I recently reorganized the basement (again!) and rearranged the boys room to accommodate Shane's new big boy bed so the kids were *very* excited to have friends come over to see their 'new' room and playroom.
After they finished their schoolwork, the boys played basketball and board games downstairs while the girls played dolls and did crafts upstairs.
Pizza and lemonade for lunch - we did have hummus, pretzels and carrot sticks for snack so we weren't total junk food junkies.
I read the kids version of Jason and the Golden Fleece while they ate (sneaking in schoolwork disguised as fun)
My original plan was to do school, play and then take them on a hike after lunch. But one of the boys was tired and didn't want to hike so we were going to play inside until it was time to take them home. Their mom finished her errands sooner than I expected so I dropped off both boys (who were both tired by then) and took the oldest with us to Gathland State Park a few miles away.
The Appalachian Trail goes right through it so it's always fun to hike there because we sound very hard core when we say we've hiked on the AT... don't we??
The do's and don'ts of the trail
I wore my Garmin and it measured our total hike as 1.93 miles. We went very slow checking stuff out as we went along.
In the parking lot before descending on the trail like crazy marauders
At the trail head, notice how greenish yellow the foliage is
Same trail but about 50 yards farther, and the colors are so different
Of course we had to stop at the Crampton's Gap shelter and pretend we were real hikers. There's a cubby in there with playing cards and a log book for visitors to sign. We didn't have a pen or pencil so we couldn't sign it
There is also a monument to war correspondents from the Civil War up there
Down the road towards Burkittsville
Just below the war monument
We headed to the other side of the park and hiked about a quarter of a mile. Shane tried to amputate his finger the other day and split open his cut when he whacked a tree with a stick (which I told him not to do....kids, you really should listen to your parents).
I didn't have a first aid kit and wasn't willing to sacrifice my shirt to clean his finger so we turned back to head home. The 3 big kids were disappointed but I think Ella was secretly happy since a princess can hike only so far before she needs to rest.
On our way to the car we saw a flock of Cedar Waxwings munching berries in a tree. I was sad that I didn't have my other camera lens with me and I couldn't get a decent picture with my shorter lens. They're really pretty birds that we see only occasionally in our yard.
photo courtesy of http://www.ownbyphotography.com/Cedar-Waxwing.jpg
It was another amazing fall day and I'm so glad we were able to take advantage of the great weather and get outside. We dropped our friend off at her house with the kids begging me to let them move in with us so they could play everyday. so cute!