Sunday, March 19, 2017

Learning and Playing in AZ Outdoors

Bug loves nature!  She can spend hours out there looking at bugs and flowers so of course a week long camp (spring break for other kids) at the Desert Botannical Garden. She had a blast and was happily exhausted each day.  I was so grateful they took pictures so I could record them on our blog.

This has got to be my favorite one of all!  She is my little naturalist and right after that week at camp she asked for a clipboard of her own!

Bug eyed glasses that help you know what they see!

A game to correctly identify what is an insect.  the scorpion was a tricky one.

She says this is absolutely adorable monarch caterpillar.

Making their own pollinator creations and flowers.

The day the hibernating tortoise (Penny) came out was a pretty exciting day.  Her sister, Poppy was still sleepy apparently and she never saw her.

Transplanting milkweed for their own gardens.

There are times like these where I wished I lived somewhere like Walden Pond where she could explore the beauty of nature all on her own.  It truly feeds her introvert soul!

While Bug had her own fun I took the other three munchkins and we took a hike at Hole in the Rock right by the zoo.  I was pretty impressed with all of them.  Bud is not fond of heights but he did really good in the end.  Bubby and Pumpkin worked their little tails off climbing these steep steps up.  Although it was a short hike I could tell it worked their bodies hard and they were tired at the end of the day.

Bubby really doesn't like to hike much.  I keep him going with songs and cheers and when he wants me to hold him I carry him for only a few steps and tell him "Monkey arms" so he has to hang on without much support until he slides back down to walk with me.  His look in this picture says it all, it's so routine now that we do it once a week.  It's that look of, "Another hike?!?  Fine!"  His Physical Therapist says it's done wonders for him though.  There's less stimming and more looking straight ahead as he walks.  He's an awesome trooper!

When you're little and your core isn't so strong, it takes a lot of work to go up steps, especially without a rail.  The littlest two refused my help and climbed each step even as they got steeper.  Where there's a will there's a way.  Perhaps this will give my kiddos some grit.

The actual hole in the rock is much deeper in but I wasn't about to crawl down in with just me and two littles to worry about.  Bud isn't fond of looking over edges so we stayed back and enjoyed the view from there.

There's lots of cavities in the rocks on the hike up so we took a few shots because everyone was proud they made it there.

Afterwards we got some snacks and through Facebook learned of some Pokémon 'nests' and drove around getting some that Bud and I needed to evolve more.  I thought the little ones would be too exhausted to play but wherever there is some climbing near a slide, Pumpkin MUST play!

For a random treat we got fried chicken for Bud.  He is the one in the family that misses meat the most. He thought it was the best tasting thing on earth!  It reminded me of when I was young and my brother and I would argue over KFC or Church's chicken.  It was my treat back then too and I had to share that story with Bud who  thought it was cool.

I so love these kiddos.  Homeschooling has given me so much time to truly enjoy their company and share in experiences.  It's a little easier to be in the moment rather than slogging through the long lists of 'to do's'. 

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