Nature Walk


A panoramic view of the pond

We are in the Midwest visiting family for the holidays. Today the girl and I took a walk looking for a beautiful deer we have spotted a few times while here. Unfortunately we did not come across the deer, but we did enjoy our time outside bird watching and looking for animal tracks in the snow.

We watched the geese for a while and then we accidentally scared them away.




There was also two hawks in the tress.




Autry went swinging for a while, and then we followed some animal tracks.


We were surprised by all the different tracks left in the snow.






Taking a nature walk is a wonderful way to spend the morning. Tomorrow we head home to 70 degree weather and blue skies. I have enjoyed the snow and cold, but I am ready to be back in California, to be home.

In Search of the “Super Moon”

Hello people. This is Autry “guest blogging” because my mom is too lazy to sit here and write this post. Just kidding, yeah she just asked me to write it.

Anyway we had a wonderful time last night walking around our AMAZINGLY beautiful neighborhood. Mom had told us a few days before about the “super moon” when the moon was the closest to earth in a long time. I forgot exactly how long, sorry guys. But anyway I thought mom was a bit crazy when she dragged us out at early evening to look for the moon. Why would it be out when the sun hadn’t set yet? Looking back on it, this was a really AWESOME idea since we got to see the sun set and the moon rise! 🙂

May I just say that the whole time we were walking around I was thinking, OMG I’m really glad I live in this EXACT part of Orange County. Why I say this exact part is because not every place in OC is full of beautiful rolling hills and California wildflowers that bloom everywhere and green trees against the gray sky and real California wild grass that looks sort of like wheat and is a sort of purple color. We really live in the thick of all the nature things here. And I’m really glad about that. We live on the nature preserve and by the Turtle Rock and the rolling hills.

First mom dragged us around the back way around our house. The whole time Decca did annoying things (in my opinion) and almost ran into us multiple times on his scooter and told extremely bad jokes that are best not relayed over this blog.  Tru and I tried to make him stop to no avail, and then Tru found a giant stick and we fought over the stick. Then we did this limbo thing with the stick…not sure why. Finally Mom took us to climb the big hill near our house.

That’s when I turned around from the top of the hill and saw the sky going dark and pink at the center, like it was colored by a misty oil pastel. The sun was visible just below the trees as it sank beneath the horizon. I thought that was pretty awesome. But then it was gone and we still didn’t see the moon anywhere. I was starting to feel like this was all a rip-off or something…

Anyway we went back and grabbed Kingsley. By that point, the sky was completely dark. Mom took us to the Turtle Rock. I love this place because on clear nights we lay there by the rocks and look up into the sky. It makes you feel so small. We toyed around there and fought some more. But by this point I wasn’t really expecting to see the super moon.

That’s when I turned around, and I wasn’t even thinking about the moon anymore, and I saw this yellow pale sliver that looked to me a bit bigger than the sun from below the trees. Since it honestly looked yellow just then to me, it took me a while to realize that it was the moon, but when I did it just took my breath away.

“Look at that mom!!” I said.

We ran on to get a better look when we stopped by a big hill. The moon was just peeking out from above it, so I was wondering why we stopped here. Then I saw that the moon was so big you could see it rising. We stood there and watched it climb through the sky over the hill.

I was like “Whoa.”

Next we went over to the chapel on a college campus in the hills in hope of seeing it better from there. Kingsley and Mom and the boys and I lay there on the grass by the chapel and looked up at the moon. Decca and I wanted to stay there for ever because whenever we are out at night like this, taking walks and seeing amazing things, I feel so awesome and so close to everyone else. And with this may I just say that I am so glad to live here in the midst of all this beautiful nature.

In search of the End of the Rainbow

It has been raining quite a bit lately, and the kids and I are loving it. We try to get out in the rain as much as we can, but with me now working full time (student teaching 1st grade) we haven’t had that much time this week. Walks in the rain are just one of many things that has changed around here, and we are all trying to adjust as best we can. The kids are actually doing just fine. It is my mom and I that are having the problems.

I hate to admit it, but I just do not like being in a classroom at all. I am working on my credential so I can work in one of the many charter schools in California that cater to homeschoolers, not so I can teach in a traditional brick and mortar school. But to get my credential I have to do just that, and so I am trying to do the best I can while I am there, but it is a major adjustment. My mom is also adjusting to being with the kids all the time, and with living in a new place. She and my stepdad rented an apartment near me so they would be able to help out, but they are still adjusting. She is hardly sleeping, I am hardly sleeping, and everyone is a little grumpy.

Back to our walk today, the kids and I searched for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The twins are a little old for this game, but they play along for Decca, and Decca was determined to find the gold. We searched for the end of the rainbow for an hour, but we never found it. It was an exciting time though, and it really is the experience that counts.

Student teaching isn’t so much about the experience as it is getting to my end goal. And that will be June 17th. I know we will make it. One day at a time.

Decca pointing to where we need to go.

We tried to get there!

Decca was so happy!

Tru played along, although he was busy thinking.

We found ducks swimming in a flooded field.

And we stopped to listen to a little waterfall. Then Decca and Autry played in the water...

We listened to a waterfall, Decca got soaking wet in the water, and

I got to carry him all the way home. A perfect ending to a perfect day!