One of the best decisions I have made this summer is to spend every Monday with my eight year old daughter, Tabitha. Please understand that because I lead church services on both Saturday and Sunday, Monday is the “weekend” for my family.

To begin, I went to Borders and purchased the book, “Fun With The Family In Ohio,” by Khristi S. Zimmeth. Having spent most of my life in Ohio, I was pleasantly surprised by all the new “fun things” the book suggested we do. Between Khristi’s ideas and some creativity of our own, we’re having quite the summer.

Here are some of our favorites so far. We spent the entire day at Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom water park in Aurora. It was one of those ninety degree Ohio days that was perfect to spend soaking in the pool while we soaked up the sun.

One day was spent at the McKinley Monument in downtown Canton. Not only did our daughter learn some valuable local and American history, but she had a great time as well. Her favorite part of the monument experience was the adjacent science center, Discover World. It’s a hands-on adventure for kids of all ages.

Another day we simply started by having breakfast at our local IHOP (International House of Pancakes). Of course Tabitha ordered the Funny Face pancake as her breakfast. There’s nothing better than a chocolate chip pancake with a whipped-cream face painted on it for an eight year old’s healthy beginning to her day! After breakfast we spent the next couple of hours in Border’s book store. We looked at books, we read books on the floor together and we purchased a couple of story books to read in the afternoon at home together.

One of our favorite “Monday activities” actually began on Sunday night. We allowed Tabs to invite one friend over to spend the night. At 8:30 we picked her little friend up and then we all headed over to the Magic City Drive-In located in Barberton, Ohio. (I have wonderful memories of my parents taking me to Magic City when I was just a boy.) We backed our SUV into the parking spot, opened the tailgate where Tabs and her friend had made a bed in the back, broke out the snack food and enjoyed a great family film—Ratatouille.

Already the summer is passing far too quickly . . . let alone our daughter’s childhood. God has entrusted many of us with children for a brief number of years. What are you doing with such a minimal and valuable commodity of time? I, for one, don’t want to look back on these years and regretfully say, “I wish I would have spent more time with my kids.”