Today, I made breakfast for my 10-year-old Gus, my twins age 15, and their friend Tyler who had spent the night.  I made my signature crepes. My kids and their friends love my crepes. IMG_3392 - Version 2It makes me feel good as a mom if I can make breakfast for my kids when their friends are over. At least I can be good at something, I think sometimes. I make sure we have lots of toppings for the crepes, lemon and powder sugar and whipping cream and fresh peaches and of course, Nutella, my kids favorite. We did not have our fresh Oregon berries today which I love during these summer months, but had these other options.


I love gathering us for our morning breakfasts. It gets us together and we can start our day together – — — but then when there is a great breakfast there is also a great clean up. We have this rule in our family that  the one who makes the meal does not have to clean up the meal.

But I also know I love for my kids to get outside with their friends. Because they are so drawn to video games, something the boys had indeed started today with, and I knew that their friend could only stay for a shorter time this morning, and I really wanted them to go outside.

With a yard that has a year round creak and woods and calm away from electronics, I am always trying to get my kids outside.

When they are (were) younger there is (was) no issue, but now I find I cannot compete with electronics. So I did what every good parent does: I bribed them.

After our breakfast I said, ‘Ok, I will make you a deal, this is how much I believe in you all going outside for fresh air and hanging out in the great out of doors: I will do the dishes if you all go outside in the backyard.”

They like the idea.

So they go outside into our backyard wilderness, and as they are outside and I am doing the dishes I hear this loud pounding noise and I am wondering what in the world that is.  As I look outside the window into the backyard, I see the boys with this hatchet IMG_3395 like tool hacking away at our large oak picnic table that had started to rot out, and I wonder why they are destroying this outdoor furniture item that my husband had built.

After calling out to them in the backyard asking them what they are doing, my youngest son, age 10, says that Dad had told him he could cut out the rot. But I am not sure he had this in mind — destroying the whole thing with a hatchet.

I called my husband to see and he said, sure enough, that is fine that they destroy the table as it needed to be replaced anyway, so I grab my camera to document this activity.

It was fun to see the boys get into this. And after a short while, Gus ran to the garage IMG_3399to get another hatchet ax like tool for the older boys to use on the table.

So, now two IMG_3406at a time can ax and wield and hammer and chisel away at this massive wooden picnic table built so long ago but that was rotting in our backyard.

Their faces were pure IMG_3407joy as they got to use all of their strength to try to take this table apart. Large splinters of the wood began flying around and I suggested face goggles for them and ear plugs as it got pretty noisy at times with the loud pounding.  I do not know why, but it was just fun to watch this physical activity in our backyard. It turned into this outdoor adventure, a challenge, something different, out of the ordinary. Change.

You just never know what will happen when you send your kids outdoors.

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