I had forgotten how beautiful Cane Creek Park is. Our nature hike had us wide-eyed with the wonder of the beautiful surroundings God has blessed us with. Creek beds, rocks, trees, flowers, wildlife... all of it can be overwhelming with emotion if you take a few minutes to just really take it in. (Stop and smell the roses... so to speak.)
The kids loved the hike. They climbed numerous fallen trees, sat on every boulder, examined every rock and bug, and eventually began asking, "Are we almost finished?" It was 2.5 miles from start to finish. They were doing great until the last half mile, so I felt that was a success!
Amazingly, we ran into a good friend out there as well! Imagine that. Two miles deep in the woods, the first time we've ever taken our kids out there, and we run into a friend from church that's also there for the first time. It's a small world! He was a lifesaver. I had carried Samuel in the Ergo for quite a distance, once his little legs could go no more, and Clayton had carried him for quite a ways himself before we ran into Michael and he offered his shoulders to hold Sam and finish the trek.
So, Cane Creek was a blast and we will definitely be going back. Maybe in another month when it's cooler!
Today was another big outing. Carter's school had a field trip to Grady to Hardin Farm's Pumpkin Patch! We let Madison miss school and the whole family went to play in the pumpkin fields.
We drove from home and met the classes there. Carter was so excited to see all of his friends coming in the gate! I got some really sweet pictures of him with his best friends.. none of which I can post because I don't have permission from their parents.. but take my word for it - THEY'RE SWEET. It was so neat to see Carter run and play with his pals and then run back to us. I think he was in heaven having both his favorite friends and his family together for a day of running, playing, and pumpkin hunting. Madison kept saying how she was so happy to meet the kids that she's heard so much about from her baby brother.
"Ohhh... so you're Kade! You're Carter's best friend!"
All of our kids had such a good time. We looked at every single thing out there. We read every sign, felt every fur, talked to all of the animals, and even got licked by a brand new baby calf. (I did... yuck!) We found the most perfect pumpkins in all of the pumpkin patch, and had a fabulous lunch with a bunch of wonderfully silly kids and their parents, that are quickly becoming great friends. There was no stress - it was perfect!
On the way home, all three kids passed out from hours of play, I told Clayton how glad I was that we're able to go and do stuff like that now. We went to the Pumpkin Patch last year, when Samuel was 4 months old. It was hot, but I had to hold him in the Ergo the entire time to keep him happy. Changing diapers, breastfeeding, and fussing were a part of the fun we had for those hours. Though it was a great time, and I'll always cherish that day, this year was so much easier and so much more enjoyable! Every now and then I get a pain of realization that my very last baby is growing up, but this kind of day makes any baby itch I ever feel totally disappear. I can't wait to take our kids to the beach, to the mountains, and to the canyons and the deserts! I can actually imagine us going on a really cool and long distance vacation soon. There is so much fun to be had.. and so few years in our short lives on earth to have it.