Saturday, July 16, 2011

Survivor Kids Camp at Zion Hill

Andrew and Ethan spent a week at Zion Hill Kids Camp. Needless to say, they had a blast!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Obstacle Course 2011

If you're a long-time blog reader, you might remember our first backyard obstacle course adventure.

That was almost two years ago! When we set out to create another one today, we knew this one had to be quite a bit more challenging. Here's the 2011 version:

  1. Start at the fence.

  2. Climb up and slide down the slide.

  3. Jump through the laundry baskets.

  4. Jump to touch balloons hung from the tree.

  5. Make a basket in each of the two tall baskets/garbage cans.

  6. Walk heel-to-toe across a jump rope laid straight.

  7. Crawl through the pop-up tunnel.

  8. Run zig-zag around the cones.

  9. Push the cart along the chalk "track."

  10. Somersault from the peonies to the markers.

  11. Throw the sponge ball so that it hits the van and then return it to the bucket.

  12. Walk tiptoe around the spiral cord.

  13. Jump over the butterfly net.

  14. Make 3 jumps on the po-go stick.

  15. Touch the swingset.

Everyone made at least two runs through the course. In the first runs, I timed them at around 4 or 5 minutes. They were all considerably faster on their second runs! Everyone thought that getting the baskets was the hardest part--although somersaulting is a close second for Andrew! I think the sense of accomplishment gained by all was significant (not to mention the practice at waiting one's turn, the training in direction-following, and the benefit of physical exercise).

I wonder what I can add next year...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Photo Friday

It has been a strange week. Lots of highs and lots of lows. The kind of week that reminds one of a hilly New Hampshire marathon--not easy, probably not pretty either, but there is a distinct satisfaction from having completed it, survived it. A sense of satisfaction about maintaining a certain level of parental consistency and compassion despite trying circumstances and difficult emotional challenges among the children.

I'm not one for taking pictures during the tough here are some of the week's great highlights:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Poetic/Photographic Praise

Gerard Manley Hopkins penned a poem of praise, Pied Beauty, that emphasizes the beauty of God's colorful creation. I love this title, because pied means "having two or more colors." When I think of how God has brought our family together, the idea of "pied beauty" takes on significant meaning. I might have missed this.

How often, how easily, our view of beauty can be distorted. We grow to think that this or that is beautiful alone: straight, blond hair, red roses, health, paintings by masters, intelligence, the right shoes, whatever.

This is a way I can live counter to culture: to see Creator's beauty in the diversity of God's creation--in dirt and weeds and sick children and spider webs and sky and wrinkles and shadows and bare, brown feet with overgrown toenails...and all.

Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Praise him.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

We Love Fireworks!

Things to love about a fireworks show:

  • Glo-sticks

  • Hanging out with friends

  • The color-guessing game

  • Loud, loud noises

  • Staying up very late

  • Group dynamics: community "oohing" and "aahing"

  • Surprises

  • Lots of time to snuggle with Daddy

We had a great Canada Day (and wish all our US readers a very happy Fourth of July to come!)