If you hadn’t already noticed, we live in the country. Madison County is located in Virginia’s Piedmont Region, where the Blue Ridge Mountains meet gently rolling hills. It’s a small farming community with not much more than a Main Street and a Family Dollar. But what Madison lacks in amenities, it makes up for in scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Could there be a finer place to raise 3 little boys?!
We have plenty of friends from the city and the suburbs who often ask us what we do where we live. We definitely don’t spend our weekends dining out, shopping at the mall, or visiting museums. Instead, we spend most of our time outdoors — in our yard, in our garden, and often on the hiking trails!
For our most recent adventure, we decided to head out early in the morning in order to avoid the stifling July heat. We would be home in time for lunch, but we certainly couldn’t hit the trails without some sustenance. So before our departure, I set up a Make-Your-Own Trail Mix Bar for the kids to create their own snacks for the woods.
Never underestimate the power of a simple activity. The boys had SO MUCH fun with this, and it couldn’t be easier. I just set out some bowls of small snack foods (peanuts, pistachios, cheese crackers, dried fruit, animal crackers, and chocolate chips), and I let them each put together their own mix in individual bags.
Typical of my boys, Gibbs started out by placing one item at a time in his bag…in a pattern. 1 Animal Cracker, 1 pistachio, 1 chocolate chip…etc.
Casey, on the other hand, started by just jamming a fistful of food into his mouth. He kind of forgot about the empty bag in his hand!
Eventually, Gibbs ended up dumping the whole bowl of chocolate chips into his bag, while Casey polished off the dried cranberries. Hey, they would certainly get plenty of energy in the form of sugar…
And with our snacks packed and ready to go, I pulled together a few other hiking essentials and we were on our way!
One of our must-have items for any outdoor activity — especially hiking — is a Wet-Nap package. They are perfect for wiping dirty little boys clean when you need it most, and when you’re nowhere near a sink! We picked up this particular package from the Napkin Aisle of our local Walmart the day before…knowing that they would come in very handy on our outing. We love the everyday low prices at Walmart, so it seems like we find some excuse to visit the store on a very regular basis!
I tossed the Wet-Nap, the snacks, some sunscreen, a hat for the baby, and some water into our hiking backpack and off we went in the car.
The entrance to the White Oak Canyon Trail of the Shenandoah National Park is located just a short drive from our home.
It’s one of our absolute favorite places in the county, and we hike here year-round. In fact, last November I was climbing these trails when I was 9 months+ pregnant with Spence…and look at him now!
So here’s the thing about hiking with 3-and-4-year-old boys: they get really messy. After all, “hike” is kind of a loose term. We’re not actually going very far distance-wise. Instead, we’re spending time in the great outdoors, doing exciting things like finding the biggest rock…
and having throwing competitions to see whose rock makes the biggest splash when tossed in the water.
There were also sweet, wild raspberries…ripe for the picking (red juice and all!)…
acorns to collect,
and wet rocks and streams to traverse.
The boys love to find the perfect walking sticks amongst the mud and the leaves.
Needless to say, by the time we took a break for our snacks, this Mamma was itching to wipe her boys clean!
The Wet-Nap pack in my bag was the perfect solution to quickly wipe away the dirt and grime so that my two little ones could happily enjoy their trail mix. The wipes are softer than before, they are stronger (absolutely no ripping or tearing!), and an added bonus: they moisturize with aloe. Even I like to use these on my skin!
And by the time we made our way back to the car,
we had to pause for one more wipe-down of hands and feet. Then we were off for home to put the baby down for his nap and to feed the big boys (yet another) meal.
Now this is how we spend our weekends in the country!
Do you have plans to spend some time in the great outdoors this summer? If so, you NEED a Wet-Nap pack too. Head on over to this website to get your own coupon for $0.55 off of any Wet-Nap product!