Oh, the Places We’ll Go! Planned Family Adventures While Casi is Here This Year

Casi coming down
Let's get to the waterfall!
Let’s get to the waterfall!

My advice for finding local fun?

Host an exchange student. You will learn things about your own backyard that you never knew.

So this is my Monday Family Home Evening post, coming out on Tuesday. Why? Because I blinked and completely forgot about it until I woke up at 5:30 a.m. today. My first thought of the day was, It’s Tuesday. Oh stink, I forgot to blog last night.

I have a super-busy week ahead, and it started last night. Mr. Arctic’s nightly drivers’ education classes really shove the rest of life all over the place. At any rate, we STILL had FHE, even though we had to wait and have it at 8:30 p.m.

Casi got here over two weeks ago…

and we were supposed to go over a Goals and Expectations packet within the first week, but that was hard to do in the middle of all the school registration hoops we had to jump through and the return home of Miss Electric from her LDS mission to Oklahoma and Alabama. I know, excuses, excuses. Moving on.

We used the Goals and Expectations packet as our FHE discussion. The first thing was to make a short list of things we hoped to do while Casi is here with our family. Her main wish was to “see some Utah things.” I’m happy to say we have already started. On Saturday, Mr. Hot Stuff took the kids and whomever else in the extended family wanted to go hiking to a nearby waterfall where he set up the rappelling gear and they all rappelled down the face of the waterfall. It’s about 60 feet high and a lot of fun to do if you can get past the terror of the first three steps over the edge of the cliff.

Arctic Boy rappelling at Kodiak
Arctic Boy rappelling at Kodiak
Mr. Hot Stuff and Arctic Boy at Kodiak.
Mr. Hot Stuff and Arctic Boy at Kodiak.

I think Mr. Hot Stuff was especially excited to do this because he just got back from a Boy Scouts of America Kodiak leadership encampment where he helped about 120 Boy Scouts rappel and climb, many of them for the first time. Casi was very brave to do this and the first time was quite scary for her, but Miss Sassy clipped in  and came down alongside her to coach her along, and SHE DID IT!!! Then she did it a second time on her own. I think that was awesome.

A few other things we have added to the list of things we hope to do while Casi is here are:

  • See Temple Square at Christmas
  • Go down the Alpine Slide 
  • Visit Arches National Park (Moab)

    Delicate Arch
    Delicate Arch
  • Go to a corn maze in October (I tossed out the idea of a haunted house, but Casi was no more excited about doing that than my own kids are so… No Haunted Anything at Halloween.)
  • Visit Antelope Island. I thought this suggestion of Mei Guo’s sounded kind of boring, but then I Googled it and found out Not So. There is a whole calendar of stuff to do there, and now we might work a little harder to include this.
  • In September, we are doing the Dirty Dash. That. Will. Be. So. Fun. (even if I actually hate what mud does to my skin)
Salt Lake City Temple Square at Christmas.
Salt Lake City Temple Square at Christmas.

So those are some of our initial ideas. Now if we can figure out how to keep Mr. Hot Stuff in town to do them with us, we’ll really have it made. 😉

Next up in the packet was a conversation about family rules and quirks. I mentioned, for the benefit of everyone, my request that if someone uses up the last of some food or other things that we may need more of, please write it on the white board in the kitchen. I get compliance with this about 15% of the time. It would be nice to see it bump up to 20%. (What? One can dream!)

We reviewed household chores which at our house include being in charge of your own bedroom space, taking turns cleaning the bathrooms, and doing your own laundry. This last one is new for Casi, but I wrote out some basic instructions and walked her through the process, and she seems to have it down. She was intimidated by it at first, but when I told her my kids all started doing their own laundry when they were five, so I knew she could do it, all thoughts of protest evaporated. We reviewed when each person has laundry day and when the “free times” were that anyone could use the machines who needed to.

We went over some school and fun-related expenses that she may have in hopes of minimizing some surprises in the future. She was astonished at the cost of the school yearbook, but understood a little better when Jace brought out his two high school yearbooks. Full color photos, lots of candid shots from various activities, club photos, as well as the class and individual photos of everyone.

We had already reviewed mealtimes and curfews with her just after she got here. We explained to her that if we are doing a family activity then Brad and I will pay for the whole family, including her, but if she is just going somewhere on her own with a friend or one or two family members (sisters,etc), then she will be expected to pay her own way for whatever the activity is.

Whew! It took us about an hour to go through all that, but it was fun to have the conversation and make sure we were all on the same page.

winner-winner, veggie-dinner 🙂

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