October 20, 2017

What’s Your $10 Fun?


family fun summer ideas_opt

Last weekend, my girls and I bonded over treasure hunting and hit some yard sales. We didn’t find a lot of things, but because they were with me, items were pointed out in a new light.

Smooshed together in a Rubbermaid container was a bunch of plastic marked, “Pool, filter, chemicals – $10.” I didn’t even bat an eye. No way was I going to consider a tiny, used pool from a yard sale that probably had a hole in it, plus we had “no place” to put it. Our field would just be one big mud pool

Empty handed, we walked back to the van a little slower. The girls looked at me and said, “Why not, Mom. We had to quit the pool, and this would be perfect?”

I pondered what was keeping me from this purchase? It wasn’t the money, that wasn’t the problem. If it truly worked, it was a steal.

Due to my husband’s unemployment, for nearly two years we had been saving all the extra “fun money.”  It’s been two summers since we joined a pool (which, in NC, “everyone” beats the heat in the pool), and not once had the girls complained.

I paused. I was convicted. I turned right back around and marched back up that drive way.

Honestly, I think I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of the mess, the water, the mud being traipsed in, and frankly,  that just wasn’t  a good enough excuse. That’s a lazy mom fall back. There are so many times that I must say, “No,” to our children for big reasons, and have shared that I’m convicted to become a “Yes, Mom” whenever the opportunity arises. Yet sometimes in the easiest of moments, I turn the other way. Why?

free fun in the pool

Well, I am so glad I listened to that still small voice whispering to lighten up, or maybe it was two loud voices squealing….”PLEASE,” but either way, this has been the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time.

This is what summer is all about…the joy and laughter that comes from such a little thing, all embraced with a heart of gratitude.

And to think I almost missed these moments because I didn’t want the mess…

Ideas for summer fun_opt

(I’m on the hunt for another trampoline after this catastrophe, but we took it apart and used the mat as the undercoating for the pool.. :))

What has been your “$10 Fun” lately?

Let’s commit  to opening our eyes this summer to maximize and bring back the FUN!

Posted at Rhoda’s


  1. Awesome! Wish it was warm in Oregon… we’ve had one summery day so far.

    I love the lesson that you shared and how you are choosing YES and making memories with the kids. How wonderful. I needed to hear that!


  2. Melissa says:

    The dollar store (the one that everything is $1) has these great water blasters! I bought one for each of us and a new bucket! The kids loved it!!! Even my 2 yr. old can work one! Good, cheap fun!!!


  3. That looks like great fun! My boys still love good old fashioned water balloons!


  4. What fun! My son has been begging for a pool for our backyard. 😀 Maybe I can find something like that. 😀

    Today we are going to rent Hachi from Redbox and then play some games as it is raining. 😀


  5. Thank you for the reminder to be a “yes” mom sometimes! It is so easy to fall into the “not this time” pattern, but there are times where we just need to say “yes!” and have fun. that is what it is all about!

    My favorite $10 fun is going up to our local ice cream stand and enjoying some delicious ice cream.


  6. What fun! I’m glad you bought the pool. My kids would LOVE that too. My mom bought them a pool at Big Lots for $15 and it definitely isn’t this big or nice.


  7. My mother-in-law came over Sunday and dropped off a 5 person Coleman tent and air mattress for the kids. I have a feeling we’re going to spend lots of time in the tent staring at the stars and watching the fireflies this summer!

    Mary Ellen


  8. Actually I got a basketball goal for FREE on craigslist – my husband and I love it!


  9. good for you, Jen! I’m proud of you. Kelly


  10. What a great score! We have one of these pools and it’s still going strong after 2 summers.


  11. Oh what fun!! Last Summer it had been so hot here my husband ran up to the hardware store and bought the kids a $12 pool (smaller than yours). The girls (ages 16 & 11) plus 2 dogs had a blast…..we still have the pool! Stay cool!


  12. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful story. Thank you for warming my heart – I love those Summer-Joy photos. You made such an excellent decision. 🙂


  13. Michele says:

    Ok, you convicted me too. I am so not a pool person and the kids ask for a small wading one this summer. After all we live in South Florida for pete sake. I kept saying yes, but its wasnt yes. You know the yes I am talking about…..”We’ll see. Maybe next week.” which means NO in a cowardly way. Sigh.
    Your article convicted me that I need to be more a YES mom and less of an “We’ll see” Mom.
    I had many amazon gc stacked up from swagbucks. Last night I orderd a slide and a slip & slide…..once I redeemed my swagbucks amazon gc’s, I spent $9. Shame on me for waiting!
    Thanks for sharing, you have inspired! 🙂


  14. Lesli C says:

    We’re really lucky to have a ton of free activites in Atlanta for kids-So our ten dollar fun would be the drinks & food purchased at the free events!


  15. Well, this didn’t cost anything – but it was just as much fun! While going through paperwork – very tedious – I decided it was too hot outside so we crumpled up the paper and had a fake snowball fight in the middle of the family room! Great thing was it all went into the trash at the end!


  16. Jen, I love that you got the pool for your kids! I tell you, in this heat we are having, I’d almost get one for myself. 🙂 So glad it is working & they are staying cool in the meantime. Enjoy that pool! xoxo


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