Wednesday, August 20, 2014
We spent a beautiful evening with cousins playing in the Boise river. It was neat to see how a shallow river can entertain so many different ages (from two to forty something). There's digging in the sand, throwing rocks in the water, tubing, catching small fish, reading, visiting, swimming and relaxing. A river is a good thing and a river with cousins--even better.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Throughout the summer as people would share with me their vacation plans--plans to Europe, Disney Land, New York, Alaska etc. I'd think to myself, "Well be lucky if we make it to Idaho." Time, money and two two year olds factor greatly into our lack of vacations, or at least the scale of our vacations lately. However, I learned once again this past week that you don't have to finance an exotic trip, or even go very far to experience beautiful sights and wonderful new places.
So, we went to Idaho. We had some family we wanted to visit up there and were so pleased to find some really incredible examples of nature between Ogden and Boise. Just about halfway we stopped to camp at this amazing place called City of Rocks. As we drove into the "city" we felt like we were transported into a Lord of the Rings movie. Huge mountain like boulders came jutting up out of otherwise fairly flat ground. It's a hub for rock climbers and it's obvious why. There are so many places to climb both for serious climbers and for the amateur rock scrambler. Oliver was on could nine. Our camping spot had the most breathtaking view--it was truly magical. There were little nooks and crannies where the big kids liked to sit and draw. There were tall sloping rocks where the kids could feel like they were on top of the world. And there were flat rocks to sit and marvel at the beauty of the world. We were indeed lucky to make it to Idaho. I can't wait to go back.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
A friend told us about free kids day at the Weber County Fair last week. Free is good. It was enough motivation to get us all in the car after a day of working and playing hard. Although initally hesitant to embark on an adventure, Nate later thanked me for organizing us--It's good for the kids to see new things he commented.
Farm life, large animals, different sounds and smells--they certainly are new to our children. I'm never so aware of the "city life" that we live until I get the kids out among country things. Apparent from the pictures of Oliver holding his shirt over his nose (I didn't even notice this until I was looking through the pictures at home) Oliver is sensitive to farm smells. And a picture I didn't seem to capture is one of Beatrice holding her ears and turning her head as far into the stroller as it would get. She was terrified of almost every animal there.
Oh these babies of mine. I've never had such easy to scare children. For a month now Beatrice has repeated the phrase, "All done fireworks." She's not a fan. Though her most recent fear, aside from farm animals, is the dentist chair. Many times a day we hear, "James dopp it look at teeth, scary chair up and down."
No, it's not just livestock that is new to us. I guess I should take heart in the fact that farm life is different, and sometimes a bit scary for us city folk. But it's worth getting a taste (and smell) of every now and then.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The last hike of the season this year was on Friday. We went to the second bridge of Waterfall canyon--only about half way to the waterfall, but far enough for our group of littles. This hike is our most challenging one on the agenda so it's typically saved for the end in hopes that our leg muscles and our mental preparation have been stretched and exercised throughout the summer. Despite being more seasoned hikers, there were still some stragglers, some complaints of leg pain or sore feet, but we made it up in pretty good time and I've no doubt that some of our hikers would have been happy to continue all the way to the waterfall. Maybe we should shoot for that next year.
The view was beautiful and it reminded me of how lucky we are to live in such a great city with such close access to mountains and trails and nature.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
This has been a busy summer for us in terms of comings and goings to and from our home. We've had four different sets of guests since July (our house has never been so clean in the middle of summer). And we've said goodbye to our three older children for overnight camps this year. I know some parents are hesitant to send their children off to overnight activities. We don't ourselves participate in many friend "sleepovers." But as my kids get older and show interest in these days and nights away from home, I'm coming around to the idea that it's OK for them to try new things and have adventures of their own. Along with some independence from home and family comes great possibility for growth. In some cases there is attention paid to a child where otherwise their wouldn't be (note Louisa's beautifully braided hair). Oh how she was spoiled by her aunts and loved every bit of it! And at other times, the child may be required to be a bit more independent and responsible than at home with a mom reminding him of every last little thing.
Sure I miss them. Sure I worry about them. But I know these opportunities are invaluable to them. In a large family of seven it's sometimes hard to do anything alone. It's sometimes hard to feel special. It's sometimes hard to have a unique experience--a memory, a moment just your own. Oh, I hold tight to those memories and moments we all share as a family--everyone together. But for one week Oliver had his very own Scout Camp, Louisa spent time with cousins away for a week at Farm Camp, and Byrdie shared a tent with a good friend at Nature Camp. Oh the adventures they had. The stories they brought home are still, even now being swapped with each other, but the memories are all their own.
Friday, August 8, 2014
It was just like old times. He was down in the basement in a flash, pulling out the blankets and hollering for people to play "Evil Kitty."
And then just as quickly as they came, they were gone. I think we set the record for the most amount of goodbyes in a day.
If something left an impression on you this week feel free to share it here.