tennis bubble

PrayerGirl, our little homebody that claims everything is boring, has finally found a sport that she likes. After 8 weeks of her first class, then into this second session, she still gets excited about going to class. Yes!

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pumpkin harvest days at butler’s orchard 2015

since the first hint of color in the leaves
prayerGirl has been asking to go to the pumpkin patch.
this year butler’s orchard did not disappoint.
even as the weather threatened rain on the way there,
when we arrived there was nary a cloud in the sky.
the animals were all out,
the apples were crisp,
the pumpkins were perfect,
and the big girls managed to find the exit to the corn maze
before i had to come looking for them.
we ended our visit with a pumpkin roll from the farm market.
pumpkin roll…mmm-mmm.

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now i’ve just got to make sure we actually do something with pumpkins we picked.

archery

the girls ended their summer with an archery workshop
that included archery anatomy, safety and techniques,
making their own arrow,
and, of course, time at the range getting close and personal
with a bow and arrow.
this was not their first time shooting,
but no class has been this thorough.
ms. behrend was their certified 4-H archery instructor
at the rustic Patuxent River 4-H Center.

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now all we need is a archery club for kids in PG county.

woods wise

this summer three of our girls attended
ancestral knowledge‘s woods wise camps.
the progression of their comfortability with nature
and knowledge and hands-on application of survival skills
makes me so…envious.

they came home mud-stained from neck to toes,
sometimes with a tick or two,
but always with a sense of confidence, camaraderie with their peers,
and calm.

i didn’t catch a pic of signGirl, but after her first woods wise camp
she is comfortable wielding a very sharp knife of her own,
and us parents are confident that she can handle it responsibly.

in woods wise 2,
among other things,
mercyGirl learned how to use a bow drill to make fire.
that’s some primitive power!
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this is radianceGirl’s third woods wise camp.
she made her own bow and arrow.
how cool is that!
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though they still ask us parents to remove spiders from their rooms
or squeal in terror because of some many-legged insect,
there is something about spending all day outdoors
(with some excellent counselors as their guides)
that gives them the courage to go farther.

wizard of oz playground at watkins regional park

newWatkinsPark4

we’ve been waiting for this park to re-open since winter.
we’d drive by on our way to or from classes at watkins nature center
and peek at their progress.
i don’t know if it’s been officially opened
since workers were still painting on the yellow brick road during our first visit
along with some other works-in-progress,
but that, nor the heat, stopped my girls from exploring this “wizard of oz”-themed park.

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newWatkinsPark2

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the play area is awesome,
but thankfully there are still lots of places for shade,
and the nearby picnic pavilions remain,
plus there is another flat area suitable for a game of, say, kickball, or the like.

now we’re waiting for the new camping areas to open…

lotus and water lily cultural festival

right on time for spectacular views
of the lotuses and water lilies in full bloom
was the 2015 lotus and water lily cultural festival
at kenilworth aquatic gardens.

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there were free hands-on activities, demonstrations, educational workshops, Civil war reenactors, and Asian and African dance performances —
something to tickle everyone’s fancy.
the free face painting was a particular hit with the kids (line be damned!).

this event will be on my calendar next summer inshaAllah,
but the aquatic gardens has other interesting wildlife and art park programs that we may check out before then.