Special Edition: 5 Summer Plunges for YOU & your kids, friends, or family!

It is finally June! I looooooooooooove summer. Luh luh loooove it.

(pause here for ecstatic dancing and jumping about)

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I am riding my bike over 100 miles a week in preparation for our big ride this summer in Iowa (RAGBRAI – a 500 mile ride across the state in 7 days).

So, in honor of my VERY FAVORITE SEASON, I’m posting a SUMMER PLUNGE for you and your kids, your friends, and/or your family!

What is THE PLUNGE, you ask?

Well, it is (usually) a monthly challenge to get outside your box and make life an adventure! It is a way to continue to push yourself to be better – the best version you can be.

This month, Kylla Lanier from Truckers Against Trafficking gave our June Plunge Peeps a revolutionary challenge – to grasp justice and change our worlds by loving the unlovely and changing the scary.

Well, I was thinking about all the fun days I’ll have hanging out with my daughter this summer, and I thought to myself,


we need a sum-sum-summa

time PLUNGE!”

So, below I have give you FIVE fun summertime challenges to do with friends or family. Why not do something more than just BE NORMAL? 🙂 Make the most of this summer – make every day the BEST DAY EVER!

(because if today were my last day I would want it to be my BEST day!)

Oh – and make sure you post pics of your Plunges, and tag me in them. I would love to see your family and/or friends making this summer SPECTACULAR!


Do a (planned) Random Act of Kindness

This summer, more than just being together and tooling around the lake or hanging out at the pool, make a plan to do one random, fun, act of kindness. Need ideas?

  1. Pick somewhere you frequent often (the pool, the lake, the coffee shop) and take a big pack of water bottles or popsicles!! Something cold and refreshing! Hand them out for free! If you have extra time, make some cute labels and put them on or attach them to the bottles. Pinterest has lots of free printables you can use to create these!
  2. Have your kids set up a FREE Lemonade Stand! How cool is that?!?!? Your kids will learn the value of doing something that just GIVES to others instead of always receiving money and compensation.
  3. When you go grocery shopping, leave post-it notes of encouragement on certain products or in certain aisles. Or take the kids to the mall and leave post-it encouragements on bathroom stalls and just all over the place! They are fun to make and fun to leave hanging around!
  4. Make neighborhood gifts and deliver them TOGETHER! Last summer my family and I made salsa gift sets for our neighbors. It included our homemade salsa, a little dish and a hand towel. The tag said “WELCOME SUMMER!” Then my daughter Kayden and I delivered them around the neighborhood.


Play in the sprinkler TOGETHER

Now, some of you might already do this. But seriously. EVERYONE GET TOGETHER and play in the sprinkler. Play. Forget what you have to do in the house, don’t worry about getting wet. Roll around in the grass and enjoy the sunshine.


Buy or borrow a new game and play it!!

Our family is HUGE on games. We love love love them. Most people are only exposed to the normies (normal board and card games) like Monopoly, Life, Rook, etc.

But you are missing out on SO MUCH!!! Here are a few of my favorite games that you should try this summer:

catanSettlers of Catan

Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be Catan! But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan: the race to settle the island has begun!

We play this game as a family – it involves lots of placing settlements, buying roads, trading commodities for said settlements and roads. Our 10 year old daughter LOVES this game!



Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out.
Players must work together, playing to their characters’ strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. But the diseases are outbreaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.

This game is JUST FUN. But it’s cooperative, so it involves everyone WORKING TOGETHER to beat the game. Super fun.

takenokoTakenoko –

A long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden.

In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.

Another family game that is LOTS of fun. If you’re interested in more games, check out Board Game Geek or The Dice Tower.


Develop a new healthy habit

Before Brady and I went on our 40 day fast that changed our lives, helped us lose 70 pounds, and encouraged us to become avid bicyclists, we were always talking about when we would “start eating right” or “start exercising as a family.”

This summer is YOUR TIME. It is the perfect season to start something you’ve always wanted to start – especially because the weather is so beautiful! Start small, but try and do something every week.

And don’t do it alone.

Do it WITH your kids, WITH your spouse, WITH a friend. Make it a standing date! A walk, a bicycle ride, a swim. But make sure you have your heart rate up for 30 minutes or more.

If it’s eating, maybe focus on making your plate MOSTLY green (veggies) and decreasing the SUGAR in your diet. Need some tips? I wrote a blog post about practical ways to change your life with eating.

Maybe you just need to watch less television and get outside. So maybe once a week, you turn off the television and take a family walk. You’ll find that this will instill habits in your kids that they will never forget.

I KNOW that our new lifestyle is having DRAMATIC effects on our 10-year-old daughter.


Cross something off your bucket list

This summer, I’ll be working on my list of 40 things I’m going to do in the year I turn 40.

Many of you need to finally DO THAT THING you’ve always wanted to do. But again, don’t do it alone. Bring the kids, the spouse, the parents, the friends along and make a GIHUGIC (this would be giant and huge combined) memory!!

I feel like everyday is a new opportunity to live a crazy adventure. This is the way I want and try to live my life. This summer is NO EXCEPTION. So jump on in, folks! Take the PLUNGE and do it together! WOO HOO!

Want to learn more about Carrie? She would love to send her posts STRAIGHT to your e-mail inbox! So become her e-mail friend by clicking here!

Maybe you’d like to do some more fun stuff with your kids this summer? Try her post about Mom & Me Mystery Mondays.

So why is her blog called liveupsidedown? Well, click on it and you’ll see.