Making truly epic memories doesn’t require traveling or stress. Some of life’s best memories are made right at home in your own backyard.
Those memories can be mornings drinking a cup of coffee on the back porch, grilling with the family, catching fireflies, jumping on the trampoline, playing tag and a variety of backyard games.
What these moments have in common is simply spending time with those who are most important.
Jacob and Ashley Law of Tyler transformed their backyard into an oasis filled with activities for their children, family and friends to enjoy. That’s where they make some of their life’s best memories.
On a recent summer evening, the Laws hosted a cookout in their backyard for family and friends. Children played ping pong, passed a soccer ball back and forth, tossed Frisbees and played volleyball in the backyard, which also features a trampoline and had water balloons and blasters out. While the kids played, the adults talked and grilled on the patio.
One sound could be heard above all else: laughter.
“It’s come over time. We love the property and it has a huge backyard,” Jacob Law said. “My daughter (Tiauna) was involved in volleyball, so we got her a net to practice outside of school. Our whole family, coast-to-coast, has enjoyed it. So each summer, we started purchasing a few more things to do. You can’t afford to buy it all at once, but if you get a couple games each summer it all adds up ... and we are still getting more.”
During the national “Let’s Move” campaign, studies showed children spend seven hours a day in front of electronics. At the Law home, the backyard has reduced cell phone time as Jacob and Ashley Law’s children, 15-year-old Tiauna, 14-year-old Chase, 11-year-old Tyler, 8-year-old Ariana and 6-year-old Allie, play with their friends and neighbors without phones.
“Generally, when you’ve got that many kiddos, they have something to do, and they like to play things with us as parents,” Jacob Law said. “Anything we can do to get them out from in front of a screen and active is warranted. Sometimes we order a bounce house for $90 to $100 for the whole weekend and they do that, too.”
The family has a little something to please everyone.
“During the week, if homework is done, we will run outside and set up the KanJam or the cornhole boards and have a little tournament before dinner or bedtime,” he said.
There is some backyard relaxing time, too. After playing a few games with the kids, Jacob Law went to check on brisket and ribs on the back porch.
He added with a smile, “When you have this much stuff and a porch outside, you have to add a TV, and then add a couch to watch it on.”