Goodbye May, Hello June

May is over, June is here. Summer, at last. We are slowing down, trying to sort our thoughts, calm our minds and let our bodies truly rest.

We still had some activities going and there are some ahead of us yet, but it’s nice to know that we can take a step back if it gets unbearable. I was re-evaluating our school year and decided to scale back on activities. Kids loved what they did, I loved watching them try hard and excel, but on the other hand, their schedule took over our life and affected my health. Clocking in 200 miles per week in activities driving alone was difficult for me and I was sick a lot. I also want to have more slow afternoons, more unstructured play time for kids and especially more chances to get out and be in nature. So next year I will lighten up our schedule and combine kids’ activities where I can. I must admit, I do feel guilty about cutting things, but I believe ultimately it will all be for the best.

This past week brought great joy for us– we finally went for a hike (we haven’t been on a proper one since October). Just breathing in all the fresh air, getting our faces washed by gentle spring rain, oh it was a blessing indeed.

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Meyer Ranch Park in Conifer, CO

Another lovely outing was in nearby Audubon Center, we enjoyed a wonderful display of Redwing Blackbirds, swallows were going crazy and flying around us on the eye level, the birdsong was incredible.

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Kids are reading with gusto, now that they have all this time. C. re-read “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo (maaan, I read the ending when she was done and cried, again). D. is completely immersed in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. He is done with first three books and halfway through the final, fourth one.

I am re-reading “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth Von Arnim, probably because it is full of something I’ve been craving desperately- rest and flowers.

 

Mama makes:

I have made a new keychain out of polymer clay and finally painted an initial letter for my studio upstairs. Very happy with both projects.

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Thursday trip

Thursday is our Sunday, my husband’s off, we take a break from school, no activities on our calendar at all, none. What a bliss. This is the day for me to “reset my heart to zero”, to let go of all the cares, to rest rest rest. Nature is where we want to be the most. To admire changing season, to breathe fresh air, to recharge. Last week we had a walk in our beloved Staunton State Park. Today we ventured much further. Almost two hours away from our home there lies a gem that is Brainard Lake, amazing, relaxing place. There are a few lakes in the area, in fact, all more or less accessible via hike trails (Long Lake and Mitchell Lake parking lots are small and were all full when we got there). We didn’t have a lot of time, since my husband has classes in the evening, so we only got to explore Brainard Lake itself. All the more reasons to return.

Boulder heading west

We lived in Colorado for over 8 years now, but only just now we start to go further away from Denver. The reason for this is that as much as we love to travel, our little C. had (and occasionally still has) terrible motion sickness. Nothing worked for years, but at last we are starting to have trips without her being miserable. It makes the whole adventure all the more exciting.

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More birds

We had an awesome mini lesson about birds on Monday, but weren’t very lucky locating any nests around our house. So Tuesday we headed to Audubon Center at Chatfield to try and see if we can spot some there.

We got lucky almost immediately and saw a swallow’s nest right on the eave of public restroom:

swallow's nest

Parents were nearby, one watching us:

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Another one carrying things into the nest, feathers mostly:

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After that we walked around in tall grass

C. seems so tiny

C. seems so tiny

Admired flowers all around us

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Were amazed by the amount of water that transformed a realtively calm little river. Indeed, after reading Rain by Cynthia Barnett I can’t stop thinking about blessing and horror that rain brings, and how precarious human relationship with rain really is.

It has spilled on trails even

It has spilled on trails even

a year or two ago our children could cross it hopping from rock to rock and now it's just angry mass that can sweep you up in seconds

a year or two ago our children could cross it hopping from rock to rock and now it’s just angry mass that can sweep you up in seconds

And at last listened to some amazing birdsong amongst the trees.

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Other critters we saw: a lizard, a frog, multiple birds…what a great hike it was.

Two weeks roundup: March 30- April 12, 2015

What a whirlwind!

Photo of the week:

Spring has officially came and settled in

Spring has officially came and settled in

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Hinamatsuri 2015

This is our second year in a row visiting Hina Matsuri Doll Festival.

Hinamatsuri is a Japanese holiday taking place on March 3rd. It is  Girls’ Day in Japan and colorful dolls are displayed in every home with girls.

Local Japanese community celebrates by getting together for a festival. The festival includes an amazing doll exhibition, ikebana and bonsai display. Tea Ceremony demonstrations and various acts celebrating Japanese culture are presented throughout two days.

We went today not just as guests, but also participants, D. along with his dojo-friends were doing a karate demonstration. We also got to see singing and Okinawa dancing acts, as well as Taiko drums performance.

Now a few pictures from the festival

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all the dolls are amazing works of art

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Week’s Roundup: February 2-February8, 2015

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Another busy week flew by in a blink of an eye. It’s been so warm here, it doesn’t feel like winter at all!

Photo of the week:

I will never get tired of cotton candy sunsets here in Colorado

I will never get tired of cotton candy sunsets here in Colorado

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