We spent four days camping in Goblin Valley, in Southern Utah. It was lovely weather and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and also got to work hard through the challenges of being together all day and all night for several days.
The kids explored the campground, full of sand and boulders and hills and towering spires. They’re up on the tips of the rocks in the above picture.
We hiked in the narrows.
In the canyon they climbed on top of the boulder and then I remarked that Daddy’s feet were in the picture so he proceeded to do a dance for good measure.
We explored the goblins and played many, many rounds of hide and seek.
Down the dirt road we found petroglyphs
and an old mining town ruins.
There were lizards to watch and ravens and tiny little birds that sang sweetly and then punctuated each phrase with a kissing noise.
There were mud puddles to climb over or through and rocks to collect and warm sand and cool sand and bubbly holes in the rock.
We listened to many chapters of Harry Potter while we went to and fro in the car.
There was this plant! Amazing! What is it and can I fill my yard with these?
We visited the Treehouse Museum. There was flag designing, castle play, illuminated manuscript making, a sword in the stone, and much more.
We went to the library, enjoyed reading in their inviting kids lounges and brought an armload of books home, most of which were read that very day!
We found a new playground and tried it out thoroughly.
Lilah and I baked Toffee Cinnamon Bars and then we watched Song of the Sea, a new favorite movie.
They’ve played My Little Pony Life, Puerto Rico, Magic the Gathering, Carcassonne, and Candy Land together in the mornings.
We got out some instruments and played music. Lilah made a rug on a square loom with stretchy loops for her dollhouse.
Lilah and I practiced for her upcoming gymnastics meet. She’s working on her beam routine at the moment.
Gavin and I biked to a playground while Lilah and Chris walked. Gavin’s really enjoying biking and Lilah’s so close to being able to go on her own but it hurts so much to run in the crouch that it takes to support her that I haven’t gotten around to doing it with her recently. I think that might be my least favorite part of parenting; running in a crouch while holding a bike with a nervous kid on it. Incredible pain. Still very much worth it though.
We took a very short walk up on Bonneville Shoreline Trail to play Ingress, stopped at a playground on the way there and then picked up a friend afterward and came home to play elaborate storylines filled with queens, invisibility cloaks, potions and special royal bathrooms.
We did some cooking and talked about how to add fractions like 3/4 and 1/8. We drew pictures to figure it out on the whiteboard.
They did some building with Gavin’s physics set.
Chris and the kids went to Spiral Scouts and tried playing different instruments. Gavin’s favorite was the ukelele and Lilah’s was the didgeridoo.
There was roller skating down the hall, crashing (kids were fortunately not hurt enough to stop skating back and forth) and sometime soon we’ll get to work together to patch up a small hole in the wall. There’s a lengthly list of home repairs and maintenance that needs doing… at some point soon I should knock a few things off with the kids help.
We finished Little House in the Big Woods and immediately began Little House on the Prairie. They are very much enjoying those stories.
We took a trip up the canyon and visited Hidden Falls.
Here they are looking at the waterfall.
The kids loved it and afterward when I asked them if they wanted to climb further and find the top of the fall they said yes so we hiked up further and discovered the stream and the pines and the top of the fall.
It had snowed and so the kids ate quite a bit of “fresh snow” on the way. We saw squirrels and old dead trees tattooed underneath the bark with squiggly lines from beetles and butterflies, orange, white, yellow.
On the logs, the kids noticed there were different sized squiggles and wondered if they start small and grow or if they were different beetles. We talked about climbing safely in steep places and how to cross streams on log bridges. It was beautiful! On the way down we spotted a “cave” made by a huge boulder perching on top of several other boulders and decided to check that out.
Here’s the view from inside.
They each wrote a letter to Grandma & Grandpa. It was stressful for Gavin but the results were good. His handwriting and spelling are both much improved but how he feels about writing hasn’t changed.
And, after much asking and wishing for weeks, we made it to the skating rink. When we arrived they had a mist over the rink and were flashing strobe lights with the main lights off which made Lilah a bit nervous. But she ended up enjoying it and then they turned the lights back on and the music back down and we had a wonderful time. They can do tricks like turning around that I can’t now. Here they are dancing and doing tricks in the center of the rink.
They played a game of Pandemic, stopping mid-way and combining characters’ abilities and making it their own.
I looked up some directions and they came over and played with Google Earth, looking at different neighborhoods and navigating.
We did another MadLib together. They are beginning to remember the meanings of adjectives, nouns, etc. and we are having a lot of fun doing them.
We read some more of Little House in the Big Woods.
They played with their Harry Potter Lego game.
I went for a bike ride and they watched an episode of Cosmos.
We read and looked at some information about the Friendly Floatees, a shipment of rubber ducks who went overboard and have been studied to find out more about ocean currents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees