Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Year Of Service: Bike donation

Along with our year of adventure we decided to do a year of service. Once a month this year we're going to find one act of service to do as a family. There are so many organizations in our area that need help in one way or another and once a month we're going to pick one and do something for them.

This month we have chosen the Boise Bicycle Project. They take donations and supply refurbished bicycles to children, refugees, low-income families and the homeless. We have three bikes that have been sitting in our garage for a while that no one is using and we decided that there was no better use for them than to donate them to the Boise Bicycle Project.

So today Shawn and the boys got them out of the garage and took them over to be donated. I hope that they can go to someone who can use them and love them.

Our Year Of Adventure: Swimming

One of things that made our year of adventure list was swimming. The reason it made the list is because it's one of those things that we always intend to do and just never get around to. I actually really love to swim. I grew up near a public pool and I spent my summers there as a kid. I wish that it was the same for my kids. They don't get nearly as many opportunities to go swimming as I did as a kid. There isn't a public pool near here except the pool at the YMCA, and we always intend to take them over there but life gets busy and we never go.

Last year I signed the kids up for swimming lessons at a private home near here. The lady teaches lessons in her backyard pool and she did a really great job with the boys. They weren't very good swimmers when they started but she worked with them really hard and in a few weeks I was amazed at how far they had progressed. I think taking lessons made them realize how much they enjoy being in the water so they've been even more excited to go swimming.

So while we were in Cascade we took advantage of the pool at the hotel and we took the kids swimming twice. What we discovered is that not only do the boys like swimming, Clarissa is a little fish!! She LOVES the water. The boys were always a little timid about putting their head in the water when they were little but Clarissa has no fear of water at all. All three of the kids had a really great time and I think we're definitely going to make swimming more of a priority from now on.

Our Year Of Adventure: Cascade

Obviously I'm a little late getting these blog posts done, but better late than never, right?!:)

Our trip to Cascade was awesome and we were all sad to go home. We had a great time and we're already looking forward to going back, hopefully next year! It's something I'd love to make a yearly event if we can.

While we were there we went sledding, we went swimming, we watched movies, we played games, we took a drive to explore the area and we basically just had some fun family bonding time. I love little trips like that where we don't really have a lot to do except hang out together.

One thing we did plan to do while we were in Cascade was feed the elk like we did a few years ago. There is a great place up there where you ride on a horse drawn sled out to the middle of a field and feed hay to a herd of wild elk. We did it a few years ago and absolutely loved it so we looked forward to doing it again this year. Unfortunately that little adventure got cancelled due to lack of snow. We've had a really weird lack of snow all over the area this year. We don't always get a lot of snow in Boise, but the mountains are usually pretty covered this time of year. We hoped that we'd get enough snow by the time we went to Cascade to do the elk feed but the called us the day before and said that it wasn't going to happen.

We woke up Monday morning to pack up and go home and just as we were leaving town it started to snow and we actually had a hard time getting down the mountain because in some areas it was snowing pretty hard! I'm sure that there's enough snow up there now to do the elk feed but unfortunately I don't think we're going to make it back up there to do it.

But even without the elk feed we had a wonderful little getaway. I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to do it. January is usually my least favorite month of the year but so far we've managed to turn this January into lots of fun! :) 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Year Of Adventure: Sledding

The year of adventure has begun! This weekend we're in Cascade, which is a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere just under two hours from our house. Going to Cascade is on our year of adventure list and a few of the things we're going to do while we're here are also on the list. I put 24 things on our list because I figured two a month would be plenty but by the end of January we will have crossed off four, so if things continue this way I may add more to our list later in the year.

Anyway, my plan is to blog each adventure as we do them so I'll make a blog post for each of the things we do while we're here.

First up is sledding! We put sledding on our year of adventure list because every year for the past few years we've said that we're going to do it but snow is kind of hit and miss in Boise and we never grabbed the opportunity when the snow fell. Our year of adventure is about not missing opportunities so we decided that this year we were going to make it a priority to go no matter what the snow situation was.

Unfortunately the weather has been extra uncooperative this year and there has been absolutely no snow at all. It's pretty much an unprecedented lack of snow. The ski hills haven't even been able to open. That made sledding seem impossible until we found a place in the mountains about an hour from our house that has a snow making machine and they've made an awesome sledding hill! It's on the way to Cascade so it made it the perfect way to kill to adventures with one stone.

So we packed up the car this morning for our weekend adventure and the first stop was sledding!

It was kind of funny to get to the sledding place and see the brown hills with no snow on them and then one big snowy area. The sledding place is awesome, they did a great job with it! You rent tubes for an hour and then the tubes hook onto a cable pulley thing that pulls you to the top of the hill. When you get to the top there are six lanes of varying degrees of steepness and you pick your lane, hop in your tube and fly down the hill! The kids had an absolute ball! They had a double tube that Shawn used with Clarissa since it was too steep for her to go down on her own. She wasn't so sure she liked it and after a few times she was cold and had enough, so I hung out with her for a while while the boys took some more runs down the hill. By the end Shawn and Josh were going down the REALLY steep trails! It looked scary but they loved it!

After sledding we got back in the car and made the rest of the trip to Cascade.

Cascade is a middle of nowhere town with not a lot to do but for some reason I love it up here! It's a pretty drive and they have a super awesome hotel here that I love to stay in. It's pretty and peaceful and quiet and it's great for a quick little getaway. The hotel is super cute and unique. It has a cozy cottage feel and it's always beautifully decorated. The last time we were here not long after Christmas they had Christmas trees in all the rooms. They have a pool for the kids to go swimming (another item on our list, I'll blog about it tomorrow) and it's been fun just to hang out and relax. The kids just went down to the lobby for bedtime cookies and milk, which is always really fun!

I'm not sure what we're going to do tomorrow. We'll do some swimming, maybe watch a movie in our room and probably go drive around and explore. Honestly, I don't even care what we do, I'm just happy to be here!