Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making time for a little fun...

"May you live every day of your life"

Jonathan Swift

As much as I am excited
for Spring to come and to have tulips, green grass and blossoming trees; I am very much savoring the last little bit of winter.
I'm savoring
being able to wear sweaters and bundle up in down filled coats with gloves on my hands and head bands or wool hats on my head.
I'm savoring seeing the snow capped mountains, icicles and gorgeous snow covered trees and earth.

It was payday last week...
payday comes only one day a month at Tracy's work and payday means, we sit down with our kids and decide what FUN thing we will do for the month.

Frugality doesn’t mean living like a pauper, it's really about making smart choices to be able to reach your goals; it’s not about living a life devoid of pleasure and fun.

Even though we are frugal,
we do allow ourselves some splurges each month that we plan out as a family. I think that has been one of the best things we have done is to have our kids be a part of our financial decisions and when they are given choices, it really makes them think about what they really want and realize that there are often sacrifices.

We allot a percentage of our income each month for FUN money and
then we give our kids choices,
tell our kids how much things cost and
then let them help us in choosing how we spend our fun money.
It has been phenomenal.
Sometimes we just save the money for a trip of some kind (we can't wait to go on another cruise!), sometimes we buy a pass and go swimming a few times at our favorite local hot springs, or sometimes we go on a little road trip and enjoy eating out. Once the money is saved away or spent, the rest of the month we have family fun doing things that are FREE


Jade loves Jackson Hole, Wyoming and going and browsing in the shops and looking at the outdoor gear and clothing that they have and seeing all kinds of people dressed in these clothes as well. If Jade had his way, he would love to live in a mountain town like Jackson Hole, WY, Boulder, CO or Bend, OR. He connects with the mountain town lifestyle.
Ethan loves swimming and so we decided to spend our monthly FUN money going on a drive, swimming and eating at one of our favorite restaurants.

Saturday, February 27th

I LOVE the drive over to Jackson
with the rolling farm land and the gorgeous backdrop of the Teton Mountain Range that you see from Rexburg to Victor.

In the little town of Victor, Idaho

there is the cutest little yellow house that I just LOVE.
I love the evergreen tree planted in the front, the little covered entry, the bright and cheery windows and a sleeping area upstairs. When I think of a little "get-a-way house" that I would love to live in, (if I had my choice) it would be something similar to this...
Cute and cozy!

We were hoping
to see the herd of elk at the Elk Refuge, but they were way up against the mountain and just little specks on the snow covered ground.
SO, we enjoyed
the scenery that we could enjoy...

A Gorgeous little stream with snow covered edges, ducks, blue sky, clouds and mountains
Little ducks...

Perfect Reflection...

Another great reflection...

Peaceful and Serene...

My handsome Jade
looking awesome in his Christmas sweater and sunglasses.

My Handsome Hubby in his new glasses.
(after 5 years I finally talked him in to getting a new pair of glasses since his other ones were all scratched up. Whenever I talked about him getting new glasses, he'd say "oh, these ones are fine". Needless to say, he finally splurged and he loves his new Silhouette frames. Now I just need to talk him into getting some prescription sun glasses. It's always a BIG laugh when we are hiking and he pulls out his Walmart "fit overs". He makes the funniest comments about them!)

Icicle Art...

Icicle, leaf and branch art...

I was able to snap a photo of Ethan
before he grabbed onto one of the icicles to play with.

Another photo
of my three favorite people.

I just LOVE Ethan's freckles...
he looks so cute and innocent.

We are finally here and ready to go enjoy an afternoon of swimming.
A great way to enjoy some family time and a great price too.
Just $24 per family (parents and all their kids).
Here is a link to take a panoramic tour of the Recreation Center inside. Be sure to click on the arrows so you can pan around and see the entire inside. The up/down arrows show how high up the slide goes.
(click here)
I was nervous to bring my camera in to snap photos because it is not water proof and I didn't know if there would be secure places to lock it up and so that is why I don't have any photos of our swimming.
It was Awesome!
There is a full size indoor water slide
(we got plenty of exercise walking up the spiral stair case to go down it---Ethan went down it over 50 times),
lap pools, sauna and steam room, hot tub, kiddie pools complete with mini water slide and two different water falls.
VERY clean and not much chlorine at all.
We enjoyed it all!

After three hours of swimming we ate
at the Merry Piglets Mexican Cafe.
They have the BEST fajitas ever and we enjoyed tortilla after tortilla filled with sauteed veggies, grilled meat, beans/rice and fresh guacamole and salsa.

The decor inside is Awesome!
There are pigs all over the walls and it feels like you are in grass huts.

Sad to leave...
Tracy is enjoying one last peek in our favorite shop, "Teton Mountaineering"
I LOVE all of the outdoor gear signs that they have hanging outside their shop.

Jade is
showing off his newly purchased "Lowa" hiking shoes.
We got them at a second hand gear shop name "Victor Outdoor Seconds" for much less than they would have been new and they look like they haven't been used at all.
He had to make a choice whether he wanted new running shoes for track, or new hiking shoes. This is what he chose. It was a good choice since his running shoes are still in good shape and have a lot of miles in them.

Looking forward

to warmer days and being able to dress in our hiking gear with loaded backpacks on our backs and hitting the many hiking trails that Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area, has to offer!

Good Times...Great Memories!


Ann Marie said...

What a fun little getaway that you had! The pictures are all beautiful.. and it's so fun that you did something that each family member wanted to do. So great!!

I love little remote cafe's... and resteraunts... they always seem to have the best food!

Hope your start to the new week is fabulous! XO

Cherie said...

I love how you figure out your fun as a family! It is important that kids understand about money and choices! So good job to two great parents!
I can tell from the pictures that the boys were very happy and loved every minute. They have such great smiles and sound like such wonderful young men who value their family - that is a priceless thing as is good quality family time!

We also love Jackson Hole - we love the shops and the
Elk antler arches at the park and the alpine slides! But I am with Jade - mountain towns are the best and that is why our family favorite is McCall!! But we love visiting any mtn town.

I love all the scenery pictures you post gorgeous darrrrllliinng!! :)

Have a happy Sabbath!

Higgs Happenin's said...

That is such a good idea to budget a bit with your kids. I think I'm going to use that one. Looks like your trip was really fun! One other thing I love about this whole process is that your kids look like they are cherishing every moment.

Connie said...

We went on our honmeymoon to Jackson Hole! Beautiful scenery. You are so smart with your money. What a blessing for your boys to remember the fun times they had with you and Tracy!
I'm happy for winter because I'm still packing around my winter fat and need to hid under layers! It's time for me to start eating "lighter!" Great post. It makes me smile!

Shannon Hoffmann said...


Thanks for coming to share our special day. It was so nice to see you guys. Great blog. Can you email me the bountiful basket link at Also, I started a web site for vintage recipes. You may want to look at it too. It has been great so far.