I have felt like I am entering a new season of life over the last month or so. I have a 17 year old son who is working, dating and hangs out with friends so he isn’t around as much as he used to be. I have a 13 year old daughter who just made Dance Co. at her school and really wants to hang out with friends and because many have moved away (or are moving) she still relies on me to make that happen. She tends to get bored when she is home and wants to do SOMETHING but doesn’t know what…(rolling of the eyes). Then I have a nearly 11 yr old- he will do anything and is an amazing athlete. He loves basketball but can play any sport well. My almost 7yr old will be getting baptized in Aug. and likes to be lazy. He could watch TV all day if I let him. He has quite the personality though and easily finds joy in so many things. He LOVES locks and collects them, anything from padlocks to bike locks and even saved his own money to buy an antique pad lock on ebay. Then my baby is 4 and could also watch TV all day if I let him. He is very much a home body and could live in his PJ’s but looks forward to camping in the summer.
So I have children in my home all across the spectrum, in age and interests. My 17 yr old is preparing for a mission and could potentially be leaving us next June (although I doubt he will have saved enough $ by then) yet I still have a cute little preschooler that loves to hang out with mommy, needs me to kiss his owies, will still cuddle, and wants me to read books to him at bedtime.
Lately I have noticed that we are so dang busy from callings in the church to school activities to sports to work to housekeeping that we don’t get around to doing fun things as a family any more. I look back to when my oldest was little, it seems like we were doing fun things all the time. We went to community events, we would go with my hubby on business trips all over Utah and Wyoming, we camped and hiked, went to Disneyland, the zoo and PLAYED! Now I feel like life is just so crazy, trying to keep up with everyone’s schedules. We always have something going on and many nights there are 2 or 3 things happening at the same time and my husband and I have to split up to make it all work. So when we actually have a day with nothing (which doesn’t happen very often), it is so nice to just sit or get things done around the house and take things slow rather than running from one thing to the next all the time. Also, because our family has grown, activities like Lagoon, the zoo, water parks, and even just going out to dinner can cost $100+.
Well, I am tired of being tired and feeling like I don’t have the money for things and have decided that I need to be better at planning in advance. My oldest will be leaving me soon and I want to do things as a family now more than ever to keep him close for as long as I can and to create memories for my other kids as well. Another thing I have noticed is that because I have so many things with my oldest two, I often think-“been there, done that”- and forget that my little guys haven’t experienced them. I need to plan better and look for discounts on activities ( on Groupon, City Deals, KSL Deals) or even search for free community activities around where we live.
If you are feeling even a portion of how I am feeling check out these family fun activities that I found going on, in or near the Salt Lake Valley this weekend. There are so many things happening all over Utah and for those of you outside of Utah, I know there are similar things going on around you. Especially as summer approaches I know things like this are going on ALL THE TIME! So why have I not done more? Because I’m tired of running, but for my kids sake and my family’s sake I’m gonna make things happen again.
Clint Savage started a group on face book called Walkers and Talkers and has created this event for anyone to join. Looks like fun, seeing all the different kites as well as flying your own. Add some fun treats and family and friends and it makes for a good time. About this event Clint says, “It’s warm out and hopefully this will be a great day. Bring your families, friends and kites. We’ll meet up in the big hill in the southwest corner of the park.
Consider buying a kite before you attend, there will not be kites for sale as this is a community driven event. There are many places that sell kites, including Dollar Tree, Target, etc.”
It is Saturday April 30th at 3:30pm at Sugarhouse Park and best of all IT’S FREE.
I took my little guy to feed the ducks at Gardner Village the other day and was completely surprised to see the woodland fairies out. If they have done this in years past I don’t know how I have missed it. They had fairies all around the property and we had a blast finding them all. Finding the fairies is free!! Stop by the bakery for a treat and it makes for a fun family outing.
This Saturday, and all Saturdays through May, they also have fairy parades at 1pm. Start at Spoiled Rotten where you can purchase any needed fairy items. Also, outside the store is $5 face painting.
Another fun thing on Saturdays at the Bead Farm noon-2pm you can do $5 fairy bracelet make and takes.
I just LOVE Gadner Village!!
3. IKEA is celebrating their newly remodeled Restaurant and Cafe with fantastic food offers, prizes and fun family activities all weekend, Friday April 29th-Sunday May 1. A great thing about this is that they are celebrating Nation Wide so if you don’t live in Utah, look for an IKEA near you
Friday, April 29th- Ribbon Cutting ceremony
- First 100 visitors tot he restaurant recieve a mystery envelope with food and gift card prizes.
- IKEA Family dinner special from 5pm-8pm. 3 course meal for $6.99. Regular Price $9.99. Choice of meatball entree with soup or salad dessert.
Saturday, April 30th
- First 30 people in line recieve a free IKEA goodie bag with Swedish Food Market organic products. Value $45
- The next 100 people in line recieve a mystery envelope with food and gift prizes.
- Full day IKEA FAMILY food offers
- Fun activities through the day
Sunday, May 1st
- First 100 people recieve a mystery envelope with food and gift card prizes.
- All you can eat brunch IKEA FAMILY price $9.99. Regular price $12.99. Available from opening to 2:30 **Here is a picture Kirsten took of a small portion of the brunch we Kusi Girls enjoyed last week at IKEA. SO GOOD!! I love the Swedish pancakes with Lingonberry Jam.
4. Lantern Fest in Tooele, Ut. Saturday April 30
I wish I would have know about this earlier because the first 1000 tickets were only $19 a piece. Now they are $45 each and at day of registration they are $50 each. Kids passes are only $5 each, which is good for entrance to the event as well as a small gift.
With your Lantern Pass, you will receive a wristband granting you entrance to the event, a lantern, a marker, a lighter, and a s’mores kit.
How fun does this sound? I think I will have to pass on this one this time but there is another coming in August. I am going to sign up for their email so they can notify me when the tickets are for sale so I can get them as cheap as possible. If you want to as well, click on the link above to go to their website and check it out.
Well, I hope this has inspired you to get out more with your family, plan ahead so nothing else gets in the way and have fun! Making memories with your family doesn’t have to cost lots of money but definitely takes time, energy and planning. I love my family more than anything and want to always feel close to them and I know that taking time to get away from the ordinary daily tasks and spending quality time with them, where they have my full attention, will build close relationships that I want.
SEE THE HAPPY!