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Thankful for Outside

We have been blessed by an abundance of snow, sun, and superior playing weather. Usually, the winter drags long and cold. We would be suffering from seasonal depression, wondering when the days will grow longer, when the temperatures will grow higher. But this year, it feels different. Somehow, it is already February. We have been enjoying the sledding hill much! We have been exploring the woods a little. We have ventured a bit more than the usual to-the-mailbox-and-back jaunt. It's been nice.

Simply nice.

It has snowed and snowed and snowed, so many times! Beautiful, fluffy days. Cold and Blistering Windy days. Blizzarding days. Icy pelting snow days. Below below below zero days. But it's been beautiful, nonetheless.

One January afternoon, it was in the thirties and dripping snowmelt all around. The kids had been out playing in knee-deep drifts and tall plowed-mountains until they were soaked. The sleds were strewn about the front yard, and we had a hot lunch on the porch. IN THE SUN. It was splendid. A bit chilly, but it felt so good!

Then, we went to Naples, FL for a coastal sunshine experience as a family, and my! What fun five days in salt water and chlorine was :) I was 22 or so weeks pregnant while there, and now (Feb 12) I am 26 weeks along!

The neighbors have their small pond cleared and we watch the kids skate and play pond hockey. We see them, too, sledding down their luge-like hill.  It's so fun! All the clear, starry, moonlit nights have been a treat, too.

Today, grandpa Bob is here and we are all cherishing the warm melting snow yet again. The four-wheeling "Abpa" as Anna is calling him, is taking the little boys for rides, and they're being pulled behind in the bright green "toboggan"  with pure bliss. Now, we're all settled in for an afternoon rest, and I just felt like writing. Like documenting a bit of our winter months of 2016-2017 before it gets away.

In all the reading I've been doing for home education (I LOVE this category), I have fallen into a deep appreciation for much of Charlotte Mason. Her keen understanding of a child is in line with my heart for our family! I enjoy her sense of dependency on guiding children to learn through their natural surroundings, and experiencing God's design for nature. Here is a quote I recently came across, and want to share. It expresses what I feel is a need for kids to be outside, exploring and learning.

He must live hours daily in the open air, and, as far as possible, in the country; must look and touch and listen; must be quick to note, consciously, every peculiarity of habit or structure, in beast, bird, or insect; the manner of growth and fructification of every plant. He must be accustomed to ask why––Why does the wind blow? Why does the river flow? Why is a leaf-bud sticky? And do not hurry to answer his questions for him; let him think his difficulties out so far as his small experience will carry him.
–Charlotte Mason {Vol. 1, p. 264}


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