The wisest advice I have ever been given is "the only thing that is constant is change." As I travel down this road of life, I am constantly challenged to be flexible and fluid in an everchanging world. When my older kids were younger I remember finally getting into a groove with naps etc. then one would teethe or drop a nap just to start all over again in a new routine. Does it ever end? Nope, I think not... Someday I will learn to go with the flow instead of fight kicking and screaming!
So when I told everyone I knew "Oh! I am going to school year round, la ti dah!" I knew there would be a bump in the road somewhere. My intentions were good, it is too hot to do anything so I might as well do school with the kids, we don't want to loose momentum...yada yada yada but as my kids grow, the more their opinion gets in the way. Ha ha! Everyday we started school it was like an uphill battle so I waved the white flag and took a break. It was good, healing and oh so needed! School started again this week and I can see the difference in my kids. They are ready and eager to learn and we have all had a blast.
But last week we needed to fit in a much overdue field trip to a river. I had been planning, plotting and gathering information about places to go around the area. You know, research research research but no action? Yep, that was me. So last Thursday morning, the weather was perfect and we loaded up. We wanted to get this field trip done because we had been reading Higgin's Bend Song and Dance which took place on a river about a month and a half ago and if we waited any longer, the river would be freezing and we wanted to play and explore. We have some dear friends who live in the Raleigh Durham area that have been to Few's Ford on the Eno River and loved it so that was enough for me. To the river we went!
Food is necessary so we stopped to eat our picnic first before hiking. Little bit of silliness to get out before we set off on our hike.
Food was consumed and we were off. Glad he has the map... Right?
Totally forgot to take a big picture of the whole river. We just kind of flew in like we had never seen a big shallow river before! The kids were so excited and I was worried that I was going to loose a toddler to a fast current so my mind kind of left me for a moment! So you get what you get and you don't fuss a bit. ;)
As you see, we weren't the only ones there but they quickly left and we basically had the place to ourself!
Jake doesn't take it easy. At.all. So I was a bit stressed that he was going to fall and hit a rock but he quickly felt comfortable to walk over the slippery rocks with ease.
The thing I love about being outside is that the kids can be physically active and use all of their senses. Really, it is the easiest gig to parenting as they are occupied and happy. You notice from this blog how often we are at parks etc, and it is really just a cover up. My kids are happy here so I am happy here. No yelling, breaking up fights, he said she said mess. They just get along and enjoy nature! Boom. Perfect.
Little Mister getting his run on... He became more confident and giddy!
Thankful for these grippy water shoes!
Kids checking out bugs and plant life.
The boys found some amazing butterflies that were all hanging out in this one area.
Can I have this as my backyard please?
So glad Kylie really doesn't have a beard!
End perfect moment when kids have to go to the bathroom and there are none around, toddler jumps in a huge deep area and soaks himself and when first child who has to go to the bathroom needs to find the closest bathroom LIKE NOW! you make your way up the trail to the car with soaking children who really don't want to leave the river coolness.
Regroup with lollipops.
Potty breaks taken and a new trail is found. Kids venturing in the right direction to find the coolest bridge!
Mother's fear and trepidation return when bridge is extremely wobbly and wild and crazy toddler wants to exert his independence. We move forward with my hand tightly wrapped around Jake's wrist.
Very high and very swingy!
After a lot of jumping and squealing and "really I think you guys need to stop that!" we made it to the other side. Why is it that we see the warning signs AFTER we make it to our destination? Happens every time.
The kids go off to check out the cool rock while my heart palpitations simmer down only to have them start right back up again!
Luke screams SNAKE!
That guy scooted quickly away but we all were pretty excited. So much so Kylie slipped on the rock and slammed right down on her hind end.
We posed for a few more pics but gently made our way back to the car.
Kylie at this point was putting on such a good front but two seconds later said, "Mom, I think I broke my butt."
I really thought I was going to have to carry her up the hill to the parking lot but she was brave and strong and slowly made it up the trail.
My boys are enthralled with bugs. We took a class at the Piedmont Environmental Center near where we live and now they think they know it all. If any locals are reading this, check out their classes as they are awesome and cheap! But since Kylie had some confidence, she picked up this nice creature. It is called a Cherry Centipede and it really is kinda cool once you get past the whole lotta legs part. When it is scared it puts off a scent that smells exactly like Cherries. Seriously!
Shiver. You still won't see me pick up one of these.
Jake trying to catch one... But really I had to put this picture on here to show Jake's tattoo that Kylie made. Notice his back... Sigh... what am I going to do with that girl?
Kylie forgot all about her pain and they enjoyed just chasing bugs and getting dirty. I let them. Part of homeschooling for me is allowing them to take their time and learn without me rushing them to the next thing. It takes a lot of patience on my part, and I am learning but the payoff is huge for them. I see it daily in the little things.