Saturday, May 3, 2014

Gray Days

For weeks we've had nothing but gray days and cold rainy weather.

In between the rainy days Todd managed to dig a massive hole, fill it with cement, and get a post in the ground for our brand new basketball hoop. The kids have been waiting (and begging) almost an entire year for a basketball hoop.
Once the backboard and hoop were finally up (after waiting three days for the cement to set) hours and hours of basketball were played in our driveway. It has now been about two weeks and the kids are still thrilled with their hoop. As a former basketball player I must admit that I'm pretty happy with it too.
The challenge now is holding the kids in the house until a reasonable time when the sound of basketballs bouncing and kids screaming won't wake our neighbors. From sun up until sundown the kids want to be playing basketball. The minute the boys come home from school they finish their homework as soon as possible, change into play clothes, and head outside for some hoops.
Joey is already talking about how much better he will be when he plays basketball for school again next year. Quite a statement coming from a kid who wasn't sure he wanted to play next year at all. But I can see his confidence growing and Tommy and Ben aren't far behind. Even Grace has learned to dribble fairly well, though getting the ball up to hoop is a different story.

Basketball hoop = good decision

This morning  we awoke to the sun shining. It was a welcome sight. It has been a long time since we've seen the sun and we took full advantage. While Todd took Grace to run some errands Ben and I decided to get some exercise.  My last few runs were rain soaked and cold so I was more than willing to get a run in on a 55 degree sunny (thought very windy) day. Joey and Tommy opted to stay home (this was a test- leaving Joey in charge. thankfully it went well) while Ben and I headed out.

For three miles Ben rode his bike next to me. My little running buddy. It was so much fun! And he was certainly pleased to be singled out as my partner. 
It was a bizarre sensation leaving Tommy and Joey at home by themselves. Of course I was paranoid but I had to remind myself that at Joey's age I had been staying home by myself for quite some time. My kids are growing up and I need to give them enough space every once in a while to help with the process. Luckily, when Ben and I returned home the boys hadn't been stolen, the house wasn't burned down, and nothing was broken (that I know of). Success!

Speaking of kids growing up. Grace had her first playdate this afternoon. One of our neighbors (behind us and to the left) has five girls and two of them are Gracie's age and are in class with her at school. Grace was invited over to their house for a girlie cupcake party. We were thrilled for her and accepted right away. Unfortunately, when we told Grace she started bawling and didn't want to go. The girl is a homebody for sure, always nervous in new situations if her mama is not there with her. She wanted me to go with her and stay there but I refused and told her that she could come home any time she wanted.

Todd walked her over to the neighbor's and I stayed home and spied on the girlie party. I watched as the girls played on the playset, rode bikes, played croquet, and duck, duck, goose.
I couldn't help but laugh as I watched 6 small girls climbing on wood piles, rolling around on the grass and dirt, throwing balls, and riding bikes at a party that was supposed to be a girlie cupcake party.  At one point all of the girls went spy stealth mode, climbed on a large pile of firewood, peaked over the fence, and spied on the boys next door (that would be my three boys, by the way). Who needs all that girlie stuff when you can play outside and be crazy? It was fun to watch. And it was a great experience for Grace. She stepped outside of her comfort zone and had fun.

Yes. My kiddos are growing at warp speed around here and I'm just trying to keep up with the milestones. Less time is being spent on the computer and much more time is spent outside. The weather in the coming days is supposed to be even better and I suspect we'll be outside even more. 

Thank goodness those gray days have given way and we are once again enjoying to sun.


Bijoux said...

Our basketball hoop got a lot of action for many years. My husband and I are always happy when we see kids playing seems to be a rarity these days.

Kat said...

Bijoux- It IS a rarity to see kids playing outside these days. It is bizarre to us because my kids are outside ALL DAY but they really don't have many other kids to play with (good thing I had so many kids so that they can play with each other ;)).
That is why I was so happy that when Grace went to her little friends' house they all played outside all day. That family is all about being outside too. Awesome.

My boys all rode their bikes together to a school friend's house (a little less than a mile away) and though their friend wasn't home his mom was so excited to see my boys. She made sure we knew that they can ride over any time. Apparently kids just don't do that much anymore. So sad. That is one of the best parts of childhood!

Bijoux said...

I agree! My son wore out many pairs of tennis shoes riding his Razor Scooter around the neighborhood. And is there anything better than a Big Wheel?? I think not!

Cyndy @ Back in the Bush said...

The sun finally came out here after a week of storms. I was so happy to see it! This girl NEEDS sunshine.
I'm glad Gracie went to the party and enjoyed it. It sounds fun! As does the b-ball hoop.

betty said...

Great idea with the basketball hoop! Lots of fun and exercise with that! It is always hard to start leaving the kids alone, but you are right, I remember being left alone at a young age. They really do well I think with that confidence of staying alone and being responsible doing so :)


Midlife Roadtripper said...

When we put up our hoop, I instantly gained about 12 more kids. After school there were so many kids out there I had to ask if their parents knew where they were. Fun times. And they do go quickly.

My post is idle now, however no more cars are parked out there now as all the kids and their contraptions are gone. Could be time for me to work on my old shots.

Chrissy said...

Love the bball playing! We've been wanting to get a hoop, but our yard is on a pretty good slope..then again that's extra exercise, I guess.

Karen Deborah said...

One thing I really love about the way you mother is that you provide natural real life experiences for your children! They aren't video game techno crazy they like to PLAY! Praise God. I can SEE how big they are getting. It has been a long gloomy cold winter for you. Here not so much it's already hot but not HAWT yet. Because the winter for so many has been rough I am restraining myself from heat complaints, but they are coming. It was 94 yesterday. Went from jackets to sweat. Some day I hope you put your blog into a book for your family. All these memories will be there for them.

Riahli said...

I'm so jealous of your hoop! My kids want one but we have gravel and that just doesn't work very well, ha ha!

They are growing so fast! :)

Elaine Alguire said...

I've been leaving my oldest home for an hour or so at a time. It's weird but needed. :)

Love that you have a running buddy!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson