Thursday, April 24, 2014

Benjamin's 11th Birthday

 Ben chose Chicken Potpie for his dinner.
 It was a gorgeous day on April 10th, so we ate in a bit of a hurry so that we could head out to a park for the rest of the evening.

 At Chestnut Ridge Park, we opened gifts.  Peter's sister got him the two remaining books in a series he was reading called, "Robot Wars."
 Several of the kids got him small gifts, per usual.  Sam got him a fishing bait that he is admiring.

 Bronwyn thinks she will help out with the candy.
 Cecily is excited to give him some gum from herself.
 He deciphered Grandma's handwriting all by himself this year! (Cursive is always more difficult for young readers).
 This is news.  And one of my readers needs to give me some tips.  We decided to get Ben a gps tracker for his gift.  We thought he would really enjoy learning to Geocache this year.  We knew there were supposed to be some pretty simple hides at this park and we wanted him to be able to try it out.  He had no idea and he was so excited.
 The only problem is that we didn't open the tracker ahead of time and use it ourselves.  Neither Peter or I knew how to use one.  We knew that we might just end up having a nice hike in the woods and not find anything tonight, but that was OK too.
 So that was exactly what happened.  But here are some pictures from our very up-hill hike.

 If you thought that last hill was steep...this one was much more so.

 You can tell who was my buddy for this hike.
 And this was Sam's buddy.

 The moon is out, time to head back.
 Sure was some great exercise and a very refreshing walk in the woods.  Ben loved it.  He wasn't the least bit disappointed.  I think this birthday suited him just right.
 We came home to banana pudding.  :)
One happy boy.  :)


Brenda Bolyard said...

What a handsome lad! Glad he's not a teenager yet -- I like to think of him as that eager, winsome boy who always helped me carry in things from my car!

Kathy Poncy said...

Dear Benjamin,

I am a big time Geocacher and use my GPS all the time to find those hidden treasures in the woods. What you and your dad or mom need to do is to get on a computer and go to
This is a free site that will show you where all of those treasures are. It will ask you to put in the coordinates of your main location. Make that your house. If I remember, you might be able to have your dad or mom put in your street address and it will grab the coordinates from the satellite up above. Otherwise, your gps should tell you the coordinates if you turn it on outside of your house.
Then you will have access to the coordinates of all the caches (treasure boxes) closest to you. This is one of the most fun hobbies ever, ever. You will love it. It takes awhile to get used to using the gps but don't get discouraged. Two things to remember are, the gps needs to connect with satellites in the sky, so if you are deep in the woods, it might not be able to connect. Also, a gps always leads you in a straight line (as the crow flies we say) and doesn't sometimes see things that you have to cross so you might have to alter your route. Pick an easy treasure to find at first while you get used to this. Please let me know how I can help. My cousin in Texas helped me find many of my first treasures here in Oregon while I was learning so I can help you if you just ask me your questions. I will check frequently to see if you have sent me something you need help with. I really want you to have fun with this.

Much love, Kathy