Daddy – William Hike

On Saturday morning, Ben and William made their annual hike together.  They hit of Lake Serene and had a beautiful time of it.  They counted 387 man-made stairs on the trail (one way) and William was proud of himself for not stopping to take a break on the way down.



In addition to the beautiful glacier lake, they saw three waterfalls.  William loves anything to do with water so this was a great hike for him.

I love these boys of mine!

Kendall Katwalk Trail

Ben took the day off of work today so that he and Molly could squeeze in a daddy-daughter hike before junior high starts next week.  He chose the Kendall Katwalk trail for their hike and the pictures they brought back are beautiful.  Molly wore her swimsuit under her  hiking clothes so that she could take a dip in the frigid lake and they saw the cutest little furry animals that we later learned were called pika.  (Thanks Google!)  The hike was 14 miles round trip and they both came home tired, dirty and very happy.





I feel like we’ve been gypped as far as family time goes this summer.  All of July was taken up with the reunion planning and execution and then Molly had to be away so much of August, William had scout camp, Molly had girls camp and Ben had several small and one large hiking trip to take with his scout troop.  Those are all good things, but it meant that we’ve barely been able to spend any time all together as a family.  Now we’ve arrived at the last week of summer and we’re scrambling to fit in as many family activities as we can in between making sure everyone has what they need for the new school year.  I’m so grateful that Ben is able and willing to take time off from work to make these kinds of experiences happen.  This family of ours is the most important thing in both of our lives.  Families are forever.



Hiking with Dad – Mt. Si

It is a right of passage in our house to hike Mt. Si with Dad.  This year was Henry’s turn.  We haven’t done nearly as much hiking this year as we would have liked, but Ben needed to get in a training hike before he leaves on his giant 50 mile hike with the Boy Scouts.  Henry counted down the days until it was time for his hike with Dad.  Ben is Henry’s favorite person in the whole wide world and getting to spend a day with him all by himself was a dream come true.  Ben said Henry did a great job on the hike and he loved feeding the birds at the top and getting to see a snake.




Walking the Pipeline

I took the kids to walk the pipeline trail by our house to take advantage of the last bit of nicer weather before the rain is supposed to come back.  It was a little bit longer of a walk than I had planned on, but the kids did really well.  I’m not sure how long the trail goes for, but we walked two sections of it (there and back) in about 90 minutes.

Adelaide was the only complainer.  She hasn’t done nearly as many hikes as the bigger kids have, but that should change this summer.  Even though she complained, she had a lot of fun.  She demonstrated her squatting position several times and told me that was how she got stronger legs.  I’m not sure where that came from.

On the way back, Henry and Adelaide gathered flowers and for every flower they gathered, Oliver demanded one of his own.  I wore him on my back in the Ergo carrier and he alternated between blowing dandelion seeds into my hair and asking to hold my hand.  It was a little awkward to try and hold his hand while he was on my back, but there was no way I could deny that level of sweetness.

Hiking with Dad

Ben loves to take each of the kids out on separate hikes over the summer.  It allows him to spend some one-on-one time with each child and to pick a hike that is appropriately challenging for their abilities.  However, this year we blinked and some how found ourselves at the last weekend before school starts without having gone on any Daddy hikes.  So Ben took the day off today and took the three bigger kids on a challenging hike to Lake Serene.  The pictures he took are breathtaking.

They brought their swimming stuff with them and took a refreshing dip in the very cool water.  Everyone came home dirty, tired, and very happy.  Next year we’ll try and do a little better planning individual hikes, but I’m glad they were able to get out together today.

I made sure that littlest two and I had a good day as well.  I took Addy to McDonald’s for lunch and then we ran errands and she got a little treat.  When we came home, we read books, ate dinner, watched cartoons, baked cookies, and painted our toe nails.  Oliver was a good baby and took a decent nap so I was able to paint just a little bit in the boys room.  My little Addy-lady is growing up so fast.  I had so much fun with her and Oliver today.

Family Hike :: Wallace Falls

We went on our first family hike of the year.  Usually by this time, we would have been on a few more hikes, but that’s just how it worked out this year.  And might I add, that it felt really nice to not be hiking pregnant.  I swear I feel like I’ve been pregnant on all our previous hikes.  (I know that’s not really possible.  My memory is selective.)

In any case, we hiked Wallace Falls today.  It was the right amount of challenge and fun for our little group of hikers.

Adelaide spent the entire way up and part of the way down in the hiking backpack on Ben’s back.  Despite her limited amount of time on her own two feet, she still managed to face plant at least three times.

Ollie was a champ in the Ergo carrier and I felt like I got a decent workout.

We celebrated our successful hike with a stop at our favorite ice cream shop.  It was a great day!

Summer Hikes

Ben has been taking the kids out on solo hikes this summer.  (Solo meaning just one kid and dad.)  Molly got the first turn, and together they climbed Bandera mountain.

It was a rocky, steep climb that had them both really sore the next day but they both had a lot of fun.  They saw two snakes, one of which was about 3 feet long.  We don’t get to see snakes very often so it was pretty neat.

I think the hike was about 7.6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 3000 feet.  I was quite impressed!

Next up was William.  Ben took him to hike Big Si for the first time.  It’s not an easy hike so it is a kind of a rite of passage in our family to make the climb.  (Ben first took Molly when she was 6 too.)  Ben said it started out rough, but after a snack William did great.  It’s about 8 miles round trip so it’s not an easy stroll.

William’s favorite part were the chipmunks and climbing on the rocks at the top.  They spent about an hour climbing around before heading back down again.  The next day William had his first experience with sore muscles.

Henry was so excited for his turn to hike.  Ben took him to hike Tiger Mountain for about a 7 mile round trip hike.

Ben said Henry had tons of energy and did really well on the hike despite the fact that he barely touched his breakfast.  They came back with most of the snacks that Ben had packed for the hike so I know he wasn’t kidding.  (When the kids have a tough time with a challenging hike, Ben spurs them on with little snacks.  The blood sugar boost is usually all they need to keep going.)

At the top of the hike they ate lunch and Henry had his picture taken by some people who were impressed that he had made it so far.

(Nice food in your teeth Henry!  Too bad, your mom doesn’t have photo-shopping skills enough to fix it…)

One of Henry’s favorite parts was feeding the birds bits of leftover sandwich.  They ate it right out of their hands which was really cool.

Last Saturday was Adelaide’s turn for a daddy hike.  She was so happy to have a turn like the big kids.  Ben took her to a small trail not far from our house and they hiked for about a 1/2 mile before stopping to have a snack break.

This was one of Addy’s requirements for the hike.  She had listened to her siblings excitedly describe eating lunch and feeding the animals so she wanted her turn too.  Unfortunately, the only animals they saw were some dogs, a slug and a bird, but she still seemed pleased.

After their strenuous hike, Ben took Adelaide out to lunch in a restaurant and then they stopped for an ice cream cone on the way home.  Adelaide felt very special and was happy to tell me all about her hike when she got home.

I think it’s so neat that Ben made the time to take each of the kids out on their own hike this summer.  They really appreciate the one-on-one time with dad and it is such a fun tradition.  Next year I’ll be able to join them for some family hikes so that will be fun too.  We live in such a beautiful area for hiking.