Tag Archives: family

Geocaching Benefits

Geocaching Benefits

Last month my family began Geocaching. Geocaching is basically modern day treasure hunting. Somebody hides a “cache” and posts the GPS coordinates on a geocaching website. Others then go and find that cache, sign a log (piece of paper) to say they have found it and log their find on a geocaching website. The caches vary from small (tip of your pinky finger) to large (ammo cases). Some contain only the log to sign, and others have treasures inside with the notion that you leave behind something if you take something out. We have found not only geocaches in our area, but also geocaching benefits.

Geocaching Benefits for you and your family by Life as a Convert #geocaching #geocache #cache

Exercise
This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Many caches require you to walk a short distance in order to find them. Some caches are also tough to find and leave you wandering in circles. Those circles add up! One cache (seen in #6) required us to make use of a local bike trail.

 

Map Reading / Orienteering
My boys are both boy scouts and one thing they are learning is how to read a map and compass and basic orienteering skills. Geocaching has helped cement these lessons. They are able to put their knowledge to use in a real-life setting.

 

Family Time Together
Some may argue that exercise and family time together could be contenders for the “Greatest Benefit” spot, but as a homeschooling family, we already spend a LOT of time together. Geocaching has given us additional time together participating in an activity that we all enjoy doing. There is often a little competitiveness to see who can find the caches first.
P1270214

 

Handwriting Practice
I have younger children who are still working on writing their names. Signing the logs has given them a lot of practice writing their names.

 

Environmental Stewardship
Geocaching benefits our environment too! Many geocachers will practice what is known at CITO (Cache In Trash Out) where they will remove trash and other unsightly debris in an area when geocaching.

 

Exploring new areas
When you begin geocaching you can look at a map of your area. The map may be speckled with little dots. These dots indicate caches that have been hidden. I have been able to explore a few new areas where geocaches are hidden that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
Geocaching Benefits - Explore New Areas - Searcy, AR

 

Learning History
Many people who hide caches hide them near areas containing history. One example we have found was hidden near a Statute of Liberty. The cache description gave a brief history of the Statute of Liberty.

 

Perseverance
Geocaching benefits can be found in the form of character building traits too! There have been some caches we simply could not find. It took us multiple attempts to find this particular cache. Geocaching teaches you patience and to not give up. If you get frustrated, stop and come back another time.

This one took us 4 tries to find:
Geocaching Benefits - Perseverance - Berryhill Park Searcy AR

 

Geocaching benefits the whole family, but as you can see there are individual benefits too. I think it is important for families to be active together and find something everybody enjoys. For us, this has translated into geocaching. We also enjoy hiking, but now try to “hike” where geocaches can be found.

Does your family participate in geocaching?
Do you know of any other geocaching benefits?

DIY Cleaning Wipes

DIY Cleaning Wipes

Just a few short years ago I shunned all paper products in my house except cleaning wipes. Fast forward a few years and it seems to be the opposite. I am using paper products, but not paper wipes. I started making my own DIY cleaning wipes and haven’t looked back. I use them for everything. They clean better than store bought wipes plus they save me money! I know a lot of other people use them and perhaps follow a similar recipe, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to share the recipe I use.

DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade Wipe Recipe by Life as a Convert

I use an old plastic storage bowl and mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap with 1/4 cup of alcohol and enough water to cover the wipes. The alcohol helps cut down on germs and dries fast. The dish soap helps get through even the greasiest mess. I have enough cleaning wipes to last me about 1 week, but I imagine you can store them for much longer.  I recently found some at Dollar Tree (3 for $1) so they can be found inexpensively.

DIY CLEANING WIPES

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon dish soap
1/4 cup alcohol
water
microfiber towels

Directions:
Mix all ingredients and clean, clean, clean!DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade LYSOL Wipes - by Life as a Convert

 

Benefits of using alcohol in your cleaning wipes:

Cleans and shines stainless steel
Dries fast
Can be used on windscreens and glass
Removes stains from cloth
Disinfects
Removes frost and dust
Doesn’t leave streaks

Natural cleaning wipes:

Alternatively, some people prefer not to use alcohol in their cleaning wipes and opt for a more natural solution. Instead of alcohol, you can use vinegar, or essential oils (lemon and lavender are both great choices). You can also use your wipes with just water. The friction created from scrubbing will eliminate most germs.

What can you clean with your cleaning wipes?

Anything, including: counters, floors, walls, toilets, showers, glass, candles, ceiling fans, cloth and more!

Don’t forget to pin this post to save for later.

Do you make your own homemade cleaning wipes? If so, what is in your recipe?

Scripture Writing Challenge (Feb 2016)

Scripture Writing Challenge (Feb 2016)

One thing I like to do with my children is have them copy scriptures.  You would be amazed how many scriptures they have learned simply by copying them into their journals. Not only are they learning (and memorizing!) God’s word, they are also practicing penmanship.

In a world where everything is done on computers, I find it nice to put some ink to paper. I also have a Bible Journal of my own and write in it along with them. For February I wanted to create a unique Scripture Writing Challenge for myself, my children, and any others who may want to join in. On top of the scriptures we do for school, I wanted to add another scripture each day – focused on one theme:

 Love. 

Here is February’s Scripture Writing Challenge: LoveFebruary 2016 - Scripture Writing Challenge - Love - By Life as a Convert

(Click to download

Don’t forget to pin this image and print it out!

The idea is simple: Write the scripture. One scripture per day. Every day for the month of February.

Scriptures Used: 
1. Mark 12:30
2. Mark 12:33
3. Matthew 5:43
4. 2 Corinthians 8:3
5. 2 Corinthians 8:7
6. Jude 1:21
7. Proverbs 7:18
8. Proverbs 8:17
9. Ephesians 2:4
10. Ephesians 5:2
11. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
12. Romans 13:10
13. Romans 12:9
14. Luke 7:47
15. Deuteronomy 6:5
16. 1 Peter 3:8
17. 1 Peter 3:10
18. Psalms 145:20
19. Hebrews 13:1
20. 1 John 4:18
21. 1 John 4:7
22. 1 John 2:15
23. 1 John 4:19-20
24. 1 John 3:18
25. John 15:9
26. John 13:34
27. 1 John 4:10
28. John 14:23
29. John 15:9-10

Do you have a favorite scripture (or quote) on love? If so, share in the comments.

If you aren’t religious, then I challenge you to write one quote about love everyday in your journal. 

 

Finding Faith in Labels

Finding Faith in Labels

This is Part 2 of Sunday’s post: Stories from my Childhood

As promised, I am back to tell you what the Stories from my Childhood post has to do with this blog. In college I learned about the labeling theory.

Finding Faith in Labels by Life as a Convert

Our dear friends at Wikipedia have a great definition for this:

“Labeling theory is the theory of how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. It is associated with the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping.”

Like a medical record, school records are kept. Notes are kept in students’ files. These things that happened to me in the Stories from my Childhood post were in my files. Every grade I went up, the teachers saw my records and how troublesome and untrustworthy I was. I have no doubt that these ideas lead my teachers to believe these things about me, so instead of seeing the truth, they saw the label. Whenever situations arose, they immediately jumped to conclusions based on what was fed to them by other people. They believed the labels instead of believing me.

Did I do bad things? Of course I did! I set off fireworks at school one day with a few friends. (Got suspended for that.) I skipped class. I missed assignments. But, I always owned up to those things. I was never a leader. I was always a follower. I can’t recall any big troublesome things I did where I was the mastermind. I was always suckered into peer pressure and trying to fit in.

I was never thought to succeed at much. After all, I didn’t do what I was told and I couldn’t be trusted. I was a trouble maker.

Labeling my Children

I know that my kids won’t always make the best decisions and they will get into trouble too. I don’t want them to think they are defined by any labels people might put on them. (I am constantly telling Losh he is NOT disabled) I was struck a few weeks ago when my children were all getting into trouble for something they had not all done. My oldest screamed “You never believe me!”. I knew exactly how he felt and had a nice little chat with him.

As a parent, I have tried so hard to “believe” my kids and not jump to conclusions. I give them the opportunity to talk about what they have done. I also avoid labeling them. I don’t tell them they are bad when they do something wrong. Sometimes they do bad things, but that doesn’t mean they are bad.

I wish somebody had told me the same thing when I was growing up.

I ended up going through life being shy and hardly sticking up for myself. To this day, I have a hard time with confession of any sort because I always feel like I will be shamed/embarrassed or doubted.

Finding Faith in Labels

I was recently reading a book not knowing that it would go perfectly with this post. The book is called The Empty Mirror. It’s a Tween Read about a boy who lost his reflection because some sort of being stole it. The following is a quote from him:

I hated the idea of anyone knowing I was strange. I had some hope that I could keep people from finding out…

But I knew.

Who wants to go around knowing there’s something strange about them?

Weird. It feels weird. It’s making me crazy. I’m beginning to lose track of who I am myself. Maybe it’s my punishment for being troublesome. I wish I hadn’t been troublesome. I wish I was more good. I wish I’d studied more instead of reading. I wish I’d gotten on the good side of (my teacher) like (they) did. They aren’t so hot. They don’t get caught is all. (Others) only think (they) are good.

Those last 3 sentences really struck me. I’ve known this my entire life. Everybody has their secrets. Everybody has their sins. Everybody has their troubling behaviors. BUT! Not everybody gets caught – or in my case falsely accused! For whatever reason, it never really sank in until I read it in that book. It isn’t that other people don’t do these things, it’s just that they have received other labels.

What a freeing thought! 

I am not strange. I am not different. The labels given to me have simply been different.

That leads me to the whole point of sharing this.. Why do we label people when we should be encouraging them instead? Nobody is perfect. The only perfect person in this life died on the cross for us. He knows the truth of all things. He knows what we are truly like inside. Instead of stereotyping and labeling people, how about we get to know the real person and not rumors that are spread. How about we encourage people with positive words and not labels, because let’s face it, even positive labels can become difficult to maintain. (Think of the star athlete or straight A student who feels the need to workout or study excessively in order to maintain that label).

Find something that your children aren’t very good at and compliment them on something related to it. Perhaps they aren’t very talented at drawing, but they keep trying. Compliment their persistency or hard work. These things matter, especially during the younger years. Build your children up instead of tearing them down. Open them up to communication and let them know they are trusted. Let them know their opinion matters. Mostly importantly, let them know they are good people.

Were you labeled growing up? What was your label?