Birthday Stars will Shine Brightly

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The warehouse full of tomato flats. Amazing sight and my granddaughter says they smell like waffles.

Soon, we will have the new photo boards on display. Pat has been working diligently ala Pinterest to get the new photo boards with all the Birthday Kids organized and ready to adorn the walls of the #bouncefarm.  You see, for every private party we have here, you get a matted 8X10 portrait of your birthday star, guest of honor, or group shot. These have been on display on the walls in our dining area but have become too numerous to hang. We have been searching for an alternate way of showing off our Stars.

About a month ago, a woman posted in one of the sales pages on Facebook that she had some old tomato flats for sale. Having perused the pages of Pinterest for ideas to display photos at the #bouncefarm, we thought this might just be the thing. A trip to Cordelia brought us these incredible 100 year old moldy, dried fruit smeared flats. My son-in-law thought I might be crazy but he effortlessly helped me pick out 12 of the best we could find for condition, color and structural stability.  My husband just shook his head when I got home with the load of pallets. He is getting used to my “Re-purposing Habit”. Right?

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I used one of my husband’s special made scraper tools and hand scraped piles of these dried and moldy squished tomatoes off before cleaning with a brush.

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The color of the wood was awesome after cleaning!

So off I go to clean and scrub these treasures. Scraping was way more work than I thought and the removal of the “schmutz” was easier. Don’t hate me for pressure washing… I used as little water as possible and did it on my lawn so all of the run off went to a good purpose. Besides, I have already decided the back yard will soon become a desert so, my sprinklers are off for the summer.

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Some but not all had this blue powdery mold which had to be washed away. This was the easiest and quickest step in the process.

I leaned them up to dry in the sun and have been bringing them one or two at a time to work with me to begin the process of “mod podge ‘ing”  almost 200 photos from our parties in a hopefully chronological order. The first board is done and it took 72 photos. So now I just have 2 more to go and then? Well, I got 7 of the wide slat style flats so, let’s party on!

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My stack of completed panels. So much could be done with these!

Please come in soon and don’t forget to check for your child on the Birthday Stars board. Wherever it may end up hanging. You see, that’s my next big decision!

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One more coat and it’s done!

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Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, Bounce like there is no ceiling.

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
William W. Purkey

Have you ever watched your young one get really into the music and dance? It is so liberating! Be it the innocence of youth, the primordial release of a instinctive rhythm or just plain fun. They rock and roll with absolute abandon. Here at the #bouncefarm, we spend our days with Family Road channel or maybe Summer Oldies on our speakers. I am frequently rounding the corner with a fox trot or a jig smiling and singing. The latter with a low volume as my mother used to say I could not carry a tune in a rain bucket. (There’s a good old saying for you!)

Our place is about fun. Just that. Pure, unadulterated fun. We are frequently heard calling this the happiest place in Martinez. Part of that are regular comments from our customers that they love the music. Grandparents, parents, and kids alike will be seen singing along or dancing to the tunes. One review on Yelp! reads:

Christina C of Walnut Creek…. The music is rocking oldies.  My 3 year old daughter always asks when “rockin robin” is going to come on as we both love to dance to that one….

The rest of the review is just as positive- Thanks so much, Christina!

Well, we got together and talked about our summer schedule and we have come up with what we think is a great idea. Why not have concerts with live music on Saturday nights that are family friendly? No babysitter issues, dinner and music as a family in the warm summer evenings. And bonus! You get to bounce and play as well! So, we embarked on setting up a schedule and this is what we put together.band_banner

The concert dates will fall on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the months of June, July, August. So far we have booked Rockabilly, Zideco, Dixieland, Rock, Blues and Bluegrass. We are still searching for the right Country band but this is going to be so cool! We are also working to have some type of Gourmet Truck and additional food options

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Besides our new extended Summer Hours (To be announced shortly) we think this is the summer to remember for the kids of our communities. More info will be released next week including prices for Family pack discounts and the Bands we have booked… pssst… the Billy Martini Band and Garageland Rodeo are in the mix… mmmm…. sounds like a party! A party where it is not only cool to bring the kids to but mandatory! This is all about Family! Let’s do this!

I will be the one in the back dancing like nobody’s looking (ha!)

Yay! Wednesday Rain!

I know that we should all be so concerned about the lack of rain for our water supply, but on a business level, we are much more successful on days that the parks are not so welcoming due to inclement weather. In other words, we are slammed when it’s rainy outside! Having opened our doors September of 2014, we have now gone through two winters of little or no rain. Come on… what’s that about! If nothing else, it surely makes us appreciate the rain.

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Today was the definition of a rain appreciation day. Not only is it our regular “ToTT Time Wednesday”  (see Open Bounce on the website for details) but it dropped a precious .10th of an inch last night. The parks are wet, it’s clean and dry in here, so… Yup, the parking lot was packed! Hilarie of HHHints.com, listed today’s Meet Up here for ToTT Time plus our regular weekly families, plus those looking for a dry and safe place for their little ones to burn off some of that energy filled our facility with giggling, squealing, and laughing until they had just flat run out of gas.

On a day that would have been a great success, the rain gave us a grand success and we do surely appreciate that! The long range for the week looks like 80’s and sunny so it will be short lived. We will take what we get and hope for a wet end of the month or maybe a wet April. I have given up on the Farmer’s Almanac which used to be so accurate. They must have an intern running the forecasting department this year. It’s a long way from FA’s “Heavier than usual rain” in January to Meteorologist’s “the driest January on record”. For whatever reason, Mother Nature has blasted the East Coast with blizzards and the West Coast with beach weather this year. We only hope we still have some time to get wet from the skies and therefore move into appreciation mode again soon.

Live Long and Prosper

In honor of one of my favorite people, Leonard Nimoy.

You know, this job I have is just plain great. For this, I have my wonderful daughter to thank. I get up and walk out my door knowing at some point, probably at multiple times, my job will have me smiling during my day. Don’t get me wrong, that alarm clock still holds much disdain. It’s just not as hard as when it was set for 4:30 am and dark outside. As if humans were really meant to get out of a snuggly warm bed during what seems to be the middle of the night.

My joy begins when our first kids come through the door all bright eyed and running to the cubbies to deposit their little shoes in great expectation of jumping. Mom’s and Dad’s, Grandma’s and Gramp’s, or Nanny in tow, carrying snacks and accouterments for their little adventure, all seem appreciative of our “like home” atmosphere.

It's a Princess Chair!

It’s a Princess Chair!

I am often asked if the noise gets to me, but truthfully,  I love it. The squeals and laughter are fun. This is the most stress free environment I can imagine! We dance to the oldies and crawl on the floor, slipping off our shoes at times to race with the kids down the slides. More smiles.

20150108-DSC_1627 20150110-DSC_1672Snacks are enjoyed in the picnic area with more joy and our parents are so good at busing their tables, my job is little more than a bit of sweeping and wiping. As the families exit, with sleepy eyed munchkins, we get the often and much appreciated “Thank you” to which we respond, “Have a great nap!” And yet, more smiles. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of hard work. Mostly the cleaning to make sure we are as germ free as you could be with kids in and out all day. The work is good. It shines when you are done and smells so clean. I always see the result of our labor which I suppose is key to wanting to do a great job.

A fascinating new study by University of Kansas psychologists that will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science indicates that, in some circumstances, smiling can actually reduce stress and help us feel better.

“The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment,” said Sarah Pressman, one of the researchers. “Not only will it help you ‘grin and bear it’ psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/simply-smiling-can-actually-reduce-stress-10461286/#4KdMue6h900CJVzw.99

I count my blessings every day I get to go to work and smile. I have been on the other side of the pasture with the grumpy cows, trudging off to a job without the affinity I feel for this thing called #bouncefarm. Yes, the upkeep is hard work, but the rewards are great. Perhaps, like Mr. Spock, I will live long and prosper.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy. Other than a winning lottery ticket, a Tribble would be a fine thing.
🙂 (Smiley Face) \\//,

Thanks to Many for a Great Night!

The fundraiser for Julee Johnson’s St Baldrick’s Day buzz session went great! Thanks to all the folks who came and played, ate Pizza, shopped the vendors and visited with us for the evening. We even had a few of our regular’s who did not know about it and just came for our regular Family Night Pizza Night event. Everyone left happy. full and ready to sleep well. Personally,  I love seeing the parents with their socks on in the bouncy’s with their kids. Or sitting on the floor in our soft play area with their little crawlers exploring the Lily Pond pillows.

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We have a busy party weekend ahead but with some openings in the next few weeks, if you have a party to book give us a call and we will try to accommodate.

 

Benefit for Children’s Cancer Tonight! Thursday 3pm – 7:30

Please join us tonight, Thursday, February 19 as we support Julee Johnson as a shavee for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  This year is Julee’s second year shaving her head and raising money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  30% of Open Bounce and a percentage of sales from additional vendors will go directly to the cause.  Bounce, shop, have fun – and help fund childhood cancer research.  St Baldricks Bounce & Shopping Event Flyer
St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises money for childhood cancer research.  While it’s true that more adults get cancer, only 4% of federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers.  Pharmaceutical companies don’t generally invest in childhood cancers because it’s not profitable.  St. Baldrick’s raises money primarily through head shaving events.  Shavees sign up, raise money, and have their heads shaved to support kids with cancer.  St. Baldrick is not an actual saint – it’s a mash up of “bald” and “St. Patrick’s Day” – when the first event was held.  Supporting St. Baldrick’s and those that shave their head helps fill the funding gap for research.  Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide.  We are working to change these numbers.

Looking for a WebFace Lift

We will be working soon on offering all of our clients a major change without seeming to change (for those who are not comfortable with such a thing) on our web page. Mobile is here to stay… can you imagine being without your phone for 24 hours?
This world has become so incredibly intimate with their smart phones. We dress them up, we carry them with us to the bathroom, we find leaving them behind like leaving our pants behind – just naked without them!
Soon we will be offering a full mobile site to those who only visit us via tablet or phone. I just hope I can bring my “A” game to the plate for you. If you have input as to what features you would like, please leave a comment below and we’ll try to accommodate.

In other news, recently we replaced our obstacle course with our new barn/slide/basketball inflatable. We like to keep it fresh for the kids and now they have a bouncer and more to enjoy! Here are some photos of the new barn.

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For those who were unaware, we also introduced a new “soft play” area for the littlest ones. They just love it!

Our Thursday Family Night/ Pizza Night is becoming quite the place to be in town. Where else can you go to let the kids (and you) play and run and get totally tuckered out and dinner is served while you have fun? It’s just $30 for 2 adults, 2 kids and reservations can be made anytime via phone or email. Parents departing are always saying how nice that they know now their children will be in bed fast asleep moments after they go through the door at home. Reservations times are any time between 3:00 pm until 5:30 pm on Thursday evening. Call us at (925) 228-2028 or drop an email.

Spring is fast approaching, unfortunately without much rain so far. We remain hopeful that our drought issues will be lessened by some refreshing spring weather. Don’t forget, if you want a specific time for your birthday party, you should call at least a month or more in advance. Our Junior Farm Party is quite a hit but weekend availability is limited.