Education Featured

Teaching Kids the Value of Hard Work & Finding Their Passion

jobs for kids

As you know from our love for all things entrepreneurial, we’re always keen on finding tasks or jobs for kids to do.  Even though our kids are young, we want them to grow up to be hard working, determined, creative, self-sufficient, happy individuals.  

Of course, working hard is a lot easier to do if you find that thing you love to do – and do that.  But how in the heck do we as parents help them find the things they’re passionate about?  


Get to Work

Our good friend bought a house recently and since he’s taking pruning to a whole new level we thought we’d jump in there and let him teach us a thing or two about tree trimming.  We love when our friends or family have skills outside of our wheelhouse so they can fill in the gaps so to speak.

teaching kids work ethic jobs for kidsJudah is so cute with this machete.  He just wants to let the branches have it.  I love how determined he is when he sets his mind to something.  In this case, it didn’t matter how long it was going to take him to chop that branch.  It was happening.  He was trash talking it too!

Jobs for Kids?  Isn’t there Some Law Against Child Labor?

If you want to boost your kids’ self-image and give them a sense of pride and purpose, PUT THEM TO WORK!  There is something so gratifying about working with your hands and seeing real progress come from hard work.  I’m not talking cracking the whip and stealing away their play time here – I’m saying that putting them in environments where they can produce something tangible with their own hands does something for the soul.

Maybe it’s a bit of a leap to see this little tree trimming exercise as something that’s going to propel them into a successful future.  But that’s just the thing.  We don’t know what “the thing” will be for each of them, so we try all kinds of things and eventually someTHING will stick.  In the meantime, they become a little more well-rounded and gather skills they can use down the line.

If nothing else, their spouses will think they are super hot when they are out there landscaping their own yards in a couple decades!

bonfireRoasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire was a great way to end a hard days work for the kids.  A sweet reward after flexing some serious muscle.  They are growing up too fast!

So next time you’re pruning the bushes, slow down, take the extra time to show them proper technique, and explain how cutting certain branches makes the whole tree healthier.   Then give them the shears and see what happens.

Share your knowledge with them and remember that baby steps are the most exciting ones.

Who knows, maybe they’ll start their own business, landscaping, in junior high school and be one step closer to understanding what it takes to run a profitable company.

Until then, join me in looking for every opportunity to expose our kids to the expertise of those right in front of us – our family and friends.  It’s easy, fun, and super beneficial.  And if you haven’t read it yet, check out our top 15 business ideas for kids to get your kids thinking about ways they can be junior entrepreneurs RIGHT NOW!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured Our Travels

An Unusual Classroom at the Pacific Science Center

What you will find in the bathrooms at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle may make your stomach turn, but I assure you, the kids will learn a thing or two!  You are there to expand your knowledge after all and the folks at the education center came up with a disgusting lesson about the human body – and it’s waste – that is guaranteed to make your kids take notice. They may love it, they may hate it – but chances are they won’t easily forget it!

pacific science center

seattle science center

pacific science center
seattle science center with kids
pacific science center education

And there you have it.  The reason every boy should visit the Pacific Science Center pronto!

I am not sure what it is in the hardwiring of every boy that innately responds to potty jokes and bathroom humor but it is inescapable.  So, I guess, taking them to learn a thing or two in the Center’s bathrooms is one way for us moms to embrace it.  You know I am a big fan of RoadSchooling and taking every opportunity to make learning fun for my little tribe so I was all for it.  You gotta love boys!  The things that excite them and get them talking.

If you are looking for more fun and unusual things to do with kids in or around Seattle, check out and follow my Seattle Pinterest Board!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured

Teaching Kids the Value of Diversity and Cultural Difference

teaching kids about diversity

I grew up in a home where diversity was celebrated and cultural differences were enjoyed.  From a young age we welcomed exchange students from different parts of the world into our home and learned about their religion, families, cultures, and favorite foods.

Some of them stayed for just a few days and some stayed for several months.

A handful of them became family.

Living in the culturally diverse Pacific Northwest, we had neighbors from the Philippines, Poland, Fiji, and China just to name a few.  I have fond memories of rolling sushi for the first time as a young child, trying kim-chee, and roasting a pig underground in the neighbor’s front yard so the entire block could party Polynesian style – with a traditional luau!

The appreciation for diversity is something we want our kids to grow up with but I have found that nurturing it can be tricky because with political correctness at an all time high, it’s easy to slide into the DON’T ASK, JUST SMILE crowd.

The fear of causing offense entices us to shut down and draw back.  Instead of genuinely showing interest in those who are different than us by engaging with them and learning about what makes their backgrounds and cultures so special and rich, we just pretend we are all alike.

The problem with that is that WE ARE NOT ALL ALIKE.

And that is a good thing!

Depending on where you live and who you talk to, the word DIVERSITY can evoke a range of emotions and have different connotations, but according the Google, diversity simply means:

  • The state of being diverse; variety.
  • A range of different things.

The problem with joining the DAJS (Don’t Ask Just Smile) tribe is that while you won’t offend anyone, you won’t get to know them either.  It doesn’t lend to forging friendships and creating bonds.   What you end up with is a society that lives amicably with each other but are always at an arms length.

Sounds like a loveless marriage to me.   Ugh.

One of this things David and I love so much about traveling with our kids is the exposure they get to various cultures and the opportunities we readily come across to teach them about diversity.

But the truth is you don’t have to travel much further than your front door to engage with those who are different than you.

Just last week David’s brave cousin, Amy, took the boys to a Harlem Globetrotters game.  She and a friend, I have never met, were going and had a few extra tickets.  When her friend walked in the door, I was taken aback for a split second by her bright pink short hair and “stoner” clothing.

In five minutes I learned that she was unemployed, planning on legally changing her name to “Gypsy”, and a mover and a shaker in Pink’s fan club.  And I admit it…..I felt uncomfortable for a minute.

As I engaged with her in conversation for a few brief moments, I couldn’t help but notice the warmth of her smile and kindness in her eyes.

When the boys came home I asked them how it went and they just could not have spoken more highly of Gypsy.  “Mom, Gypsy is so cool, she knows a lot about computers and taught me stuff about Microsoft that I didn’t even know about!”  They weren’t afraid of this girl who had funny hair and unusual clothes.  They didn’t judge her like I did.  All they saw was a sweet, kind, smart, girl who had something in common with them.

They liked her and learned something from her.

It was a nice little reminder for me that even if you love to celebrate difference and diversity, sometimes you have to fight against the urge to draw back.

Whether we like it or not our children’s world view is formed out of ours.  They hear what we say, glean what we believe and emulate who we are to a great measure.  We are granted the awesome opportunity to teach them the values we hold dear.

And every once in a while they unknowingly teach us a thing or two by reminding us of our core beliefs.  

Those are proud moments indeed.

I plan on writing more specifically on teaching kids about diversity in fun ways, but if you want more now – this is a great article on diversity to get you started.  In the meantime, don’t let political correctness scare you and your kids away from engaging with and creating meaningful ties with those who are different from you.  At the end of the day, we may be quite diverse, but we all have the same basic needs – to be seen, understood, appreciated, and respected – pink hair and all!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road







family fun Featured Printables Strong Luv

Scavenger Hunt Ideas Series – Valentines Day

I hope you have enjoyed our Scavenger Hunt Ideas Series so far! This time I did something a little different. Instead of searching for specific items, this treasure hunt allows your kids to use a little more creativity!

scavenger hunt for kids

Instead of V standing only for only one item – such as “vase”- it can represent anything.  If your child is smaller they may find something with velcro, if they are a science lover they may search for something that is viscus, if they love to bake they may grab vanilla from the kitchen cabinet!

I think these kind of treasure hunts are fun because they bring out the personality in each one of our little tribe mates.

I don’t know about your kids, but each of mine are VERY different.  They think differently, act differently, and express themselves differently.  I love when I get to see those uniquenesses highlighted.  Funny how three beings that came from the same stock can be so different.  I love it!


scavenger hunt ideas

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I Hope you have fun with this little Valentines Day Scavenger Hunt!

If you like the content provided here at Home Sweet Road and want to share it with your friends I would be appreciative. The social buttons are an easy way to do that.  As a new blog every little bit helps!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Favorite Things Featured Style

My Favorite – Tea Collection Clothing

Globally-Inspired Children’s Clothes
for Little Citizens of the World – My Favorite!

Tea is among my favorite brands of children’s clothing.  I have appreciated their stylish designs and use of quality and comfortable materials since the kids were little.  Despite those factors, the thing I like the most about Tea is their focus on inclusion and diversity.

my favorite

Having grown up in Seattle, a port city known for its cultural diversity, I naturally gleaned the value of difference from a young age.  It’s a value I feel strongly about passing down to our kids.  I can appreciate a company who is intentional in their focus on creating products that tell a story about the unique value and beauty that every culture has to offer.

my favorite

my favorite things

favorite children's clothing

Tea Collection’s Stylish Design:

Every year Tea takes a team of designers from their home base in San Francisco on a trip to a faraway land for design inspiration.  The designers soak up the unique aspects of the culture they are immersed in and what they end up with is a collection of globally inspired patterns and styles.  After the designs are completed the clothing is made in factories all around the world – from Peru to Bulgaria.

What I like about the international flair in Tea’s designs is that it is understated.  You get the essence of another culture without it being over the top, in your face.

For a sneak peak into the creative process and how a picture taken or sketch drawn translates into textiles and clothing designs visit and click on the inspiration tab.  They even have a few kids activities you can print out for your little ones!

Tea Uses Quality Materials:

From my experience, Tea clothing stands the test of time.  My kids are pretty hard on their clothes and since I don’t go for stuffed closets with garments spilling out, I gravitate toward simple, stylish designs that are made well.

Made of natural fibers and materials, Tea clothes wash and wear well – longer.

The Comfort Factor:

No matter how awesome something looks if it is not comfortable it is not my cup of tea!  Yes, I like a good pun every now and then.  Seriously though, there have been times that I have bought Justice the cutest dress and it didn’t feel good on her skin.  This is the point when her 3 year old self kicks in and it’s complete meltdown and pandamonium until that dress is pealed off of her body!

At this moment there is no negotiating with her, and no amount of bribery will work.  It’s uncomfortable and it’s NOT happening!

This reason is enough to LOVE Tea clothing.  It is soft to the touch and comfortable to play in.

favorite girl clothing tea collection

cool kids

my favorite things

treasure hunts

favorite children's clothing

What didn’t end up getting photographed were the fun little pockets on Jusitce’s dress.  She thought she was so smart!!! Try out the Tea Collection for yourself and see if you are as impressed as we have been!

*Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links.  This simply means sometimes I recommend a product and if you choose to purchase that product via my recommendation, I will get a small referral commission. Of course, this is at no extra cost to you but it does help keep my candle burning so I can keep bringing you great tips! I truly appreciate your support in this way.  Thank you.

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Favorite Things Featured

Healthy Snacks – Fat Burning Popcorn

I have already shared with you some of our favorite healthy gluten free snacks for the road and in light of the new year being a time when people are trying to shed a couple pounds and look and feel their best, I thought it would be fun to tell you about one of my all time favorite things to make when I want something fast, easy, and guilt free.

Drum roll please.  Introducing to you FAT BURNING POPCORN!  I seriously love this stuff – and it is so easy!

healthy snacks

All you need are these three ingredients:

  1. Organic Whole Kernel Popcorn – Air Popped
  2. MCT Oil
  3. Herbamare

Most people have heard that coconut oil is good for them but don’t know that it is specifically the MCT’s within it that promotes fat oxidation in the body.  Fat oxidation is the process of breaking down large molecules of fat into smaller ones that our bodies can then use as energy.  MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides which are the cleanest most concentrated healthy fats found in Coconut Oil.

This stuff is like magic.  It is flavorless and odorless so you can basically add it in just about anywhere in your diet.  I have seen testimonies where all people did was add MCT oil to their daily regimen and they lost weight.  It’s also a great oil to use for salad dressing!

Popcorn is a carbohydrate, yet it contains very little sugar, making it a complex carbohydrate.  While you would want to steer clear of popcorn if you are on a low carb or Ketogenic Diet, popcorn is a great alternative to the traditional potato chip or cracker craving.

healthy snacksHerbamare is a replacement for ordinary table salt and is made from a blend of celery, leek, watercress, onions, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and kelp.  All of which are organically grown.  The back of the bottle says “The fresh herbs are combined with Natural Sea Salt from salt marshes located in Camargue, South France and allowed to steep for up to one year before the moisture is removed by a special vacuum process at low temperature. This steeping process integrates the full herb and vegetable flavor into the salt crystal.”

That’s basically a fancy way of saying it tastes great and it’s good for you!

To make this healthy snack I air pop my Popcorn, lightly coat it with several tablespoons of MCT Oil and then sprinkle Herbamare to taste.

This really is a great, super easy option if you are looking for healthy gluten free snacks!  I hope you try this fat burning popcorn – and LOVE it as much as I do!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

City Guide Featured

Top 5 National Parks in California

5 Must-Visit National Parks in California

The west coast of the United States is known for its beauty and natural resources.  Each year travelers from all over the world come to experience all that the state of California has to offer.  One of the best ways of experiences the state’s beauty and natural resources is to visit the top 5 National Parks in California.  These parks offer some of the best outdoor recreation activities in the world.

Yosemite National Park

california parks

This is among the first national parks to be established within the United States and boasts of scenic meadows, waterfalls and picturesque beauty. Hikers will require permits that offer access to great activities such as bike riding, hiking, rock climbing and fishing.

Death Valley National Park

This is the ideal destination for ultimate hikers. The terrain is rather harsh but provides the perfect environment for visitors to experience nature at its rawest form. The wildlife and vegetation is very varied and for the less experienced hikers, guided tours will offer much needed insight. The trip would not be complete without visiting historical mining sites as well as deep gorges that are home to a unique flora and fauna. For those who are unable to withstand very high temperatures, it would be advisable to visit the park in winter. The park is located about 200 miles from the city of Los Angeles.

Redwood National Park

This immense natural habitat for native redwood trees covers an area of more than 100,000 acres including a part of the pacific shoreline in Northern California. This great ecosystem also includes plenty of rare animal species and plant species that coexist in harmony.

If you want to view the tallest free standing tree in the world, the Redwood Forest is the place to be.

Directions to Redwood National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

joshua tree park

This park was opened officially in the 1930’s and is located where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts converge. Nature lovers will surely be impressed by the flora and fauna in this park that includes numerous Joshua Trees that dot the desert landscape. Outdoor enthusiasts will be impressed by the great sites for camping and hiking.
To find the Visitors Center you would like to visit (there are 4 of them in Joshua Tree National Park), check HERE.

Channel Islands National Park

This magnificent national park can be considered a natural oasis owing to the large number of animal and plant life that are found on five separate islands just off the Californian coast. The islands are largely isolated which have made the area conducive for the natural ecosystem to thrive.

This group of islands has long been considered one of the top 5 National Parks in California and although it only gained national park status in 1980, the group of islands was declared a United States National Monument in 1938. There is plenty to see and do at the Channel Islands national park and for this reason the park is visited by an average of about 300,000 people per year!

Don’t forget the best part about visiting California’s National Parks with your kids – The Junior Ranger Program!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured

Top 15 Business Ideas and Ways for Kids to Make Money

ways for kids to make moneyI put together this list of Top 15 Business Ideas and ways for kids to make money to help you keep your kids busy, engaged, and learning skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.

I think entreprenuership is a great way to help them think outside of the box and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills early on.  Whether your kids grow up to be wildly successful businessmen or businesswomen or not, setting the stage for them to gain core business competencies will help them succeed in whatever they choose to do in the future.

A few of these skills include:

  • Understanding the value of marketing
  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Gaining confidence in relating and partnering with others
  • Overcoming rejection
  • Offering the customer value
  • Troubleshooting
  • The importance of following through & keeping your word

It seems like more and more people are starting their own small businesses — whether part-time or full-time —  as a way to provide another stream of income for their families, offset rising costs, and to be more self reliant.  There is no reason our kids can’t join us in the journey!

As with any acquired skill, there is a learning curve.  I wrote about how increasing the failure rate NOW will position them for success sooner — LATER.  The more exposure to business and lessons our children learn from early entrepreneurship, the better.  So lets get to it!

Top 15 Business Ideas for Kids:

  1. Salesman– Selling cold water, lemonade, or candy at nearby parks or community events.  Our boys’ first business was affectionately called the “Water Boys”.
  2. Crafter– Sell homemade items at community events or on Etsy.  (minors must sell under an adult on Etsy as you have to be 18 or older to have your own account.)
  3. Dog Walker
  4. Lawn Mower/ Landscaping/ Yard Work
  5. Pet Sitter
  6. Baby Sitter
  7. Window Washer
  8. Tutor for younger children
  9. Paper Boy/Girl
  10. Car Cleaner/ Detailer
  11. House Cleaner/ Organizer
  12. Design & Produce Custom Printed T-Shirts, Bags, etc.
  13. Holiday Help — Decorating, Wrapping, etc.
  14. Providing Packing & Moving Help
  15. Garage Sale Organizing & Assistance

I hope this list of ways for kids to make money serves as an inspirational resource for you and your kids as you discuss with them the possibilities of starting their very own “kid business!”  Another useful resource for you is the FREE Kid’s Business Plan Worksheet that I recently added.

Do you have your own personal experience with this or do you have any great ideas that aren’t included in the list?  I value your feedback and would love to hear your tips and ideas in the comments below!

Emily Eck

City Guide Featured

FREE Things to do in Santa Barbara, California With Kids

Things to do in Santa Barbara California

Santa Barbara, California is a fantastic place for families to relax and enjoy the sun and beautiful beaches while on vacation! Children will love to dig in sand and get their feet wet as they explore Santa Barbara’s coastline.  I know ours did!

santa barbara

Many of the activities in Santa Barbara are priced for family life making it a great budget friendly  city to explore.  Here are a the best of them:

Santa Barbara Courthouse:

If you are looking for outstanding design, Santa Barbara offers FREE visits to the Santa Barbara Courthouse.  With one of the most exquisite pieces of architecture in the country, there are performances and other interesting activities to keep the family engaged.   ides to the top of the courthouse to their famous clock tower “El Mirador.”  A viewing room greets you at the top where you will get breathtaking views. The tile work is interesting and historic. This is a FREE trip that you and your kids will love.

ADDRESS:  1100 Anacapa St #2, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

PHONE #:  (805) 568-3959

The Painted Cave:

These caves are FREE to explore and were created by the Chumash indigenous people of the area. The caves are a colorful and interesting experience for young people and adults alike.

ADDRESS:  Hwy 154, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

PHONE #:   (805) 733-3713

A.C Postal Rose Garden:

This amazing and serene location holds more than a thousand types of roses with views of the mountains of Santa Barbara that are absolutely spectacular. It is absolutely FREE for kids in Santa Barbara and is guaranteed to be a wonderful adventure for a family.

LOCATION:  The A.C. Postel Rose Garden is located on Plaza
Rubio between Laguna St. and Emerson Ave.

PHONE #:  805-564-5433 (Inquires made through the Parks Dept.)

Old Santa Barbara Mission: 

Often referred to as the “Queen of the Missions”, the mission is the primary cultural landmark in Santa Barbara.  This historical landmark allows families to visit for FREE but does require a small fee to take the family into the chapel.  This is one of Santa Barbara’s main attractions and is great for kids and budget friendly!

ADDRESS:  2201 Laguna St.  Santa Barbara, CA 93105

PHONE #:  (805) 682-4713

Santa Barbara City Parks:

With over 75 parks to choose from, Santa Barbara’s parks provide a great way to see the natural side of the city.   The kids can get their energy out while getting up close and personal with the flora and fauna unique to Santa Barbara’s landscape.  And you guessed it….it’s FREE!

Find one that suites you HERE

Santa Ynez Valley:

Another must see location in Santa Barbara is the Santa Ynez Valley. It holds over seventy wineries. The wineries have wine tasting and there are several golf courses there as well as places to fish, hike, and bike.

solvang california

Solvang which is Danish town known for its pastries, fine dining and shopping also has a variety of free activities. This is an adventure all families will enjoy and mom and dad can taste wine while the children fish, enjoy parks and the whole family is able to engage is hiking or fishing together.

State Street:

If you want to experience the culture and flair of Santa Barbara a fantastic place to take the family is State Street.  And don’t forget the shopping!  The State Street area can be toured by walking or by the area’s electric shuttle. The shuttle makes a stop on every block and kids will love the ride! Santa Barbara also has parades and many wonderful festivals throughout the year including the French Festival, the Harbor Festival and the Sandcastle festival. Exploring State Street is great for families and is totally FREE of charge.

Check this website for more information about Downtown Santa Barbra and State Street.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta:

One of the festivals that no one should miss while visiting Santa Barbara with kids!  The fiesta is a festival that has been taking place in Santa Barbara for eighty-five years and draws people from all over the world. Since the Santa Barbara area has such a wonderful Spanish culture the festival celebrates this with a week of dancing and music as well as art and cultural food. The fiesta is free for kids in Santa Barbara and is a deeply rich cultural experience that the whole family will find enthralling and exciting. The tourism board can inform anyone about the scheduling.

For specifics about the upcoming Old Spanish Days Fiesta check go HERE.

Alice Keck Garden:

Another exciting activity for the family that is FREE and perfect for kids is a visit to the Alice Keck Garden. This park holds a pond filled with Koi and has a gorgeous gazebo. The neighborhood around the Garden is highly engaging so make sure to interact with the locals.  Don’t be shy to ask them about their favorite places in the city!

ADDRESS:  Garden St & Arellaga St.  Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Santa Barbara Historical Museum:

If you are like us and want to learn about the history of the places you visit, you don’t want to miss the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.   This museum documents Santa Barbara from the era of the Chumash indigenous people all the way through to modern day. There are many exhibits that display the homes in the area and these change regularly.  There is a large library for kids and parents to explore (perfect for road schooling) and it is all FREE!

ADDRESS:  136 East De la Guerra Street  Santa Barbara, CA 93101

PHONE #:  (805)966-1601 ext. 108

If you aren’t as concerned with budget and want to get a beat on some other great things to do in Santa Barbara, the Chamber of Commerce in another good resource.  When we visit new places and we aren’t sure what to do, we stop by the local chamber.  The men and women that work there are often long time residents of the area and love to share what they know.  Plus they know about all the current activities happing around town.

santa barbara california

Although not all winery tours are free, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend a visit to at least one of these gems that Santa Barbara is known for.  Sanguis, is a coveted winery that creates amazing blends of the finest wines – each created by a different winemaker.  The varieties of vintage may differ, however, the finesse and quality of the vintages are always original and this winery.

A vacation in Santa Barbara, California offers beaches, mountains, parks, festivals and multi-cultural activities. It is the perfect place for a family with kids to visit for amazing and beautiful sightseeing and even some cultural education!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road












Featured Our Travels

Breckenridge Snow Report – Fence Posts and Facial Wounds

The Breckenridge Snow Report promised clear skies and good times for the boys.  They had recently rented skis and with the seasons pass we bought there were high hopes for a great season.  It was the first time skiing for all of us but David.  We were concerned about making the investment while our children were this young (ages 2, 5, 7) but decided to go for it.  Hey, Lindsey Vonn started skiing at two and a half so, obviously, we had no time to lose!

boys get skis breckenridge

Elijah showed awesome determination and fearless devotion from the start.  Up until that point his all time favorite activity was to go to a theme park and hop on the scariest ride he could find.  He loved to feel the wind in his face and would scream at the top of his lungs in delight until it stopped.  And then do it all over again.

breckenridge snow report

Going down the mountain unrestrained was exhilarating for him.  He just could not get enough.  He would fall and get right back up as if nothing happened.  He wanted to stay out for hours and never complained of the cold.  He was in his element.  The mountain was the perfect fit for his wild nature and conquering spirit.  A brave man in the making.

We had never seen him happier.

And then it happened.

The day after I broke my nose David comes in from skiing with E all morning with a troubled look on his face.  “Don’t freak out when you see Elijah.”

ski accidents breckenridge snow reportbreckenridgechild skiing

E was in the hallway waiting for David to give me the heads up so that I wouldn’t completely break down when I saw him.  I am usually pretty laid back about the kids but I was still traumatized by my accident the day before and David knew I was already emotional.

He was right.

I lost it.  Cursing the mountain and the sport I started to cry as I ran over to my son to survey the damage.   Unfazed, other than a beat up face, he shrugged his shoulders, smiled and let me know in no uncertain terms that he was ready to go back out and ski for a couple more runs!

Love that brave boy.  And I can learn from him.

So when the Breckenridge snow report promises clear skies and perfect conditions – Beware.  And get some ski lessons!

*If you found my blog looking for the actual Breckenridge Snow Report, it can be found HERE.  Thanks for staying long enough to read our story.  Have fun on the mountain:)

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

family fun Featured

Scavenger Hunt Ideas – Nature

I have been tossing around some scavenger hunt ideas so that I could create a couple of fun treasure hunt expeditions for the kids.  As always, I am making them available to you!  When we go on an adventure I find that our kids enjoy themselves a little more if they are on a mission.  They experience whatever it is that we are doing (site seeing, hiking, etc.) in a different way when their eyes are peeled.

scavenger hunt ideas

It’s overall more fun for everyone and produces LESS WHINING!   That in and of itself is worth spending hours of my time putting these together!

One of the coolest things we learned about ourselves on our extended road trip was that some of our favorite things to do as a family is to get out into nature.  We always knew we liked it but it wasn’t until we got bikes, visited many different state and national parks, and intentionally made time to spend in the great outdoors that we learned just how LIFE-GIVING it was.

It’s unlikely our crew will be featured in a outdoors magazine anytime soon – we aren’t hardcore enough for that – and we aren’t signing up for a family marathon or anything, but we are forcing ourselves to get out there and take it all in.

We are in Seattle, Washington now so sometimes that means putting on the raincoats before heading out.

One thing the boys have been doing together recently is Geocaching.  They have spent hours deciphering clues and hunting treasure.  These are a few geocaching apps available if you are interested in trying it for yourself.

treasure hunt ideas

I hope you enjoy this Nature Scavenger Hunt with your family. I had fun putting it together! I think this particular treasure hunt would be fun to do without the kids too – on an adventure date.  I’m working on several other scavenger hunt ideas as well so keep your eyes peeled for those.

scavenger hunt ideas

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 Happy Treasure Hunting!!!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Our Travels Uncategorized

Be Curious, Be Brave

My personal theme for the year is to Be Curious & Be Brave.  I’m not big on setting new years resolutions and goals.  They don’t inspire me – AT ALL.  What does inspire me is the idea of challenging myself to be more authentic, passionate, generous, forgiving, thoughtful, open, and courageous every day.


When we were in Beaver Creek Colorado, I saw this statue and was immediately captivated by it.  I just stood there staring at it for the longest time.  I love how the child doesn’t shrink back in fear while the bear comes close.  Both curious, both brave.  Obviously this doesn’t translate in the literal sense, but I can think of a handful of “bears” in my life that I have shied away from simply due to some form of fear.

Sometimes the first step in overcoming fear is to stop making excuses for it and see it for the ugly, suffocating parasite that it is.  If we live in fear long enough it becomes so normative that we don’t even question it anymore.  If everyone else we know lives that same way than it’s not even seen as a problem – it’s just REALITY.

I’m not cool with that kind of reality.

My dream is that my kids would be WILD and FREE.  WISE and BOLD.  GENTLE and STRONG.  Precious little ones that refuse to measure their journey against anyone else’s or become paralyzed by the fear of failure or what others will think of them.

If I want my kids to be all of those things that means I have to be moving in that direction myself first.

This year I want to cultivate a Courageous Curiosity to dig deeper and see the beauty and potential that lies beneath the surface.  I want to see past the obvious and peer into the veiled space not immediately apparent without careful examination.  A treasure hunter!

It takes very little effort to see what is messed up in everyone and everything, but bravery to:

  • See the beauty in the ordinary
  • Recognize strength in weakness
  • Embrace those that are nothing like us
  • Pursue dreams without guarntees
  • Live for the audience of One

I love the words to Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave.”

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

So I’m checking my fear and preconceived ideas at the door and stepping into this year with open hands and an open heart.  Here’s to being Curious and Brave in 2014!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road