Thursday, July 24, 2014

July's Joyful Moments (Part I)

All three of my children are spending a week with their grandparents. Camille and Ayla are with my in-laws and Sylvia is with my parents. Next month they will swap and have a week with the opposite set of grandparents. This is something that I did as a youngster as well and it was a lovely time to bond with my Grandma and Grandpa. As a full-time mama that hasn't spent more than one night away from all of my girls at the same time, it's a little hard to see them go, but I know that they really enjoy this time each year and I'm sure they're having loads of fun, going to the zoo, fishing, etc.

I am finding a balance of enjoying my quiet time and getting some stuff done. Yesterday I did yoga in the morning, went blueberry picking with a friend and her kiddos, hiked around Castle Rock by myself, baked a peach-cherry-ginger crisp, and sorted through some of the clutter in my living room. Today I relaxed, spent some time in the garden, and now I'd like to sort through the month's photos and catch up on the blog a bit. So, here goes!

 picnicking by the Wisconsin River

 beginning an epic day hike into Parfrey's Glen

 hiking in and playing by the creek 

fern spores


 hiking into the gorge and searching for fairies

playing with my camera's aperture setting on the cascades

 ferns with spiders

 a restful moment

 a helpful sister

 li'l toad

 portrait by a fellow hiker 
(We had the exact same camera and swapped each other a mini-photo shoot!)

 I like the way that having the kids in the picture gives it a sense of scale.

  sweet (tired) sisters hiking out

the sight of a playful deer to end our day

Aaaaaaah (long, satisfied sigh), that hike was pure bliss!

For me, taking kids on an adventurous day hike (without melt-downs) is all about preparation. Knowing which types of poisonous plants (or animals) to look out for, carrying plenty of water and snacks and supplies, letting each person hike at a pace that is sustainable for them . . . these considerations can make or break an outing for us. Oftentimes during our hike at Parfrey's Glen, one or more child would hike ahead or stay back and take a break. We just stayed within ear shot (for the older girls) and kept a buddy along if going ahead out of sight for awhile. This doesn't mean there'll never be a meltdown, but it makes it less likely especially if the kids have a wide range of ages and stamina. Never underestimate the power of a pair of dry socks or a bag of sweet cherries to avert a potential freak out situation.

Being in nature and opening our senses to the natural world is so centering and grounding and awe-inspiring. I love to be able to share this with my kiddos!

1 comment:

  1. Your tips remind me so much of the things I posted about our trip to the zoo. :) I wish Wisconsin wasn't quite so far away! :) Everything looks so beautiful and the picture of all of you is lovely.


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