It’s hard to believe that it is almost New Year’s. Yesterday (when this picture was taken) it was almost 50 degrees! Mike took the opportunity to clean out the garage. The kids all played outside with the old cardboard boxes Mike was getting rid of. They made forts, rode their scooters, and enjoyed the sun. It was warm today too, but rainy. Abby lamented the lack of snow today. She and Sam both got new sleds for Christmas. I have to admit that for a moment even I was wishing for snow. But that moment passed when I thought of the mess it brings into my house and what a pain it is to drive in. The snow will come soon and it will stay until at least April. There will be plenty of opportunities to go sledding.
We did venture outside yesterday after it stopped snowing (and blowing). When the sun came out so did all the kids. Boo was excited to get outside and chase his ball but we he had a problem. His tennis ball gets lost in the snow. The snow sticks to it and makes it literally into a snow ball. He spent time trying to find it and pushing snow around with his nose, but the yellow ball blends in too well.
Can you see Boo’s ball? Do they make dark colored tennis balls? Maybe some contrast will help him see the ball in the snow. He does love the snow and loves to run through it. Kaitlyn also loved the snow, but only for about 15 minutes. Then she was ready to come inside and warm up. It took longer to put all of her snow stuff on then the entire time she was outside. Her favorite activity was making footprints.
Boo has been growing some more fluff. It’s a good thing too. This morning when I woke up, I looked at the thermometer and the temperature outside was only 16 degrees. 16 degrees!! Goodness- and it’s only November. Here in Idaho, winter starts the day after Halloween. We have snow on the ground (mostly melted, but still). The forecast doesn’t call for any temperature above the 30’s in the forseeable future. All this skipping a proper fall and jumping into winter in November is tragic for an Easterner like myself. I long to be back in Virginia jumping into piles of leaves or back in Connecticut going for a drive to leaf peep.
As we get into winter, I start to hibernate. This year I have told myself I need to get out more on these winter days (especially when the sun is out because it makes all the difference). I’ve promised Boo I would take him outside at least once a day for a walk or to chase the ball. He’s ready-with all his fluff that is still growing. Every year I tell myself we need to embrace winter. Hopefully we will take more ski trips and the kids will take ice skating lessons. I admire these Idahoans who love winter and spend lots of time out in it. We just all need to add some more fluff to our wardrobe. I like the Scandinavian saying, “there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.”
I should add that Boo is kind enough to share his fluff. When he lays on your feet, it’s better than slippers and everyone wants to curl up next to him on chilly evenings. He doesn’t seem to mind giving the service as long as you rub his ears and belly.
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.