Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Hiking ..What I Wish List

It has been a long time since I went on the backpacking trip, and although I loved it, I have not taken the time to blog about it like I had intended. It was a great trip and I loved the challenge, the exertion, the feeling of being surrounded by nature. If you have ever thought about going backpacking, here's a list I wish I had read before I left:

What I'm so glad I brought:
My homemade dehydrated food
Biodegradable wipes
Extra pair of shoes
Hydration pack (like a Camelback)
Water filter

What I didn't need:
Extra clothes
Cool Tog Bandana (didn't work too well)

What I should have brought:
Duct Tape
Deodorant (don't ask)
Better creamer for coffee
Knee Brace
Lightweight knife (ours was too heavy)
Walking sticks (OK, I had sticker shock - if you buy the trekking poles - ski pole looking things, they seem so expensive. I think it would be worth it!)

More on the extra shoes - just think - you are wearing your hiking boots aggressively all day. You get to camp, tired and hungry with food to cook and a tent to set up. I can't tell you how good it felt to get out of those boots and put on my Keens. I saw quite a few people with Crocs -which might have been a better choice due to how light they are.

More on the walking stick- It doesn't look very authentic, in my opinion, to be walking around with an aluminum ski pole when there is no snow around. When I overworked my knee, I found me a good walking stick - my son Robert would have been impressed. I could not believe how much it helped. So much so, that I don't have a desire to go walking without some kind of stick -be it aluminum or tree.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teaching What's important

As the school year approaches, I find myself constantly evaluating:
What do I want my kids to learn this year?
What are our goals for them socially, spiritually, emotionally?
I mean, I have their educational needs figured out:
SPELLING work, writing faster, math for Jonathan, things like that.

How do they do in "society"?
Do they know their manners in public, at the dinner table, in different situations?
Do they know how to react to kids who are unfair, mean, hurting, nice?
Do they know how to make friends?

How do they do in their walk with God?
How is their prayer life?
Is there any disconnect between their spiritual life and social life?
Can they read and understand the Bible, and are they doing that daily?

I find holding up a mirror at this point is helpful and also daunting. Our children are the best reflection of us.

I haven't been thinking about curriculum lately, I've already done that, and it is arriving in the mail daily. I've been thinking about the important stuff. We are starting a dating book with Raeley and we are going to go through the book How to Win Friends and Influence People with all the kids. Raeley may have the opportunity to attend a seminar called Success Skills which will help her develop her leadership abilities. Raeley, Robert and Jonathan will have a significant increase in their time helping prepare dinner during the week. I'd love to give the kids more background in music. They are very motivated in art. I'd like to keep that going. Raeley's photography is outstanding. How can we support her in that?
We only have three more years of high school with Raeley. It's going to go by very quickly!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just checking in!

Once again I only have time for updates. I have a series of blogs planned about our hiking trip, but that will have to wait. I just wanted to check in with you all.
We just got back from the annual 4th of July with my family, and can I say how blessed I am with such a great family? Leaving them is always hard on me. 9 hours of driving is so far away.

Raeley continues to amaze us with her photography skills. She took some awesome photos during this trip.
Cameron was gone from us for a week and a half. I am so glad we are all back together again. She seems so much bigger now. She did great on the trip and her grandparents and aunts made sure she had lots of fun.