Growing up in a family of nine kids there was never a shortage of people to hang out with.

And to dream up imaginary adventures with.

My sister and I shared a bedroom with adjacent beds adorned with yellow gingham Holly Hobby bedspreads. They became our “covered wagons” in our “games” we made up. Oh man we spent HOURS in there making up all kinds of crazy stuff.

We had a tree house clear up in a giant pine tree in front of our house when we lived in Virginia. We couldn’t get enough of climbing up there, imagining our afternoons away.

We had a patch of oak trees in Salt Lake where we would make up all sorts of make-believe stuff too. There was a nearby super duper ugly evergreen shaggy bush with these cool berry-type things on it we would squoosh into a concoction we’d call our perfume. Mmmm, those berries smelled so good I thought we could make millions with our secret perfume recipe.

I love to think about the hours we spent so carefree back then.


Not a care in the world.

And now I love to watch my kids get lost in their own make-believe world.
Too bad that theirs is against the backdrop of a cinder block wall. But they don’t seem to mind. For some reason Claire and her friends always gravitate to this spot. And boy howdy do they ever get completely lost in their adventures.

They make even a cinder block wall and gravel very comfortable for their “children.”
And this snake looks particularly at home in it’s special spot.
I love that at one point someone must have realized the cinder block wall really wasn’t the most attractive thing, and decided that taping flowers to it would remedy the situation quite nicely.

Good idea, I must say.Of course, the adventures must be complete with some serious fancy outfits.

I’m all for make-believe.

Now if I can just quit signing them up for so darn much stuff so they can really live it up like I used to.

You can’t put a price on unscheduled time.

Thanks Mom, for giving me that gift.

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  1. So cute! Our kids have a lot in common. Emma even still loves it.
    When I was a kid, my friends and I used to make perfume too! And also “blush” from the powder we’d get scraping bricks with rocks. Then we’d try selling them to people:) great memories.

  2. I love this post. I too had the great privilidge of grwoing up with plenty of space and time to wonder roam and dream. I treasure every single memory I have of parks, feilds of dandelions, hiking, playing in the grass under many many large elm trees. What a life we had two decades ago. Small town america has gone away now and our kids still find ways to dream and imagine their surroundings whatever they want them to be.

  3. What a great post! I’m with you – I LOVE when the kids escape to their imaginary world. Last week was our spring break and my girls and some neighborhood friends came over and “made a movie” – it was adorable!!

  4. I’m with you on that one. Sometimes I feel guilty that my kids have so much free time, and sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of my time helping them find something to do. but it’s more important than having them signed up for everything that is offered. Sometimes I feel like if they don’t take dance, and music, and gymnastics, and art, they will not be at the same level as everyone else. But, the other day Ellie’s teacher said, “Whatever you are doing in your home is working. Ellie is one of the most imaginative little girls. She has so many experiences in which to draw from.” All the guilt just washed away.

  5. Such a cute post. I love it when my kids use their imaginations too. There are just no limits to what they can come up with. The flowers taped to the wall is a nice touch. 🙂 I had a Holly Hobby room too!

  6. Charlotte just reminded me about the necklaces they were making out of flowers. Thanks for being the creative influence in my kiddos lives. xoxo

  7. HUGE fan lettin’ the kids just pla around. We do one music thing (aka, piano lessons) and one other thing (aka, soccer or theater) and call it good.
    And you are a very cool mom for letting those dresses go outside. I don’t think I would be that cool.

  8. Shawni–thanks for the reminder! Kids need more down time to develop their imaginations and just “play”. I remember taking my imaginary beauty shop a little too far when I cut off my friend’s pony tail and she cut off my bangs!! And I still have my Holly Hobby dolls!

  9. It seems like now a days there is so much hustle and bustle that the little ones don’t have time to even learn make believe let alone do it.

    Growing up in Nebraska we had an overgrown bush that we played house in. It was a Lilac bush that was big enough to have rooms in. It was awesome. Oh how I miss stuff like that.

    I need to get my kids to make believe too!!! You rock woman!

  10. You have been busy! I enjoyed all the new pics and stories. I loved ‘make-believe’…it took me back to another place and time in my own childhood. Yes, if I could only allow my kids the same kind of time to let their own imaginations run wild. I picked up your book the other day and am enjoying it. I am going to have go back through it again the second time and make notes. THanks for sharing your insights and gifts!

  11. Can I just say that I LOVE your blog…it is one of my new favorites! You have the right mix of showing us your gorgeous kids but also letting us know about the realities of your life. (So many blogs are just about showing pretty faces.) Wish I had the fortitude to have 5 kids…it seems like so much fun (and chaos, in a happy way).

  12. Don’t know how I missed this! What a “wonderland” your back yard has become. Where did that crazy snake come from? Is it a toy or real…?
    Love it!

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