Posts tagged family time

The Mountain has a Summit

The Gemini Mama Hawk


I know that a lot of you out there are covered in snow. If I were in a place covered in snow I would grab my boots and snowboard and find a hill. I would also pack up my kids and go sledding, at least once. Obviously I am not there, and here we don’t see snow. Actually while we are on the subject, we are suffering from a sever drought because our mountains haven’t seen enough snow, so send some west.


When you live in an area that has beautiful temperature, you should take advantage of it. Yesterday we did. The whole family. As in every one including Scarlet, our dog. This was a big deal for her, because she doesn’t get to do much now that running is too much for her.



If you have been a long time reader here you may remember my post last September about our hike. I just want to say it is amazing what 25-30 degrees difference will do for you. We have only been on a few hikes since then, and they were focused on K1 being able to “hike” the whole time. Meaning that they were not challenging for the adults. When I suggested re-doing this hike S actually asked me if I could even do it. He reminded me that I had to stop a few times last time and we didn’t make it to the top. Duh, it was 100 degrees. Silly daddy.


Up we climbed as a unit. K1 walked about 1/4-1/3 of the way up herself. She is getting stronger and stronger every day.


The wind was nice, and kept us cool.


We got to see a few things on our way. Lizards, caterpillars, which were a nice surprise, para gliders, one hang glider, and two hawks! I am glad that we did not see the mountain lion that was spotted recently, and I am still fortunate enough to have never seen a wild rattle snake.


I wish my phone accurately captured how close to us the hawks were, but this was the best I could do. I have never seen a hawk in the wild so close. I could actually see the color of their feathers.


They were a pair hunting together. When they were done scouring this peak they flew off together to the next. It was beautiful.


Off in the distance of this photo you can see one of the para gliders.


I enjoy hiking, but view it mostly as exercise. Yesterday was a great reminder of all the beauty there is too see on my way to the top. Take that however you want, literal, or figurative. I also find that having kids with me on the hike I want to find beautiful things to show them, so that they will remain interested. I feel that they truly balance the experience for me.


What fun have you had in the great outdoors lately? 

Family Night

As a parent on a budget I often struggle to find low, or no cost things to do. It is easy to go and spend lots of money, even when you have just a small family.  Being on a budget makes cheap family nights a necessity.


Out of this necessity, I created what has quickly become a family tradition.


Pajama Movie Night!

So what makes Pajama Movie Night special?


Here are our basic rules;

  • You must wear pajamas (adults included)
  • You get snacks mommy and daddy would not typically let you have
  • You watch a movie


I told you they were basic. Beyond that there is a little bit more to it.


You can get your kids snacks that are still healthy (if you want). I just try to give them things they don’t get during the week, so that they are special. You can see the inside of one of our snack bags below. The kids got Whales, Animal Crackers, and Veggie Sticks.


We try to get them a new movie they haven’t seen before. Think Redbox, a borrowed movie from a friend or neighbor, but really in a jam, any movie will do. Even that one they have seen 100,000 times.

Now that we are past the basics let’s make it even more special.


What do I mean?


Here in San Diego county for the summer they offer a series of free movies in the park. For us that would qualify for a pajama movie night. We take blankets and pillows and lay in the grass.


Our very first Pajama Movie Night was actually at the drive in, with our Jeep. Back seats laid down, blankets and pillows every where, and fun snacks.


Now, however, most of our Pajama Movie Nights are at home. I still make it different from the every day. I take a few blankets and lay them on the floor. Collect all the pillows off the couch and beds. I then arrange them on the floor in front of the couch and TV. Lastly I let each child select a blanket and stuffed animal to keep with them for the movie.


And that’s basically it. Snuggle down, start the movie, and get your snack on.


I realize that this isn’t rocket science, but my kids seriously love it. The squeals and screams that come from the excitement after announcing that there will be a Pajama Movie Night, let’s me know it’s a hit. K2 calls it “Neno night” because the first PJ Movie night we did at home we watched Finding Nemo.


During the summer we did this twice a month, and it didn’t lose it’s charm. Now that the summer is over and so are the movies in the park, we will keep it to once a month.

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