Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Soak up the Sunshine!

Did I say this was going to be a weekly blog? I guess it's becoming more like a monthly blog...w/ lots to pack in each time. The more we do, the less time I have to blog, but the more I want to blog about!
We've been on lots of outdoor adventures! Hikes, playgrounds, boating, birdwatching etc... Spring is just so much fun!

A few weeks ago we went to Stanley park for the day. We met my mom and sisters there for a relaxing picnic and some time on the playground. It's a great playground and they have a huge shaded sand box which the boys loved! It was so cute to see my niece Madi running all over the place! She is such a little nut! Not an easy child to capture pictures of. She moves way too fast! She's so cute I just kept trying though.

After my family left the park, the kids and I went on a little hike through the woods behind the playground. It was beautiful. The rhododendrons were in full bloom and some of the azaleas were still in bloom too. We were even lucky enough to see some lady slippers!! On all of our hikes we have been keeping our eyes open for rare woodland plants. We saw some trillium in the state forest and now we saw lady slippers too! We're keeping our eyes peeled for jack-in-the-pulpits too. We also passed by an area where there had been a forest fire. It was such a great opportunity to discuss fire safety and explain the process of a forest fire and how the forest recovers. Just another example that "school happens" wherever we are. There are always opportunities to learn.

Since everyone did so well on our walk at Stanley park we decided to join Amira and Hannah for a hike at the Audubon society center. We purchased a family membership so we can go back any time! It was so awesome. We took a short hike and passed a beautiful pond. We came a cross a stump of a tree that a beaver had chewed down. The boys were particularly interested in the teeth marks of the tree. Hannah and Isabella picked beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and despite our somewhat noisy bunch trouncing through the woods, we even saw some birds! I can't wait to go back! We have a bird guide book and will be marking down all of the varieties we see on all of our outings, or here at home.

The children had a fun boating adventure on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We are blessed to have very hospitable friends who live right on the lake and Bella, Isaac and Ian got to take a boat ride with some of their friends and their daddy. They cruised around the lake (I think they even got turns driving!) and they came across a huge bass floating dead in the water. They couldn't figure out how it had died but they sure were excited about the catch either way lol! It turned out to be over 7 lbs! Isaac has enjoyed retelling the story to anyone who will listen. We also got to see a family of ducks. They were so cute!

We were super blessed to have Auntie Kimmy come and stay with us for a night! It was so nice to have her here for a visit. She came to a t-ball game and helped us with school the next day and just hung out. It is nice to have visits where the only purpose is to visit and be together, no plans or schedules, just time together. She helped us make clay planets to go along w/ our brief lesson about outerspace that went with our memory verse for the week, He counts the stars and he names each one. Psalm 147:4.

Suddenly, the weather turned atrociously hot!! I don't think I have ever enjoyed a heat wave so much in my life! I am still so glad it's not winter that every bead of sweat was a droplet of joy! I will take 95 and humid over winter any day! (well maybe not at Christmas, that would just be weird). The first day of the heatwave we were visiting my mom and we got together with Jen, Lindsey, Jackie, and all of our 9 kids!! Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day. Later we went to our cousin Angelique's birthday party. It was a really hot day to be outside, especially since we aren't used to this weather but no one seemed to mind.
When we came home we set up the pool! Unfortunately we don't' have much in the way of grass, it's mostly pine needles and dirt where the kids play so the pool is going to get very dirty very fast but we'll see how it works out...I don't think the kids care either way. They've been in it everyday (taking care to wash their feet in a bucket first). I have enjoyed sitting close by and reading or gardening while they play. I feel so spoiled now that i don't have any toddlers to chase or hold by the pool.

On Monday we got to go the home opener for our local collegiate baseball team, the Dukes. They have a great old park right near our house. We were blessed with free tickets and the kids had some money from their papa for snacks and drinks. Despite the sun beating directly in our faces for the first few innings we had a blast! Ian was happier than a pig in mud sitting on the bench w/ his popcorn and vitamin water. Isaac couldn't take his eyes off the game. He's been practicing his pitching ever since (w/ great form I might add). Isabella was also very into the game and had lots of questions about rules and the process of the game.

Now , after a lovely and relaxing trip to mom's yesterday (and a sunburn for me) we are going to lay low and finish school!!! Bella's last official day will be Tuesday and then she will turn 7 on Wednesday!!!!! We are winding down the year w/ a unit study of Charlotte's Web, finishing up our last spelling unit and math unit too. We've been doing some neat crafts to go along with our unit. On Tuesday Isabella made a spider web out of spaghetti glue and glitter. We also made web pictures by rolling balls over a blob of paint. We made spiders last week too. We'll continue to do some fun stuff through the summer but on a pretty laid back schedule. I'll keep you all posted anyway...


Gishtu said...

aww cute pictures
and nice blog, save that "droplet of joy" comment. You are sick. Hee hee.

That pic of you and Ian at the park is so cute!

Jenn Y said...

I love that I can just stop by here and see how you all are! Happy birthday to Bella and hope to see you all sometime this summer!