Summer bucket list

Summer rocks! 

$1 birdhouses and 69 cent paint makes for 2 happy, very entertained kids for an afternoon project

$1 birdhouses and 69 cent paint makes for 2 happy, very entertained kids for an afternoon project

Last summer we did not get to do much fun stuff. I was already uncomfortably pregnant and was not handling much in terms of heat or activity, let alone the two together. So this summer we made up for it. We squeezed as much as we could into this summer, especially these past few weeks before the kids returned to (pre)school.  There is such a nice array of active fun family things to do around here that I want our kids to have an appreciation (and love) for! That and my kids behave better, are in better moods, and get along better when we are out and about and active.

We took our kayaks out a handful of times.  Lost Grove lake and Bennett park a few times. G and L have each been out on the water with us.  Lucy really loves it, G is still trying to get over his fear of water that he cannot touch the bottom in.  J and I are hoping to take out the kayaks at least 1 more time for a day-long paddling trip.

One morning I took all 3 kids hiking at Wildcat Den, a State Park only about 30 mins from here.  We gathered ‘nature stuff’ (per G) and put some miles on those little legs!  The kids loved the rock formations, the wildlife and the trails.  We explored around the old Grist Mill and even got to go in and get a tour. The kids waded in the creek water and got to help grind corn themselves at the mill.  2 massive diaper blowouts, courtesy of Amelia rounded out the day and we were ready to pack it up!

We trekked over to West Lake Beach for an afternoon with some friends.  The kids had free passes from their summer reading program, but I am not sure why we had not went to the beach earlier in the summer.  They have a nice little wading area for kids and the 6 of them had a blast all together.  Sand + sun = 3 tired kiddos and a good afternoon nap!

Spray parks are my new favorite summer activity for the kids. They are A) FREE. B) Easy to watch your kids while there and less worry about deep water C) Hours of entertainment for little people. D) A nice way to cool off. E) Did I mention they are FREE?!  We went to 2 different spray parks this summer and had plans for another that fell through due to rain. All 3 of the kids really liked them, and now that Amelia is mobile she is even more of a fan. 

Amelia is getting quite curious

Amelia is getting quite curious

This past weekend we went to the Old Thresher’s Reunion.  Based on the name I could hardly contain my excitement (note sarcasm) but I was pleasantly surprised.  The ‘reunion’ is more like a fair with a lot of demonstrations and re-enactments of yesteryear. We saw grain threshing powered b a 2 horse treadmill, the kids rode a steam-powered carousel, rode  a train to the ‘log village’ of pioneer days, and watched people make sugar from sorghum.  Everything was really interesting and we all had a good time.  


Zonked after the Old Thresher’s

Pony rides!

Pony rides!

This past weekend we also went to Backbone State Park for an annual family picnic.  That place is so pretty!!  We had gotten a shelter by the beach and hoped to let the kids splash in the water all day.  Good thing we checked the DNR website a few days prior as the park was one of several in Iowa rated unsafe to swim in due to abnormally high levels of E.Coli bacteria in the water earlier in the season.  Yikes! No kids were allowed in the water, and It rained off and on all day but we had a great time.  My kids LOVE getting together with their cousins and we hear about it for weeks afterwards.

This week the kids returned to school and our summer bucket list concluded. (Now onto the fall bucket list–apple orchards and pumpkin patches here we come!) G was beyond ready to return to school.  He thrives at school, does well with his peers and really enjoys his teachers and activities.  I cannot tell you how EXCITED Lucy was to begin preschool and how much she BAWLED on the first day when she realized she had to go home after class was over. I guess that is a good thing?!

-The {active} Costello’s

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