Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hiking on Hump Day

Image from http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Bluebird/id
Image from wikipedia
           I forcibly made the boys go hiking today.  For some reason, I don't like fighting with them over schoolwork and I'll relent and not make them do "work" but I often make them go hiking.  Don't ask me why, I have no idea, other than the fact that I enjoy hiking and once the boys get over their initial grumbling they seem to enjoy it too.  We connect with one another too when we don't have any screens or toys distracting us.   I really felt the need to get out of the house and do something active together so hiking it is. 
        We headed to a local hiking trail and set out.  The boys immediately started our question game; "what would you do with 2 million dollars?",  "What is your favorite type of tree?", etc.  We stopped and helped rescue an injured frog from the road just as a ranger truck was nearing us.  The ranger stopped to talk to us and tried to encourage the boys, who were upset that the frog did not look healthy at all.  He had an injured foot and couldn't hop.  We also noticed some blood on the frog's (for lack of better term) shoulder.  While the ranger did tell the boys it was possible the frog wouldn't make it there's always a chance he could.  He also told them that they had found a perfect spot to put him out of harms way of the road and right near lots of water.  The ranger drove away and we continued on our walk.  We saw many people walking their dogs and the boys stopped to pet them all with the OK from the owners.  We saw bluebirds, red- winged black birds (my sister pointed these birds out to me at a zoo a few weeks ago and I just loved them!  Now I'm noticing them everywhere), a white tailed deer and many beautiful plants and flowers.  On our drive home we saw a red fox too.  It was a great nature filled morning.  That's one of my favorite things about hiking; you never know what you'll see!

      We listened to some more of the Magic Tree House series and talked about identifying different types of plants; they all know what a weeping cherry tree looks like now so on the ride home we started pointing to all the lilac bushes we saw.  Once home, my mom came over to visit and the boys all went to play out in the sand making dams and mud puddles (they're also trying to make their own Wipeout obstacle course so perhaps that was what the mud puddle was for).  I called them in for lunch and they watched Pawn Stars while eating. 

      After lunch the younger boys pulled out bins/bowls of water and lots of animals for some water play at the table.  After a bit they all gathered together to play a board game; Sorry Sliders.  By then, my mother had to leave and Ian headed outside by himself to play in the sand while the other boys started cleaning up the animals and water.  They pulled out Beyblades, Lego's and all sorts of other toys. They asked me to read a book called Ants to them while they played. I was about to say no and argue that they couldn't even look at the pictures or really listen while they were playing but I decided it couldn't hurt and I've been thinking I don't read nearly enough anymore so I agreed. By the third page they had stopped playing and gathered around me to listen. It was a pretty informative book and even I learned a lot. Like usual Alec had more questions than the book had answers so we'll have to check out some more books about ants from the library.  
      Ian headed out to go kayaking and saw his cousins arrive home from school.  Next thing I knew all three kids were like whirlwinds trying to clean everything up and then they zoomed out the door eager to find some new playmates.   We watched the geese and goslings crossing the lake, played games and enjoyed the outdoors. 

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