Tagged with "toys"
27 Jan
2016
Posted in: uncategorized
By    Comments Off on Geocaching: Making the World Smaller

Geocaching: Making the World Smaller

Compass Bug geocaching travel bug

We started geocaching as a family hobby several years ago. What started as a fairly inexpensive way to add to our family travels has become much more.

People participate in geocaching by using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) to locate hidden “treasure” (caches) placed by other geocachers. Caches are found by navigating to the longitude and latitude coordinates of their hiding places. There are several types of caches from “micro” that consist of nothing more than a small strip of paper to log visits, to large ammo boxes filled with goodies. The idea is you will find a cache, log your find, take a trinket and leave something in its place. We’ve geocached all over Wyoming and in several other states during road trips. We’ve discovered caches in trees, under rocks and in busy, pedestrian-riddled areas.

There are over 2 million active geocaches worldwide on geocaching.com. Trackables are items that can be moved from one cache to another and logged on geocaching.com to track its travel progress. We like to find trackables near us and take them on vacation to move them hundreds of miles.

We finally planted our own cache in the summer of 2013. We placed it in one of our favorite spots in a rural part of Wyoming. We added a toy compass with a trackable tag (naming it “Compass Bug”) to our box along with several other smaller items to get the cache started. We hoped the trackable would stay active and maybe leave Wyoming. Our expectations were meager compared to the reality.

geocaching travel bug map

The trackable was removed from our cache in July 2013, and we waited to see where it would travel. Nothing. We’ve been slow to log a trackable on the site before, but started to believe Compass Bug was lost. In April 2014, someone logged our trackable and promised to move it on. It was in Missouri, 729 miles from our cache.

The trackable made a handful of stops around Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. No move was more than 200 miles at the longest until May 8, 2014 when it was logged in Kanagawa, Japan, 5,619 miles from its original cache. We’re an excitable group and relish the little things. Receiving the email that said our trackable was in Japan was welcomed with hooting and hollering. That trackable could have ended up lost for good at that point, and we would have deemed the experiment a success. More was in store for our Compass Bug.

Compass Bug made four more cache stops in Japan ending in August 2014. We went almost a year with no further information about where the trackable was placed or if it had moved. In June 2015, the trackable made a a trip to Singapore placing it over 8,800 miles from rural Wyoming. By July 2015, the trackable was on a beach in South Korea and then in Taiwan two months later.

Several people who have discovered Compass Bug posted photos on geocaching.com giving us a glimpse at the places it has traveled. The world seems much smaller when I see a photo in a peace garden in Japan of a man holding a toy compass I placed in a box two years earlier. The remainder of 2015 saw the trackable popping up around Taiwan. On Jan. 24, Compass Bug found its way to Czech Republic, 5,229 miles from our cache in rural Wyoming.

The compass attached to the trackable is cheap plastic and has more international miles logged than I do. It’s been a tangible lesson for our kids on the size of this planet we call home and its different cultures, but how similar we are. Someone almost 9,000 miles from our home shares the same hobby we do. We have greater hopes for that palm-sized compass. We have several friends in England and are hoping now that the trackable makes its way near one of them. If it does, we’re sending someone we know to fetch it and bring things full circle. I look forward to following the journey and planting another trackable to send on its way.

 


 
‘Tis the Season for Ridiculous Expectations
By     |    Dec 24, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season for Ridiculous Expectations

‘Tis the Season for Ridiculous Expectations

  The month of December is full of emotional landmines for me. The pressure I place on myself to make the Christmas season a joyous, memory-filled time is enormous and exhausting. Without family in town, I can feel lonely one day as we move through our traditions. The next day I’m savoring the joy of time spent with the five people who love me best. My emotions are a roller coaster of highs and lows with self-sabotage right around the... [Read More]

Read more
Not Celebrating the Start of School
By     |    Aug 27, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Not Celebrating the Start of School

I don’t share the same sentiments as some of my mama friends as the new school year begins. I won’t be celebrating my children heading back to school. I’ll be wondering where the last three months have gone and cursing the quick passage of time. Our youngest heads to kindergarten this year. Next week marks the first time in nearly 13 years that I’ve been without an extra shadow. There are no more little hands to hold as I run... [Read More]

Read more
The Christmas Gift of a Good Day
By     |    Dec 17, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on The Christmas Gift of a Good Day

The Christmas Gift of a Good Day

The only things missing from today were rainbows and unicorns. Every nook and cranny of my day was filled to the brim with goodness. I wish I could bottle this feeling for those days when crawling in bed seems the only viable option. I know I shouldn’t feel the need to apologize or justify my good fortune, but I know others whose day fell far short of anything resembling good. I’ve been stuck in lackluster existence lately. There are too... [Read More]

Read more
Living in the Din of a Family Band
By     |    Jul 17, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Living in the Din of a Family Band

Living in the Din of a Family Band

I pulled into our garage, shut off the engine and started to climb out of my vehicle. Then I heard it. That sound that’s distinctly MY home. The sound is part saxophone, part recorder, part pan flute, part drum, part guitar mixed with baby stroller wheels rolling on the wood floors combined with periodic whining and the constant sounds of LEGOs being sorted. My house is loud: filled with people, music and life. Our home has always been filled with... [Read More]

Read more
Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park
By     |    Jul 15, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park

Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park

Growing up landlocked in Wyoming with parents who weren’t travelers meant the only thing I knew about beaches came from books and movies. We were mountain people. I traveled to Mexico in high school and realized I couldn’t be pigeonholed into loving one geographical feature. The beach had a magical hold of me. Unfortunately, the hold isn’t so strong that I find myself living anywhere near a coast. A beach with ocean views is at least a 16 hour drive... [Read More]

Read more
Setting an Example for Work Ethic
By     |    Jun 6, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Setting an Example for Work Ethic

Setting an Example for Work Ethic

I tend to cannonball right into summer. We’re active, often not at home, and free-spirited with our time. Shortly after summer begins, I realize our home is being neglected. Yes, fun is needed. Of course memory making is important, but weeds also need pulled. Food needs bought and eventually we’ll run out of clean clothes if laundry isn’t washed and dried. Yesterday was a work day at our house, the first real one of the summer. There were groceries to... [Read More]

Read more
Geocaching: Modern Day Treasure Hunting
By     |    May 13, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    2 Comments

Geocaching: Modern Day Treasure Hunting

I believe one of the most amazing technological advancements is the global positioning system (GPS) and its handheld receiving units. One of our favorite family activities is using a GPS device for geocaching, better known in our house as modern day treasure hunting. People hide caches and plot their geographical coordinates so other people can locate the caches using a GPS device. Currently there are over 2 million active caches in the world. Caches range in size from “micro,” which might... [Read More]

Read more
Raising Rapunzel
By     |    Jan 31, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Raising Rapunzel

Raising Rapunzel

Our first three children are boys. When I was pregnant with our fourth, everyone assumed we just desperately wanted a girl. When I would tell people we were going to have a daughter, I was met with “finally,” “you must be so relieved,” and “oh, thank goodness.” It was as if there was something wrong with the potential of four boys, like I should feel less complete if I were to never have a daughter. I didn’t feel that way.... [Read More]

Read more
New Year’s Eve Plans
By     |    Dec 29, 2013
Posted in: parties     |    Comments Off on New Year’s Eve Plans

New Year’s Eve Plans

Our New Year’s Eve plans consist of staying at home and celebrating with four very cute children. It’s been years, over a decade, since we’ve gone out and celebrated with just adults. I don’t miss that kind of celebration. We’ve had a few years where we invited families over to celebrate with us. I wish I would have been more on top of it and invited people over to ring in 2014. I actually enjoy mass chaos. Those moments of... [Read More]

Read more
Day After Christmas
By     |    Dec 26, 2013
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Day After Christmas

Day After Christmas

I feel bad for the day after Christmas. It just seems so ordinary. Yesterday was spent in the bliss of my family spending the entire day at home. We ate our Christmas feast when we felt like it. There was no hurry to prepare waiting for relatives to appear. It was just us. It’s a blessing to have the ones I love most all to myself, but I always end the day melancholy that the house wasn’t more full of... [Read More]

Read more
Favorite Board Games for Families
By     |    Dec 11, 2013
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Favorite Board Games for Families

Favorite Board Games for Families

We don’t have cable television which means we read a lot of books and have cabinets full of board/card/dice games. I’m slightly addicted to adding to our collection. Each December, games go on sale at multiple retailers. I try and stop myself from purchasing more games and stashing them away for the future. I fail every year. These are our top family games. Yes there are 11 not 10. I’m a rule-breaker like that. Blokus — There are a few... [Read More]

Read more