Our family spends a lot of time outside. There are many reasons for this:
- The kids are loud because they are kids but we live in a duplex. If they're loud outside, I feel less guilty and self-conscious.
- If we're outside, then the house isn't getting trashed. This is also a big reason for having at least one meal a day eaten in the yard. Picnics are my friend. They should be your friend too! No sweeping required!
- Being outside has inspired many new catch phrases such as "berry-toes" and "after later". These can be used in such a fashion: "After later, you may take off your shoes and go berry-toes." So being outside inspires creativity. Bonus points!
- Being outside burns off energy, which means Mommy has hopes of nap time.
- Being outside is educational, which is a check mark for homeschooling. Look! A beetle! That's an insect. And over there, your tomato plant is putting out new shoots. And yes, the law of gravity says that if you throw dirt up in the air, it will come back down and get in your brother's eyes.
- Being outside is social--neighbors and other kids to play with!
- Everyone's happier outside. It's just the truth.
I've shown you pictures of the swing. Here's another one...because the twins slay me with their cuteness and I wish they would stop growing already. I also wish Bruiser's hair would miraculously stop growing because I'm starting to lose him under there and he still won't let me near him with the scissors.
And here's one of the Man teaching Tiny how to ride his bike without training wheels. Also included, Trigger's ear, because when one is taking cell phone pictures in bright sunlight, one can't really see what one is doing.
But what I really wanted to tell you about was our discovery of a new favorite. Each of the places we've lived, we've found a place to go that feeds our need for beauty. In DC, it was a walking trail down by the Potomac (back when it was only Littles in the stroller). In Oklahoma, we would go for turtle hunts along the creek. In California, there were long hours on the beach watching for dolphins.
This is (I think) our new place: lily pads and bright yellow water lilies, turtles piling up on half-submerged tree branches, water birds, and the bright orange flash of a koi. We brought lunch down and ate quickly before going exploring (by which I mean Bruiser couldn't be bothered to eat and had to have second lunch when we got home). We did our best to avoid the taller grasses because we'd heard rumors of water moccasins and didn't care to find out if they were more than rumors.
We had a great time exploring a new place, and I'm sure we'll be back. Probably for another picnic lunch because guess what I didn't have to do that day? That's right: sweep. Sweeping is the worst.
But that's not the point of this post (although, I am kind of writing this by the seat of my pants) . The point of this post is to just get outside. Explore a little--even if it's only your own back yard. Let some more sunshine and fresh air and green into your life. Pick a wildflower and put it in your hair--but only one wildflower because you know it won't last once you've picked it. Throw some rocks into a body of water and listen to that ever satisfying "plooooop" when they strike the surface.
Keep your eyes open and look for beauty. If you're like me, you may have brought it with you in the car. Incidentally, the "beauty" on the far right looks like he's just about ready for a nap...