Take a little break….outside.

    If you are like us, life is crazy.  It’s busy, demanding and sometimes downright stressful.  The best thing to do is just laugh ourselves right through the ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean it is the easiest.  I find myself struggling often with getting caught up in the redirecting and teaching and scolding and not enough in the laughing and loving.  I am absolutely certain my boys know I love them, but I also know they prefer the got-enough-sleep, sweated-enough, got-outside-enough, prayed-enough version of their Mama.

    And I agree with them completely.

    The thing is kids don’t always sleep through the night, workouts don’t always happen (despite our best intentions), sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, we don’t always pause enough to reflect and listen and that is just reality (though not necessarily an excuse).

    Just like our children, as adults we need those time-out moments too.  Time to re-evaluate how we interact with the ones we love, how we feel, what we need and how we can love and serve better.  I do this best outside, and argue that most people do (whether they know it or not.)

    We’re heading into Memorial Day weekend which is traditionally a great time to relax, unplug, rejuvenate and connect as a family.  While we usually get snow here in the mountains (joke is definitely on us) that weekend, we’re determined to make the most of it.

    The following is really a list for myself (has anyone noticed I am a big list-maker….geesh!), but is a good reminder for us all.

    Ways to chill out. Outside.

    1. Get a hammock (or three) and set it up in your yard.  Don’t have trees?  Get a great packable one and take it with you.  Find a couple of trees with a view and resume relaxation.  I love double hammocks that allow for lots of family cuddling, but even this UltraLight from Grand Trunk easily holds an adult and two kids.

      Oh the joys of children!

      Oh the joys of children!

    2. Read a book.  Most parents with young children don’t do this nearly enough (but if you leave all that housework, you may even have time for it!)
    3. Go on a walk.  Planning a longer hike seem like too much work?  Walk around your block.
    4. Sing songs as a family
    5. Have a campfire and sing more songs
    6. Pass a ball back and forth
    7. Play tag
    8. Tell silly stories
    9. Do some star gazing (while it still gets dark before super late at night!)
    10. Play a game.  We’re fans of packable ones that can be brought with us wherever we go and aren’t ruined by dirt and weather while camping.  Some of our new favorites come from Grasshaven Outdoor:
    •  Most Pleasant Game of Goose $32: This rolls up into an easy-to-pack bag and is great for bringing camping because it doesn’t matter if it gets dirty or wet.  The pieces are even polished rocks.  Takes a tiny bit to get the hang of, but J (at 4) can easily play it, and it is interesting enough to keep older kids and adults engaged too.

      Most Pleasant Game of Goose

      Most Pleasant Game of Goose

    • Tale of the Trail Hiking Game $10.59: Really just a tiny pouch to carry, this game is great for backpacking.  It’s a little too complicated for my kids (and takes some time to learn as an adult) but is super fun to play.
    • Biff, Bats, Balls $15: A great way to work on some coordination and blow off a little steam in the backyard (or campsite).  The paddles are wooden, so are a little more fragile, but surprisingly, ours have not broken.  Play it over a net or just back and forth!
    • Glow in the Dark Bocce Balls $74.45:  This is SOOOO cool.  The balls actually glow because they have little batteries in them (which occasionally need changed out) but it sure does make evening playing fun.  Our kids don’t totally get the game, but they have a great time participating in the throwing of the balls (and turning them all on and off!)

      Glow in the Dark Bocce Ball set

      Glow in the Dark Bocce Ball set

    How do YOU plan on relaxing this weekend?


    A little surprise giveaway….

    Grasshaven Outdoor has offered to give two of you a set of their Vintage Travel Games (GH rocks at finding cool games…often hand-made by small companies).  The Vintage Travel games come in the following options: Golf, football, baseball or fishing.  Might be a sweet Father’s Day gift…

    Vintage Travel Game - Golf

    Vintage Travel Game – Golf

    Vintage Travel Game - Baseball

    Vintage Travel Game – Baseball







    As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!  Sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Grasshaven Outdoor generously provided us the game mentioned in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.  You can find my full disclosure here.  

    © 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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