Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm Melting!!

Recently Girl Talk posted a list of summer activities for kids. It was filled of wonderful creative ideas and I'm excited to file them away for the fall. That's right, fall, winter or spring- In AZ it's kind of one in the same. Most of the ideas were just not "AZ friendly". Take for example one suggestion that I thought was super cute, creating a popsicle tree for the kids. But what those who don't live in AZ might not know is that by the time you braved the 117 degree heat and hung your second popsicle, the first popsicle would be melted along with the box on the ground. I can just see my kids excitement when they saw a popsicle tree outside only to try to get one down and find one big melted, gooey, mess! Another idea on the list was cloud watching,

"Lay on your backs and look up at the clouds on a
day when they are making interesting formation. Give everyone 30
seconds to decide what the cloud looks like !"

It's a little well known fact that you just don't "lay" on the AZ ground in the summer unless of course you enjoy second degree burns and 30 seconds is about all one could stand in 117 degrees. All this to say I'm trying hard to keep my three activive children from going crazy indoors but I confess it's been a challenging few weeks. We are doing weekly library trips at 9 am where they are earning prizes for reading books and that has already been a highlight of the summer. But most errands, particularly when I have to take them with me, should be done after the sun goes down or before it comes up. Now the way to survive in AZ is to have a pool. We don't have one. My parents do but it still involves hot cars, seat belts and I'm finding that from 11:00-4:30pm it's best for everyone's sanity and skin to stay indoors. Those in the east coast will say, It's a dry heat. And it's true, I personally would prefer a dry heat over humidity but as the saying goes... It may be a dry heat, but so is an oven!

So what does one do indoors all morning & afternoon with little kids? That has been my dilemma. Today at the library I picked out a "What to do on rainy days with kids" book- minus all the ideas about running around outdoors catching rain and counting seconds in between lightning & thunder, I think I might've found a few but I'd love some more! Anyone have any AZ summer activities for kids you'd like to suggest? Maybe my East Coast friends can give me their rainy day suggestions. In the meantime I await cooler days where we can again be outdoors playing, having picnics & watching clouds. Thankful that God has brought another hot summer to AZ where it can again reveal all the sin that is in my heart and my need for a Savior :-)

Here are a few AZ hot jokes that I found on a website for your entertainment. They made me laugh!

It's so hot in Arizona that...
*the cows are giving evaporated milk.
*you no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
*you learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
*the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
*you can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
*you discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.
*you discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.
*you notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
*the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
*the potatoes cook underground, and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.


Andrea said...

those are seriously SO TRUE! driving with 2 fingers, acceptable attire, parking places that are shaded... so funny!

Liz said...

Tara - you KNOW I had to leave a comment! I too cannot stand the heat, and I was convicted by your wonderful attitude - I myself have been complaining about the humidity and wishing for those "good hair days" in AZ!!! As I have said before, you write so well and it is so entertaining to read all that you write - what a joy you are to so many.
Anyway - I can relate to your dilemma - my kids never wanted to go out in the heat either. What we did was try to work on something (usually school-related) that we needed to like math facts, scripture memory, and it would ease the pressure during the school year (art lessons, music lessons). We had time in the summer for these but not always during the school year. Or we would work on establishing routine - like wake up, make bed, brush teeth, and use rewards for establishing good habits. We always set "summer goals" for each of the kids - one would learn to do laundry, one would learn to unload the dishwasher, etc. I know your kids might be young for some of these - maybe you can tuck them away for later use!
Love you -

Sarah said...

I love that list, so funny! Not that I can relate or anything, but it still made me laugh. :)

Mr and Mrs said...

Okay, Tara -- reading about summer for you was like me telling the story of my minnesota winters -- so here's what we do in the winter:

Blow up balloons (endless fun!);
Have a dance party (sandra boynton, Laurie Berkner, Ralph Covert, or Songtime kids has a dance beat :); Use contact paper to make footprints to follow around the house; build forts and read books inside or tell stories; bake cookies to eat and share with others; make ahead meals and freeze to share with families; finger paint in the shower/bathtub or at the table if you trust your kids :); Dress-up -- (we have more helmets, capes, gadgets, and wetsuits than one can imagine); playdough; skype; legos; jump on beds; bubble machine (my favorite gift to give :)and music; beach sand from ToysRUs is an under the bed bin for an indoor sandbox; shaving cream -- fun in a can :);and a ball pit (we use our kiddie pool and fill it with those small balls).

Okay, I'll stop there :)
We are SOOOO glad to finally be outside after 6 months of being cooped up -- I can relate!

Tara said...

Wow Christa- what an awesome list!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it up for me!!

Love the ball bit idea and footprints with contact paper!

Enjoy your beautiful weather :-)

Deborah said...

Your post brings back so many memories of when my guys were little here in the desert. One of my boys' favorite things to do when school was done was to build forts in the house. Gratefully, we had an extra room (an enclosed carport) that I let them transform each summer into a myriad of homemade tunnels made out of old sheets, blankets, an ironing board, brooms...whatever they could find and then, I just let them create away. Each year the forts grew more intricate and they would sleep in them, watch movies (yes, they put a tv inside!), read, play with leggos, etc. My two oldest sons (in their 20's now) are the best fort makers this side of the Mississippi to this very day. Just ask the Grogg family, whom we went camping with a few years ago...my guys made a fort in the woods for the kids and last I heard it is still standing today!

Jenna K. said...

All I did was read the words 'popsicle tree' and i just cracked up laughing, and then cloud gazing..(what clouds, even mist can't hang around in this environment)
Okay, I know it isn't terribly productive but Ikea does have an indoor play area, and it gives you a chance to walk around (exercise is hard to come by, unless you have a gym membership which we don't at the moment) While you're at Ikea, get their 40m long roll of paper ($7) Now you have another activity! Roll out the paper in the longest stretch of your house (go for the big effect) and have a coloring marathon...or trace the kids bodies and decorate with clothes, hair, etc. Use the paper for birthday banners or just for fun banners.
Hmmm..I'll try to think.