First of all, I have to start off by giving a special shout-out to my niece, Skylar, who got her braces off this week. She was beautiful with them and she’s beautiful without them:
Okay, now on to the story.
My mom and dad have a home that is the epitome of the idea of ‘grandma and grandpa’s house’. You know what I mean? They still buy kid’s cartoon movies and they always have cookies on hand for when grandkids come to visit. Living in the country, they have tons of yard space for kids to run and explore (trust me, I spent most of my youth doing just that) and let’s not forget the old tire swing hanging from the big oak tree that I pretty much grew up on.
A couple of years ago, they bought a swing set for the smaller grandkids–one of those deals with a two or three swings and a slide attached. But it aged in the weather and this past spring, my parents decided that the old swing set just wouldn’t do anymore. So, they bought this monstrosity:
Zoey and her cousins, Rowan and Keagan
Complete with a slide, two side swings, a rock climbing wall, a climbing rope–and yes, that’s a tire swing underneath–this thing is HUGE and my dad put it all together (except for attaching the swings) in his workshop before transporting it to their playground via his tractor and special skis that he made. Mom and Dad put it in place last weekend and this past Wednesday, Zoey and I went over to their house to check it out.
It was just sort of by chance that the day we planned a playdate at Grandma Hoose’s house happened to also be the day that Zoey’s cousins, Rowan and Keagan were also there. Zoey ADORES her little cousins and was SO excited when they both came out of the house to the car when we pulled into the driveway. I hadn’t told her that her cousins would be there, so it was a huge surprise and she actually gasped when she saw them. THAT’S how much she loves spending time with them.
Keagan, Rowan and Zoey
It used to be that she saw Rowan every week day and Keagan at least once a week because my mom watched Rowan and Zoey during the day while my sister, Colleen, and I were at work. But then I lost my job and mom had surgery, which meant during her recovery she couldn’t watch little ones. Thus, Zoey, Rowan and Keagan don’t get to see each other nearly as much. Colleen and I have been trying to set up some play dates, but scheduling is tough this summer with our family and scheduling with Colleen’s family is a nightmare in the summertime because she has four kids in total–each going in different directions with sporting events and whatnot, not to mention her husband is from a huge extended family. Between kids’ events and family get-togethers, they are usually booked for the whole summer.
Anyway, Zoey was so happy her cousins were there and as soon as we got out of the car, the kids were off and running to the new playground. This was the first time that all three girls had gotten to see the new playground, so they were eager to check it out:
Zoey on the tire swing
Rowan, Zoey and Keagan. They really rip down that slide.
How do you drive this thing, guys?
But after spending quite a bit of time on the new playground, the girls headed over to the old swingset to give it some love:
Zoey and Keagan
Zoey, Keagan and Rowan
Then it was time to pick blackberries with Grandma Hoose:
Zoey is holding a fistful of berries
Before we knew it, we had spent the entire afternoon at Mom and Dad’s house. Zoey and I got home just in time to start making dinner. We were both tired from a day of playing and Miss Zoey fell asleep on my lap shortly after we got home. And the next morning when she woke up, she talked on and on about wanting to go back to Grandma Hoose’s house to play with Rowan and Keagan again.
A huge thanks to my mom, who let us come over to play. And also a huge thanks to Keagan, who was such a big help in catching Zoey at the bottom of the slide.
For more pics from our afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa Hoose’s house, click here.