Zephyr Park- Water Play

I wanted to revisit one of my posts from last summer. I know the local kids are out for summer vacation, and I wanted to remind people about this place.

I packed the kids up early this morning and headed out to have some water fun. I decided to hit the Zephyr Water Park from my earlier post and experience my very first splash park ever. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was pretty excited.

When we first arrived, there was no water in the splash area. None. I was so disappointed! But, since I was there, I decided to scope out the park anyway and let the kids play on the playground. Not a bad spot!

The playground, though small, was shaded and had enough to do to keep both The Younger and Older occupied.

After about an hour, another family arrived. To my surprise, they walked into the splash area and turned the water on themselves! Score! Apparently the park likes to save water and energy; another huge plus for me.

They had an absolute blast. There was so much laughter and shrieking, I was amazed the wildlife hung around. They never tired of the spray, and I loved watching them find different ways to play.

After they tired out, we had a picnic at one of the park benches by the lake.

We must have sat there for an hour just enjoying the views and each other. They even got to feed some of the birds that stopped by.

I would absolutely recommend this park. You can’t beat the price (remember, it’s FREE ), and there’s a lot to do besides play in the water. Next time, we’re bringing our bikes to bike around the pond.

Reusing Yogurt Containers

I’m always saving things. It drives The Daddy crazy, but at least now I have a closet that houses everything and keeps it out of the way!

One of the things I just can’t bear to throw away are those big yogurt containers. They seem just perfect for holding “stuff,” especially since they come with a lid! I have 8 of them that house beads, paint brushes, etc., but I also have about 6 of them stored and waiting to be used. Just the other day came up with a good use for one of them, and I wanted to share.

Cleaning the gravel of our fish tank! The usual stainer I have used to let some gravel slip through and get in the sink, and I’d have to try to dig it out of the drain. Buy using the yogurt container, I was able to make the holes on the bottom any size I wanted, and I didn’t have any loose gravel at all.

All it took was a pair of scissors, and I was in business. Five crisscross cuts later, the gravel went in, got rinsed, and then it got dumped back into the tank. Best of all, I don’t have to take up space storing a strainer just for the fish tank, and I no longer have to worry that someone will use the wrong strainer for our food.

I’ve also used this same idea for straining the liquid from canned black beans and other things like syrupy fruit for baking. It tends to help keep the water pressure from bruising or breaking the food as it presses against the mesh and makes rinsing much easier/gentler :-)

Free Preschool Read Along Books Online

I love finding treasures on the internet! Today, in fact, I found a great one for free books online, and The Younger has been ‘reading’ for over an hour. I stumbled onto this site when I found out our local library does not carry downloadable audio read along books for kids, and I am beyond thrilled with it.

As you can see, KOL Jr is a site that has genres you can choose from, and the format is easy for little ones to understand. In fact, while The Younger was reading along with this story, I went to switch a load of laundry, and when I got back she had figured out how to move the mouse, click on the next story, and find the star that said ‘play’! I like the way the stories are read as well, because they highlight the sentences as they read so kids can follow along.

There’s more on the site, including games, music, printable, and other things for preschool-aged children. I’m so excited I found this! It doesn’t take the place of snuggling on the couch and reading together, but it’s a great addition to our day.

If you’re looking for reasons to buy local, there are so many!  I am a big advocate of local/organic purchasing, but sometimes it’s hard because I want to lower my carbon foot print yet don’t want to forgo organic and quality… It can be confusing.  I do shop at the grocery store like most people, and I find myself picking up produce there just for the convenience factor.  I then leave the store wanting to kick myself because I truly dislike the quality and the price of most produce at the ‘big stores,’ not to mention the fact that I hate the pesticides and fossil fuel it takes to package/ship the products.

I do take the family to Bearss Groves , which is a local fresh produce market near me.  I love it because they have friendly people who work there, it’s clean, and the produce is fresh.  Every time I go there I’m happy because I know I’ve “done good” for the environment, but today I was also reminded how much I love it there because of the price!  I got 3 different kinds of grapes (one was a huge bin of organic!), 2 kinds of plums, zucchini, bananas, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 kinds of apples, green beans, sugar snap peas, apricots, brussel sprouts, and eggs.  In my head I thought out what it would be at the grocery store, and I’m sure it would have been over $55… I got it all for $31!  That’s amazing!

I know everyone is looking to save money any way they can, and I wholeheartedly believe that shopping local can help.  No only will it save you money, but it’s also something you can feel good about too.  How many things can you say that about nowadays?