I am so excited that Little Nature Creek shared this post today on their Facebook Page! It’s exciting to know that our experience might encourage others to get into the WILD outdoors!!
I can’t believe this was a year ago!! I can’t wait to go back here!
But when I heard I could start at a park, hike through trails and end up at the nature reserve… I decided that didn’t sound too scary!
After hiking through the trails we ended up seeing a red barn with sheep! So naturally we approached them and started speaking sheep- “bass baaa”!
So, the school district owns the nature area and the 90 acres we had just hiked through. The school uses it to host field trips (way cool)! And it’s open…
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Finding a strong giant stick is very important!
They’re useful in so many ways…
1.They help you walk, and they make you feel like a warrior!
2. Large sticks help you practice for battle!
3. Extra long sticks come in handy after you have cleaned up after your dog!
4. Sticks are the perfect tools for exploring lakes and breaking glass…
…and for picking up dead fish!
5. Sticks also help you keep your balance while walking across a balance beam over a frozen lake!
But if you do not happen to have a stick… you freak your mom out wearing just a pair of gloves!
I mentioned that I had taken a break from blogging/ and from becoming a wild family to find peace within the home.
What did I actually mean “finding peace at home”?
Let me explain…
Our family is fluid and ever changing…sometimes these changes are so slow, we hardly notice it is happening. Sometimes, these changes are so obvious that they stare at you all day long, waiting to be acknowledged! The changes in our family was banging on the door!
Since 2005, I have been a parent to young children. Simone was born at the end of April and by the beginning of the following April, Eddie joined us. Within a few years I had 4 young ones, and I have enjoyed mothering young children for the last 11+ years.
My babies were growing up.
I am sad to say that I was yelling at my kids – because we were all resisting change rather than embracing it. The last thing I want to be is yelly-pants! …but no one wanted to work together when we were at home. I felt that when we were home, we were not living in harmony together.
I read the beginning of a fabulous book that changed how I viewed my home and family. (Of course I can’t for the life of me remember the title) Anyway, the book explained that we need to step away from making ~impossible~ worldly goals and focus on one spiritual goal.
My worldly goal thinking: “We’ll be so happy once the house is clean, then we can play a board game and we will be so very happy together!” But then I would get overwhelmed trying to pick up the whole house and I would start yelling for help and everyone would be grumpy and by the time the task is done we all needed a break from each other and that board game never got played. Yea, the house was picked up, but at the expense of family happiness.
So I started a new mental mantra
“I want peace with-in the home. Everything I do should be because of love.”I started with my kitchen. It was (and sometimes still is) the bane of my existence. My kitchen is ancient and small and it gets messy way to quickly and I hated to cook in it. Well, there will never be a different kitchen in my house, so I decided to embrace it with love… and I changed it to work for us better.
I took all the food out of the pantry and… I replaced it with my dishes. Now I can see all my beloved vintage dishes in an organized beautiful way. That in itself made me happy 🙂
Then I put all the food in our awkwardly shaped cabinets. I could seperate and catorgorize food better. The kitchen worked so much better and I began to love it… just a little bit a first, but more and more as time goes on.
Once I loved my kitchen, I began to find happiness in preparing food for my family again. I didn’t mind spending so much time in it. I didn’t mind cleaning it because I knew that it would bring me peace.
Also – I gave the kids more responsibility. After meals, the kids put their own dishes in the dishwasher! Everyone helps clean after the messy cook (yes, that’s me). It took practice but now we do it together talking and laughing and being peaceful about the clean up chore rather than me just barking orders.
I’ve had many conversations with the kids about having a peaceful home. The kids had spent the night at their Grandma and Grandpa’s house and when we went to pick them up, their house was so peaceful and tidy. I explained to the kids that our home should be like that! (Thanks mom and dad for being so amazing and inspirational!)
Large cousin sleep-over with grandparents, yet the house was kept calm and clean!
Undoing old habits take time. It’s not easy to change our thinking but repeating the words peace and love has helped us. Practice is important but forgiveness is essential. Stopping in my tracks of yelling, I would apologize, restate our family goal of having a peaceful home and try again.
Having older children in the home versus young ones is different… and I’m beginning to enjoy the benefits.
The kids, together, can clean the upper floor themselves. This involves two bedrooms and the family room. Any mess up there is their doing, and they are responsible enough to clean it up. That takes a huge burden off of me and they do such a good job!Our living room has changed from big bulky kid-proof furniture to a vintage “just-our style” kind of room. I find peace in it all day long… from yoga by myself (yes by myself!) to sitting and relaxing (yes relaxing!!!) in my chair (that I bought for Josh and then stole!). Even our dining room is peaceful. There is a record player, a lounge chair, school supplies, and a table that beckon to be used. Okay, now I’m just bragging 😉
I needed time to focus on creating peace within the home by helping us adjust to the growing pains! and no more Yelly-Pants!
We even play those board games now 😊
Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been co-leading a boy’s group dubbed The Dangerous Boys.
My partner in crime, Heather, and I decided to start a homeschooler’s boy’s club so our boys could have a group to belong to. We meet twice a month and try to learn things, make things, and have fun together. We find ideas using “The Dangerous Book for Boys”.
A few activities we have enjoyed together: fishing, making paper boats and airplanes, playing sports, building with Legos, preparing snacks, and just having a good time being together!
(The boys like to give me a hard time that I make them follow rules and be safe… which, they say, contradicts our group name! I remind them that riding a bike could be dangerous, but wearing a helmet makes them safe!)
Due to illnesses within families, there were just a few boys at today’s meeting… so we postpone our regularly scheduled meeting (sword making and knife safety!) And went on a winter walk! ❄️
A giant hawk did give us the pleasure of flying RIGHT over our heads! It’s wingspan was a marvel to see up close 😳
The boys had great fun jumping over the creek…
I love Eddie’s surprise about actually making his daredevil jump!
After our walk, we had hot chocolate while listening to a lesson about Tornados (thanks Sheri!) ⛈
I want to say what a joy this group has been! I love working with Heather and the other moms! I love being around such positive boy energy! I love how much my boys appreciate belonging to a club- they ask me all the time when the next meeting is!
Remember- if there is a void, who better to fill it then you?!
I was petrified at first, now I look forward to it!
Stepping out of the comfort zone isn’t easy, but the benifits can be extraordinary!
So… it’s been a while since I’ve posted – like 3 whole months!
I’ve needed time to refocus and time to refresh!
In the time I’ve been gone…
Andre broke his knee, Halloween was fun, the kids participated in a Christmas Ukele program, I learned to make delicious favored kombucha, I also learned to crochet granny squareds, Eli turned 7 and he got glasses, I got new pink glasses and learned how to bake soughdough bread… and I am going back to school to get a certificate in ASL (American Sign Language).
A lot can happen in a short amount of time. But best of all- I took the time to create peace in the home! 🏡
This morning, when I awoke, I felt compelled to get the kids (and myself) back into the wild!
We bundled up first thing this morning and headed to the park. It was cold and windy, but no one seemed to mind 😊
OUR GREAT DISCOVERY WAS… a giant dead fish 🐟!
There were even fish scales scattered around on the ground… the kids had many ideas about what animal had been eating the fish!
I caught the sweetest video Eddie helping Eli climb the excercise bars…
Today I was gently reminded of why I want to become a wild family!
The great outdoors has much to teach us and gives us opportunities that bring us together in love 💜
We started the day off, yesterday, with a cooking craft.
We used mini Halloween cookie cutters to make festive sweet potato fries. We sprinkled brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice on them and put them in the oven for 5 minutes…
My friend that cut their hair taught me all about kombucha tea!
She gave me a scoby so I can make my own!
What is that? You ask!
A scoby is “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” and it ferments the tea.
I brewed 2 gallons of black tea and sweetened it with two cups of raw sugar. After the tea became room temperature I poured it into a glass jar, dropped the scoby into it, and covered it with a cloth.
I was so motivated from preparing the kombucha tea, that I made 10 different lotions!
I heated up some coconut oil with joba oil and avacodo oil. I poured the mixed oil into little canisters and added essential oils. From patchouli to Christmas Spirit to geranium oil… I’ve got plenty of variety!
I did it!
I made my first carpentry project!
Despite only having a picture and a dream to go on…
- It’s sturdy
- It’s made out of repurposed wood
- I did it by myself 😊
Eddie helped me with the final details…
Eddie hit a bullseye on his first throw!! 🎯
We drove an hour and a half for a field trip… And it was worth every mile! (Even with two of my kids getting carsick! 😷)
(Wouldn’t you know- I only got a picture of the back of the house LOL)
We were given a quick tour of the home…
The soap teacher explained in great details and actions how soap used to be made versus how it is made today! She even brought her goats… Since she likes to make soap with goats milk!
It almost goes without saying… This was the kids’ favorite part!
(We now have plans to make a target and start throwing our own knives and hatchets! 🔪)
My personal favorite of the day…when a caterpillar was in Simone’s hair 😍
I went for a night run this evening during my son’s baseball game… And it was fabulous! This was my first time EVER to run at night and I LOVED it! 😍
I tried to catch one, but they are tricky little fellows!
The amazing part is that I was so distracted by the toads sitting in my path and jumping in the grass that I actually enjoyed the run and ran most of the 2 miles!!! This is a new record for me!
After my run- I took Simone and Eli back down part of the path. We walked a mile and half and they caught and released several toads. 🐸
🐸 Eli declared he would like to be a toad-catcher when he grows up…
And I foresee many more night runs during the fall-ball baseball season! ⚾️👟
We were at a lake beach this last weekend with friends 😊 and it was so wonderful to see the kids swim and play in the wild together! 🏖
After the kids were all dried off and in clean clothes, they enjoyed jumping on a very unnatural and unwild toy! The kangaroo jumper…
Last night, at Eddie’s baseball game, Andre and Eli were so excited to catch toads ! They were walking around with them in a bug-catcher, showing them off and telling everyone about them…