Getting Outside

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: when it comes to cold weather, the girls and I have become downright wimps.  And I’m the chief offender.

I let a perfectly good cold-frame garden die because I just couldn’t go outside in the cold. And wind. And rain. And snow. (Can’t you just hear me whining? Ah, yes, this farmer has some growing up to do.)

However, I’ve had enough of my excuses why we can’t play outside a little each day (not that my girls are begging to). I’m determined to GET US OUTSIDE.

Motivating me:

1. A Quotation: “There is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing.” (We just scored Lands’ End’s amazing kiddo gloves. These gloves swallow your kids whole so that they don’t ever get wet or cold.)

2. A Realization: Though a certain 2 1/2 year old may feel overwhelmed by the country wind and variable terrain, it’s good for her. And it’s good for her equally overwhelmed mother. As I always say, wind makes trees stronger; it’ll make us stronger, too. (Unless it blows us over.)

3. A Desire: By Spring time, I want two little girls who clamor to get out the door to play, play, play. I want them to be bursting with ideas and passion for the great outdoors. I want them to tap into their inner dog; I want them to need that run-around the house. But if I let this indoors-only habit fester much longer, by Spring, we’ll be the first potatoes popping out of the ground.

So here’s what I didn’t do: I did not bribe the girls with marshmallows! (Hooray for me! Though, a couple of weeks ago I wanted to break their “I live in a chilly farmhouse, and I don’t wear socks” habit, so I bribed them to keep their socks on all day for one marshmallow. It worked. I’m telling ya, there is power in the marshmallow. The girls have been wearing socks all day every since.)

Here’s what I did do: I said, “GIRLS, we are about to embark on an adventure together. We are going to get outside for fifteen happy minutes every day! No matter what! Within reason.” (I included “happy minutes” because no whining allowed. I included “within reason” because caring grandmothers read my blog.)

Viv and I made up a simple chart to hang by the shoe shelf.

And we, I’m proud to say are 100% so far. On Day 4.

Of course I dream of doing extensive winter nature walks and spending hours studying the tundra. I dream of hiking up snowy mountains and skating on frozen ponds. But, we find ourselves at a very distant starting line. Nevertheless, start we will.

All bundled up, soaking in the sun through one small opening between our eyebrows and chins.

Look for the brilliant outdoor-fun ideas that I’m hoping will come my way… any. day. now…




14 responses to “Getting Outside”

  1. Amanda Avatar

    Living in Alaska, I can tell you that snow can give you some creative time outside. Really liked your bad clothing quote. Good luck braving these next few months!

  2. Carisa Avatar

    OH girl, we are made from the same mold. I HATE the cold, HATE it! I was even raised in MN, spending my winter days building igloos and pretending to be an Eskimo with my best friend. But now, I am a total wimp.

    I plan to pray for motivation as I am not anywhere near the point you are at yet {meaning=I have no desire to even change at this point}. I know it would be good for the kids-even in our teeny-tiny inner city backyard. The bundling and transition is what I really hate.

    Praying for your outdoor journey, keep it up and have fun!! I’ll enjoy watching while inside drinking my warm coffee! ha ha-maybe you’ll even motivate me to change!

  3. Mrs. U Avatar

    OOh! This is good! I do NOT like getting outside when it’s cold!!! And we’re just in Georgia!! LOL!! I can’t imagine what it’s like up north!! And in the summer when it’s near 100?? Oh dear! I like to be inside then, too!!

    Looks like I’m going to take this on as a challenge to get my girlies outside each day, too!! Thank you!!

    Mrs. U

  4. Sarah Mae Avatar

    Haha! I love that pic of you – so funny! Yea, I’m allergic to the outdoor cold, but I did at least convince Jesse to take Caed out to run around yesterday (while the girls and I stayed warm in the house. Ahem).

  5. Rebecca Avatar

    Oooooo…I feel your pain (and admire your resolve!)
    We start our kids nature journals when they’re itty bitty by having them fill a square on a free calendar each day so it looks like the sky.

  6. Melinda @ Trailing After God Avatar

    What a great idea! I hate winter here because it rains almost every. single. day. UGH. I hate rain. My kids are turning into couch potatoes because of it. I love the marshmallow for wearing socks 🙂 I should make my kids do that too. They haul their huge comforters around the house which is annoying but it’s better than turning the heater on and having a huge electric bill 🙂

  7. julie Avatar

    My boys like to “make roads” by towing around sleds thru the yard. Then they try to stay on the various roads/train tracks. We’ve also taken our favorite stuffed animal for sled rides (they’re each zipped in a gallon freezer ziploc bag–hey, I didn’t say it was a COMFY ride for the poor lovies), I sometimes go out five minutes before them with a spray bottle of water that I’ve added food coloring to. They go on “explorations” to find the mysterious red ruby snow that has fallen from the planet Zoomar (or whatever pops into my head…one day it was the planet Starbucks ) Other times, when ice chunks are plentiful, we pretend that they are priceless diamonds waiting to be discovered. If they fill up their sleds then they’ll get a reward (hot chocolate). Sounds sad, but it keeps boys busy. I cannot help much with girls.

  8. julie Avatar

    PS-I’m gonna steal your chart for keeping track! LOVE IT! I need to get out of bribing them with ten minutes of Wii if they spend twenty outdoors. Charts rule!

  9. Crystal Avatar

    I am not a fan of the cold. My boys, however, LOVE it. So, we get outside almost everyday for at least 20-30 minutes. I just grin and bear it mostly! I know it’s good for us all!

  10. In His Grace Avatar
    In His Grace

    We live in MN so it’s COLD but we still get outside (almost) everyday. The children love to do snow angels and still swing on our playground. Their favorite is being pulled on a sled around our circular driveway behind the 4 wheeler:) I am also planning our first winter trip to our local state park where we go camping every July to “compare and contrast” the different seasons (not only the obvious frozen lake but the animals and their habitats, etc.) Should be fun…just waiting for a day that is above 25 degrees as I hope to explore for more than 20 minutes!
    Again, I have to say Thank You for sharing your life with us. My girls are looking forward to the next vlog:) I was also wondering something else so if you have a free moment would you email me please? God bless and praying for you!

  11. Brandy Avatar

    I love the cold weather … and tons and tons of snow … we’re usually out in it a few times a week. But this year? Not so much for some reason.

    Maybe not enough snow (we had about a foot, but it’s almost all gone now)? Maybe it’s a LOT of windy days in a row (talking 20-40mph Wyoming wind there …*shiver*)? I dunno.

    Maybe I’ll take the girls outside tomorrow afternoon, though 🙂

  12. Jenny Avatar

    So good for everyone to go outside and ‘shake off that shtink!” as I say 😉

    When we can’t stand each other—-on those cold blustery days, we go outside. We are much happier when we return to the warmth of our home.

    Love that picture of you.

  13. Julie Anne Avatar

    oh, I hate the cold (and I really should stop using that word… very strong) My kids had to wait till Daddy came home tonight and go out in the dark!!
    I found this idea online and want to try it… someday!!

  14. Mrs. U Avatar

    I really want to thank you for blogging this!! I took you up on your challenge and we’ve been outside almost every day since!! We didn’t go out when it snowed because it quickly iced over here in GA!!! Yikes!! And you know what? I actually LOOK FORWARD to it! Haha!!

    Thank you so much!!

    Mrs. U

Let's keep in touch!
You're invited to sign up for
the Expect Something Beautiful newsletter.