Tag Archives: pool

Pool with Mandy

Yesterday we were able to go to a new pool with some old friends, Mandy and Malina.  Mandy and I taught together years ago, before I had kids. Her daughter is one year younger than Faith and they all play together very well.  

We haven’t been to the pool a lot this summer. For some reason the kids don’t really want to go (and I don’t want to force them because I don’t want to go either). I think they are just getting bored with it and it has been very hot outside this summer. The last few summers have been quite nice but this one is just hot, humid and over ninety degrees everyday.  Thankfully, we had a beautifully mild day and were with friends.  

Out of everyone, I think the boys had the best time.   There was a water slide there that they went down over and over again.  I loved watching them play together.  Wilson didn’t want to leave because he was having so much fun sliding with Miller.  I think that miller is finally old enough to play the rougher games that wilson likes to play without getting hurt. It makes me happy to see them play as friends. 


Of course the girls had an equally enjoyable time as well.  We look forward to going over there again in a few weeks.  


Spring Break

We have had quite a week.  I decided months ago that we were going to have a fun filled stay-cation over spring break.   We typically don’t go anywhere for spring break, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t still have lots of fun in Charlotte.  I planned for us to do something new and different each day of the week.

On Monday, Tom took off from work and we went to one our families favorite places – The Lazy Five Ranch.  I scheduled a wagon ride for the morning so that we could feed all of the animals first and play on the playground afterwards.  Last year the wagon ride was very exciting, but this year the animals were not really coming up to the wagon like they had done in the past.  Unfortunately, Faith is terrified of almost all animals so the wagon ride was a bit traumatic for her this year.  I don’t remember her being scared last year, but this year she cried as soon as the first animal came up to the wagon.  If we go again, we will feed the sheep and goats behind the fence first so that she will warm up to the animals before we stick her on an open wagon that is swarming with giant cattle, zebras, and emus.  By the end of the ride she had grown a bit more comfortable.

After the wagon ride we ate lunch, played on the playground, fed camels, goats and sheep through the fence, and ate ice cream.  Here is Faith after the wagon ride feeding a llama.  I had to take a pictures because I was so surprised that she was actually doing it….IMG_4428.JPG

It was almost time to leave when I had a great idea – if I do say so myself.  Since we had already paid for admittance to the park, I realized that we could drive through the park in our car before we left.  The car ride through the park ended up being the highlight of our trip!  Here we are entering the park – everyone unbuckled and in the front two seats….IMG_4460.JPGIt didn’t take long before Faith and Miller were in the back seat of the car hiding from a giant  animal that was sticking his head through the open car window looking for food.  It was hilarious!  Wilson drove most of the way through the park while sitting on Tom’s lap.  I think Tom got a big wet kiss from this guy…..IMG_4479.JPG

Our trip to Lazy Five will be talked about for the next year!

As for the rest of the week, on Wednesday we went to Monkey Joe’s with Faith’s friend, Jane, and her siblings.  I ended up bringing one of the neighborhood boys with us as well.  The more the merrier!  Here are all the kids eating ice cream after we left Monkey Joe’s.  Note to self:  do not go to Monkey Joe’s on half-price Wednesday during Spring Break.IMG_4484.JPG On Thursday we went to Ray’s Splash Planet with my friend, Erin, and her two kids.  Of course, it was crowded also, but the kids didn’t seem to notice or to mind.  They swam for a few hours and then we headed outside for a picnic.  The picnic was my favorite part, mainly because it was quiet.

On Friday, I literally filled up my minivan with children and took them to ISC (where Faith takes gymnastics) to the open gym that they were having that morning.  This was the first thing that we did that wasn’t crowded.  I will go to open gym twice next year.  It is only $15 per kid and they get to play for three hours on all of the gymnastics equipment.  I was going to take only one extra kid with me, but when I showed up at Ronnie’s house to pick him up there was another neighborhood boy there.  I decided to invite him as well.  We found his dad, got some money, and threw him into the car with everyone else.  :)

Spring Break was a success!  I loved having the kids at home with me.  I loved not having to get up in the morning and go to work.  I loved being able to have some fun and spend time with our family.  After this week of freedom, I am REALLY looking forward to summer break.  Only six more weeks until we get to do these things all of the time!  I am counting down the days….




Gardening, Pool, and Dinner

I had a very fun, busy and relaxing weekend…

On Friday night my kids all slept over at Grandma’s with Gabriel and Shepherd.  I dropped them off around noon Friday and didn’t get them until Saturday morning.  I was so relieved to have all that time to myself.  I had also just cleaned the house so I was able to enjoy a clean house for almost 24 hours (almost unheard of).  I decide that a nap was a very good use of a quiet house.  After the nap, Tom and I had a date night and then he went to bed early because he had an International distance triathlon the next morning at Lake Norman.  Tom’s continuing goal is to be on the top three finishers in his age group.  He had yet to achieve this goal until this race. This time, Tom came in third place in his age group.  He works very hard at doing his best in these races.  When I raced a few last summer I just wanted to finish and have fun, he wants to win.  Third place was a great achievement.  Here he is crossing the finish line and up on the podium….




While Tom was at his race (which I didn’t go to because I was sleeping in with no kids), I went over to my mom’s to play with the kids and see Grandmama Pat.  Grandmama loves to come over to see the kids.  Today she wanted to see them swim at the pool and help in my mom’s gigantic garden.  My mom’s bean plants are so tall that Faith had to get up on an eight foot ladder to reach the top of the plants.  This picture is actually only half of her garden.  The other half has tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and zucchini.


After gardening we took the kids to the pool.  It turns out that the best time to go to the pool is on a rainy day.  It had be sprinkling off and on all day, but without any thunder.  Instead of their being 100 people at the pool there was only ten, and we were half of them.  My dad played in the pool with the kids and continued to teach Gabriel how to swim.  My dad loves to play and to teach.  The kids were crawling all over him towards the end.  Wilson kept climbing on him and stealing his hat.  Wilson doesn’t know when to quit so he kept doing it over and over again.  It is usually either annoying or funny.  This time it was both.  I happened to catch an action shot since he couldn’t stop doing it long enough to take a decent picture.


Even after all that, our day was not done.  We went over to Jeff and Joanna Wise’s house for dinner.  The Youngs were invited also.  Faith, Robin and Colton are in the same Sunday School class together and so are Dallon, Jesse, Wilson and Miller.  The kids have become good friends over the past year.  It was time for all of us to get together outside of church.  The BBQ, sangria and conversation were all very delightful.  I would love to do it again sometime.  The Wises have a beautiful house and are very gracious hosts.  I love that all my friends have a relaxed house that  is very kid friendly.  It makes for such an enjoyable night.

This is Sidney, Bobby,  Jeff and Joanna….


The kids are now old enough to eat outside while we eat in peace inside. I am not sure if much eating was done, but they were having fun….


Green necklace

There are two types of necklaces to be earned at the YMCA pool.  The first one is the yellow necklace. To earn this the kids have to swim half way across the pool and float for just a few seconds.  Both kids earned this necklace last year and were allowed to swim in the shallow water alone.  The next necklace is the coveted green necklace.  This is a much harder necklace to earn and one that every child wants to have around their neck.  This necklace allows you to go anywhere in the pool by yourself and lets you go down the two watersides.

Both of the kids are pretty good swimmers, but they couldn’t tread water for the required minute.  Because Tom was an All American swimmer growing up, he is in charge of teaching the kids to swim.  They also go to him to learn and then listen to what he has to say.   Because we have been going to the pool so much over the last few weeks, Faith has really gotten better.  On Saturday morning we went to the pool at 10:00am after Wilson’s sports class.  Faith and Tom practiced her treading water for many hours.  At 2:00pm she decided to take the swim test.  She did amazing!  She swam better than I have ever seen her swim.  She swam the full length of the pool by herself.  She rested for a few minutes and then treaded water for one minute.  Her little feet and arms were moving so fast in order to keep her head above water.  The life guard that was giving the test told her to slow down or else she was going to be too tired to finish.  I don’t think that she could have slowed it down.  She is so tiny that she must have needed to move fast in order to stay up.  It was actually really cute.

She passed the test.  I was so proud of her I almost cried.  There aren’t too many goals that six year old have set for themselves yet.  However, this was a big one for Faith.  She wanted that necklace.  I seriously don’t think that she has taken it off since she earned it.  It is a bragging right.  Here is my little swimmer…



Fun, Busy Day

We had quite a lot of fun on Sunday. We started off the day by going to Doug’s church with his family and my parents. He has been going to Warehouse 242 for five years and they wanted to pray for him before he moved to Maryland this Thursday. Jacqueline got accepted to the PhD program at the University of Maryland. She will be studying English Literature. Doug accepted a job up there and starts work next Monday. We will be very sad to see them go. After church I thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of us all. Unfortunately all we had was a cell phone to take the picture….



As usual, after every serious picture there is a silly picture….



On Saturday, we bought Wilson a new bike hoping that it would inspire him to learn how to ride a two wheeler….it worked! He jumped right on it and rode off.   Now that he can ride a two wheeler, we can ride together on the Greenway at the base of our neighborhood.  In honor of Wilson’s new found skill, we packed a lunch and the kids rode their bikes down the Greenway with Tom.  I drove to meet them at the park with the lunch so that we could get home easier if needed.  Today he rode the two miles down the Greenway to the lake and back (four miles total). I was super impressed.  We played down at the lake, watched the geese, ate lunch and had some good, old fashioned family time.



Here is Wilson on his new bike.  If he turns the right handle grip it revs up like a motorcycle….


After bike riding we headed to the pool for an hour or so.  The outdoor pool is open only on the weekends right now, but will open up daily starting next week.  It is supposed to be in the high 80s this whole week.  After the pool we hit the playground for an hour to meet up with some friends from church and have some ice-cream.  We would have stayed longer except there was camping to be done!!

Believe it or not, the day is still not over!!  Tom set up the tent in the backyard for the kids to sleep in with him that night.  (I don’t sleep in tents.  My sleep is too precious to be disrupted up by sleeping outside on the hard ground).  We had a small campfire, ate outside, and watched the sun go down.  Living with a backyard that is so heavily wooded makes it easy for us to feel as if we are really camping.  We did a lot of fun things Sunday.  Tom said that he only gets one or two days a week to spend with the kids and he was going to squeeze in as many fun things as he could.  He succeeded!


Ray’s Splash Planet

This past summer Faith was given two day passes to Rays Splash Planet uptown. None if us had ever been until today. I had all three kids with me at school this morning so I thought it would be the perfect day to go since we were all together and almost uptown already. We headed over right after school, got changes and were ready to swim.

At first glance it didn’t seem like there was a lot there to do but the kids loved it. There was a large splash ground area with water falling from the sky and three slides. I thought that the kids would play there the most but they didn’t. I think my kids are already outgrowing playground equipment. Every time we go to the playground they would rather run on the soccer field. We had the same experience today. Luckily there was a graduated pool and a ball for Miller to play with. He spent most of his time there. The older two kept going back and forth between the lazy river and the Cyclone pool (a circular pool with a serious current). Luckily they required, and provided, life vests for the kids. This made my job easier because I didn’t have to be right there with them the whole time. I could be across the room with miller and let the life vests and the life guards do the job for me.

We stayed for over two hours. I think the kids would have stayed longer but I was ready to go. It takes us forever to shower and get dressed so I knew we had another half hour ahead of us. I would definitely recommend Rays Splash Planet in the winter. I bet it is a zoo in the summer. We had a great time together.



More fun at the pool

Now that the rain has cleared up we have been at the pool almost every day this week….well, at least the kids have. I took them two days and Tom took them the other two. Wilson has been so much this week that today he got the skin rubbed off of the bottom of his big toes. The spot is small but still hurts. I remember getting these same spots as a child. We used to push off of the bottom of the pool so much that eventually the skin got rubbed off. It is like a little hole in your toe. I had forgotten about them until today.  A rite of passage, I guess.

It has still been raining every night, but at least the days have been clear.  Yesterday Tom took all three kids to the pool.  Now that both Wilson and Faith have a yellow swim necklace, we can relax a little at the pool.  Tom found a cozy little corner for Miller to sleep in the shade and where he could sit in a chair and watch the two swimmers.  Finally!  Life is getting a little easier.

However, Tom took all three to the pool by himself yesterday because I needed a little break.  Not that anything major has been going on, but every once in a while I kind of reach the end of my rope.  I know that I have two days free during the week, but sometimes I spend it cleaning or running errands.  I get to do those things alone, but it still tires me out.  I have been pretty tired lately.  I am not sure why, but sleep has been a top priority for me.  While the kids were at the pool I took a short nap and then just laid around for a while.  Sometimes I realize that sitting down is the best thing that I can do while the kids are gone.  I know that as soon as they enter the room I will be on my feet fixing them drinks or being led around the room by Miller while he pulls at my finger. Yesterday’s afternoon break was a nice surprise and needed one.  I am glad that Tom saw my need and acted accordingly.  He is a good Daddy and husband.