Creating Simple Elements for Backyard Fun: Our Wist List

a blank slate and our backyard 2015 wish list |

Once upon a time, Christopher, Jillian, and I moved here to our home and planted a little garden and a few trees. Not knowing exactly what we were doing, and perhaps too excited about our finally having our OWN place, instead of taking the time to slow down and research things, we just plunked things wherever we felt like it. A tree here, a garden there, a play area for our toddler over here.

Flash forward to 2015: our household of three is now a household of seven, including four kids ages 3 to 13 and a special needs adult, and we own a dog. Between the parents who would really love a thriving garden and a backyard oasis and the kiddos and doggie who would love a wonderful place to play, our backyard should be the place to be.

However, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.  All these years later, and we still have a pretty blank canvas out there. And those plunked down trees grew just tall enough so that now our small garden is in the shade most of the day. The little play area that was perfect for one child long ago doesn’t really work as well for us now.

So, what is a family to do? Well, we’re getting back to our roots and I’m reminding myself of an older post from the archives about the simple elements of backyard fun and how to how them even when you don’t have a backyard.

We do have a backyard today, but do we have all of those elements at our home? No, we don’t. But they are certainly on our wish list.

So, how are we doing to make a 2011 blog post turn into a Summer 2015 reality?

One step at a time …

Note: this blog post is going to be a little different than the ones I usually write. I’m listing our goals here, the BEFORE, as of May 15, 2015 and then, in real time, I’ll be updating with our projects and the AFTER. I’ll be sure to let you know about each update as we work our way through completing our Backyard 2015 wish list with some simple elements for fun.

(Totally crossing my fingers that this is going to turn out as neat as I think it will, ha ha!)

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Worthwhile Reads, Lovely Things


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Welcome to my new readers and to those of you returning to this space! This is my weekly-ish Worthwhile Reads and Lovely Things post. These are some of my favorite posts to write and I think you guys will love them, too.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff!

Worthwhile reads and lovely things

This week my oldest two kids wrapped up the last semester of art club for the year. That’s Jillian’s clay breakfast from the art show. Isn’t it cute? Their art show was definitly one of the most lovely things about the week!

Blogs: here are some worthwhile reads I came across in my browsing this week …

YouTube: The kids and I shared a Day in the Life (DITL) vlog on YouTube this week. You can check it out here if you’re interested.

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Why we walk | 146 Miles for Love146

Why we walk | SIMPLEKIDS

Ah, warm weather days and sunny skies! Such a welcome thing after those long cold months, right? Even a spring thunderstorm is nice. Dodging a few raindrops is worth it after that winter.

There’s not much I love more on a gorgeous day than sliding my feet into my favorite pair of walking shoes and hitting the pavement with my family.

We are blessed that the small town where we live has lots of parks and well kept sidewalks. For us it is easy to get out and about while leaving the minivan in the driveway and using the power of our own two feet to get where we need to go.

But, beyond convenience and saving on gas money, taking walks has become an important part of our family’s culture, enriching our lives in many ways.

Here are just a few of the ways walking improves our lives, plus at the bottom of the post I’m sharing a special reason why the kids and I are more excited than ever to put on our walking shoes and start racking up the miles.

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