Monday, August 8, 2011

No problem.

My kids sometimes have a hard time playing outside in the wilderness with nothing around but...wilderness.  I'm going to sound like an olde-timer here...(like how I spelled olde, that let's you know how legit I am), but when you only had maybe 5 TV channels there just wasn't anything on, unless it was 4 in the afternoon or Saturday morning.  So, we just had to play outside and figure things out on our own.
Mr. Because I Can and I try to make an effort to get our girls outside and away from technology.  We go on a weekly hike up in the canyon nearby so that we can observe nature and get some fresh air.  This is a weekly tradition in the summertime that we love.  Unless there's a moose stampede coming through...or you land on your tush on a very pointy rock...or fall up the trail.  All of these things, of course have happened, but that's part of being in nature.  It's not safe and sanitary. 

Sometimes the most fun is just picking up the biggest rocks you can find and tossing them in the river...unless the river is raging...then don't go by the river. There have been too many drowning deaths this season due to the unusually cool weather which impacted the snow-melt. Use common sense parents! Kids are unpredictable and they just might fall in no matter how well you think you are watching them.

If the water is not flowing 1000 mph, then a little fun around the river is definitely in order.  Especially trying to balance on rocks...

On this particular hike, my girls have a special fort that we go to each time where they pile up sticks for the "mouses".  Or chipmunks, if you aren't my Youngest. (Every flying bug is a bee and every scurrying creature is a mouse according to her).  They bang sticks on tree trunks and just create their own special world.  Mr. Because I Can and I just sit back and enjoy the day for 30 minutes or so while the girls just play.  Sometimes this is difficult for me because I think we have someplace we have to go or something we have to do...but then I just tell myself to simmer down and let the girls play.

Another favorite summer-time activity is my version of camping.  It's going to the canyon for a few hours in the evening, roasting wieners and eating s'mores.  This is my kind of camping.  Low commitment and I don't have to worry whether my Youngest is going to sleep in the tent or not...Cross your fingers, Mr. Because I Can wants to do actual camping this month.  I'm scared.

This is another test for the kids.  No TV.  No Toys.  Just the hillside and Nature.  They have to use their imagination, and from what I have observed, if you don't use it, you lose it.  So, it's one thing to be able to use your imagination with toys, but it's another completely to have to figure out what you can do with what you have on, twigs and dirt.  With a little prompting, the girls were able to enjoy "cooking" with rocks and "seasoning" with twigs and dirt. Then they proceeded to climb every big rock they could find and just run around the campsite like the wild creatures they are.

Spitting cherry pits at the fire.  Good times.  Speaking of pits, I love watermelon.  I especially love seedless watermelon.  It's so easy.  But, I miss spitting the seeds...maybe at your brother or sister...and worrying if you swallow one that an actual watermelon is going to grow inside of you...Thanks Grandpa Jerry for that one.  So I bought a watermelon with seeds for this outing...turns out it was rotten.  So I was a little sad that my kids weren't going to be able to spit their seeds in the fire.  Luckily I had some cherries.  So that's what we brought....
The Zombie Apocalypse.

Another sign that my kids live too clean a life.  My Youngest doesn't know how to eat a cherry properly.  This may be because I didn't let her have anything even remotely dangerous until...this year maybe.  Like a cherry pit.  So, she holds the cherry by the stem and proceeds to nibble around the pit.  What a mess.  But I just tell myself, we're in the mountains, a little mess is what I want.  In fact, the messier the better almost.

And finally the S'mores.  It just has to be.  It's tradition.  It's perfect.

Unless you buy the jumbo marshmallows thinking they will be fun. 

Major problem...they don't melt through.  I guess I could have been patient and kept my marshmallow as far away from any actual glowing coals and flame as possible and let it melt s-l-o-w-l-y...but that's not how I do things.  I am Instant Gratification Lady.  So, unless you are okay taking your sweet time melting your marshmallow, go with the normal-sized ones to prevent a huge, unmelted glob of marshmallow.  This completely ruined my S'more thank you very much.  The girls didn't notice a problem of course.  If it's sweet they like it.  The marshmallow should be gooey through and through.  And warm.  So immediately after removing from fire, apply to chocolate and graham so that it melts the chocolate and makes the perfect campfire dessert.

So, everyone take the time to turn the TV off, get into nature and let your kids free to use their imaginations.  It's awesome seeing what they come up with.
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