Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Things I Learned On A 3rd Grade Field Trip

Recently I took a day off from work to tag along with my youngest daughter’s 3rd grade class on their field trip to the Iowa State Capitol and State Historical Building.  It was a great day and I learned a lot.

Here are a few of my observations.

1.  Kids seem to listen to their teachers better than their parents.  (The teachers on this trip were fantastic!  So were the other parents.)

2.  Even when you don’t think they are paying attention kids really are listening.  I was surprised at the amount of facts my daughter retained when I asked her what she learned.

3.  An inexpensive digital camera with a large memory card would be a great gift for a 3rd grader.  I saw lots of budding photographers on the trip.

4.  If you took all the gold leaf off the capitol dome and made it into a ball it would be about the size of a baseball and weigh 6 pounds.  That I’ll always remember but I’m sure I’ll forget something important the next time I go to the store.

5.  There are plenty of free family activities if you search them out. Our group only saw a fraction of what we could have.  A family outing to the Capitol and State Historical Building will be added to our list of things to do this Summer.

6.  One of the benefits of going along on a class field trip is getting to know the other parents better.  This is a good thing because you’ll be seeing them at school functions for years to come.  You might as well become friends sooner rather than later.

7.  The view of downtown Des Moines from the Capitol is awesome.

Des Moines Skyline8.  Watching your child laughing and having fun with their friends will put a big smile on your face.

9.  Kids are eager to learn and will ask lots of questions if you let them… and you should let them.

10.  You’ll never regret taking a day off from work to join your child’s class on a field trip.  I regret not realizing this when my kids were younger.

Those are just a few of my thoughts after spending some time on a 3rd grade field trip.

Ever gone on a class outing with your kids?  What do you remember most about the experience?

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A Little Sweat Clears Your Head

Yesterday was a bad day.  Not the kind of bad day I’ll remember a week, month, or year from now.  It was the kind where nothing seemed to go right.  The kind where you just want to throw your hands up and ask for a “do over”.

Fortunately, I wasn’t able to go straight home after work.  Otherwise I know I would have been cranky towards my wife and kids.  I had already committed to helping a friend out.  His family had moved to another state, are closing on the sale of their house later this week, and needed the lawn mowed.  Per his suggestion, I agreed to mow it in exchange for the snow blower he left behind.

The yard hadn’t been mowed yet this Spring and was really uneven. Some parts were really short.  In other parts the grass approached mid-calf to knee level.  I jokingly told my friend afterward that it was a good thing I liked him and hated to shovel snow because I was tempted to drive away when I saw how tall it was in places.

So I started to work on the lawn.  After the day I had I wasn’t in the mood to listen to the radio or podcasts.  So I mowed listening to the dull hum of the mower engine through my ear protectors.  For two hours I mowed, sweated, and let my mind wander.

It was the best thing I could have done.  The first half hour I’ll admit that I was still upset about my day but the more I worked all that faded away.  I started to think about my family and how blessed I am.  My thoughts drifted towards my blog and new ideas and goals I have for it.  I also thought about the podcast I’d like to start.

By the time I was done the stress of my day had been erased and replaced with a sense of accomplishment.

Freshly Mowed Lawn

Yesterday taught me that the best way to get over a bad day is with a little sweat and time to let my mind wander.

What are some ways you cope with a bad day?

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