Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweet rewards--visiting all Minnesota state parks

After camping and hiking in all weather and all seasons, my kids and I got our plaques from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These plaques are the culmination of walking almost 200 miles in the hiking club and visiting every park and receiving our "passport" stamp for each. I love the time we spent there. When my kids were the youngest, we faced many obstacles--this allowed us to focus on us as a family. I got to watch my kids grow in many ways. It was incredible and I hope their memories are as great as mine.

The two years were way worth the effort. Many DNR employees were surprised that we had worked on it so quickly. I was determined to do so though because Alex starts college under the PSEO program next fall and I knew our lives were going to become more structured. In our letters that accompanied the laser carved wood, we were told that we joined the 1000 other people, families or groups who had completed the passport club and 200 others who had completed the hiking club. These projects were started in the 1980's and I am amazed that others have not done what we have done.

Since coming home, my kids have had me as busy as I have ever been. Alex, getting older, had me running everywhere for different things. The boys soon joined her. These things are all good--even great things, but there are times I get exhausted. It has been worth it though. They are growing up to be sweet, responsible and intelligent. Alex began working on a sheep farm not too far from us about a year and a half. I really, really like the couple that owns it. They have been great to all of my kids--even the boys who are not employed by them. They listen to their stories and one shares the enthusiasm of the outdoors. My boys could not wait to show them the core sample, the taconite pellets, or fossils from up north. (We haven't made it over there yet, but am working on it with our schedules.)

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