Seven Bridges With Seven Kids

We had a magnificent time in Colorado with the Border’s clan. It is always sweet to be with them. We thought we would find a fun hike but we had some things to consider. We would be hiking with seven children between the ages of three and eighteen (so not even a child actually), we had to aim for something that wasn’t too easy and wasn’t too difficult. We decided on a hike called “Seven Bridges”. We thought we could make it as far as we could and enjoy the water as we went. With three adults tagging along, we let the kiddos lead us on the trail. We made it over four and thought - okay, “one more” but they kept right on all the way to the seventh bridge. They didn’t want to stop for a picnic until we were there. The day was hot and grand. Right at the seventh bridge, we paused and played and splashed and climbed before heading back down the mountain. Rain came and cooled us just at the right time. 

Slow Down In Suches

Our summer adventure wasn’t what we had planned. We were ready to see more of the grand country and weave our way to Washington, but we unexpectedly lost a large part of life in May when George’s father, Jim passed away. Our heavy grief  weigh on us and made it hard to think far and wide. We wanted to stay close and tight. 
Finally, we decided on a plan that took us as far as Colorado to be with George’s sister and her family. We took time at the farm caring for cows and spending time with grandmother before we took some time as a family at our sweet friend’s cabin in Suches, Georgia to slow down and settle in to a much needed rest. 

The power of the pause fell over all of us. We cuddled in the cool, collected gifts from the forest, hiked the creeks, swam the lakes, read books, drew, wrote, napped, and washed in the quiet of the forest. 
As time slowed in the woods, even the sun shining through the trees onto bumpy bark of an old fallen tree drew us in.
William tossed a baseball to h…

A Day On The Colorado River

When sweet friend April says she can take us rafting on the Colorado River, we say, “Yes, please!” 
We weave our way to Golden, nine thousand feet high and take in the scenery and visit and sleep.  Early in the morning I run the roads in the thin air touching the sky. We load up boats and gear galore and pack snacks and water and find bathing suits and shoes and all the things for rafting. White water rafting is a new and curious world to all of us. A world full of waterproof bags, ropes, carabiners, life jackets, first aid packs, air pumps, oars, sunscreen, hats, and patience.
We drive and wind and drive our way to the river. We set out the boats, fill them tight with air and set the gear. There is a rhyme and reason to all the moves, so we watch and learn and help April tediously prepare the boats that we all know will lead to a superb ride. 
The sun beats down and we lather on the sunscreen. We dig for sunglasses and hats and long sleeves while George and April set up the shuttle.…

She Weaves

Her hand holds a pencil, a paint brush, a tool, a piece of grass, leaves, paper, egg shells, fabric, paints, broken pieces of something, beads, string, yarn, branches, mud, earth - anything she can harvest, collect, or gather. She looks around her — watching. She is thinking - thinking of a plan. 
She will strip the tender bark off privet and weave it into a basket. She will take the stringy pieces from a dying palm branch and braid it into long strands of twine. 

She will crush rocks for colors, boil mango skins with onion peels for a certain paint hue. 
She sees color combinations with colors I do not even see. 
She asks questions at the living history ranch -  How do you make the bead designs?” Weeks later, she disappears into her bedroom and returns with pieces of paint brush, scissors, a ruler and an egg collecting basket fashioned into a loom and shows us her bead work. 

She weaves beauty, nature and art into her world. As she grows, her ideas and creations are more intricate, …

Beautifully Broken

Yesterday, I was walking along the beach - Port Saint Joe, Florida. The beach has the perfect sand and the best waves for children and most of the time very little current or undertow to move small kiddos far. But, as I walked, I noticed that it isn’t at all the place for shelling. I’ve always enjoyed collecting shells...
As a child, I wasn’t much into learning about anything other than what we were taught at school, and that, because I had to. Just in case you don’t believe me -

My mom saved some of my school work. Not because it was nice, but just because that is what moms are supposed to do. Recently, I found a box of a few odds and ends from my elementary years. There, in the stack, was a lovely book labeled, “The Five Senses.” I was sure I was going to find beautiful drawings or magazine cut outs and poetic words describing the senses in this most scientific third grade report. I flipped it opened to the first page labeled -  “Hearing”. There they were, two terribly cut out ears…

Googling "How To Rescue Kittens From A Storm Drain"

I drove through the day to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. After dinner, we decided that a walk would keep us from falling asleep at 8:30 and after car time all day, moving was top on my list.

My sister, my niece Emmie, and I strolled through the neighborhood chatting about all things. We had not walked too far when we came upon a lovely lady and her son peering down into a storm drain. We immediately asked if they were okay and if they needed any help.
They quietly explained that twelve year old Josh had discovered four baby cats down in the drain and they were trying to decide how to rescue them. We thought we could help them with this grand rescue.*

We decided that if we managed to remove the grate, Josh could climb down and gather them together and gently pass them towards the light of hope and gentle motherly arms. It took a heave and ho from all five of us to lift off the grate and Josh bravely descended into the dark depths of the storm drain world to retrieve…