Monday, October 12, 2015

Hiking with small children

:: Hiking with small children:: 

A walk in the woods or up the side of a mountain is one of my favorite things to do out of doors. When my husband and I were dating we would frequently take walks in some of our favorite parks. We have hiked in state and national parks in eight different states. Our dream is to hike part if not all of the Appalachian Trial some day. We have even boated out to the Cumberland National Seashore/Island in Georgia with friends and hiked trails there. 

I cannot really explain what it is about being in the woods that makes us so at peace. I think it might be the removal of the modern world and its distractions that help us clear our minds and hearts. That in turn helps refresh our souls and we are able to go about our week with focus. It is a bit like the beauty of the Mass and it holds a sacred place in my heart. The untouched and unspoiled splendor of something celebrated by mankind for centuries. It is two of my most peaceful times. An added bonus is that I am not going alone. I get to take my family with me and we can experience this together. We always meet people who are astonished that we hike with small children and babies. They call us brave but I know they probably think we are a bit crazy with two young children and a now toddler. But the truth is that we were doing it when our youngest was just about 4 months old and even before then. Our oldest hiked a 2 mile trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains with us when she was 2 and half years old. They would be slipped into the carrier and off we would go. Walking is not a requirement with our family. Sometimes a child needs to be carried or we need to slow down even stop to let others catch up. It isn't really about the destination but about the journey itself. We know our limits and safety is always in my mind but mostly I let it all go. The children can run, jump, and explore without any rules. (Okay, a few rules because I am a cautious mama). We pack a backpack of water, first aid, food, and a fully charged cell phone. And into the woods we go. 

There are so many lessons that are learned while hiking. The natural world is a great tool for learning and it is formed a deep appreciation what is provided to us and how we should be good stewards of the earth. The greatest lesson we have learned is to cherish time together as a family without distraction. They are memories that are priceless. 

Anybody know what this is? We didn't touch...just in case....

Sunday, October 11, 2015


:: Weekending ::

: Friday night dinner (not pizza for a change) and instead having a new recipe of veggie-packed meatloaf. The children were successfully tricked into eating some new veggies and nuts! 

: catching up on some quiet time of just being with my husband and chatting about the big changes taking place next month

: early start on Saturday morning with ballet classes and breakfast at my parent's house

: afternoon visit with my grandmother 

: late afternoon and early evening at home watching Notre Dame play Navy. Go Navy! 

: working on homeschooling lessons and planning out the week while husband watched some college football

: Sunday morning Mass and fellowship afterwards while my oldest had Sunday school

: meeting a young family at church. The husband is from the African nation of Togo. A great experience meeting new people from different parts of the world. 

: lots of cooking- 2 loaves of bread, apple & pear crisp, and roasted potato leek soup

: quiet evening at home with the family 

Joining Karen of Pumpkin Sunrise