Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Time to Get Wet & Wild

Jump on in! It's Backyard Game Week. Monday, Claudia showed us how to make a Gutter Sundae. Some of us were grossed out about the sharing aspect but Claudia fixed that by adding either a graham cracker or brownie barrier. Yesterday Claudia showed you how to use a Big Mouth Bass cookie cutter from Fancy Flours to create and invitation for a Backyard Party. Today I am happy to be talking about having fun in the sun while splishing and splashing! I hope it's getting warm in your neck of the woods because summer is my favorite time of year. For me, the hotter the better. I feel very fortunate to have a pool right out back so that when we wake up on the weekends, we pull on our suits, slather on the sunscreen and start the day off swimming.

As a kid I spent my summers at the public swimming pool sliding, diving and flipping. Pulling from my memory banks, I remember the classic game of Marco Polo or maybe you prefer Sharks and Minnows. Do you remember playing chicken on the shoulders of a friend? Or, under water tea parties? What was it called when you go underwater hold hands with a friend, matching up your feet and pushing so that your bottoms bumped. Hours of fun! I didn't care what I was doing as long as I was in the water.

What every pool needs and what I didn't have growing up is noodles! You have to have noodles. You blow air threw one in and you have a whale or a fountain or good ol' splash in the face. Sit on them to keep you afloat. My 7 and 8 year old boys spend more time chasing each other around the pool trying to pelt each other with the noodles or shoot each other with a water gun that I've got my constant life guard voice saying, "WALK!" They climb in and out of the pool so much I know they're getting an arm workout. They make me tired just watching. Oh, and no day is complete at the pool until everyone has done a cannonball! Even me.

But what if you don't have a pool?
Enter the hose and sprinkler. They make so many fun sprinklers now days but even 30 years ago I remember the clown sprinkler we had. The water pushed up his hat and you ran through the stream. My favorite is still the classic sprinklers that just wave back and forth. Before I got the irrigation system installed the boys loved helping water the yard. I use the word helping lightly.

What about a slip and slide? They've come a long way baby! We just had the yellow strip that went across the yard. No cushy ending to catch you. You just slid off the end. Now they have the blow up sides to stop you at the end. They even have boards that you can slide on to prevent stomach rashes and things you can slide under- like 3-D shark mouths! Yes! The goggles JB is wearing are 3D Goggles! What will they think of next?

So, when the summer heat starts beating down, jump in the nearest pool, break out the hose and sprinkler systems, get the super soaker guns out and cool down. What's your favorite way to beat the heat? I don't know about you but this is my favorite... (my extra cold beer is missing in this picture!)

Yesterday's winner was Sporadic Spy for "I feel like a fish out of water without you." SS, what now? Care to cast us a clue? You won a Big Mouth Bass Cookie Cutter!!! Where do we send it?

Rock the VOTE! Don't forget to go over to Taste of USA to vote for either Virginia or Ohio today. Polls open around 6:30am CST. Tomorrow is between Indiana and New York. Friday we have our final poll!

Signing off until tomorrow...


Robin said...

I guess staying indoors in the AC isn't the most pc answer, but it's my trick. After the Army, I have no desire to be outdoors. I prefer to see it via postcards. LOL We go to the indoor pool some and I make a few requisite treks to the outdoor "baby" pool, but I'm really a summer spoil sport. (Winter too for that matter.) LOL

I do enjoy sitting in my air conditioned sun room and watching the kids play in the back yard...

Chaotic said...

summer... outdoor festivals at the (usually dry) river.... taking the dogs to the (usually dry) river.... :-(

drought sucks

Cheryl said...

Robin was in the Army? Something new every day.

Polls are open over at Taste of USA.

We're big on making snow cones and eating popsicles to help cool off.

heather said...

Ooooh...I LOVE summer. HOT HOT it!
I love taking Lily to the pool...last summer we didn't know Cheryl very well yet but I bet this summer we'll be crashing her house at least once!
We are fortunate to have a great pool in our apartment complex and to live right across the street from the community pool that is also fabulous.
What else do I love to do in the summer...frozen fruit, sprinklers, wearing flip flops/sandals, and taking an occasional day off to soak up the sun.

I can't wait to have a backyard again to play backyard games!

Peggy said...

Growing up less than two miles from the shores of Lake Michigan, I had a huge swimming pool... when the bacteria counts were low you could actually wade up to your ankles in the freezing cold water.

In Tennessee, we were very fortunate to belong to a newly opened YMCA, with indoor and outdoor kid pools... we'd spend every day there.

Now that I have teenagers, the only pool in town is part of the health club, you have to pay a health memmbership plus a pool fee... we simply can't afford that.

So, we immensely enjoy being asked over to someone's house if they have a pool....but the last time that happened it was over an hours drive away and it rained!! Sigh!

Sporadic Spy said...

Oh...ya'll don't know me, and vice versa. But here is two things about me. 1) I am nearly translucent and try to avoid the sun and 2) I am a domestic moron...I don't bake or do any of the martha-like things I have read about here very well.

Lets ship the cookie cutter to someone who might get a kick out of it?

Ms. Wilma Stephenson
c/o Frankford High School
5000 Oxford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19124

Sporadic Spy said...

Oh--and thanks! It was fun!

Claudia said...

Sporadic Spy! You might not consider yourself a Martha Stewart of sorts (either do I, by the way), but you've definately gotten the hang of our other favorite past time - doing random acts of kindness!

I am sure Wilma will love the cookie cutter and we will be sure to let her know it came from a mystery friend.

Thank you for adding a touch of mystery to our site! We appreciate you.

cassie p said...

i LOVE swimming pools, the sun, the beach, and everything summer!!! my parents FINALLY put an above-ground pool in at the end of last summer (which we did get to use for a few weeks). I always wanted our own pool when I was younger, and my parents couldnt put one in until NOW when I am almost gone!!!But this summer, I still get to enjoy it, as I do not plan on moving out until the end of the year.

I love to do exactly what Cheryl is doing in her picture- lay on a floaty of some sort in the pool, for hours and soak up the sun!

Cheryl said...

Don't forget your sunscreen!!!

Claudia said...

A second to share my recollection of summer fun while growing up in New York.

Most people in our neighborhood did not have pools. Before globabl warming, there would only have been about 8-10 weeks when you could comfortably swim in an outdoor pool. So, we resorted to running through the sprinklers. Looking back, you know what I loved about that? We felt lucky and never even thought about the fact that we were "going without." In fact, I remmember coming up with all sorts of fun games to play in the sprinkler and time just flying by.

Of course we only resorted to the sprinkler when it was low tide and we couldn't go jump off the docks at the Little Neck Bay. We spent hours down at the dock swimming, playing games on our towels, and waiting for Mr. Softee to make his daily rounds.

Of course some kids belonged to the local country club and getting invited was always a special treat.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane, Cheryl.

b.k.root said...

Anyone play Ladderball? I love this backyard game. And I'm pretty good at it, I might add.

When I was little, I used to love slip 'n slides. Speaking of slip 'n slides, my Resident Student Council hosted a Paint Slip 'N Slide program here on campus last semester. It was hilarious to watch!

Photos at:

Katie K said...

Hello all!

I LOVE to swim. As a kid we had a membership to the pool that was a few miles away from our house. We would get up in the morning, do our little routine, and then spend the late morning/all afternoon at the pool! Then, we'd come home, have dinner, and most likely head off to a baseball game for my brother.

Anything I can do to get into the water is the best for me. I don't necessarily like to sit out by the pool and soak up sun, but I just love to be in the water. I loved having contests with my dad and brothers to see who could stay under water the longest without coming up. I also liked to see how far in the pool I could swim without coming up for air. I had dreams of being on the swim team, though that never worked out.

Even to this day, I just love to be in a pool and in the water. Granted, that means putting on a bathing suit, but I'm learning to get over that part!

I love hearing of all the games you all have played in the pool. And Sporadic Spy- how fun are you?!? I love it!

Cheryl said...

We had the public pool (which I just read is closing for good...sad) but not one at my house. We also spent time at the beaches in Port Aransas and Rockport. There are lakes nearby but I don't remember going to them as a kid that much. One family we spent time with lived out in the country and had a "well" I guess it was a well. It was about 8-10' tall and about 6-7' in diameter above ground. Green mossy stuff grew in it... we swimmed in it.

Something I still love to do is to just float on top of the water (Without the float) and relax there on the top of the water. The water sloshes in out of your ears so you can't really hear what's going on around you. It's very meditative. :)

Margaret Loves the Sun said...

I love the sun. I love the pool, I love the water and lakes and summer, summer, summer.

My Saturdays and Sundays are spent with magazines and books out at a hotel pool here in Dallas. (no kids or hubby for me so I am free to do as I please.) This has been my pool of choice for over ten years. I can not tell you which one or everyone would go there! And you have to know the code to get in the gate anyway...

It is like you are on a mini vacation when you look around and all you can see is the blue of the skies and the green of the landscaping and the big beautiful pool... They even provide the towels!!

I remember going to the Elks Lodge to swim in my hometown of Claremore, OK. We spent alot of time there until my aunt and uncle "in town" built a pool. You can not even imagine how tan I could get.

I know better now, still love the sun... but splash on the SPF instead of laying out on the silver reflective blanket of the 80's.

Tera said...

I, being as pastey as I am, have issues with the sun. I sat outside on my parents deck last weekend for 20 minutes and I was burned. Not cool!

When I was younger, I lathered the sun block on and hit the pool. The neighbor kids and I went to the outdoor pool at the local YMCA. They had 2 pools, one with a slide. We spent just about every day there.

As I got older, summers were spent at Camp Glinodo. I was a camper there for one week a summer from age 6-13. From age 14-19 I worked there all summer. There wasn't much to do to escape the heat other than swim. (are you sensing a theme here?)

Now I'm more of a stay-inside-in-the-AC kinda girl. Since we currently don't have AC, I'm thankful we live in Cleveland and don't have too many too, too hot days!