As I've mentioned before, I live in the country. I literally have cows, chickens, and horses right behind my house. I also live next door to my mom and my sister. If you put all of our yards together, we have a really good-sized playground. The kids love it because they have a big wide-open space to ride their various vehicles. And also a good ballpark when they need it. All seven of them (my 3 and my sister's 4) were outside Monday having a little ball game. I pulled three of them away to share a picture with me here.
Sometimes I wish that we lived in a real 'neighborhood' where the kids could ride their bikes and mingle with the neighbor's kids. But then I remember what a fun childhood I had, growing up in this very spot. I, too, used to play with my cousins who lived a few houses down. We would play ball, swing, swim, make our own secret clubs, etc; the same things my own kids do now. I think of all my great memories from back then, and I know that my children are making their own memories now. They've developed a special bond with their first cousins that hopefully, will never be broken. We're here to stay, all of us, and that's something you don't find just anywhere.
So, in the early 1970s with Todd, Kelli, Renee, and Jamie to the present day, with John, Anna, Katie, Emma, Andrew, Jenna and John M., the "big ol' yard" holds a special place in all of our hearts.