Saturday, October 19, 2013

Our Time Outside this week

Four weeks ago now I decided to join the 1000 Hour Outside Challenge and in our first three weeks we were outside for a total of 66.5 hours, exceeding our 20 hour a week goal by 6.5 hours! If I had allowed myself the 18 hour goal (which we'll probably do during winter) it would be 12.5 hours over the goal. I decided to do this, as many of you know, because the statistics of 1200 hours a year of television time by the average American child just plain blew my mind and made me sad. My children watch nowhere near that amount of television during the year, I know because I did the math since they're only allowed an hour a day except for the youngest who MIGHT get three hours a day because of the shows she watches on PBS to help her learn science and many other subjects (a post on that will follow later this week). Even three hours a day doesn't quite hit the 1200 hour mark, but it certainly comes close!

With the vehicle being worked on this week the children and I spent a lot of time walking to places we normally go. I don't live in a very populated area so a walk to the nearest grocery store and back home with the kids can take up to an hour not including time in the store. We also did a walk to our church for the Cracker Jack's catechism class Tuesday evening. It's about 3 miles to the church and I'd overestimated the time it would take us so we ended up with almost two hours to kill. We walked downtown and to the beach. 

And as you can see this week in Michigan was a typical changing of seasons week. One day we had no need of jackets, the next jackets were a must, and the day after that it was drizzling.

The children picked some flowers for their catechism teachers and me without being prompted to. They also picked a small flower for the religious education leader. Of course all of us older females profusely thanked them for their thoughtfulness and kindness. Pretty soon we won't be able to get flowers except for at the store until the weather warms back up. 

We also spent about an hour at the playground on the school grounds attached to the church. The older two were amazed to find out that we'd been there that long because they said it felt like only a few minutes. I used the time to rest my feet and glance through a free local paper I'd picked up. Don't worry Peanut got the same amount of outside time free-playing in the yard under the watchful eye of Daddy, but I had the camera so no pictures...

The elder two enjoyed checking out the "big gun" at one of the river side parks in downtown. The usually miss going to these parks for more than a moment because we visit them on Tuesdays and that's catechism day.

We spent a lot of time this week walking but the kiddos also got several hours of free play outside in the yard now that the yellow jackets aren't as active as they were just last week. Unfortunately Mommy was exhausted from schooling, cleaning, and walking and so I didn't take any pictures of their adventures in the yard. 
Nope, they're not in the garbage can they're hiding behind it...

Our super-hero poses!

She wanted in the pictures...

I love outside!

A rare uncoached smile.

Watching her pine cone float
On the new bridge

Walking home Tuesday evening

"No more pictures, Mom!"
The competition this week was for us to have the kids dress as a super hero and catch a picture at a park. Well, we're not entering the competition this week. The only one of the kiddos who was ever into the marvel type super hero is ECJ and he's "outgrown" Spider man. So, we didn't have any super hero costumes or capes or anything like that to dress up in and none of them had any interest in making one to wear for yet another picture mom would take.

We also saw several interesting sights on our walks. From "milk-pods" splitting open (we've been watching them all season), to tunnel spider webs, changing leave colors, a rare (for us) rear view of our church, and the "hidden house".
Ivy growing

Our church from the bridge


The "hidden house"

 It's amazing what you see when you look around you. The hidden house is actually a house that has some very tall bushes/trees growing along a line in the yard. Those bushes have been taken over by ivy and they caused a natural arch over the walkway. It's really very neat.

Five days out of seven we spent at least part of the day outside this week. Thursday and today, Saturday, were drizzly and chilly. Days suited more for inside fun. We managed to get in 24 hours of outside time this week! Well, the children did I had about ten less than that...

So, our weekly total this week was 24 hours
and our year to date total (four weeks) is 90.5!!! It's amazing how quickly those hours add up!

For our making your home a haven challenge this week we'll be spending the rest of today having a family fun day! Movies, games, a few items off of our bucket list! It should be fun!

Look for our post tomorrow on how our fall bucket list is coming along. This next week I have a post planned for nearly every day! Don't miss a single one, come check us out at our Facebook page where I share them all and other interesting tips and tid-bits.

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