On Not Staying Clean

September 9, 2011 at 5:29 am (Out in Nature, Play Time)

It doesn’t bother me if my kids get dirty.  I don’t even try to “save” clothes with spot treatments and stain removers.  I just buy cheap clothes.

Childhood is too short to permeate it with warnings of staying clean and instructions to get up off the ground so you don’t ruin your clothes.

Get dirty.  Play on the ground.  Roll on the floor.  Skate in your socks.  Jump in the puddles.

Elia, JJ and I went on a walk by the creek the other day, and while there was a path, of course my kids did not stay on it.  There was certainly more adventure to be had in the creek and across the other side.

Oh well.  If there’s a time for this kind of thing, it’s childhood, right?  You’ll notice there are no pictures of my own muddy feet & clothes.  Once we exit childhood, we grown-ups seem to want to stay out of the mud.  Not just because our clothes are more expensive.  We get old; we prefer the path.

So if my kids want to go off the provided, structured path, I’m OK with that.  And if that means getting coated in mud, so be it.  Clothes are replaceable, childhood is not.

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Summer Activities

August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm (Just Photos, Out in Nature, Play Time)

I have pictures.

I occasionally like to do posts in which I share a bunch of photos of the things we’ve been up to and catch everyone up on our recent activities.  Well, we’ve had a busy summer, and this is one of those posts.

First, swimming, lots of swimming.

When we see a huge mound of dirt, we go play on it.

Here, Elia is grinding wheat with a stone:

John enjoys taking the kids fly fishing, and he lets them do as much of the reeling, netting, and releasing (always catch and release) as possible.  My husband is absolutely in his element on a river, and the kids are getting to be pros already.  JJ got out there to net one and haul it in on his own.

JJ had a birthday last month.  He requested “a playable Angry Birds cake.” He wanted a working sling shot, small cake-birds sized accordingly to said slingshot, cake blocks loosely constructed in a tower formation atop a cake base with green frosting grass, with cake-pigs perched strategically throughout the structure that would fall when he launched the cake-birds at them.  I told him I couldn’t do that.

He told me I should go to cake decorating school.

For lack of time to graduate cake decorating school before his birthday, we settled on an alternative plan.  Elia helped me make chocolate cake and 4 different colors of frosting, and the result after 2 days of creation and construction was a passable substitute for a playable Angry Birds cake.

And our latest venture: canoeing for crawfish.  John gets the credit for planning these happy outings:

We release them into our neighborhood pond so we can come find them again and say hi.

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Up With the Birds

May 13, 2011 at 5:06 am (General, Out in Nature)

Every morning I get up at 5:00 am to work.  It’s always dark when I start, but as we move into springtime the sun has been making its appearance earlier and earlier.  The gradually glowing sky is accompanied by the sounds of birds, and not too long after, I see them outside my window.  For some reason, these tiny, brightly spotted birds are drawn to our wall out front.  They hop along and play in the rose bushes underneath.  They fluff their feathers and wrestle with other tiny birds.  Their colorful movements catch my attention, and it’s all I can do not to stop and watch the show.

It’s been a long, rainy winter, and I miss seeing some wildlife around the neighborhood. Except for dogs on leashes and wandering cats, the only winter animals I typically glimpse out my window are dots of migrating geese overhead and miscellaneous crane flies hovering outside.

I love the livelihood of the oh-so-tiny birds’ springtime presence; so full of playful energy. These birds make my day.

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Springtime Snow

April 29, 2011 at 4:13 am (Just Photos, Out in Nature)

These pictures were taken several weeks ago, but I never posted them, and forgot I even had them until just now!  I just loved the kids’ joyous reaction to this sudden downpour of snow we had (back in March; sorry for the delay).  It doesn’t snow very much in Oregon, so we enjoy it while it lasts.

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Al Rescate

December 21, 2010 at 6:48 am (Just Photos, Out in Nature)

Animal Rescuer JJ saving a salamander from being squished on the road.  We stopped the car in the middle of the street, got out, and left the doors open as we walked back to scoop up the soft-bodied amphibian.  Traffic was going to have to wait for us.

I suggested that we fling it into the field, as far away from the road as possible, but JJ insisted on placing it down gently and letting it walk off his hand into the grass. Another “animal in trouble” saved from the perils of the suburban neighborhood street.


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