Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Seek and you will find (Kit's title, I'm leaning away so I won't be struck!!)

Our newest family hobby and possibly the next Marzipan Incident (drum roll, please) geocaching. Do you know what that is? I hadn't heard of it much, maybe a mention here or there until Kit (collector of new hobbies) began to be interested. It is essentially a treasure hunt. We are given a coordinate (latitude and longitude) and with our GPS we go to that location. Once there, the search is on and we try to find the "cache" or treasure. It is usually a box with a log book of geocachers who have located it and sometimes filled with objects. You are allowed to take an object if you leave one of greater or equal value.

Our first geocache experience was across the bay in Daphne. We received the coordinates for a small, obscure grave site located behind a car dealership. This cemetery dates back to the 1700's. There are not a lot of grave markers due to the fact they were originally made out of wood and have since rotted away. Someone created cement crosses with what little information they had from the previous wood ones, sometimes only a first name or last name. Josiah was saddened and intrigued at a cross of a little girl only 3 years old who had died in the early 1800s. Josiah was pleased to take a tiny green plastic monkey from our first cache and left a valued seashell. Kit found this cache quite quickly and even quicker, we became hooked.

Kit was on duty and had to work all weekend, so he was given Monday off. With Josiah out of school for a teacher prep day, it was a perfect day to try our hand at more geocaching. The boys were SO excited. To them, it is the ultimate-the opportunity to sneak around, look under, in and around bushes, etc. and to find the elusive hidden treasure. The boys collected their "gear" (note we are SUPPOSED to be secretive about this), I packed snacks and water bottles and we were off. We proved our ineptitude on the first two attempts, but the boys were not discouraged in the least.

On our third location, Josiah hit the jackpot. This cache was also located in an old cemetery, located downtown Mobile. It is a large one with an entire section for the confederate soldiers lost during the battle defending Mobile in the Civil War. Again, my boys were interested in the history of what we were viewing. The unknown soldiers bothered Jos. It made him sad no one knew who they were to "write" their name on their stone. I overheard him telling Gavin that he knew Heavenly Father and Jesus knew who they were and that they would be resurrected soon. I had to chuckle when he added "you know, with the dinosaurs". After we looked around a bit, we headed off to another cache site.

This last one was a progressive series of coordinates to find the final cache. I really enjoyed it. It is on a local nature walk and the cacher was creative with the locations of the serial coordinates. We got exercise, wore our children out and spent wonderful family time together. My boys thought they hit the veritable pot o' gold with this cache. Along with the log book, there was treasure galore. It was a tough choice between a bell, bouncy balls, a wiggly plastic skeleton, a toy car, beads, etc. Josiah and Gavin each left a treasure behind, a toy penguin and a toy lizard and claimed their choice loot. I had to veto Josiah's first choice-a bone...not a plastic bone, but a real bone bleached white with dried out marrow. I didn't want our hands on something, or someone's bone...uggh! Of course my child wants something like that-"but mom, it is probably a dinosaur bone!"

I'm excited for this new family hobby. I hope it will continue to be something we can do together, even when my boys are big, stinky boys. Maybe it will up my cool factor in their book.

If you're interested, check this out

Our secretive little boys in their "gear"

Josiah with his cache find

Typical pictures of my "special" family
(aren't we photogenic)

Monument to the Confederate Dead

Cute boys!
(Note the candy corn stuck to Gunner's collarbone, not just Mommy survives on candy corn alone)

Josiah protecting his "do" from random drops of rain
(again, aren't we photogenic)

The search

The tired, but treasured end (I know, cheesy pun)


annie said...

Now it all makes sense. On the way to school the other morning, Josiah was telling us about his family going on a treasure hunt and something about a grave and some treasure. I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I do. He loves to share his stories with us (like you swimming with electric eels and some Blackwater somebody that his grandpa told him about). He is such a sweet, entertaining little boy!

Ashlee said...

Sounds like fun. Greg and I thought we might try this and if it is fun, we will make a date night out of it. I love Jos' comments about the the tomb of the unknown soldier (and the dinosaurs!). He is too cute. I love the way his mind works.

PS. I loved the pictures of Gavin with his spider man teddy bear.

Sandy said...

Sounds like fun. Mike received a GPS for Christmas last year so we could go geocaching. We haven't been but hopefully this summer we can give it a try with Olivia

The DeVito's said...

Sounds like tons of fun! I love the pictures, they are hilarious!

Haylee Munk Brown said...

Wow! That sounds like a lot of fun!! I want to go treasure hunting!!!

Steph said...

I miss you so much. I hope Jos is having fun with his brothers. I miss Jos alot, but I can call him on the phone. I hope Jos and Gavin had fun on their "hunt".

Steph said...

Coop wanted to write you a message... :)
Thank you so, so much for your post!! i loved reading every bit of it. You have such sweet boys. I love it when I hear little glimpses into conversations that remind me that my boys are really good boys. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!! It seemed like I was right there...very true to life. It made my heart swell with Auntie Love. :)
We will totally have to try it out!! What a great combo...treasure, going for a drive and tired children. Mmmm, wearing them out is my fav. ;)

coty said...

love love LOVE it. next item on the list gps...i'm pumped. thanks for sharing. you are looking really good by-the-way...what's the secret?

Heidi said...

That is awesome! How fun!

whitney said...

wow, I must *really* be busy if I haven't caught this post yet! You need to inform me when you've posted if you want me to comment in a timely manner, silly girl ;)

Loved, LOVED the pics. Especially of the boys in their secretive gear. Spencer and I went geocaching once on a date, but that was it. We might have to try it again. I think Ez would really enjoy it.

Jill said...

I've heard of geo caching - but haven't done it yet, myself. It looks like you guys had a GREAT time! Cute pictures! :o)

Jeff, Jenny and Pearl said...

I just learned what this geocaching thing was a few months ago. Look at you all adventurous! And I marvel at that row of car seats! I think Jeff would die if we had that in our car.

Charee B Mcclellan said...

loven all the great pics lib!! hey i just started a (skyview1999.blogpspot.com) blog. this is to keep everyone one posted if we ever have a reunion or anything and just to see what all the 99ers are doing. go to the bottom and sign in. thanks

Mere said...

I must be behind because I've never heard of this before. Brian checked into it and said there's 5 sites within 2 miles of our house, so apparently it's popular around here. What a great family adventure.