Tag Archives: simple things

A Beautiful Day for a Hike

It’s been so warm outside! It’s almost impossible to come up with an excuse to NOT be out there. Last week the four of us went to a nearby park that has a small network of trails. My son LOVES this sort of thing. He loves to lead the way while we follow. My daughter also enjoys being out in the woods, but we’re usually slow to get our act together on the weekends and we didn’t get to the trails until almost lunchtime, which is always followed by a nap for my daughter. So, she was starting to fade and we had to carry her much of the way. (I confess, part of me really looks forward to when we drop that afternoon nap!)

Of course, I had to bring my camera (much to my husband’s dismay, who said “Next time we go hiking, no camera!”) I guess I’m just not smooth enough with it to not let it slow us down. But I know if I hadn’t taken it, I would have been wishing I had. So, it’s always better if I take it along… “just in case”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It wasn’t long after we set off that my daughter asked to be carried. (Why do I always forget to bring that Ergo?) We took turns carrying her, but she got a special treat when Daddy put her on his shoulders.

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Everybody follow while big brother leads the way!

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The hikers share the trails with horses and their riders, so much of the trails are a bit muddy and heavily trodden, with horse “droppings” for us to dodge along the way. It’s not bad, but you do have to watch where you step. Little sister was happier walking in the drier stretches.

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But she still wanted at least a little help getting around some of the muddy spots.

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My son didn’t mind the mud. He was having a blast!

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“Daddy, take a picture of me and D!”

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Hiking around a bend, we came upon a small stream. The kids love to explore streams and big brother’s favorite thing to do is to jump over them.

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“I told you I could jump over it!”

Little D mostly just looked around and watched with curiosity…

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At one point she was mesmerized by a large pile of horse doody on the trail.

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I’m not sure what she spotted overhead, but it must have been interesting!

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A little wooden bench along the trail makes for a nice break and photo-op. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Little D started to lose steam, so it was back up on Daddy’s shoulders!

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When we got back to the parking lot, my son insisted that we sit at a picnic bench to have a snack break before heading home. So, that’s what we did. Then we went home for the rest of lunch and nap time.

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We’re really loving this warm weather. However, whenever Mother Nature feels like sending some snow our way… at least enough to pack a few snowballs or make a small snowman… we’re ready. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Simple Things: Missing Summer

I haven’t blogged in quite a while. I think I just got tired, but I’ve also been missing it. Just needed a little break, I guess. I tend to work that way. I’m very passionate about something for a while until I burn myself out. Then I move on to something else, and eventually find my way back when the time is right.

It’s been a mild winter so far, which I have mixed feelings about. I don’t mind the mild weather, except for the fact that I find the unseasonably warm conditions (a la global warming) unsettling. Despite the light-jacket-weather, I finally took the kids to get snow boots, in anticipation of a heavy snow that we’re bound to get at some point in the coming weeks.

I don’t think I have the winter blues, but I do miss the sights and sounds of summer. I also just upgraded my Photoshop Elements software and bought some textures and brushes from 2 Lil’ Owls Studio today, so I wanted to play with some photos I took back in July. It’s a bit of a cheat for the “Simple Things Sunday” link-up, but I didn’t think anyone would mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Then I did a little more playing with a Florabella action and got this, which I like even more.

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Simple Things Sunday: Trailblazing

Daddy got a new tractor recently and today he went into the woods behind our house (which we don’t often venture into because of the undergrowth and abundance of spiders, ticks, and chiggers) and cleared a walking trail for us! Afterward, three of us took a walk and used clippers to clear some of the smaller branches that were blocking the new path.

Little Buddy was excited to sit on this rocky outcropping and wanted me to take a picture. I took a few of him looking at the camera (saying “cheeese…burg…eeerrrrrrrrr”), but this one is my favorite. Our neighbors have a similar outcropping that they call “Rock Mountain”, so I asked D what he wanted to call this rock. He said “Smile Rock”.

I’m looking forward to adding some fun elements to the trail… maybe some faces on trees, or a log-stump table and chairs. Eventually maybe we’ll put in a rope web between a couple of trees to climb on. So much possibility! I’ll have to revisit my “outdoor play” board on Pinterest to see what else we can do out there. Do you have any ideas? I envision lots of walks and scavenger hunts with the kids back there, now that we can get around a little easier. Thanks, Daddy!

Simple Things Sunday: Temporary Tattoos

Little Buddy LOVES temporary tattoos. Every time we’re at the doctor’s office and he gets to choose something out of the “goodie” cabinet, he goes for the temporary tattoos. We were there the other day and he wanted to apply the tattoo he picked out before we even left the building.

On Friday, after already having one temporary tattoo on his hand, he asked where we had more. (We usually have a few sitting around, from doctor’s visits, holidays, or parties at preschool.) We found a small stash of five or six and he decided to put all of them on. Then he beamed proudly at all of his tattoos, most of which were on is legs. It really is the simple things that make us happy, isn’t it?

Simple Things Sunday: Magical Mushrooms

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I guess we’ve gotten carried away with the summer. We’ve been busy working on a playhouse for our kids, so that’s been taking up a lot of our free time lately. (More on that later.) The garden has also been a bit of a disappointment this year, so I haven’t had much to share in that arena. I made some rookie gardening mistakes that have made keeping up with its maintenance, with two small kids around, pretty hard to do. (More on that later too.)

We’ve gotten a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks. Seems like every afternoon we get a thunderstorm. When the rain is plentiful around here, so are the mushrooms. I actually bought a field guide to mushrooms, but haven’t used it nearly as much as my reptiles/amphibians or spiders/insects field guides. But I do enjoy the sight of the colorful little mushrooms that seem to pop up out of nowhere.

I spotted these three orange mushrooms growing at the base of a tree near our driveway today.

I wanted to get some photos of them, and my son came along. But for some reason he decided to throw rocks at them while I photographed them, eventually breaking one of them. I was pretty disappointed, as I had asked him several times to stop, but he didn’t. So, I let him know I was disappointed, which must have made him feel bad because he insisted on leading me to another group of mushrooms he had found earlier today. He said they were “so tiny and cute” and he was sure I’d like to photograph them just as much.ย  At first I just wanted to put the camera away, but he was persistent, so I followed him and he led me to this amazing little patch of beautiful mushrooms.

How magical are these little mushrooms? I loved photographing them and I couldn’t help imagine myself as a tiny person, creature, or even a smurf, hanging out underneath them. (Seriously, where’s Smurfette?) So, I took about 20 pictures of them, then kissed and hugged my son and thanked him for showing me the special patch of mushrooms he found today… they were much more fun to photograph than the three I started with!

Simple Things Sunday: Sunflower

We’ve had some crazy weather lately… extreme heat and a “derecho”, which I’ve never heard of before. The weather was so strong Friday night that I considered waking the kids and heading to the basement. Though the lights flickered several times, and we lost power for a moment or two, we didn’t lose power long-term. It turns out that many people in our community are without power, so I guess we were lucky.

We did have two casualties in the garden. The two biggest sunflowers that I had growing in the garden were laying flat on the ground Saturday morning. One was open; the other had a head on it but hadn’t bloomed yet. I decided to use the downed open sunflower and get some macro shots. They’re hard to photograph from 6 feet over your head, so might as well seize the opportunity and not let it be a total waste. ๐Ÿ™‚

Notice the ant at the bottom right.

Simple Things Sunday: Second Birthday and Spray Ground

I posted on Thursday afternoon, the day of my daughter’s birthday, because I was eager to participate in Thursday’s Embrace the Camera link-up. However, my post was premature, as the day wasn’t over. Here is DJ testing the icing on her birthday cake that the four of us shared after supper. She was a little hesitant at first and seemed confused by the two candles on the cake and our singing, but eventually dove right in.

Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl!

After dinner a quick shower rolled through and she was having fun watching it through the open door. She even ran out onto the deck for a few moments to play while it rained.

Then she ran back in, looked outside and said “wow! see?”

The next day I took the two of them to a spray ground. DJ was a little nervous about the whole thing, but Mr. D got into it, despite his slow start. Still, neither were running around and getting soaked like the rest of the kids there. It was pretty new for them, though, so perhaps next time they will enjoy it more. I mean, look how fun this is?

Mr. D did finally commandeer this piece of spray equipment. It turned into a series of duels between him and several other kids who took turns sitting on the other spray dome. D had figured out how to plug a few of the holes with his fingers in order to make it spray farther, and he was spraying the kids on the other end while they tried to do the same to him. But their spray dome didn’t work nearly as well. So he was full of devilish giggles. It was funny to watch.

I’m pretty sure their favorite part of the trip to this park was pitching a blanket on the grass and having a snack. DJ even cheered “yay!” when I laid out the blanket. Here’s a sweet photo I got of the two of them enjoying the scenery.

There was a walking/biking trail nearby so after snacks we took a walk. They thought this was so exciting and were happy to lead the way! Don’t they look like they are ready to take on the world together?

We’ll be heading back to this park again very soon… especially if this heat keeps up!