Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ben's Favorite Hobby

There are so many factors taking kids away from the wholesome outdoor activities that have compelled them in the past.  I admit I love some animated TV and in my current state (pregnant, too tired to chase a one year old up and down the hill over and over again in 95 degree heat, too overwhelmed to take three kids to the pool in my ill fitting swimwear options, too little bladder control to take three kids to the playgrounds with limited bathroom options) I feel like I turn to TV and YouTube too often.  It has just been so hot and, although we are in a severe to exceptional drought, it has been humid.  Anytime we go anywhere away from the house  I feel like I need to bring a huge water cooler on wheels like a sports team would use otherwise pay the $3 price for bottles of water (I'm talking about you, Dakota Zoo!)  Although, I guess it's nice that they let you bring your own food and drink in instead of rifling through your bags so they can price gouge on everything.  What happens is the heat and humidity build all day, a cold front hits and thunderstorms form and then after some thunder and lightening they dissipate into nothing and the whole cycle starts again the next day.  Yesterday I watched our evening thunderstorm dump rain (for about three minutes) a few blocks away from our house but it missed us.  It's so weird and very strange to watch.  One thing I love about living on the hill we live in is watching the clouds roll in an seeing the radar happening live right in front of me.  Tonight we are planning on tackling the neighborhood pool with all the kids.  Justin is even going so Milo gets to come too!  I told them we might be able to go last night but the thunderstorm came and Ben has been talking about it since he woke up this morning so I guess he didn't forget overnight...dang...not that I don't love the pool.  I do.  It can be stressful with little kids though.

Anyway, the point I was getting to was is that I will encourage any activity the kids like that involves outdoor activity and real life skills.  Ben has recently become very interested in fishing.  Justin takes him to a friend's house on Devil's Lake.  They went a few times last year and also did some ice fishing there but this summer he has really started fishing on his own. 

Isn't it a huge lake?  It goes for miles. 

Those weren't all caught by Ben but this is an example of the fish population in Devil's Lake. 

This one ben caught all by himself.  Of course, he doesn't take his own fish off the hook yet.  He has been using his kid's Lightening McQueen novelty fishing pole but the line snapped and putting new line in was not easy like in a normal pole so Justin bought him his own "real" pole.  He also has his own tackle box with a small collection of bobbers and lures and hooks.

Last weekend, Ben got to hang out with his 2nd cousin Colt at the lake.  He's six and it turns out he loves fishing too.  He also has his own tackle box and those two sat and compared equipment for quite awhile.  They also went fishing and caught some sunfish and whatever other species are out there. 

Tessa also got to partake.  She is now the proud owner of a $6.00 clearance "Frozen" kid's fishing pole and she's so pleased with it.  I even caught a Sunfish with it a few weeks ago.   

Last time we were at the lake Ben kept talking about a minnow trap he'd seen in a video so I looked up how to make one and fashioned one out of an empty Coke bottle.  It was not successful but Justin told him they could get a real minnow trap.  There are lots of suggestions for bait out there and bread didn't work and dog food also didn't work...but the disappointment didn't last because apparently crawfish like dog food and, although it wasn't exactly trapped, this (very gross) guy was trying to get the food from outside the trap and someone caught him in a net. 

Pretty exciting!  Ben wanted to keep him.  I said he would be much happier in the lake with room to swim.  MUCH happier. 

This fishing obsession also continues at home where he makes everything with a hook into a fishing pole.  No plastic display hook from a pack of socks is safe.  We have one toy fishing pole I found in a dollar toy aisle during Easter basket season that gets played with daily and is broken is several places.  I hope it stays together for awhile because it really keeps the kids busy. It also causes regular fights but oh well...they have to learn to share.  We also have the much better quality pole from this fishing game Ben had to have (he did chores and earned "squares" on a chart for two weeks to earn it).  The bait is magnetic and he uses it to catch tractors and other metal toys.

The fish is battery powered and swims but it already quit working, not surprisingly.  I don't really trust electric things that can get wet.  But the pole is still a popular item.  Yesterday Ben was dangling it over Allan saying he was catching a "cat fish".  Poor Allan.  He is the opposite of a fish. 

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