Do you know why I love having children to hang out with? Because they motivate me to get off my lazy butt and DO something! Before I was a Mom it was nothing for me to sit on the couch all day flipping through the channels or worse, sleeping all day. (Actually I wouldn't mind that one!) But now that Ive crossed over into Motherhood, there's no going back. When I became pregnant I set out to be the best darn Mama I knew how to be. To me, that starts with getting up and getting out! I've enjoyed this summer to the fullest of our abilities this year and I plan to continue that pattern. In the midst of doing our summer exploring we have found some really cool places to start great family traditions. Honestly, I didn't know Missouri had quite so much to offer. So far since Spring we have visited Springfield, MO for a little cave exploring, drive-thru zoo-ing, and a some Bass Pro Shopping! The southwestern portion of Missouri actually has a lot to offer for the outdoors. We also have been to Van Buren, MO a few times to swim in the Current River and see Big Springs in all its beauty. This is one of my favorite areas and I am a little sentimental about it since Big Springs is where I got married. We've done a little camping at Deer Creek and Sam A. Baker which was equally as beautiful and cool. And we found some neat little places like Castor River Shut-Ins to do some great fishing and swimming. When I moved here 2 years ago, I honestly hated this place. Over time and adventures though, I am learning to see this place in a whole new light. It might not be the Appalachian Mountains but it is unique all the same.

During our most recent adventures, we re-visited a little spot we found on Father's Day per my Aunt Rachel called Castor River Shut-Ins. This time luck was on our side because the place was empty except for a few people enjoying the day. We had the best area all to ourselves where we spent the whole afternoon splashing and wading and swimming and picking up cool rocks. The kids had a blast and Jade couldn't stay out of the water. Which I am glad for because at the beginning of summer I was worried he would never get in. Now that he's walking though, he's a lot braver.

So, once again we had an amazing weekend to add to the scrapbook. (Considering I kept a scrapbook, more like a box of stuff, ha!) What is your family doing this year to have fun and make new traditions? Even if there's nothing to do where you live or if gas is just too darn expensive, get your butts out to a park, playground, backyard or something. "They" say kids need at very least 15 minutes a day outdoors. Are your kids getting it?

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