When we moved into our house 6 1/2 years ago our kids were but a twinkling in our eyes. Coming from an apartment, the place was giant. We had very little furniture, a futon here and shelf there. Our home teacher called it minimalist style. I called it a rollerskating rink. It literally echoed. We could have gone months without ever going into the third bedroom. And the yard was humongous! The only time we ever went into the backyard was to spend an hour mowing it, which at the time was mostly a big pain in the... back... yard.
Now, in a matter of years, our tune has changed completely. Our rollerskating rink now has couches, rugs, a piano, tables and chairs, and as of right now children's books, toys, backpacks, art projects, strollers, princess paraphernalia, child-sized chairs, and a tunnel (among other things). Our three bedrooms are filling up fast with kids, clothes, and toys. But one of the best parts about our changing lives is that our previously neglected backyard gets used every day.
I love Florida in the winter time; we can actually enjoy being outside. Now, I am so thankful that we bought this house because of our great backyard. One of our first purchases when Erin was a baby was a $5 slide that we got at a garage sale. Then one of our neighbors gave us an awesome castle for the backyard and some other friends gave us a swing set for free. It always amazes me that you can spend all sorts of money on certain things and yet the things that are played with the most are the least expensive.
The kids use it on a daily basis. And the phrase "Go outside and play" is probably one of my personal favorites, as far as mom phrases go. They spend hours out there playing, and most of the time I don't know what it is they are playing. But their imagination is alive. There is room for running, swinging, kicking balls, and lots of friends to come over. I usually just sit by the window and "watch" them play (as I read a magazine, fold laundry or look at the inside of my eyelids for a while). After all, isn't that what a mom is supposed to do? Send the kids outside to play while they take care of all the household duties or make dinner. It sort of makes me feel like a genuine mom, I don't know why.
Here are a couple of pages I did about the kids enjoying the backyard.
I had to post this before it gets too hot for them to go out there. Honestly, this is one of the best things about my life right now. It sounds so simple, but it really is. The kids are so happy when they are out there. We could have bought a townhouse or condo without a yard, but I am so happy about that one decision almost 7 years ago. I love our $5 yard... but only because I have sweet kids to fill it:)