Playing While it Pours

I told Allan that my experience at the park last night was “the most fun I’ve had in months and months!” And it really, really was.

Allan was still in the mountains with his parents and brother. I was desperately wanting a library trip because my book list was growing longer and longer all the time. There were a couple books in particular that I’ve been wanting to crack open and get lost in. I’m excited to read them this week!

So we went to the library. As I was driving away from my house it occured to me that I should grab my camera because just maybe I could stop at a park near the library that I’ve been meaning to check out. I’ve never been there before, never even knew it existed, but had heard good things about it.

So I drove back to my house for my camera despite the fact that I was a thirty minute drive from the library and the library was closing in 50 minutes!

I never drive home to get my camera. It turned out to be the best decision 🙂

So we hurried through the library grabbing books. We even had a little over five minutes for the kids to pick out books. They’re FAST about getting books, they just grab whatever catches their eye and so we all headed to the car happy.

But then it got so much better!

I drove the couple minutes over to the park and we stopped in the parking lot just to look at it. It was too hot to play so I wasn’t planning on staying. I took Brooklyn out to take a snap just to see if this place could be a location I could use in the future for photos.
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It actually wasn’t too too hot and the playground looked really fun so I told all the kids they could play after we just take one group picture.
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The few group shots I took didn’t turn out at all. The exposure and focus and composition were great but the kids would not look at me at all.
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Mostly Ember was more interested in crawling around so I snapped a few fun ones of the other three.
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And then we were going to go play but I decided to try just once more for a group shot.
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I like these pictures even though they’re not all looking at the camera and smiling. I really need to take Allan with me if I want a smiley photo of them. I think if he was standing behind me being silly they’d all look. For our Christmas picture I’ll try that.
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Ember was all about looking through Brooklyn’s library book.
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And I got a picture of her standing! I’ve not been able to yet because she’ll sit down and crawl to me every single time I attempt it!
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The older three kids had been playing at the park so Ember and I headed over there. Any picture that doesn’t have Ember in it was taken with Ember on my hip!
Brooklyn liked this log border around the park. She did a couple laps on it 🙂
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This seesaw was a huge hit with all four kids. I sat on one side with Ember while the other three sat on the other side and we bounced up and down. Ember was laughing so hard. All five of us were. I should’ve taken a picture then but I didn’t.
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Ember had fun in the sand. She tasted it. A couple times. And then offered me some.
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There used to be a merry-go-round at the park right next to our library. They took it out for some reason. This park has a merry-go-round that’s way better (bigger, more sturdy) and the kids were so so excited about it! The only “problem” was it was really heavy and hard to turn. It took me a lot of muscle! lol
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I think this was about the time I went and put my camera on a picnic table under a covering. It was raining lightly this whole time but the rain picked up a little bit. I wanted to play with the kids without that heavy thing in my hand so it had to take a break. I took these next two from the picnic table before abandoning my camera.
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Ten minutes later the girls were over at the drinking fountain (that I hadn’t even noticed) looking cute so I went to get the camera again!
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When I went to snap one of Brooklyn she was totally posing. At first she wasn’t even drinking the water because she was doing this kissy face and I laughed and told her she was silly (and snapped a picture for her) and then waited until she got her drink to take this.
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The kids went back to playing.
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My arm was about to fall off at this point because we’d been there foreeeever and I’d been holding Ember the entire time. I sat with her on the sidewalk to watch the other kids.
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The three kids ran to the other side of the park to play on the slide. I was taking a picture of them over there and right as I snapped Payson slipped! He wasn’t hurt at all. It was just wet from the rain over there.
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Watching Ember try to grab things off the sidewalk to eat got old so we walked over to where the big kids were.
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Sierra wanted to swing.
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My girls can’t figure out how to swing. I’ve showed them a bazillion times. Allan’s showed them a bazillion times. We have tried to explain the in and out motion in every way and they just don’t get it. I’ve never known a kid who can’t figure out how to swing?? Anyway, Sierra gave up trying…
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And got on her belly instead.
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She was so cute swinging!
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I was squatting and sitting and standing up with a heavy camera in one hand and Ember in the other. Ember was laughing every time I moved to take a picture because I’d swing her a little. Sierra was laughing at what I was saying. I don’t remember what we were talking about.
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I talked with Sierra a bit more and then decided I should go see what Brooklyn and Payson were doing. They were playing on the little kid playground.
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Brooklyn told me it wasn’t much fun but she was playing on there with Payson so he could have fun. I thought that was so sweet and unexpected! She usually couldn’t care less about Payson! She played with him a lot the entire time we were there! It meant a lot to him, too. He was so happy.
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I put the camera away and played with them on the equipment. I took Ember down the slides a few times. She was giggling like crazy over everything. It was SO cute. It rained softly and then a little harder off and on the entire time we were there. The weather was nice and cool and gosh it was just heavenly!
After a more heavy bit of rain (my camera had been on that picnic table again) it let up almost completely and there was a rainbow. We’d been at the park probably an hour or more at this point so I asked the kids if we could run out in the field and take another try at a group shot. They were very willing.
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After a couple snaps Payson told me he wanted to go play again. So off he went. The girls wanted to walk around with Ember.
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Sierra kept going too fast for Ember to keep up. So she’d start to fall and Sierra would have to stop. Ember also started walking on her own this weekend! She started off with four or five steps and her furthest was I more than ten steps! She’s also gotten much better at taking a couple steps and then stopping and standing in place again. It’s SO freaking adorable!! This tiny little girl walking on those tiny little feet <3
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I’ve been really wanting to print more of my pictures for my walls lately. I rarely print for the walls of our home and I’m disappointed that I don’t do that! I am going to pick a few pictures from this park trip to print for each of my kids’ wall.
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Up until this point we’d had a lot of fun at the park. I thought it was a very successful trip, a lovely park and had a blast with my kids. I went to my car to put the camera away in there because some other people showed up (we’d been alone the whole time) and because I wanted to enjoy the rest of the time without that heavy thing on my shoulder.
I put the camera away and started playing with the kids. I put Ember and Payson in the baby swings and pushed them. They were both laughing so hard! It was one of the cutest moments. Both of my little kids side by side giggling like mad. So cute!

I had Brooklyn come over to keep an eye on them and push them a little bit so I could go push Sierra on the swings. Then they switched and Sierra watched the little two while I pushed Brooklyn.

At one point while I was pushing one of the girls I got on a swing and started swinging. Just then the steady trickle of rain started getting heavier and I soared into the air with rain on my face. The sky was deep, deep gray and it was nice and cool (75 degrees) and I could hear all four kids laughing. Life felt so perfect. I can’t imagine being happier than I was then. I even woohoo’d! into the rainy sky.

A moment later I jumped off the swing and landed perfectly (as I was flying through the air I realized that I haven’t done that in a very long time and might bite it! lol) and headed over to the two little kids. The rain started coming down more and more. It was what anybody would call pouring rain at this time.

I told the kids to stay and play. I ran to the car for something to cover Ember with. I didn’t have a change of clothes or a blanket (because it’s been 110 degrees here! ha) or anything except a, luckily, freshly laundered grocery cart cover! And it’s one of those nice, thick ones, thankfully!
I wrapped it around her just in time for the sky to open up and POUR down. As if God was up there emptying bathtubs of water down on us. In a matter of seconds my clothes were hanging off of me, heavy with water.
Payson had run up to me as I headed back toward the park. He was crying wanting to go. I took him and Ember under the covering at the picnic tables. There was a gentleman there. We all laughed together at the weather. I wanted desperately to go run in the rain but I’m mommy first, not Ariana, so I stayed and cuddled the two little ones.
Brooklyn and Sierra played just a bit longer. About a minute later Sierra ran over to me. Brooklyn was running around in the rain laughing and hollering.

Second by second it seemed to rain harder and harder! I’ve seen quite a few monsoon rainstorms in my time in Arizona, this was the best hands down! The sky was deep gray all around us. If I stood and turned in a circle there was lightning in every bit of the sky! A full 360 of lightning! It was amazing!!

Brooklyn came over to us a few minutes later. We were all standing there in clothes that looked as if we’d jumped in a swimming pool. All of our shoes were scattered all over the park where we’d left them when we’d first arrived two hours earlier. It’s a wide park and I wondered how in the world I was going to get all those shoes while taking care of the little kids!
I asked Brooklyn if she could get two pairs of shoes (hers and Payson’s were near each other). She struggled to hear me over the rain and thunder and wind! I was pretty much yelling it to her but my voice was carried away before she could hear much of my request.
She’d heard enough though and ran for the shoes while I went for the car with the other three kids. As I approached I wondered what I was going to do. Here we all are sopping wet without a change of clothes. The rain is coming down so hard that the car itself is going to get drenched inside just by me opening the doors!
I opened the first sliding door and put Ember in her carseat, unbuckled, and quickly shut the door. I took Sierra and Payson to the back of the car. They stood in the trunk with the door open above them providing shelter from the rain, while I stripped their clothes off and sent them to their seats, by crawling over the backseat!
I went to Ember’s door (I watched her the entire time I was changing the middle two to make sure she didn’t stand up in her carseat) and opened it, took her wet shirt off and buckled her in as fast as I could.
Then I shut the door and locked the car and started jogging toward the park to get the rest of the shoes.
Brooklyn was already on her way over to the car with all of our shoes! I grabbed at the shoes, put my arm around her, and we ran back to the car. When she stood in the trunk for me to help change her we were laughing and I told her I couldn’t believe she got all those shoes! She said she couldn’t hear me so she thought I’d told her to! And she didn’t mind the rain so she was happy to. She was SO happy from this whole experience!

She didn’t want to change in the trunk because there were other people at the park, running for their car, so she climbed into the main part of the car (we have tinted windows) and stripped down in there.
So with four kids in just diapers/panties we started driving. I stopped to take a couple pictures of the park.
Oh yeah, two or three minutes after we were all buckled the rain stopped!!
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It was 7pm at this time. We were all sitting there pretty energized from all the fun and craziness. I decided to get McDonald’s to save time that night. I think we eventually got home at 8pm. We all had baths/showers and the kids didn’t get to bed until 9:30. Which is actually pretty good, considering.
Allan came home from his camping trip with his brother Kevin around 10:30pm. Kevin came over to watch the BYU game with us. The guys were up until 1:30am. I was up until about 12:30 but fell asleep on the couch by them because as hard as I tried I could not keep my eyes open another second! This morning Ember woke me up at 6am and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Of course I feel like that pretty much ever morning!
Allan let me take a nap today. I think I slept for like 2 hours. I let him take a nap after and he slept for four!
And now I’m going to go ahead and end this post because I feel like I’ve been talking for hours! lol

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