The other night our Family Home Evening was a Family Trail Evening as we explored a nearby trail that most of us hadn’t visited before.  Three of Yawlin’s friends joined us (after calling their parents for permission first).  We didn’t get very far on the trail before the kids discovered “the silica pit” and started to climb:

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I didn’t do any climbing because it was my job to take pictures (a great excuse that has served me well many times).  And Huh didn’t climb because it’s the state softball playoffs for the next two weeks and she didn’t want to “risk getting hurt again.”  Every other person in our group made the climb, including Hub.  Thankfully, no bodies tumbled to the bottom, although some denim bottoms probably received some wear and tear as kids made it back down by sliding on their rear-ends.

While the others climbed, Huh and I enjoyed the view:

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After the climbing and sliding and cheering and laughing and screaming, we no longer had time to explore the rest of the trail because Yawlin’s friends needed to get home.   We went back to the cars and made sure to drive around this:

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The entire activity took only one hour.  One hour of precious family time.  One hour to laugh, explore, and enjoy our family relationships.  The kids had so much fun spending time together that they didn’t want it to end.  We like to take advantage of times like that so, after Yawlin’s friends were dropped off at their homes, Hub lit a fire on the patio and got comfortable, just to keep the good feelings flowing:

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We made s’mores, some of the kids played basketball, and we ended the activity in time for the evening news.

New memories were formed at very little expense or effort.  Simple activities, like our evening together the other night, are the mortar that holds our family relationships together.   Not needed was a big, expensive trip or $10.00 movie tickets, or a check-list of must-haves.  It was simple and fun.  Kids are usually creative enough to make their own adventures–such as challenging each other to make it to the top of a silica pit.

If we provide our time, the kids will do the rest.