Friday, February 27, 2009

Bing a kid is so fun

Acting like a kid is so fun, and watching your kids act like you is terrifying. The other day I witnessed both of these first hand. The day started like any other Saturday morning. We got up and had our cereal for breakfast. He likes "fruit loops" while I ate warm oatmeal. We took his Mom into work and then headed back home. "What are we gonna do today?" I asked him. "Build a race track." he yells back happily. I think to can I make it different and better for him today. I was bored of the same old race track we'd been playing with.

We search for things to make a big hotwheels race track out of and in the basement we found a gold mine. An old piece of eavetrough. This took me back to when I was a kid and we used to build tracks in the old barn at Stewart's, the family across the field. We would play for hours there. Up the stairs we went and we built a race track in the hallway using the eaves trough, some plastic tubing, and pieces of the old hotwheels track. He and I played for hours and I even videod some of it. You can easily hear in the video (sorry I don't like posting videos) that I am more excited than my son.

Shortly after playing he comes running up to me and says "Daddy I gotta go to the potty." I tell him to hurry down to the washroom and he heads off. Half way down he stops, turns around, and to my surprise says "I need to get a book." He goes and grabs "The Divide" by Nicholas Evans (a great adult read by the way), and runs into the potty. He gets up on the seat and opens the book. Now this scared me, becuase suddenly I realized how much of an impact I was truly having on my son. He could have only learned that from me and he reaffirmed this by saying "Look Daddy I'm reading your book on the potty just like you." I was oddly proud and yet terrified at the same time.

From now on I will be more careful about my actions around him and I will have to be highly consceintous about how I treat others as well.

Stayed tuned. I am planning a cold weather backpacking trip and I will fill you in and have some pics.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Winter Carnival report

Well the Sussex Corner Winter Carnival has come and gone. The pond hockey, sliding, skiing, fun and games are complete. I don't know about everyone else, but I had a blast. I was much to busy as an organizer to take photos but I hope there are some good ones floating around that I can share with you later. The Kings County Record has some posted this week too that you can look into. As an organizer of this event I was very happy with the way it all came out. We had an estimated 500 people there at our peak time on Saturday and likely close to 300 stayed around to watch the championship pond hockey game and fireworks. Judging from the ooohhhs and ahhs and the expressions on the kids faces I think everyone had a great time because lets face it, adults have fun when their kids are having fun.

For me this was a great experience and one that I hope we continue for many years to come. I gotta thank "Outdoor Elements" ( and "Elmhurst Outdoors" ( for helping me with the cross country skis and I have to thank the Sussex Regional High School's PhysEd department for providing some snowshoes. Also, a big thanks goes to "Adair's Wilderness Lodge" for providing the grand prize ( There are many others who should be thanked as well but I will leave that up to those who brought them on board with the carnival.

The championship pond hockey game was a rather one sided affair which saw a team from Sussex Corner take home the Corner Cup. The team donated their portion of the cash winnings to their charity as well resulting in $300 going to the Children's Wish Foundation. Hopefully all the teams who took part had a great time and will come back again next year. The contests were often fast paced with great puck movement and some great puck handling.

There were lots of treats to eat and some great entertainment to boot. Keep the Sussex Corner Winter Carnival in mind next year when making your plans for February.

See you in the woods or on the water

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Simple Things Like Sliding

There is a great deal to be said about the simple things. This has become much clearer to me since becoming a father. Shortly after my son was born I really thought I was still going to be able to get out and enjoy lots of backpacking and camping adventures. This has turned out to be harder than I thought. I have learned though that the simple things can be just as fun as the longest hike into the toughest terrain.

Just the other day, we have been blessed over the last week with some great winter weather, I decided to take Seth sliding at his grandparents. They don't have a big hill in their backyard or anything exciting so I was aiming small. We got dressed and headed out with him talking 90mph about all the things he was going to do while sliding. The plowed up mound in my parents backyard was actually quite large, thanks to the snow we have gotten this winter. We took the flying saucer, a simple slide unlike the GT Racer's and such, and made a great path down the bank. In the end Seth was sliding more than 12m each trip, which for a 3yr old is plenty far. He was having a blast and so were his grandparents. We made snow angels together and even swung on the swing set for awhile. Before long he started thinking about going inside, and hot chocolate. You could see it in his eyes when he thought about hot chocolate and from that moment on it was all he could think about.

I had a hard time getting him out of his snowpants cause he wouldn't sit still. Snow was flying everywhere as I pulled them off. He danced over the puddles and up the stairs to get his hot chocolate. Now hot chocolate is simple enough but, it was the marshmellows he truly wanted and we had a giggle over this. In three hours Seth had a full day and tired himself out doing simple things and I come to realize that I too was tired out.

The hot chocolate drove the message home for me that day and inspired me to write this all down. Simple rewards are still rewards and nowadays I fill my self with a greater number of simple rewards as opposed to filling up with a few large rewards. Most of this came to me while I watched my greatest reward sleep on the couch. He just didn't have the energy to clean up his toys before bedtime.