September 27, 2014

Scavenger hunt at the park

I got some much needed sleep last night. My anxiety has been really bad lately, so I took a Xanax before bed, which helped me to sleep and stop worrying about everything. I woke up at 7:30, which is late for me, and felt great!

I wanted to get in some steps today, even though it's a rest day, because I'm participating in that iFit challenge with the Runner's World Half bloggers. The boys had a friend spend the night last night, so I decided to take the three of them to the State Park for a walk around the 5K loop.

When we started walking, I was trying to think of some way to keep things interesting for the boys on the long walk. I said that whoever spotted a squirrel first could choose the next thing that we'd have to look for, and so on. Then Eli had a better idea--he said that we should assign points to certain things we might see, and whoever gets the most points wins. For example, a squirrel would be worth 20 points, a spider worth 30 points, and a deer worth 100 points.

Here was the whole list we came up with. I used my phone to keep track.

The boys had a BLAST on this scavenger hunt. They really didn't even realize that they were walking/exercising. Normally, the kids complain non-stop when we go for a walk, but they didn't complain even once. They kept running ahead of each other to try to spot things first. We saw a ton of cranes, ducks, and geese, but not much else. When I go running there, I usually see a little of everything--squirrels, rabbits, deer, etc. I think the boys were so loud they scared everything off ;)

As we walked, there were some leaves falling from the trees occasionally, and they made up a rule that if you caught one in the air, it was 20 points. All three of them caught one once. It was funny to watch them try! In the end, it was really close, but Eli won by a measly caterpillar. The boys all thanked me for taking them there, because they said it was so much fun. I wish I'd have thought of that game a long time ago! Eli is very proud that it was his idea.

This evening, we went to my parents' house to see my uncle and his son (on my dad's side). My uncle drove up from Florida, and has been staying at my parents' house all week. I've only seen him a handful of times in my life, so we went over there for dinner. His son (my cousin) came over with his family, too. I think the only time I ever met him was at his brother's funeral (my cousin Christopher died in Iraq from an IED explosion). Finally, my dad's sister came over with her grandson. So it was basically a mini-family reunion on my dad's side.

After dinner, my dad made a little campfire in the driveway, so we sat around and chatted for a while. The weather was SO nice today! My dad put copper wires in the fire, so it made the flames really colorful. It's hard to see in this picture, but it looks awesome with a rainbow of colors.

Sitting around the fire like that made me think of Mark. On Halloween, we always used to bring Mark to my parents' house to celebrate his birthday, and then sit around the colorful campfire while kids came trick-or-treating. I'm not sure what the plan is this year, but it'll be sad that Mark won't be there with us. I can't believe it's been almost a year since the last time Mark was at my parents' house. He was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his birthday last year, and he wasn't able to come over afterward. (If you're a newer reader, you can read the beginning of Mark's story here, and the final post here--there was a lot in-between, from December through March).

Anyway, I'm tired, and I want to watch a show and then go to bed. My brother is coming in from Minnesota tomorrow!

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