Our Featured Contributor this week is Christy:
Today's topic is, Enjoying the Outdoors
I remember asking my Grammy Irma to go for a walk with me. The year was 1965 and I was 10 years old. In my eyes, she was an elderly lady of 50! I took her the the Jr. High School where I was preparing for the 6th grade. 5th and 6th graders were on the bottom floor, and 7th and 8th graders were on the top floor. We explored the lower field where we had our P.E. classes in the spring and fall. She followed me up the steep hill to the tennis court with a smile and plenty of energy to spare. I was so proud of my Grammy because she could keep up with me, and I felt close to her because she was so interested in me and my life.
Now, 46 years later, my precious grandmother is in Heaven and I hear my grandkids ask me to go for a walk with them. We go to the "Brown Park," and I walk on the pirate's rope with them. We walk down to the river and I watch them skip rocks and count with them as the flat rock bounces over the water.
I am so blessed to have had a grandmother who taught me the importance of spending time with the people we love. I am also blessed to have this opportunity to give attention to my grandchildren while still enjoying the outdoors!
Tauna, Proverbial Homemaker
Our family went to the beach the other day and I slipped into fond memories. The forests in coastal NW Oregon are very special to me. I spent much of my childhood in them - searching for elk, going on wood cutting trips, and endless hours of exploring and pretending.
I want something like that for my kids too. It may not look exactly the same, but I want the smell and taste of the outdoors to be a regular part of their experience. I want them to flex their imaginations often instead of relying on electronics or planned activities all the time.
This year, my summer "bucket list" is about finding those outdoor spaces and times for free and open play. Fishing, skipping rocks, racing in fields, collecting treasures... Because those experiences are the material of a fondly remembered childhood.
Misty, Simply Helping Him
This past weekend, a girlfriend and I decided we were going to be Super Moms! We took our 4 kiddos on a 4 day/3 night camping trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It sounded like a great idea, especially since it was a 4 day weekend for me, and the lil guy I take care of would be with his parents.
Thursday morning, I decided that we must be crazy! LOL! There was no way to back out of it, and the calling of woods, silence, and hiking quickly won over any fears I had of us enjoying the outdoors. Once we arrived, we were thrilled at the surrounding mountains, woods and the fun plans we had made previous to heading out. The kiddos didn't know of all the fun we had planned.
The day after we arrived we headed out to explore Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves. We had a great time climbing through all sorts of small, dark spaces. Our favorite time was spent hiking the Beaver Brook Cascades portion of the Appalachian Trail. We were also excited to find that, at our campground, there was a small brook. The kids spent a couple hours each day playing in it. This brought to mind memories of long summer days back home for me.
Taking our kids out of their homes full of toys and TVs and into nature was such a blessing and a wonderful time. We all enjoyed spending time together without all of the busyness we have at home. The kids were pleasantly surprised to find that they didn't miss anything; they were begging to stay longer and to come back very soon. It was not a huge trip to any grand place, with attractions that we typically dream of, but the sight of a waterfall, together with our children, was priceless. We are already planning more hiking trips throughout the summer and fall season! Start planning your time outside! Enjoy!!
Mrs. Smith, Just a Country Girl
As I've mentioned before--and if you look at my blog you'll see--I love to be outside. It is where I feel closest to God and where I feel most peaceful. As a mother, I also believe it is the best place for our children to grow up!
My boys are outside most of the time...by choice. :) This past winter we had temperatures dip down to zero and below, and they STILL wanted to go outside to play! I had to monitor them even more closely so they didn't freeze to death! They don't seem to care if it's zero or 90 degrees; they still want to play outside.
It makes my heart happy because I believe this is the way God intended it to be. I don't think it really benefits our children to sit around playing with all things electronic; other than the fact that they are growing up in this generation and they do need to know how to use them. But if you think of all the things the Bible commands...you really can't do them while you're playing around on a computer or using a handheld gadget. (I'm talking children here--not adults who minister online.)
Children are supposed to interact with one another so that they can learn how to interact as adults. They're supposed to use their imaginations so they will be able to think logically and problem-solve as adults; and so on. You don't get any of this when you are just sitting around wasting time.
And what about us as parents? Are we teaching our children to waste time? Are we teaching them that they will always be entertained by someone else or something? Children NEED to entertain themselves, and the best way to do this is to send them outside, in God's wonderful creation. This is where they learn to play together, imagine that their sticks are real objects and their mud puddles are soup and their bikes are cars. It's where they learn how to build something with their own hands or resolve the problem of a broken bike chain. It all happens when you send them outside.
And, like I said, what better place to be close to God than in His creation?! When you can show your kids, "Look at the plants that grew from only a seed" or "Look at that amazing sky that only God can make!" It's a true testimony to the awesomeness of God! Not only will your children learn about their Creator, they will learn basic life skills and have fun doing it! So...get off your computer and go enjoy the outdoors!
Judith, WholeHearted Home
Summer is here!! Even in the Northeast, summer is here!!
I hear people say in the winter that they are tired of the cold and can’t wait until summer, but they are the first to complain about the heat!! I love the beauty of snow piled high in the winter and taking a walk just after it snows is a favorite thing to do. I miss building snow men and sledding with my children.
In the summer, the outdoors is so inviting. Don’t be tempted to stay inside; leave your housework to set and don’t just send the kids outside, but get out there with them!!
In the summer, I used to take walks down to the river with my children, and then after ‘accidentally’ falling in, we would come home and they would work on their Nature Notebook and add some wonderful ‘find’ from the woods along the river. Everything they ‘found’ or wrote about was slipped into a plastic sleeve. If you’d like to stop over for some sweet tea, I’ll bring some of their binders down from the attic for you to see.
Here are seven things I love to do in the summer:
1. Take hikes to one of the water falls in our area.
2. Canoe on one of the lakes near our home.
3. Swing HIGH on my porch swing in the early evening.
4. Go to a lonely beach (if one can be found) and dip (at least) my toes in the ocean.
5. Wear flip-flops everywhere.
6. Push my 5 month old twin granddaughters down the dirt road in the stroller.
7. Ride bikes along the Outer Banks with my husband (It is FLAT!)
If it only gets warm for 3-4 months of the year where you live, you will enjoy summer with more enthusiasm. What do you like doing outdoors?
Sarah, Hope In Every Season
I have to admit that I am not at all a summertime girl! I love the crisp, coolness of fall the most when it comes to being outside. Crunching leaves, the smell of wood stove smoke in the air, all the beautiful shades of reds, oranges and greens---I can't wait!
Even so, summer time is a great time to go looking for bugs, making flower bouquets, and splashing in the sprinkler. If I can find a shady spot and a quiet moment to read a book, then I guess summer isn't so bad!
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Home Link Up at Raising Arrows
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday