Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Gift of Adventure

It's been eight months since this whole unemployment thing began. I think the one thing I have come to appreciate the most about our current situation is learning how to appreciate the simple things. Even though things are tight, we have grown and stretched in love, creativity, and unity. We've discovered that children really are most content with just playing a game of tag with the neighborhood kids instead of running all over town. Who knew?

With that in mind, I'd resigned myself to foregoing purchasing Christmas gifts this year for the boys because I just could not justify the expense. Other things need to be paid for, and truthfully, anything we purchase will have an active child-engagement life span of approximately 5 days, at best.

I was trying to think of something low cost, preferably no-cost, to do with or for the boys. However, except for cakes, I do not have a crafty gene. So, imagine my delight when I came across a really wonderful and thoughtful idea on Facebook today! An FB friend of mine, homeschooling mommy of two precious little girls, is gifting her children with a year's worth of adventures. She's preparing a box with sealed envelopes for each adventure and objects that give clues about the adventures. I don't know how much she spent on that project, but I'm thinking of challenging myself to come up with as many free or low cost activities as possible. Hopefully, the mancubs will love it!

I'm still fleshing out my plan and brainstorming ideas, but here are my thoughts on adventures for the man tribe:


A tour of the local Mrs. Baird's Bread bakery

Attending one of the hands-on nature exploration activities at our local nature preserve

A visit to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

A trip to the beach

A Houston Zoo Member Morning Presentation

A trip to the Health Science Museum on a free Thursday

A tour of Lake Sheldon State Park and Environmental Learning Center

A bike ride on one of the trails at our local park

A family picnic on the hill at one of the free concert performances

A trip to one of the community water parks

Movie in the Park at our local town center

The local free Kidzfest in March

A tour of a local candy factory

A day-long excursion to Washington on the Brazos, the birth place of Texas independence

As you can tell, my boys are definite science and nature buffs. I'm also throwing in a little bit of history, food, and art in order to create a more well-rounded experience. I'm going to have to get creative with my clues, but I am definitely excited about putting it together for them. And for those of you who are worried, the grandparents have already sent their gifts, so they will have presents to open on Christmas Day!