Monday, August 29, 2011

4th of July

Yes, once again in real time it's near the end of August and I'm pretty behind on this blog. Summer has been soooooo busy!  Every year I think it won't be as busy and then it goes by so fast. But we still have almost three weeks left of summer, and I don't want it to be over too soon. I'm gonna do my best to post once a day til I'm caught up.

So, 4th of July. We started the day by going to a parade with the Steve's parents. It was so nice just to walk to a parade instead of driving.

You'd have thought it was Halloween with all the candy they threw out of the cars and floats.

Steve made his BBQ ribs again, which were awesome! It's been four years now that we've hosted 4th of July at our house. I really love doing it, but by the end of the night I feel like I didn't have that much time to talk with anyone.

The kids had a great time. Our next door neighbors came over with their daughter, and the kids made bubbles with a bubble gun my brother brought over for them.

We thought we'd drive to the fireworks this year, but we wound up circling and circling until we gave up and went back home. I don't even know why we attempted to drive anyways; we can see the fireworks great from our front lawn.  It was another beautiful, memorable holiday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hikes & Bikes

July has been a month of hiking a biking. We started off in the beginning of the month with a trip to Mattheissen State Park.  We were headed for Starved Rock, a nearby State Park, but Steve wanted to stop at Mattheissen first. He'd remembered going there with his family as a teen and wanted to see if they still had the same stepping stones across the creek.

We wound of staying there the rest of the afternoon. I'm glad because I think it was more beautiful than Starved Rock. Maybe it was just the section we were in, but I loved the cliffs, the narrow gorges and creeks.

Both kids still ride with training wheels ( I think that's partly our fault for not taking them off and letting them practice more), but they can sure make their bikes fly! It's the first year that it's actually been fun to go bike riding. We can go for longer trips, and both kids do great keeping up.

We took a three mile bike loop ride around the Brookfield Zoo, stopping every once in a while to swing on branches and throw sticks in the water. We also took another longer bike ride in the woods near the Grau Mill in the Fullersburg Woods. Halfway through we stopped at the nature center for some play before riding to the creek and throwing branches in the water.

After the long, hot, sticky afternoon, we came back home to roast some hot, sticky Smores over the fire pit!

Another weekend in July we drove to my sister's house. My mom and I took Alexa and my sister's son for a bike ride around the block and then down to her pond. I'm so glad that even though it's almost the middle of August as I write this, the kids arn't about to go school in a few weeks. We don't have to think of this as the end of summer, but can look forward to at least two more months of great weather to go out and explore more wonderful nature areas near our home. I love our unschooled life!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wet & Wild Summer Fun

It's been a fun, fun summer this year. We've been out a lot more than last summer;  I think that's because it's been a lot hotter this summer than last. There's been hose play, pool play, and fill up bowls and dump them out play.

Our area has been hit pretty hard with storms this summer. We've been very blessed not to lose power for more than five minutes at a time. We've had a lot of big branches come down but none that have caused any damage. We've flooded once, which is a big pain as we've had to totally disinfect the entire basement floor. During one rain, Steve went out with the kids to float boats near the curb.

There's also been lots of crazy, silly fun, too.

This is their "little old lady" look.

They like to pile every blanket and pillow in the house to make a "roller coaster."

Jared LOVES to tie things up, even himself!