Soaking Up The Fall-ness!

  We were able to start school a bit earlier than usual today, which worked out well since we were heading out for another field trip.

I took time to work with each boy on their verbal math book (Alec actually had to finish up his math work in the car while we were on our way with Ian taking over asking him the questions).  The two older boys took their math minutes and both got 12 of the 16 questions right.  Ian picked a page in his cursive book to practice while Alec decided to play Mad Libs with Evan.

I was going to sit down with Evan and work on his reading when I turned around to find Ian sitting on the couch reading to his younger brothers.  They were all huddled around the book laughing together.

I just love watching all the boys reading together! 

It was priceless.

I'm honest enough to admit it threw me for a loop.  Here it was close to the time we wanted to leave and at that point I hadn't started any math with Alec and I still had to do today's reading lesson with Evan.  Yet, Ian doesn't love to read and he really does not like to read out loud so for him to offer to read to Evan was huge and I knew I just had to support that effort and those bonds and memories they were forging.  I quietly left them all to it and took those few moments to get some housework done. 
Once Ian was done reading he wanted to go play outside and Evan asked me to do his reading with him.  We did a few more pages in his learning to read textbook and then read a small book together.  We read Cat The Cat, Who is That? He also helped me read Dangerous.  He's been reading a lot more things lately.  He got a thank you card in the mail last night and read the whole thing to me! 
We packed up and headed out to Purgatory Chasm to meet up with our homeschool group.  The boys had a ball playing with all their friends.

They ran, jumped, swung, climbed and hiked.

They made up games to play, explored nature and their surroundings, and made new friends.  We compared the chasm as it was today with lots of leaves and pine needles to other trips; taking note of all the fall changes.

We had a ball and ended up staying at the park for four and a half hours!  It was such a beautiful fall day and we just wanted to soak it up as long as possible.

 Ian hiked the chasm twice; once with just a few of the older kids from the group (which means he was out of my eye sight for quite some time!).  He willingly went with another mom across the street, through the chasm and around the loop with just three or four other kids.  I thought this was HUGE progress!  Everyone was tired, sweaty and smiling when we left.

Spending some one on one time

Heading into the chasm

Hiking together

We found a caterpillar

Ian laid down on a rock facing me to rest and pose for a picture

Alec left the marked trail to find his own way through the rocky maze

See Alec's head poking out near the tree?  He climbed
through the hole, up, and out!  What a monkey!

Squeezing through the Devil's corn crib

No trip to Purgatory is complete without a stop at the sliding rock.  Today the rock claimed two pairs of pants! 

Swinging away

Playing with local kids on the playground

We stopped by the library on the way home.  We had two whole boxes of books and movies waiting for us to pick up!  The boys are all back to devouring books and we had a bunch of books to return already too.  I was happy to see that all the books about their science fair topics came in and I had ordered an assortment of family movies and some school type movies.  They'll come in very handy while we spend our day waiting for the people to come clean out our septic tank tomorrow! 


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