Enjoying Spring Like Weather

The first Spring like day happened over the weekend and what do you do when Spring like weather occurs? Well in this family we head outside…

NH Spring Like Day

Do not let the sight of snow fool you, this day was super warm and enjoyable. The kids and I set outside on what was meant to be just another outdoor day.

3 NH Children

But once those tracks were found, it was game on! The kids had fun following the tracks of whatever animal they were from while playing the guessing game of whether the tracks were that of a badger, a dog or a coyote. There were different animal tracks in the snow that were fun to follow.

Following Animal Tracks in NH woods

Without even realizing it, the kids had followed the animal tracks down the trail out back which eventually leads to an old railroad which has been a trail for many to enjoy with ATVs, Bicycles and more…

Walking NH Trail

We witness tracks of an animal appearing to have been dragged around, poop was scattered and it certainly seemed as if a fought had occurred in one location on the trail.

Wild Animal Scat

Further on in the trail walk we noticed what appeared to have been rabbit tracks along with another animal, be it dog or coyote, that had been chasing it. We witnessed the river, the old train bridge and pretty much walked in a circle back up to the house. A good 2-3 mile walk on our first Spring like day was much enjoyed.

NH Kids Enjoying Spring Weather

I had such a great day with the kiddos on this walk through the trail, even though the boys legs grew tired sooner than mine and Kiara’s, they were troopers and kept on until we got home just in time to enjoy a yummy lunch together.

What did you all do this weekend?

That Moment of Hesitation of Stopping to ask if Someone Needs Help

I remember growing up, one time my Dad had picked up a hitch hiker. I have the worst memory ever, but for some reason this memory surfaces every so often when I see someone hitch hiking. The man my Dad picked up had this blue thing in the back of his pocket that looked, to me, as a handle to a knife. I recall being slightly scared but I also knew that my Dad had everything under control, should something bad happen. As a child I always remember my Dad being that person who everyone seemed to like, but piss him off or mess with him then all heck is breaking loose. I felt safe. No harm was done, the hitch hiker made it wherever and we made it home safely. Who knows maybe it wasn’t even a hitch hiker, could have been one of my Dad’s friends, I was a kid after all so details really wouldn’t have made sense back then.

Helping others

Fast forward to close to present day, ever since becoming a mother I have become this paranoid overly cautious woman. Combine that nature of overly cautious with the politically correct society we live in and well that could mean a mess of a mind the average person may live with. You see, it’s not like when I was a child, I recall things being said, shared on TV and what not that were so not the most appropriate or nice things to say. I recall my older relatives having to really try hard to “make the team” and people were pushed to be all they could be and to “suck it up” if they didn’t like it. Your neighbor would give you sugar should you need it and you could know your neighborhood “family” by their first names, as if everyone has this huge helping hand neighborhood.

These days it seems less and less people have that feeling of unity with the average person. We tend to be too wrapped up in our own selves to stop for anyone else, but not every human is that way. Take my aunt for example, one of my aunts wrote on Facebook one day that she, after watching numerous people drive by, stopped to help someone out. Neighbor helping neighbor. My aunt did not know this person, she is simply built with a kind heart and saw a person in need. She felt comfortable and as if it was her place, like it should have felt for others, to stop and help out this stranger who appeared to be needing some help. I was so touched by reading that Facebook update, but must admit it didn’t surprise me, my aunt has a very kind heart and soul.

WWW Brawlin Buddy 3I pass hitch hikers all of the time, I will not pick them up. I wouldn’t in the past and I sure as heck won’t now. I will, however, lend a helping hand for anyone who needs it if I can. Case in point, this past week there was a woman on a bicycle who appeared to be needing help. I see this woman daily, she has been riding her bike up and down this road for years, even back when I was a kid she was doing it. The woman, I have no clue who she is, was on the side of the road, she appeared okay but her bicycle was laying on the ground, on the side of the road, in such a fashion that my mind thought “maybe she needs help”. My first thought was that but my second thought was “she is somewhat older, do I offend this woman if I stop and she doesn’t need help?”, do I drive by and allow that thought of offending someone I was simply trying to be nice to win over my thought of helping another human being? I decided to stop.

It was too funny because even my kids find it odd that I stopped, well my sons did, as my oldest wasn’t with me that particular afternoon. I stopped, rolled down my window and asked “are you okay? Do you need any help?” As I spoke those words, I was nervous, because my mind was thinking “gosh is this woman going to take offense I stopped?!”, but the lady was very kind, she sort of laughed and said she didn’t need any help, she was okay, just had stopped to take a sip of her water or something like that. I replied okay, just wanted to be sure. The woman must have realized that I felt awkward or unsure of stopping because I probably wore my “oops my bad, now I am embarrassed” facial expression, so after she sort of laughed at me, she hesitated and said “but thank you for stopping I do appreciate that”. I said “you are welcome”.  And I drove off.

Why is it not the norm for someone to see a person who appears to possibly need help, to stop and check that they are okay? IS that the world my kids are going to be adults in? A world that has such self absorbed, politically correct, walking on egg shells, everyone stick to their own self type of mentality? I sure as heck hope not, but the sad thing is that is what I see each day I live in this society. The good thing is that there are still those, like my aunt, who will stop and lend a hand to anyone in need if they are able to do so.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having Family Fun in the Woods is Great Exercise

One fine day I was having a bad case of the grumpies. My children, who love trying to make Mama forget her grumpies, because that is what I do for them, decided that going down to the river to skip rocks and see what we see would be a grand idea.

Little did I know that when we arrived the kids would run out of the car, before I could even open my car door, and end up finding a trail to walk down. I suppose it was my daughters doing, getting her brothers to follow her towards the woods as a way for her to try to find the GeoMate capsule we found a year prior when they noticed the trail along the river bend.

The kids and I have traveled many trails in the local area, one being right off of the property we reside on but we had never seen this trail before so when they asked if we could walk it, I was happy to say yes!

The kids and I had a blast walking along this trail, at a faster than I expected rate, while sight seeing. We were able to see a tree chewed by a beaver and an animal from the weasel family along the river-bend across the way. As the kids and I laughed, walking along sharing silly stories and singing songs we came to an open path and noticed we had walked quite further than we even thought.

Traveling further and further along the trail, we were getting exercise without even realizing it. The kids thought this was a great family adventure, not exercise. This gave me an idea, what a great story to share with all of my readers as a way to get exercise into the kids daily life, and your life, without realizing. Taking a walk on a beaten trail in the woods is a fun way to not only experience nature at it’s finest but to enjoy a family picnic, talk about what you see and have a long walk without feeling like it’s a chore.

The kids had such a great time that I hope we can venture out onto this path again to see what we see. For the rest of you out there in the world, think about your local area, do you have any trails? Is there a way for you to ‘sneak’ exercise in as a nature walk with the kiddos? Or maybe even alone. I say give it a whirl, for we walked forty five minutes without one complaint and that rarely happens with my sons.

I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.

 

The Easiest Ways to Incorporate a Walk Into your Daily Routine

Fitness is very important to me, not only as an individual, but as a Mom. You see, I firmly believe in teaching through example and if I am not being active on my own then neither will my children think to be active on their own. That is why I spend quick moments making sure that I walk a bit more each day, these short walks really help to keep my weight going down, muscle tone building and of course walks are a great way to have a fun time with my children.

Hiking Mt. Kearsarge Summer 2012

Pictured above you will see  my three children and me atop Mt. Kearsarge at the parking lot, ready to hike to the summit. Of course, this picture was taken during a hike up Mt. Kearsarge, but there are other simple ways to get a daily walk in without dedicating too much extra time. After all everyone leads busy lives these days, don’t we?

Park Further Away from Grocery Store Entrance

Heading to the grocery store? Well next time you visit the local food store, remember to park further away from the store entrance. This forces you to get a short walk in, without dedicating too much extra time or prior planning.  I personally do this all too often and even if my kids complain each time I do, they are starting to understand why it’s important to take your time in life, even if that means we have to walk further across the parking lot to get inside of the store.

Walk to Get Kids from School on Nice Days

I could potentially walk from my home to the schools to get my children on warm days, however, it’s too far of a walk for the little one.  Whether you live within walking distance or have to park downtown somewhere and walk, make sure to take advantage of the nice weather days and walk to pick up the kids instead of driving. This saves a little bit of gas and it’s a fun way to let your kids “get their wiggles out” after school. I must admit my middle child gets upset when I walk to get him, but I know in the long run of life he will see that Mom was always finding creative ways to keep him active. I can only hope the habit of parking and walking to the school will stick with my children as they grow up and become parents in later years themselves.

Walk Around the Farmers Market

My children and I have recently started to make our Fridays a habit of walking around the local Farmers Market. It’s a nice walk, we get to check out the local artists, foodies and even ride on a home made train. The children and I spend an hour walking around the Farmer’s Market without even realizing we were walking for that long! This is a fun {and sneaky} way to incorporate walking into your life without dedicating extra time, especially if you are one who enjoys Farmers Markets as much as we do.

There you Have it …

Hopefully these few short tips and examples of how my children and I incorporate walking into our daily lives will get you moving forward in making sure you stay active without having to set aside too much more of your precious hours in the day.

I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.

Taking a Hike up Mt Kearsarge at Rollins State Park in Warner, NH

The family had a last minute idea to take a hike, the wind was blowing keeping the hot temperatures from totally killing us and so we thought it was ideal weather for a hike. The question was, where would we go? We didn’t want to go to Mt Ascutney in Vermont for we hiked that when Aj was a baby, we thought about the tall trees in Bradford, NH but again we’ve seen them 100 times already.

Since we wanted somewhere different that wasn’t too expensive, we decided upon Mt Kearsarge. I have never gone to this mountain and there’s a state park in Warner, NH called Rollins State Park that is relatively low cost plus we get to support NH state parks by going this route up the mountain. It was a deal, the game plan was ready and the kids hurried to get all ready so we could set off on our first family hike of the season!

Here are the kids and me at the parking area ready to hike the short .5 miles up to the summit of Mt Kearsarge. We didn’t realize it was such a short distance but come to find out it was the perfect distance for a first hike of the season. Our bodies are out of shape and the little dude (hiding behind me, see his head poking out?) has little legs so he can’t handle walking too far either.

So the hike wasn’t that long but in the heat and apparently lack of wind due to the trees blocking wind, the trail made us sweat and work hard. The trail was mostly rocks and we ran into chipmunks along the way as well. We also took the time to make this an educational trip when we ventured into the fire look out tower to speak with the fire look out dude, park ranger, who sits in the tower looking out for fire in the woods.

We talked with the fire ranger dude about how there has to be more than one person in the look out towers all over the various parks, especially on a high fire danger day to ensure that they can triangulate where the fire is. The fire ranger dude also gave the kids their own smokey the bear sticker. We learned due to budget cuts there are not as many people who can actually tend to the fire look outs and that made me sad. I think preserving our national forests and state parks are so vitally important, which is why when we chose to hike the mountain we went up on the state park side of it!

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