May 23, 2017

FAMILY TIME

Hey All, Happy-Happy-Happy Tuesday!!!

We are getting back to schedule and business as usual over here because for over the last week we had family out from California. More specifically, my Sister, her two kids and my Tia (Aunt in Spanish) and my brother surprised us from Kansas for mother's day weekend. It was sort of like a vacation for us as well because we had a waaayyy relax schedule, a lot of hanging out, eating, going to stores on days I usually don't go to the store (getting crazy) and going on little outings!

 One of the things I miss the most is the kids all getting to be with each other. The girls love playing toys together and playing outside and Bryce just can't get enough of little Jer-Jer.   

My Sister and Aunt usually come out once a year around this time and we look forward to it all year! Especially when my Aunt is here, it's like I have a little assistant in the house and I LOVED every minute, Sunday morning I woke up and was like, oh yeah-this is all you now, ha!

Here a little glimpse of our time spent together...


Straight from the airport we went to Freddy's! 

The people were hungry 😁 and it's is right next door to a Walmart so my sister & Tia could get some grocery items they needed.


A match made in heaven, Bryce & Jer.


There's a special cousin bond between them two!


We went to the park one day and had a little picnic lunch 


and of course, Maddie found herself a little caterpillar!


On Sunday Uncle Ty surprised my Mom for Mother's Day and if you couldn't tell Jer was surprised and just as happy to have his buddy back!



All his nieces and nephews were just as happy too, don't mind my sister holding the knife, ha, she was in the middle of cutting a watermelon when he walked in!  


The girls were little scruffys all week, hair everywhere and having fun!






In the midst of all the fun, my kids still had things going on like swim lessons, baseball practice and summer school. 


Trying to get everyone in the picture and looking was hard, sorry Tia, lol!


On Monday before my brother went back, we visited Fantastic Caverns, a local attraction that was so cool!


See these two, this was like Bryce and Jer-Jer when Bryce was a baby. Uncle Ty just wanted to hold Bryce all the time and Bryce always wanted to be where Ty was...






Naomi just couldn't understand how all that stuff got into that box, she kept asking, how did the coyote get in there?

(I know that animal isn't a coyote)









This is a little pairing you don't see very often and it was so sweet.


Maddie got some special time and went with us to the mall while the other kiddos stayed back at the house with Grandma.


Priceless.


Then early-early Friday morning (2:30 a.m.) we lost power all the way til 2 p.m. that afternoon, we had to run on generator so the cows could get milked but...it wasn't fun times for Jer or my Dad. 


This was the first time we had to use a generator that is p.t.o. driven and wired into the electrical pole. It was a learning lessons and now we know what to do next time!




That was a little glimpse into our week of family time and can't wait for next year when my sister will have one more to add to the mix!

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May 15, 2017

MY FAVORITE BACKYARD TOYS (TRIED & TRUE)

Hey Friends! 

Today I wanted to share a post about my favorite backyard toys. This post has been rummaging in my mind for a while and now I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you! Here's how you can create the ultimate backyard oasis for your kids to have fun all summer! 

Now I understand you aren't going to go out and buy everything I recommend but, I will say that most of the items have lasted us for years and survived the move from California to Missouri! 




When I picture a backyard Oasis for kids, I picture a backyard with options, because we all know kids get bored real quick! Somewhere they can play with sand, somewhere to sit and enjoy a popsicle, splash in the water or simply swing.

My kids play for hours in our backyard and sometimes all it is is rearranging you set up you already have or heading down to your local dollar store to add some inexpensive summer toys! 

Let's take a look at our setup!

Our latest addition to our backyard is this All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy.


This Playtime Patio really does have it all! It has a little area for sand & water play, pretend play barbecue, a side table and probably my favorite part is the canopy. 


This really is a one stop shop sort of toy, especially if you don't have a ton of room in your backyard.


Now here is a toy that we've literally had for years! I think Jer and I bought this Naturally Playful, Sand & Water Table for Bryce when he turned 3 and now this year he will be turning 11. 
I would call this tried & true!!!

They don't make the same exact model anymore because of how old it is but, they do have an updated version that looks pretty cool! 
In the summer time the kids like to turn this whole thing into a water table as well, especially if we've run out of sand!


We also have two tables for the kids to eat lunch at, enjoy a popsicle, do crafts or play playdoh. We've had both for years so again they don't make the exact ones anymore but, they do have an updated versions! The table and chair version is linked here.

I will say this table is on the smaller side and would work perfect for preschool age kids.


If you want a table that is a little bigger here's another option, the Naturally Playful Picnic Table!


Now for water play!!!


Who doesn't LOVE a slip n' slide?!?

Slip n' Slides are perfect on hot days and good for all ages. You can purchase slip n' slip at your local Walmart or Target. They have really cool elaborate ones these days and I never store a slip in slide over winter. At the end of summer our slip n' slide is said goodbye to and then next year we'll purchase another. 

Now the next two items are a little more on the pricey side but, they are so worth it!!!


Inflatable water-slide!!!

We've had ours for almost 4 years and we absolutely love-love-love it. This Little Tikes Slam & Curve Water Slide has paid for itself over & over again!!!


The most important thing about keeping this slide for years on end is putting the water slide away properly!

Emptying the water out and keeping the slide blown up (empty) to let the sun dry out all the water, then folding it all back up and storing it for the next time. I've never left it out overnight!

Seriously recommend an inflatable water-slide for your backyard!!!

An Intex pool!!! 

For a little over $100 you have yourself an above ground pool, we put up every summer and then take down in the fall. This seriously is the perfect pool for young kids because it isn't deep and very easy to maintain!

Now if you don't want a slide or pool, could I interest you in a swing, ha!

My kids love to swing and this rope swing brings them so much joy.


The girls love to swing together...


Bryce loves to relax and be pushed on the swing...I mean this is simple enjoyment right here.

Then you have your very simple wooden swing, it doesn't get more basic than that!

Now I know I've shown you A LOT of different things but, we live out in the country where we are at home a lot and the kids need to keep themselves entertained while I work on the dairy etc.

I also know that some people don't have the luxury of having a big backyard, so that is why I included so many different types of items in hopes you could find at least one that would fit into your lifestyle.

Quality backyard toys do last and hold up to the elements vs. cheaper plastic toys and that is why most of the stuff you see is built by Step 2
Love-Love-Love Step 2!!!

I can't complain about Little Tikes either because their inflatable slide has lasted for years, they definitely cornered the market on that. 

I hope you enjoyed and found all my recommendations helpful in building your own backyard oasis for your kids to have countless hours of play.

Talk to you all soon,


*Not a sponsored post, all thoughts are my own. 
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