Monday, September 26, 2016

Camping in the Sierras

This weekend we had a wonderful camping trip at Soquel Campground in the Sierra National Forest just south of Yosemite.  This is my new favorite campground - so beautiful!  Our camp site was right on the creek surrounded by huge trees.  On Saturday we drove down the road to hike the Shadow of the Giants trial, but otherwise relaxed at the campground playing in the creek.  Before we left on Sunday we took a drive around the area and spotted some crazy granite faces, similar to Yosemite.  I didn't want to leave.  We'll be coming back for sure!
On our way there...we stopped at the San Luis reservoir
We're here!
The view from the back of the trailer
view up the creek, this is about 10 feet away from the trailer
I love the trees!  At Shadow of the Giants trail
She is so little next to this giant!
Fresno Dome in the distance

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend Adventures: 4-H and Kayaking

This last weekend was 4-H Saturday for Kyla.  She is in 3 different projects for her 4-H club and they all meet once a month on the same Saturday: Spinning, Crocheting, and Rabbits.  After ballet and the farmers market, she and I had fun hanging out at the 4-H barn for her projects.  Since they are short on adult leaders, I am now the assistant project leader for fiber arts and rabbits!

While Kyla and I were gone most of the day, Zac and Keanan went on a kayak adventure.  They paddled along a slough up north and even went under highway 101!
After church on Sunday Zac and the kids helped some friends move while I had the afternoon off for "teacher inservice".  Next weekend: camping!
the kids were great helpers!

Monday, September 12, 2016

An official start to the school year

Technically we do school year round, so there isn't much of an "end" or "beginning" for us.  But today kind of marks the start of the 2016-17 school year because it was picture day!  We homeschool under The King's Academy, a private Jr./Sr. High school near our house.  One of the perks is picture day with official Kings Academy ID cards for the kids.
Speaking of school, we had a hard week last week.  Call it the homeschool rut, call it burnout, whatever you call it - we all had it.  Friday was a throw-my-hands-in-the-air-I'm-done kind of day, compete with tears (from all 3 of us) and an email to a local charter school.  The principal of the charter school replayed promptly letting me know that yes, there were spots open for both my kids.  This sent me into a bit of a panic.  It didn't help that Zac couldn't get home till late (like 1am) so we couldn't talk about it all.  After prayers from friends, a good chat with a seasoned homeschool mom, and finally getting to talk it out with Zac, we decided to just calm down a bit.  Less structure, more play (research showing this is the best thing for our age group anyway), and a relaxing deep breath - we carry on.

Sunday was spent doing some one-on-one kid dates after church, playing games, building Legos, and having some family chats.  Real life is hard work.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day Weekend: Camping, Caving, River Rafting!

We had a great long weekend camping with our friends, the Salterali's at Don Pedro Reservoir.  The campground wasn't anything special, but the kids had lots of fun running around.  They even spotted a baby rattlesnake (which Zac killed) and a tarantula!  On the last night there the three boys got to sleep in our little tent by themselves (a first for Keanan!).  Our A Frame trailer did great - I love it more and more as we use it.
playing at the campground 
Phin and Keanan battling with camping chairs on their heads.  8 year old boys are so weird
baby rattlesnake
the boys, all excited to sleep in the tent
About an hour north of the campground we spent the afternoon at natural bridge - a cave with a river flowing through it.  The cave is so big that you can actually swim through it!  All the boys and dad's made it through, and I did too!  It was SO cold in the cave, but warm out of it.
Natural bridge was a popular place
one end of the cave
Our main goal of the weekend was to go river rafting on the Stanislaus river.  It was so fun!  We all got soaking wet, paddled a lot, road the "rapids" (it was really tame), some of the brave ones jumped off a ledge into the river, Zac pushed me off the raft into the river (yep - the kids thought it was hilarious!), we stopped in the middle of the river to have lunch...great times!  Unfortunately, we have no pictures.  Water and cell phones don't mix.   Great Labor Day Weekend!
on the way home
A bonus from earlier this week: Kyla got her 4H hat and first year bar and pin!