Parks and Recreation {Spin Cycle}

We never call a park by its real name. We use the equipment on the playground for identification. For example, we go to the “boat park,” the “flying saucer park,” or the “roller slide park.” The playground down the street from us is “our park” and the playground at the school is “the red park” because all of the monkey bars, slides and swings are the color red.

When I became a stay-at-home mom with Lily, I couldn’t wait to take her to the park. I needed activities to fill my days, besides the normal routines of changing diapers and endless laundry. I started reading to Lily when she was only three months old, and as soon as the weather started to warm up, I took my November baby to the park. I placed Lily into the baby swing and gently pushed her back and forth. Lily would look up at the sky, point, and say “Appy!” which of course meant “airplane.”

Traveling with kids takes on a whole different perspective. We could be at the most interesting tourist spot ever, but if the kids spot a playground, they’re begging us to go play!

playground car
Lily and Ed at a playground in Iowa
playground swing
Emmy on a moose swing in Fairbanks, AK

The weather doesn’t matter at all. We go to our park when it’s hot, when it’s cold, and even when it’s snowy. At the playground, my daughters magically get along.

playground swing
At our park on a mild November day

And so far, it hasn’t mattered how old my daughters are. At the ages of six and nine, they still want to go to the park to play! Now they prefer the monkey bars to the swings, however.

Do you ever visit a park in your neighborhood? Join Gretchen and me for the Spin Cycle this week and link up your Parks and Recreation blog post!


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Picnicking {Spin Cycle}

Our family loves a good picnic; or as Fancy Nancy would put it, we dine al fresco! Every once in while, I’ll call Ed and tell him to meet us at the roller slide park after work. I make pizza pasta salad* and buy Cheetos, and the girls and I arrive early so that they can play on the playground before Ed gets there.

Most of the time, our picnicking happens during a road trip. I pack sandwiches, fruit and veggies so that we can stop at a picnic area to eat lunch instead of eating fast food.

Sometimes, the weather doesn’t cooperate and it’s a bit cooler than we expect. We just bundle up and eat outside anyway.

roadside picnic

Sometimes, we can’t find a picnic table. So we pull over in a turnaround on the side of the highway to Fairbanks, Alaska, and eat in the back of our rental van.

picnic in a van

alaska picnic

Sometimes, we can’t find a picnic table, so we use a rock instead.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, CO
Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, CO
Lunch at the Grand Canyon
Lunch at the Grand Canyon

And sometimes, there’s nothing like a hot dog in your own backyard!

hot dog

*I don’t have a recipe; I just make some rotini noodles, throw in some pepperoni, grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese chunks, onions, green peppers and black olives, and toss it all with a vinaigrette. Voila, pizza pasta salad!


Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks.) Then link up your picnic posts here!



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