I made a cold chopped baguette and tomato salad that was wonderful for the muggy summers in Japan, but maybe I could try to do that with some gluten-free bread instead. Or tomatoes and quinoa would be superb, with some torn basil and EVOO and lemon juice. Yum.

    • Abigail (Mamatouille)

      And don’t forget to turn on the sprinkler for the kids (and parents, too!).

  761. Cindy Watters

    My summer sanity saver is to use my crock pot. It is so great to start dinner early in the day, leaving time to enjoy the pool or other activities with your family, and return to dinner being ready.

  762. Janelle Flint

    One of my ways to stay sane in the summer is to keep meal planning simple. Make a nightly theme and then it’s not so hard. Monday is “Mexican” (so each Monday/month is themed but not always the same). Tuesday is “Time Saving Tuesday” so it might just be soup/sandwiches etc., Wednesday is…you see what I mean. You can fill in the blank/come up with your own themes. That way the kids/family know what is coming (within reason) and it makes meal planning/prep and shopping easier. Friday is always fun food night. I let a kid/week choose their favorite food. We rent Redbox movies and have fun foods. It’s a blast.

  763. Regina

    Getting overheated can make one miserable. Keep a damp microfiber cloth handy to wrap around your neck to cool you down.

  764. Makai

    Thanks for these recipes. I enjoy recipes where the food is both healthy and yummy! (to balance off my sweet tooth!) Thanks for posting these and can’t wait to try them out! I’d love to hear how your running is going. I used to run alot pre-children, and now, I’m out of shape, and I recall from your “More than a Bible Study Girl” how you talked about just running to a mailbox on your street-that was really inspirational! I know to start somewhere.

  765. Lisa

    Having alot of salads and easy meals.

  766. Shanna

    I love to put little” drops” of yogurt on wax paper and stick it in the freezer! Perfect healthy little snack for my toddlers!

  767. Amber Dalen

    Just add water! 🙂 Pool, water play, or a hose! Entertains the kids for hours!

  768. Amy

    Season passes to our local amusement park. We love being able to go as a family whenever we want and not have to worry about the crowds.

  769. Jackie Johnson

    Love these recipes I have one where you make chocolate (gluten free sugar free and dairy free) mouse the secret ingredient is DATES -and not the kind you drag your husband out on! It was delicious: I am learning not to judge (not only people but healthy foods) the Lord is at work! My idea is going out with your family on a photo scavenger hunt. You can take pictures around town with different people taking turns and heading to spots that are special to your family. You can have a list of spots to complete. Then go back to the living room for a viewing of the best ones. Totally free and is great conversation. You never know who will be deemed the best photographer in the family for the day. Love all the ideas thanks Lysa! Blessings In Christs Wonderful Name -Jackie

  770. Becky

    I love cauliflower and can’t wait to try the pizza recipe! Time outside is what is a sanity saver at our house! With 4 boys in our house, I enjoy that they would rather be outside every moment of the day than inside. Truth is, I would rather be playing in sand, or building forts over doing laundry ANY DAY! 🙂

  771. Shannon

    Since fresh veggies and fruit are always available during summer it’s easy to prepare a lot of meals ahead that are healthier, like veggie lasagna (replace noodles with squash and zucchini slices) and my favorite… Fresh fruit smoothies!

  772. Maryann Koestel

    My Summer Sanity Saver……is maybe different than most. For me, I throw the planning and the schedule out the window. c: And save my sanity by enjoying the day with the family! Read books outside on a blanket in the back yard, with snacks and drinks to enjoy. An afternoon of simplicity, family and love. c: Now I’m ready for summer just thinking about it!! Thank you for your books and encourage words!! <3

  773. Karen

    I don’t really have a special tip to share except that in the summer time, our schedule is much more laid back. Thanks for offering such a generous gift! We love books and I could buy LOTS of books with the Amazon gift card! 🙂

  774. Jessica

    My summer sanity savers are simply to let go of all of the strict school year schedules, let loose and have pleanty of fun making memories as a family. Lots of camping, trips to the river, hiking, reading, water balloon fights, games, movie nights, slumber parties, vbs, famliy bbqs, trips to the park, etc.Good old fashioned fun and quality time as a family is what it’s all about!

  775. Joy

    2 words Road Trips!

  776. Rhonda

    Kids play outside with the neighborhood kids and my husband cooks dinner on the grill!

  777. Sylvia Hansen

    Hi Lysa,
    I had seen the recipe for the crust last fall, and was afraid to try it. Just maybe this will push me into it. Thank you for all you do and look forward to seeing you in the fall at WOF in Portland. Can’t wait.
    May God be ever closer to you today.

  778. Cary D

    I try to prepare in advance light dinners that I can put together easily and makes everyone happy. A big pasta salad with vegetables and chicken will make everybody happy and last at least two meals.

  779. The Bargain Shopper Lady

    I can not wait until this summer! Our YMCA has a waterpark that my kids LOVE! We go almost every day all summer. I pack snacks and we have a blast! We need to get together Lysa since we are so close to Charlotte now!
    ~The Bargain Shopper Lady

  780. Trish Harkness

    Have you tried spaghetti squash? My husband and I love it.

    My Summer Sanity Tip is getting a season pass to the local pool – all the fun but no maintenance.

  781. Erin Thompson

    With children… get in the kitchen together – with easy recipes; small “at-home” science experiments are always fun; simply riding bikes or taking a walk around the block may sound boring… for my 8-year old… this allows for us to have some nice conversation time :)..; a day at the library – plus they normally have a list of this activities that can be something different…. also, my son and I are planning to go paint pottery soon…. again, something different and not too expensive!!!!!!…. when all else fails,…. find a movie the whole family likes!!

  782. Julie

    I’m a big wimp and when the temp gets too high or the humidity is too great, you can find me inside enjoying the a/c BUT until then – early morning devotions and coffee on the deck with my hubby, grilling or cold suppers, long walks as the sun goes down – all help my sanity. Saving time and money. . . . I need to work on that!

  783. Tracey

    Outdoor grilling and no cook main dishes – fast and simple so clean up is faster.

  784. Jen Larson

    ~ Outside in the morning, using up energy
    ~ Close up the house (drapes, windows, etc) and do quiet things like reading, watching a movie, drink lemonade
    ~ LIbrary, mall, Target, Wal-Mart on very hot days to cool off!
    ~ Special toys/games/movies that are brought out only occasionally.

  785. Sue

    WOW! Those recipes look interesting! I love the avocado one – we live in SE Asia & drink avocado shakes with a squirt of chocolate syrup so I would bet the ice cream is great too!!

  786. Kelly Mayer

    We love salmon and cheese biscuits! I put butter and spices on a salmon steak and microwave for 5-8 minutes. Voila! It’s fast, easy, and VERY good for you. 🙂 The fun sides aren’t as good for you but they are equally easy: white rice, and cheese biscuits to rival Red Lobster’s: 2 cups Bisquick, 2/3 cup milk, big handful of cheese, sprinkle of garlic powder. Mix and drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and brush with butter then sprinkle with garlic salt. Dinner takes 20 total minutes and it’s my family’s FAVORITE!! Happy summer eating. 🙂

  787. Kristin

    Make sure the frog toggs are nice and cold in the fridge for an easy grab out the door to the ballfields. Love being at the ballfields all summer with family and friends 🙂

  788. Tristan lorenzo

    Loved the puzza recipe as my hysband is from NY and loves pizza. My summer saving sanity tips would be do less of everything and more of free easy things. Eat out less, cook less but grill more. Use a/c less open windows more. Take advantage of free outdoor festivals and fun activities more. Keep things simple, quick, and easy more stress less!

  789. Amy

    Using the grill, stovetop, and crockpot rather than my oven, which makes my house hot, hot, hot!

  790. Amber V.

    The heat plus a hot oven going makes my kitchen into a sauna so BBQ or a crockpot are my sanity savers!

  791. Robyn Lloyd

    Summer can get very hectic, so my son and I make a habit of having breakfast out on our deck on Saturday mornings. It’s still cool enough in the morning before the sun hits that side of our house. We sit outside and enjoy God’s beauty and talk about all kinds of things. It’s a great way to spend quality down time during such a busy season.

  792. Sandie

    Simply summer…freezing favorite fruity drinks in ice cube tray for a quick summer drink with 7 up or sprite. Even lemon aide. To make lemons out of lemon aide always make that child smile and buy from their lemonade stand. Then you have built confidence in this child.

  793. Charolette Ragsdale

    My summer sanity tip would be to spend a fun and relaxing day with your best girlfriend. Take the whole day to relish in alot of fun leisure activities that you enjoy doing whether it be time seeing a movie, buying a new outfit, going to lunch at your favorite restaurant, seeing a local play at the theater, going to a ballgame, etc. The best part of the day is just spending some quality time with that sister in Christ who means alot to you. While you are away having fun, you have to remember to sit aside all your problems and not ponder over them. This day should be all about fun and nothing more.

  794. MsDeb

    Sanity? How about AIR CONDITIONING when it’s 90 degrees outside and no bodies of water in sight 😉

  795. Linda

    My summer sanity saving-tip would be to not over schedule yourself or your kids. This was always my time with my children when we didn’t have to ru