According to NOAA data, Dallas TX had just four rainy days in December with a monthly-low temp of 38 F. And for both December and January, there's still a full ten hours of sunlight per day.

Yet, for most of December, the family has been nestled in couches watching The Grinch in the home theater, and they've been wandering around until dinner in fleece robes. While the family may not have been very active, the Wi-Fi has been working like someone training for the Olympics.

With the good winter weather that Texas (usually) affords its residential communities, why not get outside? Integrate some fun, wacky science projects for the little ones in a backyard puddle. Do a hotdog roast for the big little ones. Play some late-night frisbee in a well-lit backyard with Control4 Lutron landscape lighting.

No need to ditch the digital completely. In addition to cutting-edge outdoor lighting, exterior-rated landscape Sonance speakers will season any backyard barbecue, pickup football scrum, or toddler's nature safari with the perfect playlist.

But first, back to the Wi-Fi


We've all gotten the frustrating blockage when trying to connect to a website or an attention-grabbing post on Instagram. It's a pop-up notice in a tiny script that usually includes the words "authentication" or "invalid token" (X'ers will probably remember the hair-pulling frustration of a blocked browser tab telling you to "contact your administrator.")

Control4, Evolve Technology's base platform, features commercial-grade Pakedge routers and access points. These APs help ensure lightning-fast Wi-Fi. They're equipped with 802.11r protocol for Wi-Fi. That "r" signifies "roaming." Each access point is so closely integrated into the home network that mobile devices go between areas without a hitch. Other Access Points require the user to authenticate the tablet or phone for each range.

Small, architecturally-integrated Wi-Fi network access points go smoothly onto walls by baseboard, crown molding, or tiled ceilings. The convenience of a recessed, in-ceiling extender is also available. A classic, sturdy stand-alone desktop or bookshelf version is another option.

So, whatever backyard shenanigans anyone might have in mind, the soundtrack, security systems, and automatic lighting are not even a second thought.

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In days of yore, connecting an iPod to a non-battery powered speaker meant some ugly static got in the way of that Pixies album. Many Pakedge routers feature PoE, power-over-ethernet: one cable for data and electricity. The one cord, in this case, means no electromagnetic whispers fuzzing over a clean connection.

Blare that Jack Johnson mix for a January cookout or Baby Shark while hunting for roly-polies with toddlers after the rain.

It will sound good in award-winning Sonance audio speakers which operate the 11-zone home sound system in Bozeman's Big Mountain Villa luxury suites. 


Feeling outside can rival being outside. And it doesn't need to be digital. Glass windows, the oldest virtually-reality screen on earth, is a great way to take in sunlight on a blustery but bright day. Sunrooms are a great addition, and Lutron has an almost endless suite of shades and window treatments.

Motorized blinds, automatically adjusting curtains, tasteful Romans--all are available in various sizes, textures, colors and light filtering.


Everyone gets back on the Peloton after New Year's. Some head back to the gym. But active fun for kiddos or the whole family is just out back.

 -- Whole Family Backyard Fit Ideas -- 

-Pull out the soccer cleats and build a DIY soccer net

-Evening frisbee fun with LED glow-in-the-dark frisbee

-A long round of jump rope will tucker out the liveliest grade-schooler, and even Runner's World has high praise the exercise

-- Kid's Fun Backyard Ideas --

-Those giant bubbles you might see at the county fair? Do it at home. It's a 20-dollar project. You don't need much more than some soft rope, a dowel, a bucket, soap, and water!

-The forgotten joy of pogo sticks might be fun if you have a paved, uncovered patio. Also, for grown-ups, one neurosurgeon in his 60s revved up his own health on the classic home toy

-When the wind blows, and it does in the winter, consider a kite. There are various styles, from box kites to rugged gyroscopic beasts, that can do tricks

-Some birds go south in the winter, but some don't. A simple bird feeder can pique a kid's interest in the natural world

-A toy microscope can be a great way to encourage a non-school interest in biology: it's very eye-opening to see the world inside just one drop from a rainy-day puddle


Both in and out of the house, efficient home automation and installation is Evolve's job. Security cameras, integrated HVAC system controls, and all smart home installations are just some of our specialties. Much more than home theaters, we maximize the possibilities of a convenient, connected smart home. Call us for a consultation today!

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