Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Exploring Camp

So, we've finally settled into a bit of a routine. Since we live so far from town, Sora and I try to hitch a ride with Kyle when he has to work in town once a week. We explore parks, find new stores, play at the same coffee shop every time, and get to know our new city. The rest of the week we spend up at camp. We go on nature walks at least once a day. We sometimes draw what we see. We sometimes sit and read outside. We build forts, watch squirrels and robins, pick dandelions, marvel at/identify wildflowers, say hi to the fishermen, and enjoy the beautiful weather. Sora rides her balance bike and crosses the wobbly bridge (thanks to Pinterest) multiple times a day.
At Kyle's last camp, he had a golf cart to whiz around with. The ATV is much louder (but I think Kyle likes it more).
We have seen a ton of wildlife. We saw seven elk the other day, we see Robins, Steller's Jays, Hawks, and other birds, lots of squirrels and chipmunks of course. We saw a Western Garter snake yesterday, and a Western Fence lizard on a hike the other day. We also had a bird fly into our house and stay for about an hour until it finally figured out how to leave. It freaked me out, so I left the door open and went outside to "help" Kyle and Sora fish in the meantime. We have also seen a TON of ticks here, which is unusual for Washington and I wouldn't even know what ticks if it weren't for my time in Wisconsin. Oh, speaking of fishing, we  have seen several fish that other people have caught here, but none of our own yet. Sora and I did dig up a bunch of juicy worms which I finally convinced her to grab on her own and now she is a worm wrangling champ. We also see a lot of bugs here, and often have parades of large ants in our house. Sora is an ant whisperer and can catch them and put them outside faster than Kyle or I can.
 While in Ellensburg this weekend, Sora's papa showed us this birds nest. I think there are three baby robins inside.

 Sora is becoming fearless and loves climbing trees at the park.

She also loves the geese and ducks at the park. Sora does get upset every time we're at this park though because I'm slightly ridiculous aware that birds shouldn't be eating human food like our bread and she really wants to feed the ducks. I also remember a time when a goose tried to attack me, so other than my legitimate environmental concerns, I just don't want to get that close to those nasty birds!
Life is good and we are working hard to establish a new normal, until summer camp comes along and a whole new normal is normal. And then when that is normal, school will start and everything will be chaotic once again. 

On another note, Sora spent her first weekend away from home (other than when we were in the midst of moving across country). She stayed two nights at her grandparents while Kyle and I went to a work fundraising dinner. Sora loved it, and it was nice to explore some areas of town without her. We are visiting my mom in a few weeks (who lives five hours away) and Sora was disappointed at first when she realized that I was coming too and not just dropping her off!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Screen Free Week

Screen Free Week kicked off on Sunday while my parents were in town. We enjoyed a relaxing hike through the woods.

Mom let Sora lead her up a mountain.
We saw a bald eagle's nest as well.
And we finally made it to the waterfalls.

Sora has really been loving on the papas lately which is a lot of fun to see!
Afterwards, we headed to town for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Sora loved the food (especially the ice cream) but was disappointed by the lack of dancers.
We were entertained briefly by clowns, but they only spoke Spanish so we didn't really get their jokes.
We spent a lot of time outside this week. Sora and I found a new cool spot where we can climb the trees.

We had to take Kyle and show him all the rocks and cool trees.

We also found a lot of cool wildflowers, went to story time at the library and ended up making a friend and staying for 2 hours playing. Sora went to an organized PE for homeschoolers, but was unimpressed when she realized she would never win at dodge ball (although for being one of the youngest - she held her own pretty well). It also had a swim lesson and free play in the pool involved which Sora liked a lot more. Friday we headed to Kyle's mom for his grandma's memorial. Saturday, Sora got to play with her cousin and several of Kyle's cousin's kids, which was a lot of fun (too much fun actually - she's super tired now!). We capped off the end of screen free week with extra screen time by going to the movies today. We saw Bears, which was of course about a mother bear, and was very fitting for Mother's Day. It was a super cute movie.

As always, screen free week was harder for me and Kyle than for Sora. We had some nice adult time though, involving blueberry mojitos, and a lot of extra reading time.

Just before screen free week, we had a work weekend up at camp. Kyle had an amazing turn out, and it was great to see him be "the boss" in a real way. Sora also got to meet some other kids and we got to meet some other adults. They also got a ton done around camp. We are ready for summer to come any day now!