That last picture may not seem like it belongs here but I wanted to post it anyway since I took it with the rest. No, it is not our backyard. Our house does not have a backyard...instead, a very lovely deck. But it's not a good play area for the boys to run and throw things at each other.
This gorgeous setting belongs to our church. The church that is within walking distance from our house. And that green stuff on the ground? Oh no, it is not simply grass, but mudless, water-resisent astroturf. The whole area is fenced in and most of it is shaded. And there are benches for the lazy grown-ups. And our priest has told me more than once we are more than welcome to come over any time.
In short, that last pic is heaven on earth for two toddlers.
This new playground was completed, let's see, about three months after Alex started walking. The timing on such a gift to us, I mean, the parish, was unbelieveable. Allowing even just two small boys (I've been watching Jon and Kate Plus 8) to play outside is like herding cats, and having a place so close to us where I could relax and let them play was and is priceless.
And on Thanksgiving Day last year, when we didn't travel to our families' because of Pete's hospital stay, it was our post-dinner destination. There are already so many memories for us there...and a few dings in that fence, I might add (but don't tell the priest).