When you have a house full of energetic boys, it’s important (for Mom’s sanity) to get them outside regularly to burn off energy. This isn’t too hard to do during spring, summer, and fall when the weather is generally pleasant. But when it’s consistently in the 20s, it just ends up being much easier to stay inside and stay warm! I’m finding that I have to put in a lot more effort to get everyone outside during the winter.
We have been getting the older 4 boys out about once a week to go skiing (at least until we all got sick last week-yuck!) but that’s been about it. So about a week and a half ago, while feeling particularly stir crazy from being cooped up inside, we decided to try some winter geocaching.
The bolt in Jordan’s hand here is actually a cleverly disguised geocache container found attached to a guard rail:
We have to be a little bit pickier about the hides we go after, as some of them are more difficult (or impossible) to get to or find with snow cover. But other than that, the boys are having a lot of fun getting out of the house for treasure hunts!
A green “bison tube” hanging in a tree, waiting to be found by eager seekers:
Jordan and Joseph testing the edge of a frozen, snow-covered pond near the above tree:
Josiah is so proud after discovering this camo-covered pill container in the woods. They get especially excited when they find containers large enough to have small treasures for trading inside:
Jordan with another container in the woods:
Hunting for caches isn’t the only fun, of course. It’s also entertaining to climb trees, especially big ones lying on their sides from recent storms. Not to mention the great exercise they get…I’d much rather they climb outside than in my living room!
King of the….upended tree roots?
Joey making faces:
We live in an area with many miles of abandoned railroad lines, that have been paved over and turned into walking and bike trails. They are also a favorite of local cachers. It’s fun to go for a nice bike ride, and be able to stop and treasure hunt along the way! The boys enjoy exploring other aspects of the trails as well, as you can tell here as Joey and Jordan were trying to skate (in their sneakers) on a little frozen stream under a bridge.
Joey under the bridge:
Jordan on the other side of the bridge:
Joshua and Joey getting ready to take off on their bikes:
So while we really do spend most of our time at home (staying warm!) when the temps dip well below freezing, we also make time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, at least often enough to keep the boys from bouncing off the walls inside!
If you’d like more information on geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com. Setting up an account is free, and chances are there is treasure to be found very near your own back yard!