Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rocks, pillows, and ice cream

    Today's post is mostly a rant about my kids and our day yesterday.  We had a great day and we had lots of fun, but I can't believe how hard is it to get them out of the house!  I had tons of field trips planned for  this week and next.  There are so many places we did not bother to go all summer long, partly because I didn't feel like going anywhere, but mostly because I prefer to avoid the crowds.  You'd be amazed how much more you get to see and do at a museum when you're one of only a handful of families there!  So, I awoke yesterday with the hopes of going someplace "new" called West End Creamery.  It's a farm with animals, a miniature golf course, a bounce pillow and ice cream.  Sounds fun right?  No one wanted to get dressed, no one really got excited about going.  You would have though I was dragging them to the Doctors to get shots or something.  I knew they'd love it though and so I just made sure to be persistent. 
     We stopped at the library to pick up some new books on CD for the ride and, once again, I heard complaints about the plan for the day.  We were going to stop at Purgatory Chasm, hike the Chasm, have some lunch and wait for West End Creamery to open.  These two places are only about 5 minutes away from each other and my boys LOVE the chasm.  They've been complaining we haven't been in over a year.  Yesterday, they didn't want to go to the chasm!  I finally snapped and started ranting about how they complain when we're home and they're bored, they complain when I plan something, they complain when I teach and they complain when I let them unschool.  They complain ALL The time, or at least it feels that way.  I know they're kids and kids complain, but I just get so frustrated when they seem to take for granted everything we do.   We do so much and I know my kids are so lucky.  Sometimes I just wished they'd realize how lucky they are.  I seriously started driving home from the library and told them all to forget it, we'd just spend the next two weeks at home and they could all complain about being bored all day long.  I was DONE!  Then they all started crying and begging to go to Purgatory Chasm and West End Creamery.  I didn't get it... they didn't want to go so we weren't going to go and now they want to go?!  Lucky for them I really wanted to go so I gave them a second chance and we finally headed out for our day trip.
      We arrived at the Chasm around noon and had some lunch.  On the way to the picnic area near the playground the boys climbed a few rocks and slid down one really large one.  They happily played and ate and we never even made it into the chasm.  They met some kids on the playground and had so much fun playing they didn't want to stop.  Not having any real agenda for our day, other than getting back to our fun family outings, I let them play.  It was hot and sunny and all the boys were getting pretty sweaty.  One by one all the kids we met left and so we decided to head to the creamery.  On the way to our car we stopped at the bathroom building and looked around at all the nature displays they have set up.  We looked at the Luna moths and read about them.  We looked at a giant bulletin board about the boring beetles and learned which ones to report and which ones are native to our area.  We even learned about a special "class" that they're offering this Friday. 

sliding down the big hill

They had so much fun spinning in circles

        We bought an all day pass for mini golf and the bounce pillow for $11 each.  We started to play mini golf and I'll be honest and say it was an hour or so of torture.  The boys seemed to enjoy it, but I couldn't relax and have fun.  It was hot and sunny and we were all sweating pretty miserably.  It was crowded and my boys don't really know how to golf.  We were holding people up behind us and had to stop and allow them to play through.  They all lost their balls a few times, in the water, in the bushes, in the grass-- we could not keep them on the green.  At least one time I thought they were going to hit something with a ball.  They yelled at one another as they each kept touching one another's ball or got in the way of someone's shot.  I was looking so forward to hole #18 and wishing we had only paid for the bounce pillow!  Amazingly enough though they seemed to enjoy golfing and would like to play again another day when it's not so hot.  Looking back I wished I could have joked, laughed and gone with the flow instead of getting all uptight and upset with them.  I was sighing, rushing them along and kind of killing the fun.  I don't know why, but I know I was. 

Fishing the ball out of the water-- again!

waiting for a turn

Fishing another ball out of the water
        We moved onto bouncing and that was a lot of fun.  I even joined in and we worked up a great appetite for some nice cool treats.  They made some new friends and after playing a few bouncing games like popcorn and tag, and seeing who could bounce the highest and the farthest we took a break to try out some of their ice cream, sherbet and Del's Lemonade.  We jumped a bit more and then decided to head home and cool off in the lake.  It was the perfect day for a dip In the lake. 

Jumping and bouncing! 
The boys have fun playing with a new toy
while waiting to order their treats
Best part of the day!! 
      As I write this I'm already getting annoyed about today.  I have offered to take them to the aquarium, the zoo or even the science museum and I'm getting shrugs, "whatever," or my personal favorite "I'll only go if you buy me something at the gift shop" as a response.  Seriously?!?!  I feel like my husband and I spend all of our time trying to teach the kids to be grateful for what they have, yet we are failing miserably.  I hope it's just the age, but I can't help wondering what we could and should be doing differently.  I have tried making them save up money and pay for their own things.  I have tried pointing out the things we get to do that many of their friends never have, I have tried everything I can think of, but it all seems to go in one ear and out the other.  Maybe I'm making to much of it, but I am so sick of my kids taking everything for granted and always wanting more.  If anyone has a suggestion or a solution, please feel free to share!! 


  1. Ever thought of doing a "without" weekend? For one whole weekend, they do without TV, IPODS, car rides to ANYWHERE, no ATVs, video games, no jet skis,basically EVERYTHING that they take for granted. Even YOU! You would be present for supervision only, but would not do meals, laundry, or taxi service. No picking up after them, no get the idea. This would be hard for you and your husband, but would hopefully clue the boys in on how fortunate they are to have the things they have and DO the things they do.

  2. I love that idea!! It would be a bit hard, but I'm sure we could do it! Thanks.