Summer Adventures

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share experiences that I have with my family. I want families to see that EVERYTHING we do has an impact on our literacy lives. From the time my kids were very young I’ve tried to encourage them to try new activities. They helped me in the garden, made dinner with me, and helped with pets. As my kids have grown, so have their interests.

I’ve had to move out of my comfort zone of my yard and kitchen, and into the great outdoors a bit more. This summer, my kids are 14 and 10 and they have already kept me busy.
School got out early this year, because we had zero snow days to make up. Fortunately for us, the Summer weather started early too! It’s a running joke around the Pacific Northwest that Summer doesn’t start until July 5th. Well, this year it’s been in full force since May and we’ve been enjoying every minute of it!

The garden and berry farms were our first calling.

We try to get our yard and garden in shape before the 4th of July, since we usually have some friends and family over for a picnic.

Due to our early Summer, I almost missed berry season!  The strawberries and raspberries came early this year so we didn’t have as much time to make jam and freeze berries as usual.  If you have young kids at home, please check out this post on homegrown berries and and some of my favorite berry books.

We’ve been living at the beach lately.  I can honestly say that I don’t have any books at home about playing at the lake, but I do believe that they will be able to draw on those experiences as they read and write later on. Paddleboarding was a new experience for the kids this summer.

We’ve all been enjoying a few short hikes around the area, including our furry friend, Cooper.  Even better than enjoying experiences with the family, is seeing my kids working together without trying to kill each other.  When we went to Wallace Falls, the kids wanted to hike down to the waterfall.  We could see them but didn’t want to hike over the rocks.  I loved watching my oldest help his sister over the hard parts.  Trust me, that doesn’t happen too often!

We’ve been able to take one vacation so far to Sunriver, Oregon.  The sunsets on our evening bike rides were amazing.  Even the kids stopped to admire the colors in the sky.  They quickly moved on, while I snapped a few pictures.

During our vacation I was reading Connecting Animals and Children in Early Childhood.  It was very fitting, considering the number of deer we spotted!

 One of my absolute favorite adventures of our vacation was visiting the Obsidian Lava Flow.  Holy moly, was that place amazing.  I readily admit that I am a rock-nerd.  I’ve collected them for years and my daughter has taken to this hoading collecting too.  The national park we visited had the most unimaginable amount of obsidian and pumice that you could ever picture seeing in one place.  Because it was a National Park, we weren’t able to take any rocks with us, but I did find some at a local rock shop later on.
The view from the trail wasn’t too shabby either.

Ok, I said that hiking through the rock trails was one of my favorite adventures, but I haven’t told you about the RIVER RAFTING yet.  Talk about an adventure!!! I loved every minute of it.  My kids are both pretty adventurous so this was a great experience for them.  My son tends to be a pretty good writer, when he actually puts effort into it.  I’m excited at the thought of him describing this adventure in writing.  Hopefully, he will have some sort of writing assignment when school starts up and will be able to draw on his experience.  (Sadly, 14 year old boys don’t spend much of their free time writing, even with mommy’s encouragement.  The extent of his writing over the summer usually consists of Instagram posts saying, “Cool Pic!”)

Summer has barely started and we have already had so many adventures!  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Summer brings.
Happy exploring!

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