Because. Stuff. Is. Awesome.
Since I did it once, I'm obviously an expert, so here is my tutorial on Dumpster Diving for Wimps (like me):
1. Have neighbors who are wealthy enough that they only occupy the house on your street for a few months a year. The rest of time they live somewhere where it is probably not freezing freaking cold don't go outside or you'll lose a limb / burning hell hot with extra humidity for added sparkle.
2. Make sure this family sells their home AND make sure they are too lazy to take their usable stuff to Salvation Army; so they stick it all in the rented Waste Management dumpster in their driveway. (Seriously, there wasn't even any actual trash in that thing, it was all stuff!) I look at it as "freecycle.org coming to a neighborhood near you!"
You can probably see where I'm going with this:
3. Make sure your husband is sweet enough to go over and score you some free stuff.
Like an Army Helicopter Game that was STILL IN IT'S BOX:
And if you've always wanted your kids to have a Little Tikes Water Table, make sure to get one of those:
Especially if your kids think "water tornadoes" are the coolest thing ever:
And a cool backyard chair that can be painted and beautified later:
4. If your old swing set was knocked down and broken by some crazy strong backyard wind, make sure that the other neighbor (who also looked through the dumpster and who knew the family and I swear my neighborhood is not as trashy as it sounds) offers to call and ask if we could have their swing set! Hell, yeah!
It could use a fresh coat of paint, and the slide is teeny tiny, but Peyton and Ella love it! And we all know that swinging is Ella's favorite thing in the world. So she's as happy as can be because this sucker has all sorts of swinging possibilities.
Ella said, "We don't have to go to all the other parks because now we have our own!"
I have to say, though, that one of the highlights was telling James, "Seriously, we have enough bouncy balls in this house! We really, really don't need any more!" as he chucked this ball across the street into our front yard. And then hearing Peyton say, "Ella, look at this Bob the Builder ball! Daddy found it in the TRASH!" Awesome. Because in two weeks, when he starts kindergarten, and his new teacher asks what he did over the summer: "We got new toys out of our neighbors' garbage!" is not exactly how I'd like my family introduced.