Archives For summer

Splash Pad Photography

Leigh —  July 31, 2014 — Leave a comment

Ken has been working late this week, so the kids and I have been on our own the past two days.  In an effort to break up the monotony of the day and get us out of the house, we spent several hours at the splash pad late yesterday afternoon.

As a rule, I don’t take my children to the splash pad that often because normally it’s so packed with kids that I lose mine in the mix.  I don’t enjoy having to watch them like a hawk, scanning the crowd every fifteen seconds to lay eyes on them.  I mean, I could do that at home.  If I’m going to the trouble of taking them to the splash pad, I either want to bring a book to read or a girlfriend to gab with and clock out for a couple of hours.

Since we didn’t have to be home in time to meet Ken for dinner though, I decided to try something different.  Instead of being there when the place opened, we were there a couple of hours before it closed down.  Wow!  This was a much better plan. We practically had the place to ourselves. I even got to read several chapters of my book, and it was as wonderful as I had always imagined it would be.

IMG_9458As I watched the sun slowly moving towards the horizon, I decided this was my chance to finally capture some of those magical moments of summer time fun with a camera.  The light was good.  There were no random kids around to run through my shot.  It was going to be perfect, and so I put down my book and pulled my camera out of my bag.

I walked over to where my kiddos were playing and knelt down, ready to start snapping away.  I tried one angle and then another. I walked around, trying to remain a safe distance from collateral splashage, but the more pictures I took, the more ridiculous they became.

I can blame it on my lack of skill or my crazy kids, but every picture I took looked something like this: Continue Reading…

Back At It

Leigh —  June 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

IMG_9919Here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.  Well, I guess technically, you can’t say it’s the middle of summer until July, but we are close enough that I feel comfortable with this statement.

A couple of weeks ago I told a friend that the month of June was completely wide open.  We had no trips planned, nothing on our agenda.  We were free to waste the hot days away without any plans to work around, but somehow, summer came on us like a wild fire, filling up our days with Vacation Bible School, swimming at the lake, and reading programs at the library.

We took a little break from schooling during the month of June, and I toyed with the idea of taking a longer one.  We have just been enjoying this season of swimming and sunshine too much to spend the rest of it inside with our noses in a book, but then that nagging mommy voice that always keeps me honest shook me back into reality.  Who am I kidding? We can’t take the whole summer off. Continue Reading…

DSCN7050I’ve got one goal this summer.  If I don’t do anything else over the next three months, I will teach this little guy how to swim, and now it’s in writing.  So it has to be done, right?

I don’t think this is an unreasonable goal.  He’s four and a half.  He can brush his own teeth and blow his own nose…now, we just need to add “swim without floaties” to that list.

We even joined the YMCA this summer with the hopes that Roark would become more comfortable in the water if we were swimming regularly.  About twice a week, we have a mini-swim lesson.  I spend about twenty minutes getting splashed in the face while holding onto his arms, yelling “Get your bottom up!” or “Blow through your mouth!”

Continue Reading…

So a couple of months ago, some local news came out that caused my children to literally lay in the floor and cry.  Both of them.  It was pathetic.  Seriously, for the first time in their short little lives, they actually wanted to watch the news to hear if this horrible rumor was true.

Is Alabama Adventure really shutting down all their non-water rides?!  In the words of Donkey, “Really, really.”  When the announcement was made, my children wanted to know “why?”  According to my kids, it must be because someone wants to ruin our summer.  What other reason could there possibly be?

If my kids were about ten years older, I thought this would have been a  good time to introduce micro-economics and really make the subject mean something.  But somehow, I thought talking about it now would just cause them more pain.  So instead, I agreed with them, “Maybe their not trying to ruin our entire summer, but they are definitely ruining my day.”

The truth is I really wasn’t a bit surprised by the news.  In fact every time we were there last summer, I must have said hourly, “I don’t know how this place stays open!”  There was never anybody there.  That’s part of what made it so great.  We had the place to ourselves and never had to wait in a line.  So like all good things, I knew it had to end, but in my heart, I was hoping it wouldn’t end so soon.

It’s funny though.  When I asked the kids if they still wanted to go even though now it was only a water park, do you think they hesitated before yelling an enthusiastic “YES!”?  Not. For. One. Second.

So all of that to say, last Saturday we went to the park formally known as Alabama Adventure.  Out of protest, that’s what the kids and I are still calling it.  That and because changing the name is just too confusing for Roark.

First my thoughts on the changes and then some pictures.

From what I can tell, everything is shut down except the water slides and pools.  No more log ride or Buzz Saw Falls.  Basically the only things left open are what was in the pool and water areas.   They’ve said on the web site there are plans to add some other things like a zip line and water/mist maze, but these seemed non-existent as of last Saturday.  I’m not sure what the schedule is for these additions, but it didn’t appear they were building anything new.

But even without the non-water rides, my kids had a blast.  They let it be known that they missed the old rides, and Roark wanted me to ask somebody if he could just ride the Choo-Choo train one last time, but we still had fun.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t miss the rides that much.  Honestly, Alabama summers are pretty brutal, especially when you are doing activities that don’t involve water.  And even though I loved the old park, by the time I’d walked in the heat to each ride, eaten lunch, and changed the kids into their swimsuits, I was exhausted before I’d even sat foot in a pool.  It was almost too much for one day.

So Saturday, I was able to enjoy the pools more than I ever had.  In fact, we never even made it to the wave pool last summer because I was just so tired by the time we got to the swimming portion of our day that I didn’t have the energy.  But this time, we took our time at each pool.  I even sat in a chair and watched the kids play for awhile.  I never had time to do that last summer because I had to hurry them along to each ride so we could leave before traffic got terrible.  Saturday just didn’t have that rushed feel like our days at Alabama Adventure  have had in the past.

So I’m okay with the change.  I really think their prices should be cheaper, but there was a decent crowd.  So people are still paying for the smaller park.  I hope this decision is a profitable one for them.  After all, a water park is better than no park at all.

Now for some pictures:

DSCN5692Dressed in their finest summer attire.  They’ve been waiting for this day for months.

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DSCN5717 Edie is finally tall enough to ride one of the bigger water slides all by herself.  She was super excited about this news.  The only problem was the inner tube she had to carry up to the slide was bigger than she was.

DSCN5718I threw this picture in so you understand why my kids love this place so much.  I mean, look at it?  We would have thought this was the most awesome place in Birmingham if it had been around twenty-five years ago.  That’s Roark in the bottom of the picture, walking up to it like he owns the joint.

Good-bye Pre-school

Leigh —  May 17, 2012 — Leave a comment
IMG_3943

First Day of Pre-school

Last Day of Pre-school

Last Day of Pre-school

It’s hard to believe that he’s grown that much in nine months.  In that short span of time, he’s gone from being a baby and turned into a kid.

Today was Roark’s last day of pre-school.  I was more torn up about it more than he was.  For the past three months, he has been waiting for this day.  He was only going two days a week, but every time I dropped him off he would ask why he couldn’t just stay home with me.  He wasn’t ugly about it, and he would walk into his classroom without a fuss.  But he always asked.

So today when I was finally able to tell him that he didn’t have to come back, he was excited. While other kids were crying in the halls as they told their teachers good-bye, he never looked back.  He definitely had that “school’s out for the summer” attitude, as he pushed the door of the school open one last time to go to the car.  Balloon in one hand, sand pail full of gifts in the other, and a his book bag on his back, he was ready to be done.

For the first time in five years, I will not have a child going to that school.  I felt myself getting a little sentimental today as we walked out of there like we’ve done so many afternoons in the past, knowing it was our last.

Just another reminder that my babies are growing up and how quickly things change.