Thursday, August 1, 2013


The day after the big kids came back from visiting their grandparents, we started a three day whirlwind of friends, adventure, and activity.  Perhaps I should have preserved some downtime, but that's how our plans shook out.  And we wanted to do it all!

*Warning: This post is very photo-heavy, and I had a hard enough time narrowing it down to *just* these ones.  What can I say?  I've been having fun with my new camera :)

Camille came home to colorful planters on her windowsills, in honor of her recent interest in growing plants and saving seeds.

Monday ~
We had friends over, which turned into a fun several-hours-long fashion show and dress-up party.

sharing play dough 'treats'

Tuesday ~
Another family of close friends met us at the science exploratory to celebrate Camille's tenth birthday!

 star walk


Van de Graff generator

 mid-air bicycle

We retreated from the exploratory for a break and some treats (gluten-free raspberry muffins topped with whipped cream and blueberries).  Camille opened some thoughtful gifts and was prepared to start reading one right then and there, but it was time to return to the exploratory.


blue screen

musical hallway

The time flew by so quickly that before we realized it over four hours had gone by.

Wednesday ~
We left home bright and early to meet another family of homeschool friends at Circus World.  I had a cooler packed full of goodness to get us through the day, hard-boiled eggs, dilly beans, quinoa with kale, black beans with green onions, cheese, and blueberries.  But I later realized it was still sitting in the driveway when we left home.  Ack.  Anywho, on with the circus!

After the entertainment in the big top, we picked up some lunch at the grill and then explored some of the more out-of-the-way spots.
 This old Ringling Brothers and Barnum train car was used to transport show horses.

There were pony rides and elephant rides.
riding Nina
At about this point in the day, there was a short-lived but very explosive melt-down.  (Of course there was.)  It was initiated by a long wait in line to try a tightrope, only to be disappointed because the staff was taking it down to move on to the next thing.  I could see the disappointment, the overwhelm, and the too-much sensory overload, but there was no preventing the melt-down.  At this point, I only did the best I could to provide a safe-space for letting it out and an open heart and arms for help in recovering from it.

Last year, I wrote about a similar melt-down and my thoughts about it, and I was again grateful to be with friends who gave us the space to process without judgement.
 After a big emotional release, we were able to move on and enjoy the rest of our day with an interactive circus where the kids got to be the circus animals.  Our kids opted for being show ponies.

carousel rides

Circus World has the largest collection of antique circus wagons in the world.  They were intricately carved and absolutely stunning.

 The day was winding to an end when we discovered some racks of retired circus costumes that were available for dress-up play on our way out.  This was just the perfect way to end our adventure, though I do believe that Ayla was quite ready for a nap.  Maybe we all were.

I may have been a little loopy from exhaustion at this point.  Camille picked up the camera when I decided to play dress-up, too.

Our days are seldom without little bumps and challenges, but we manage them as graciously as we can.  Some days are more successful than others, but we consistently lean in to a family culture of acceptance and joy and peace and celebration of our own unique personalities.  I like to think that we extend this same consideration to those around us as well.

That's all, folks.  We've enjoyed our whirlwind, but it's time for some serious downtime for this family.  That same load of laundry has been hanging on the line for the better part of a week . . . .


  1. We often to it that way.... playplayplayplay.... then home for two weeks straight. :)
    And of course I understand about pictures. Only rarely do I warn people. Most of the time I"m like 'eh... that's the way it goes"!

    Livin' the Goodlife, there, Mama.

  2. I hear you, Stephanie :) It's a dynamic balance, of sorts.

    This is about twice as many pics as usual. Of course, if my blog naturally turns into all-photos-all-the-time, there will be no more warnings ;)


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