Family keeps active

Published 12:01 am Monday, December 12, 2011

Eric Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Roxanne Owens plays with her children, Abrianna Owens and Alfred Owens, inside their home on Fifth Street in Natchez Friday afternoon.

NATCHEZ — With a little ingenuity and tips from Mom, Roxanne Owens keeps her children entertained and active until their heads hit the beds.

Whether it’s the racetrack, state fairs, rodeos or bike rides, Alfred, 7, and Abrianna, 11 months, know there is a lot to do in Natchez.

“You have to find things to do, even if it’s going to the park with your kids,” Roxanne said.

When The Dart landed at their house near Fifth Street Friday afternoon, the family was resting up for another big weekend.

The search for kid-friendly activities is easier in December, with many planned activities, like Saturday’s petting zoo and ice-skating rink, which Roxanne said her children would likely attend.

“And more fireworks!” Alfred chimed in.

But during months when local events rarely crowd a calendar, Roxanne and her parents always find something to get the children out of the house.

Alfred rattled off a list of his favorite things to do in town, including bowling, going to the racetrack on U.S. 61 North, playing arcade games at the mall or being pulled around in a wagon by his grandfather, Roosevelt.

The children’s grandmother, Jackie, said she often reads to find out what’s going on or searches on the Internet.

“I love (living with my grandchildren),” Jackie said. “It’s busy, and they keep me busy.”

And the family also travels out of town each year for the Angola rodeo at the Louisiana State Penitentiary and state fairs in Jackson and on the Gulf Coast.

“You just got to get out and go,” Jackie said.

Keeping up with energetic children like Alfred and Abrianna is a challenge Roxanne said she likes.

“I’m an outgoing mom,” Roxanne said.

When the family is not out of the house, Alfred likes assuming duties of big brother.

After giving Abrianna piggyback ride around the living room, Alfred said he likes playing with his sister.

“She does everything he does,” Roxanne said.

Even as Alfred spoke, Abrianna moved her mouth and tried to mimic his words. And she had no trouble chasing Alfred in circles.

“She’s not scared of anything,” Roxanne said.

Keeping the energetic children active and entertained also comes with its perks.

Neither child makes a peep at nighttime.

“Oh yes indeed, (they sleep well),” Jackie said as Roxanne nodded her head.