We’ve had some great warm weather all September, but the weather forecasters are telling us that it will all come to an end within the week. Our highs are supposed to drop 30 degrees before next weekend. So we decided to have one last cookout in the backyard. We had hot dogs, potato salad and smores. And we had a great time.
It’s been a slow week, but while Abby and Sam are at school, Kaitlyn, Boo and I have spent time at Porter Park. It’s nice when the big kids are in school, there is usually a swing available and there isn’t anyone knocking over the little kids. With fall coming, we need to soak up the sun as much as possible.
We’ve been having a late-summer heat wave. It’s one of the times when I wish we had air conditioning in our house. Usually, I admit, we don’t really need it. The humidity is low here and it is easy to keep our house cool. But there are times when we hit 90 – and we need the A/C. Yesterday Mike was out in the heat climbing on the roof to chop some branches that are banging on the side of our house. We are taking advantage of the end of summer to get as much done as we can outside. The snows will come before we know it.
Celebrate Youth is a festival in Porter Park every year on the day before school starts. There are lots of games, free food, prizes, and bounce houses. Here is how we spent the day before school starts.
We got to the park a little early and played in the Spray Park.
Then took a ride on the Carousel.
Then we tried out the various bounce houses.
They tried Super Twister- it didn’t go so well.
After that we needed some ice cream to cool down. And we picked up some popcorn and cotton candy too.
We played lots of games and the kids picked up lots of (cheap) prizes. Here they are making large bubbles.
After all of that we were hot and tired and ready to go home. The festival goes until 9, but we can only take so much celebrating. We will have pizza for dinner and then it’ s time to get everything ready for the first day of school. The kids are excited but I think I’m a little bit more excited then they are.
Recently I read this article in the New York Times about old versus new playgrounds. It’s about how old playgrounds were deemed too unsafe and have all been torn down and replaced with modern (safe) equipment. Now experts are questioning whether playgrounds are too safe. I thought about that article when we went over to one of our favorite playgrounds. It is in an old neighborhood park a few blocks away. We walk over there occasionally and the kids love it. Instead of the new playground equipment it has this:
How often do you see these merry-go-rounds at playgrounds now? Too bad, I always loved those although at my age now it would probably just make me sick. I can’t get the kids off of it either. It also has a nice tall straight slide like this:.
Grandpa Watts told us when he was a kid they sat on wax paper going down to slick it up! What a great idea! Although those safety experts would surely disagree with that idea. So do our kids get hurt on the old playground? Yes, a little bit, especially when they fall off the merry-go-round at high speeds onto the gravel - but it is worth it. It hasn’t stopped them from getting back on. We hope the City of Rexburg doesn’t replace this playground anytime soon.
Big Springs is where we explored yesterday. It is located near Island Park. It is just that- a big spring. Although huge is also a good term. The above picture shows the water literally just coming out of the side of the hill. It is the start of a river and a beautiful spot. We also went to Johnny Sack’s cabin, a cabin built in the 1930′s along the river. It is in amazing condition and we were able to tour the inside. If your interested, the history of the cabin is here.
We got this sandbox years ago when Abby was a toddler. We used it in Kentucky, but in Idaho we didn’t know where to put it in the yard (Mike didn’t want it killing the grass) so it just sat empty in a muddy corner of the yard for the last couple of years. This year I decided Kaitlyn would enjoy it. We decided on a spot -a place we would eventually like to pave anyway. I hosed off the mud and bought new play sand. The kids loved it and then I noticed there was sand all over the deck and in my kitchen, and down the hall, and all over the bathroom where one kid took off their dirty clothes for a bath. What was I thinking? I might need a better vacuum.
When we lived in Kentucky, we found great trash. Mike would drive around the neighborhood on trash day and find all sorts of treasures. People threw out perfectly good stuff like this picnic table. We rescued it and ever since it has been one of the most popular toys we own. The weather actually feels like spring today and the kids are back at the table where they spend a lot of time in the warm months. The neighborhood kids come over and they do art projects, eat lunch, play with all sorts of things at this table. It’s a gathering spot for them. Today they are playing school- not one of Sam’s favorite games, but he puts up with it.
Sadly for us, we don’t find good trash in Idaho. People tend to pass things on to family or to Deseret Industries. When stuff is in the trash, it is truly worn out. I suppose that is a good thing, but I do miss our treasure hunts.
The kids have started riding their bikes again in the last few weeks. Now the weather has been mild enough that they have been complaining that they want their scooters. During the winter we keep all of the riding toys up high on hooks in the garage. Yesterday Mike came home from lunch and got down the toys. Our driveway looks like this:
Which is how it looks during the warm months and Mike days of parking in the garage are over for awhile.