What’s in the Box?

Active dad is feeling a little under the weather today, so it seems like a perfect time to crank out a new blog post. Speaking of feeling under the weather, why is it that every time the wife goes out of town and dad is left to manage all four kids solo, at least one person (often times more than one) must get sick? The wife traveling for work always results in sleep deprivation and extra messes for dad to clean. This time is no exception as both dad and Cam (6) decided now would be the perfect time to get sick. Of course, dad radar kicks in and I have to wake up at least once an hour overnight to make sure everyone is OK and that no one has left me any surprises.

Fitness and Outdoors

Moving on. The wife had the excellent suggestion that we take the fam geocaching last weekend. For those unfamiliar with geocaching, the idea is that people hide marked containers in various outdoor places and you use a GPS-enabled device to locate the containers. We downloaded the geocaching app on our smart phones and used that to track down the containers.

People can put pretty much whatever they want into the containers. The rule is that if you take something out, you must put something of your own back in to replace it. The thrill of the hunt is the real reason to find the containers, unless you are a fan of rusty key chains and old bookmarks. There is also a log book that you sign after making the find. You can learn more about the process at http://www.geocaching.com/.

So, I found a couple of caches on a trail in a nearby park and we headed out. Clare got to travel in style for our adventure.

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We made quick work of the first cache. It was just a little ways off the main trail. Alexis (8) actually found the container first. The kids were excited to search through the loot.

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The real find was that some kid left his high school student ID in the box. Alexis found this to be endlessly amusing. So much so, that she took it and put it in the next container we found.

The next container proved to be a lot more challenging. This one was a good quarter mile off the trail and through some fairly rugged terrain. The GPS also flaked out on us in the last 50 feet, so it took some pretty thorough searching to find it. Congrats to the wife, who made the actual discovery.

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Then came the journey back to the van. To give Grayson (2) a lot of credit, he had hiked the entire trip up to the second cache, which at that point was nearing the two mile mark. But, he was spent, so active dad came to the rescue and carried him the rest of the way with Clare still strapped on my back. If not for this, I think we would still be trying to find our way back to the van.

geocache1

I paid for it with a sore back for a day, but hey, it was worth it! Geocaching is much more fun than I expected it to be after I had first heard about it.

Future Soccer Star

The other exciting news of the week is that Alexis, my aspiring Olympic soccer player got to be ball girl at a local high school game. She took her job very seriously and had a blast doing it. It was good for her to get exposure to HS soccer and she was excited that several of the players stopped to talk to her.

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What’s in a Name?

Lastly, I will end with this story about the most awkward conversation killer of all time (at least when kids are involved). Clare, Grayson, and I do our regular grocery shopping at the same store after dropping the older two off at school. The employees have come to know the kids by name and are always sure to say hi.

On one of our first visits, while in the checkout lane, I was telling Grayson to stop taking the candy off the rack. We get a lot of comments and complements regarding Grayson’s name whenever we mention it in public. Our cashier heard me say, “Grayson, stop doing that” (or something similar). Actually, I probably say this to him about 50 times a day, so really no surprise here.

Our cashier asked me about his name and told me that it was interesting. An older, female cashier working the lane next to us turned and said, “Grayson. I knew a stripper with that name.” Awkward silence followed.

Until next time. – Chris (active dad at home)

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