HUNTERSVILLE – With summer around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what to do these next few months. Huntersville resident Jaime Lane has some ideas.
Lane is a stay-at-home mother who has lived in the area for 10 years. She has three kids, 10-year-old Colby, 8-year-old Sydney and 3-year old Charlie. She also takes care of her niece, Jacklyn, and nephew, Mason.
Lane and her daughter, Sydney, have been looking for creative ways to have fun this summer. Together, they came up with their idea of a bucket list – a list of activities to complete before summer ends.
“I like to go out and do stuff,” Lane said. “I like entertaining my children with culture. I want other things to do instead of going to the pool.”
This is the first time Lane has started a bucket list. She is not a fan of sitting still and watching her children waste time on their phones and games.
The outgoing mother tries to plan three inexpensive or free adventures each week. To save money, she packs lunches whenever possible.
“Some of my adventures are surprises, I put my children in the car and I don’t tell them where we are going next,” Lane said. “They do not whine because they hope they are going somewhere fun.”
Earlier this month, Lane surprised her kids with a visit to Lake Norman State Park. They hung out at the water, skipped rocks and hiked 1.5 miles until they reached the family campground.
Sydney, Jacklyn and friends Madison and Ashton hosted a bake sale this month at their neighborhood swim practice. They baked and sold 48 flavored cupcakes and then donated the $60 they earned to the Cornelius Animal Shelter.
“Sometimes these trips are done spur of the moment,” she said.
Lane also took her kids to see Hugo the Hornet at an uptown Charlotte pep rally after seeing the Hornets mascot appear on the news that same day. Upon arriving uptown decked in Hornets colors, Lane and her kids picnicked on The Green, explored the buildings and rode the transit for $8 to meet Hugo.
“My kids are very enthusiastic,” Lane said. “I am very patient to be able to handle all of my children.”
Lane plans to spend $25 on Amtrak tickets to visit Meredith College and friends in Raleigh and the Children’s Museum in Winston-Salem.
At some point, she wants to take her family to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Tanglewood Park and the Asheville Sliding Rock.
Lane even asks her friends to join in on the family fun. She finds that spending extra time with her family does limit time with her friends, but for her, it’s all worth it.
Before she goes to bed, Lane uploads pictures of what they have done each day and blogs about the experiences at www.livinglanestyle.com.
“At the end of the week on Friday, my kids have to write about what they did and what their favorite activity was,” Lane said.
Lane is proud her children always thank her for bringing their summer to life.
She is putting together a memory book of her family’s 2014 summer bucket list trips. She plans to send the book to her sister as a summer gift.
“I want people to see what we are doing,” Lane said. “I want people to spend more time with their families and kids.”