Bestway Slip N Slide

One of my favorite things about the beginning of Spring? It’s time to bring out the slip n slide again! This is the first thing out every year and the last thing we put away.

Our yard is surprisingly flat for our area of the country and this H2OGO triple water slide is perfect for our yard! The inflatable ramp – which I do NOT recommend blowing up without a pump – gives the kids just the right amount of speed. And it cushions their landing when they run and jump onto the slide. Really, it’s brilliant!

I think it’s the best slip n slide we’ve had so far – and trust me, we’ve had a lot of them!

#BestwaySlideNGlide #BestwayUSA #H2OGO #Bestway #Tryazon

3 Summertime Zoo Essentials

My kids just love the zoo! In fact, where we live, the zoo is like the summer hangout place for moms with kids. There’s animals, food, a splash pad, and an indoor play area for if the weather is bad. What more could you want?

Of course, when we head out to the zoo there’s 3 things I just can’t be without!

1. Little Red Wagon – This is definitely the best Summer purchase I’ve ever made. It’s also absolutely necessary for all the walking we do at the zoo. My kids are old enough to climb in and out as they want and the canopy gives them a little extra shade on sunny days – it also serves as a backup umbrella for surprise rain showers.

My only complaint with this wagon, it doesn’t have any sort of lock for the wheels. I just remember to turn the front wheels sideways when I’m parking it somewhere, so it doesn’t roll away on me.

I got this a couple of years ago and we’re still loving it. There’s room for 2 kids, our lunchbox, a small diaper bag, and a few towels. Talk about convenient!

2. Bento Boxes – I ordered these last year for school lunches and we’ve used them for that, trips to the zoo, and any other event that requires a picnic. They’re so convenient! Everyone knows which color is theirs so there’s no fighting over who gets what. And since I know who gets which color it’s easy for me to customize lunches. Best of all, I can easily fit all of them in my little portable cooler!

I don’t know about your zoo, but my zoo has really terrible concessions that are way overpriced. So everyone brings their own lunch. These little bento boxes have been a lifesaver!

3. Bobble Water Bottle – You just can’t go to the zoo all day without water. And Bobble has so many different lid colors so no one fights over which one is theirs. Have you noticed a theme? Yes, we color code practically EVERYTHING in my house. Then we always know who owns what. Plus, with the filter in, even if we’re just grabbing water from the water fountain, I know our water is well filtered.


So, tell me, do your kids love the zoo? What’s something you can’t go to the zoo without?

This post does contain affiliate links.

5 Must Have Back Yard Summer Items

Summer is truly my favorite season. Spring is a close second though. I love being outside and my kids love being outside. We spend so much time in our yard, we practically live outside in the summer. So, what are my 5 must have back yard summer items?

1. Teeter Totter – I bought this Gym Dandy Teeter Totter for my kids a couple of years ago and it’s the best back yard toy purchase I’ve ever made! They will play and play and play on this thing.

What I really love about this teeter totter is that it’s practically tip-proof. I would have to deliberately tip it over, and that would still take a lot of effort. The kids have no hope of tipping it over, no matter how many they pile on at once.

It has really held up well and my kids and any friends we have over love playing on it! The only down side, you will want 2 people to assemble this, it’s pretty tricky to do by yourself (but not impossible).

2. Swimming Pool – So, I seriously love this inflatable pool. It’s inexpensive and provides hours and hours of play for the kids.

I end up purchasing two every summer, because my kids like to bounce on the sides (which isn’t recommended) and this eventually results in some holes that just won’t stay patched. But at under $30 for the pool, I can handle purchasing two and enjoying most of our summer water play in our own back yard.

If you do purchase this pool, I recommend this foot pump for pumping it up. Trust me, you’re not going to want to blow this pool up without a pump. (just speaking from experience here). The foot pump has lasted me for a couple of summers and is still going strong. I can inflate the whole pool in under 15 minutes with this thing – more like 30 minutes if the kids are “helping”. This pump is under $10 and totally worth every single penny.

3. Bubbles – Lots and lots of bubbles. And if your kids are like my kids. You’re going to want a few containers of these gazillion bubbles. Because not only do the kids blow bubbles, they also somehow dump them everywhere. I get it, the bubble solution is slippery, it happens.  This is definitely an “outside only” toy.

If you want to be really adventurous, get this Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Machine and let the machine do all the work. Though, I personally prefer to let the kids do all the bubble blowing. It’s so much fun for them to run around the yard blowing and popping bubbles! And it burns off more energy this way. The whole goal of yard toys is for the kids to wear themselves out and go to bed early, right?

4. Slip N Slide – I just loved a Slip N Slide when I was a kid and it’s so much fun to watch the kids enjoy this toy as much as I did.

I will say, the double slide like this one is way more fun than the single width slide. I bought this slide for the summer and my kids have a blast racing down this slide. This slide comes with 2 inflatable Slide Boogies that really didn’t survive more than 30 minutes. They switched over to their kickboards and those worked out way better. Plus we now get to use our kickboards for more than just the swimming pool.

Product warning though, if you really care about your lawn, don’t leave the slide staked down in one spot for a week, it’ll kill the grass. This is definitely a play with and then put away type of yard toy. Because no one wants a bunch of mud holes in their yard by the end of summer.

5. Kite – Because summer isn’t summer without getting at least one kite stuck in a tree. Luckily, so far, I’ve managed to rescue all kites without actually climbing the tree. We’ll see how much longer that lasts!

I haven’t bought this kite yet, but it’s on my wishlist. This kite is so colorful! And it looks way easier to fly than the cheap ones from Wal-Mart. Which my kids like pretty well. They will take those kits and run and run and run, then sit down, catch their breath, and repeat. A kite is perfect for wearing out the kids.

What items would you add to this list?

This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase one of these items, please use my link. I get a tiny commission for sharing 🙂

Busy Busy Summer

So, my plans for the summer? They revolved around hanging out at the water park with the kids, teaching the girls to swim, working out more at the gym, and having some free time to get some stuff done around the house or just hang out with the kids. Oh, and hopefully some playdates with friends.

At this point in my summer I feel like I’m trying to accomplish all of that plus a whole bunch of unplanned work. Don’t get me wrong, work means I’m getting paid, which means I’m saving more money for that new, larger house that I want (or I think I want, I’m not sure I want to CLEAN a larger house), but I’m trying to do all of that plus all the summer stuff I had planned.

And if my summer wasn’t busy enough already, my oldest is participating in a pagent in a few weeks and I still haven’t cut out the dress I’m going to make her for it. I did actually bring the pattern, fabric, and pins up to the counter today so I can cut them so I’m optimistic that it’ll get cut out sometime this week. And I’m taking an extra music class.

So, last week: Monday was a filling at the dentist (exciting, I know) and running errands that just couldn’t wait any longer, Tuesday was music lessons and a meal exchange with friends, Wednesday was a playdate with a friend and VBS, Thursday was the water park and I took a meal to a friend who just had a baby, Friday was the mall and VBS, Saturday was projects around the house and other projects, Sunday was church and more projects(I try really hard not to work on Sunday but there’s wasn’t an option this week), Monday playdate with a friend and delivering a baby meal, Tuesday errands and music lessons,…you get the idea

It’s to the point where if we aren’t going anywhere for the day my 1yr old expresses his boredom sometime around 10am., and the girls are out of things to do by noon. Talk about a crazy busy summer! It’s almost 9:00 and I’m just now thinking about putting the kids in bed. Maybe I’ll take a shower and then get some more work done before I go to bed…or maybe I’ll put the kids in bed then just watch something on Netflix because I’m tired.

Walking on Water

Last week I talked about my difficulty with “setting out” and I talked about a song “Oceans” that I loved. The song to me, is a reference to Peter walking on water. So, the other day, I was really excited when my 5yr old’s Bible lesson was about Peter walking on water. I was like, last Sunday we sang a song about walking on water, last Tuesday I wrote a blog post about walking on water (really it was on setting out, but same thing), and today we’re studying Peter walking on water. Pretty cool. Not sure where God’s taking me with this, but you have to step outside the boat sometime, right? (actually hanging my foot out and testing the water with my toe sounds better, but we’ll get to that in a minute)

So, I’m always telling people how similar my daughter’s personality is to my own. And, one of the things I love about teaching my child the Bible is seeing the story from her perspective. So, some things to know before I describe her opinion of Peter walking on water. My daughter asked Jesus in her heart shortly after she turned 5, so months ago. We often discuss what it means to have Jesus in your heart and how she relates to others and circumstances because of that. My husband and I have agreed that her faith is genuine and we will allow her to take communion next time she is present with us for that, and we have begun discussing baptism – she’s terrified of water on her head so we’re not pushing it because this needs to be something she does when she’s ready but we’ve started dialogue to help her understand why we do it, what it is, and what it means.

Anyways…all that to say, I have a lot to work with when we do our Bible lessons. So, I’m excited about Peter walking on water, it’s one of my favorite Bible stories. It’s a story about faith, and trust, and doing the impossible. I start by telling her about this big storm, and all the disciples including Peter are out on the lake on the boat and they’re scared. So they see Jesus walking on the water coming to the boat. At this point, she thinks that’s pretty cool that Jesus can walk on water. He’s Jesus, so he can do anything!

I continue on by telling her that Peter sees Jesus and says “I want to walk on water too!” and Jesus tells him to “come on out!”. At this point my child states that “that’s crazy” (you see where I’m going with this now). I kept on with the story and told her about how Peter walked out on the water, he was actually walking on the water because you see, Jesus can do anything but with Jesus in our hearts we can do anything too. She looks skeptical. So we continue on, Peter looked around at the storm clouds and the big waves and he got scared and when he got scared he started to sink so he cried out and asked Jesus to rescue him. Jesus came over and pulled him out of the water, placing him back on top of the water and they walk to the boat together.

I think I did a pretty good job telling the story and emphasizing that with God all things are possible. However, my 5 year old’s opinion was. “if I was Peter I would have stayed in the boat, I might have sat down and put my foot over the side and put my toe in the water” (thought she seemed doubtful that she would have even ventured this far, the boat was obviously much safer)

I was shocked, what child doesn’t think walking on water would be awesome? Apparently mine.

But then I realized, actually, I agree with her, putting my foot over the side and swishing it in the water while remaining in the safety of the boat sounds like a pretty good idea to me. If I don’t like the water I’ll just pull my foot back into the boat and we’ll be done with the water. When I tell people my child is a lot like me, I’m not kidding. We seem to have the same automatic opinion of “setting out” or “walking on water”. We just like the boat better.

But, you know, when Jesus calls you out on the water, it’s important to go.

Radio Flyer Wagon

I have a 3yr old and a 1yr old and we love to spend time at our local (or almost local, it’s about an hour away) amusement park and water park. Last year I pushed the oldest in the stroller and carried the baby but this year that’s not an option since they’re both getting so big. So, I went on a hunt for a good two-seater stroller option.

My first thought was to purchase this Graco Ready2Grow Stand and Ride Stroller. I love that the children sit back to back so they can’t kick each other. However, I have trouble with my current stroller getting wet and otherwise dirty at the water park and it’s so hard to clean a stroller. Plus, I would still have to lift my 3yr old in and out of this stroller. If I had an infant again this year this would have been my pick. But, since I have two young children and no infant I decided to go a different rout.

I decided to purchase this Radio Flyer Ultimate Comfort Wagon for the girls this summer. It’s plastic and it has drain holes in the bottom. So, when it gets dirty all I have to do is take it outside and hose it off. Or, I could have the girls clean it while I clean the cars.

I took it with me to the amusement park for the first time this past week and I loved it! It rolls really well – sometimes a little too well, it’s easy for my 3yr old to get in and out of, and the seats are super easy to move around for one or two children. Part of the time both girls rode facing each other, part of the time just the baby rode with the tray down and her bowl of popcorn on top, and near the end of the day when they were getting cranky they both rode facing the same direction so they couldn’t kick each other any more. It takes just a few seconds to move the seats, so much easier than I was expecting!

And the best part, it was so much easier to get all the popcorn out than it was with my stroller! I really think the girls had more room, and definitely more freedom, than they would have in the stroller.

As for cons, the wagon rolls really well, which is great unless you’re going down hill. With both girls in it it kind of pushes me down the hills. Next time I’m going to try turning it around and taking it down the hill backwards so it doesn’t run me over. On the bright side, it’s pretty easy to get it up a hill.

Also, there’s no wheel locks like on a stroller so if I need it to stay in place while my child climbs in or out I have to keep it still, and I can’t park it on a hill. And there’s a lot of hills around here.

And, I haven’t figured out how to get it up or down steps so if a place doesn’t have a ramp I’m not sure what I’ll do. However, I don’t think a two seater stroller would be any easier and most buildings have a ramp somewhere.

All in all, I thought it was easier to pull around the park than a stroller, the girls had more room and more freedom, and the snacking was way easier to clean up after.

The storage bag easily fit my two beach towels, diapers, cups, extra clothes, and snacks. There’s still room for more beach towels, clothing, diapers, and anything else I need. I also love that each of the girls has a cup holder for their cups and there’s two cup holders for my cups (though my 1yr old figured out how to reach my cup – while buckled in. Every time I turned around she was helping herself to my drink).

I really enjoyed my new wagon, and I’m very happy with how easy it is to use. I can’t wait to see what else I can do with it this summer!