Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Daily Outdoors Challenge - Conservation and Safety

This is week 8 of the daily outdoors challenge. Any fun time outdoors???? It seems like a nice heat wave is hitting the whole country right now.

As the heat picks up and our humidity starts to go over 10% I'm finding daily, intentional time outdoors with my kids isn't always easy.  In fact, we failed on Saturday (of all days) since we had planned to play at the park with them that evening.  Instead, a nice dust storm swept in and thwarted our plans...

But here's a peak at what we did do outdoors.

Water Conservation Education

This week gave us the opportunity for a hands-on, muscle building experience with water conservation!  Living here in the desert, water is a hot commodity.  What better way to teach the kids to conserve and be careful with our water than to have them help empty the kiddie pool and deep water our trees and use in the garden and compost bin!

There is something to be said about the value of physical labor.  I have friends who have raised wonderful and amazing boys who swear by it!  I must admit that I enjoy it too, as long as the sun isn't overhead.  There is something satisfying about making sure that we fully utilize everything!  Xander shared my enthusiasm and we both spurred each other on to empty the pool and water our trees!

Water Safety
We've been exploring the character trait of WISDOM this summer. This weeks theme was safety.  Naturally, we've spent a good deal talking about water safety - always swimming with a parent present at a regular pool, only with a buddy and mom watching from the window when swimming in the kiddie pool, emptying buckets and tubs when we are finished etc.  What kind of water safety rules do you implement in your family?

We also talked alot about the importance of learning how to swim.  As I mentioned last week, my middle son had a traumatic pool experience that has made him resist wanting to learn how to swim.

I can't thank you enough for the kind comments.  Keegan and I prayed a lot this last week and talked about confronting our fears.  His brothers were signed up for swim lessons, but I didn't feel that he was ready for them.  Relief was evident when we told him this.  He was excited to watch. 

In addition to that traumatic pool experience, he is also extremely stubborn.  He refused to let me potty train him.  Instead, he did it himself {in just two days}.  He refused to let us teach him how to tie his own shoes.  Instead, he taught himself.  Rich and I knew that once he decided to learn how to swim, he'd just do it.

After sitting on the sidelines in the 11:30am heat of the day watching all of the other kids swim, something clicked.  Our conversations that weekend and praying for protection and courage manifested in his desire to take lessons.  Thankfully there was an opening and although nervous when it came time to actually do it the next morning, he took the plunge.

So my week has consisted of sitting next to the pool - poor Greta and I drowning in sweat, enthusiastically cheering our excited new swimmer on as he conquered his fears and slipped into the water.

We celebrated his first day of swim lessons with new goggles and our yummy kettle corn!

The next morning, I braved the community pool in my grandfather's neighborhood and was so excited to see the two younger boys so excited to show off their new swimming skills!

But the heat has just zapped my energy.  We hope to be back next week with some more creative ideas for enjoying the outdoors.  In fact, we started a fun baking experiement today involving something we collected on our evening nature walk.  Hopefully, we'll have something to report next week!

That's it for this weeks Daily Outdoors Challenge.  We'd love to hear what you and your kids are doing outside.

The Daily Outdoor Challenge


  1. I have to admit I'm a little tickled reading about your humidity rising to above 10%. I live near Savannah, GA where our current humidity is 44%, but it averages above 50% most of the year. Playing outside is often a challenge, but doable if done first thing in the morning (when it's more humid, but cooler) or in the evening when the humidity's not quite as high. The heat index is too dangerous from 1-6 pm. I enjoy reading your blog in the cool air conditioning! My husband often reminds me that Solomon in all his glory never had air conditioning! Praise God for this technology!

  2. You should have jumped right in there, lol!
    Your second boy looks so much like you, Heather, it's incredible.
    We need to visit each other's zones to learn more about the climate, I think.
    Oneday :)

  3. Lauren - I'm a total baby about the humidity, aren't I???? I guess its a good thing I live here in the southwest. There were a couple of days at the pool that I could just tell the humidity was up. Spraying with cold water did not do much to cool us down... And yes, I'm with you on praising God for the modern conveniences of air conditioning!!!

    Heather, Keegan looks the most like me of all the boys. :) And yes, one of these days, I would love to make our way up to your part of the continent! You should come visit us in February and escape your cold!

  4. Wow, your wisdom in not making him take swim lessons sure paid off! Praise the Lord and Yay! Keegan!!

  5. WE are also swimming a ton at our community pool. Tori just learned and is quite the water bug. I sit often on the side of the pool drenched in sweat, wondering why I live in AZ? LOL
    Happy Summer and thanks for the great ideas, I look forward to reading about your baking experiment!