Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Great Outdoors!

Getting my kids to “unplug” from various electronic devices such as the Wii, computer and T.V. can be a challenge especially during the Christmas vacation when time is free and new gifts scream to be used. We have had plenty of time to enjoy the gifts “Santa” has brought, but we have been lacking in good, old fashioned family time so I thought it was time to get outside as a family and enjoy the relatively warm temperatures and sunshine. So I announced the idea to the family....and my idea was met with moans and groans! All but King Henry protested. He’s always ready to venture out into the big, great world with his family!

Nevertheless, everyone put on their hiking boots, sweatshirts and got in the car for mom’s adventure. Truth be told, I had no idea where I would take the lot of them (there are so many kids, you know?)..there was the local park, the nearby school track, the playground near the church. No, none of those places sounded too exciting, so I decided to take them to one of the numerous trails that surround the town. Funny how you can live in a town for almost 10 years and never get time to explore some of the more beautiful areas that the town has to offer. “NOOOOOOOO hiking!! Please take us home, mom!!!!”, they pleaded. But I insisted that life is much more interesting than a video screen.

We parked the car and started on our somewhat muddy trek through the forest. In no time, Jack and Gus got into the spirit of the event and quickly found: STICKS! They “wapped” the the ground, poked puddles of muck, and sword-fought! Eventually, our trail led us to a surprise playground in Wilson Park. The kids ran to the park and instantly found trees to climb, new friends to talk to, and super-high slides to come down! Henry was a sight to behold, bold and brave he climbed the newly found structure with his sister, and barreled down the slide! After a half hour of playtime, we left the park and explored more of the nature trail. We soon found part of Bolin Creek where the kids enjoyed exploring caves, small waterfalls and a (gasp!) railroad and railroad bride! My boys could have stayed all afternoon, but alas the adventure needed to end.

Now here is the clincher folks, they did not want to LEAVE! Get this: “We are having too much fun!” they protested when my husband announced our departure! “But there is a CAVE and a waterfall!” they insisted! We will have to explore this part of the Creek another time.

It is so great when the family can spend time together in a quality setting, created especially for us. But you know what is even better? When mom is right! Life is so much better than T.V.!

Get out, and explore with your family!

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