We got a few double takes, I think because of the size of our family, but also some compliments about how good they all were. It was sweet to watch the older ones squeeze around the speaker, with their notebooks in hand, to hear conference and take notes during the drive there. I loved watching them take care of one another in the city and in the hikes. Being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world.
Here are some pictures of our trip:
The car ride was tough on my nausea, but we did get to listen to conference so that helped time go by. I loved so many talks. One of my favorite lines, "Our family light grows as we increase in kindness and love towards each other." I have been reading some sad books lately - biographies or historical fiction that portray some of the dark things that go on in the world. It is so hard to see how much darkness is out there, and sometimes I feel like there is so little I can do about it, but I love the thought that we can fight the darkness with the light we send out to the world.
We made it to the beach on Sunday and walked around in between sessions.
The next day, we looked for some tide pools unsuccessfully and then drove to our camping spot in the Redwoods. We camped by a river so we spent sometime lounging and playing on the rocks next to it.
Then we went on a short hike that night, came back and had some chili and s'mores around the campfire.
The next day, we decided to do a day hike. Since our pace is so slow with all the little ones, a day hike for us is about 6-7 miles. And they loved it. Thankfully, we stopped at the visitors center before we went, and the ranger there told the kids about banana slugs and how one kid once found 14 of them while he stayed there. Our younger boys thought they could beat that record. They had such a great time searching for banana slugs that they forgot they were walking. In the end, they found 47. The ranger they told wasn't sure she believed them. she had to verify it with me. I guess if you go on a six mile hike at a really slow rate (it took us almost 7 hours), you notice all sorts of things that others miss. Joy was the one that got tired most often so we'd put her on someone's shoulders for 5-10 minutes and then she was ready to hike again. She probably hiked 4 1/2 miles out of the 6. She wasn't as interested in the slugs, but she loved talking to fairies (clovers) and her shadow ("Oh there's my friend again!") as we walked so she kept herself pretty happy. I think she forgot the rest of us were there most of the time.
|Found a geocache|
|Putting the geocache back|
|Walking to the bus stop|
|Waiting for the bus|
|Walking into China Town|
|Watching the sea lions|
|Walking to the ferry|
|Stepping out of the ferry for a bit|
|Getting fed by the waitress after asking how to use chopsticks|