Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gold Hill

Did I ever tell you that I like camping? Well, I do. In case you hadn't figured that out by now. Getting away from the noise, the lights, the home chores, the screens, the lack of dirt, all the stuff we have, and getting back to the basics of enjoying who and what is real around us. I do love it.

This weekend we went only about 15 miles from our front door up into the mountains past the little town of Gold Hill. We camped on Roosevelt National Forest land where camping is allowed, BYO water and TP. The girls and I left early on Friday and Mitch came up on his bike when he got off of work. Don't you love living so close to the mountains!

We found a great kid-friendly campsite. And the girls were in heaven for the weekend.They had a wrestling house:

S'mores toasted over the fire:

A hammock boat to play in:

Great trees to climb:

A fort (or hospital, as it became in their play) that we built for them to have fun in:

Can you see Anna and Josie in there?

Dinner cooked over the fire:

And lots of time for this little family to spend together without the normal distractions of city life as we know it.

It amazes me how fast these girls can get dirty. I guess it is a camping rite of passage. For the mom, I mean. Getting past caring how dirty your kid's face and hands and clothes are. As long as you clean their little hands before they eat, right?
Although, I have to add, maybe it has nothing to do with camping. Maybe all the dirt has more to do with being a kid, so free and innocent with none of the adult cares and joy-stoppers that we all carry around with us:
Little miss Ruthie. And I thought you got dirty camping! I got out the hose before I let that little munchkin back in the house!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bunk Beds!

It was about time. These girls were desiring a space of their own in our home. And mom and dad were desiring a bedroom of their own:) Until now we've had a twin bed in their room with a crib size mattress pushed underneath it during the day as our 'trundle bed'. Anna and Josie traded each week, or more often, who slept where. Now the trundle bed belongs to Ruthie and both the older girls have a bed of their very own. Anna, especially, has been wanting a place of her own, out of reach of her youngest sister, where she can do her 'setups' and not have them disturbed. Hopefully this will give her that space. The only problem is that the ladders are permanently attached. We'll have to work on that one with Ruthie.

Last night, before going to sleep, Anna kept telling us "tomorrow morning, first thing, I'm going to wake up and look out the windows! That's what I'm going to do!" And Josie would say in reply: "Tomorrow morning, when I wake up, the first thing I'm going to do is swing on my monkey bars!" (The mattresses are sitting on metal slats- her monkey bars.)
Thank you, Michelle, for loaning me a spacious vehicle, and Ruth, for watching the girls, so I could go pick up these bunk beds. I wish you all could have seen the energy in this house when I walked in the door bringing the bunk beds home. All the girls literally started bouncing off the walls, laughing and screaming in excitement. Quite a fun site! You can't tell it by the look on Josie's face in this picture (she's making a silly face for the camera) but she was just as excited as Anna was. When the camera wasn't pointed at her she had a grin on her face just as big as Anna's.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


She's getting bigger, folks, and she's a cutie! Watch out world, here she comes! Not that I'm prejudiced or anything. :-)
Never one to be left behind, she wants to do everything her sisters do. I do believe she thinks she's 3.

She hardly ever stops moving and can disappear in the blink of an eye-hiding behind a bush or a door with a huge grin on her face waiting for you to come find her.
Spunky and active.
She can open the screen door now and bolts for the great outdoors every chance she gets. She finds every puddle and promptly stomps in it.

Sweet and innocent.

Adventurous and bold. Full of laughter and fun.
She's quite a character, her own unique individual. She knows her mind, knows what she wants and how she wants it.
Outgoing and conversant. A little talker.

She does like her mama snuggles. And I cherish every moment.

Thanks for all the good pictures, Grandma Jo!

Daddy's Work

Mitch is working this summer for the city of Lafayette, as he did last summer, only last summer he was an intern and now he is actually an engineer, having graduated and, as we just found out, passed his FE exam! Congratulations, Mitch! His main work for the first half of the summer is overseeing a major paving project that the city is doing on their main road. The girls love going to visit Daddy at work. They love seeing their Daddy and they love seeing where he is all day when he is not with us, getting a glimpse of what he does. They also love all of the fun things we have found to do in the city of Lafayette, the different parks, the lake and the water park we like to play in. Today, after we dropped Grandma Jo off at the airport, we went by Lafayette to see Daddy's work. We got to watch them laying down the asphalt, rolling it, and striping it.
Here are the girls watching the roller go by:
In between watching the paving we also had fun at the water park:

I love all their facial expressions when the girls are playing in the water, their delight and laughter in their play and their grimaces at the water in their face.

So much innocent little girl fun!

Warming up after water play:

Their favorite kind of day. Full of the excitement of water fun on a hot day and getting to see Daddy at work and watching a big part of what he is working on. The only bummer was saying goodbye to Grandma Jo this morning. We miss you Grandma Jo!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hiking with Grandma Jo

My Mom is here visiting so we decided to go for a little hike with her along the Anne U. White trail just outside of Boulder. Of course it decided to rain on us. But we went anyway.
Everything is so green right now, it was beautiful! And a little chilly.

Josie wanted to eat her way down the trail so she found a way to prop her umbrella in her water bottle sling so she had both hands free for her snack.

Sweet, tired Ruthie, who fell asleep on my back by the end of the hike.

Down the trail we go!

By the end of our hike the sun came back out and warmed us up.
Josie found the hugest earthworm I have ever seen! I thought it was a stick, but she saw it and stopped to look at it. Good eyes, Josie!
Fun times with Grandma Jo. We'll miss you in the coming year!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


We went camping and climbing this weekend in Vedauwoo, in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. We all had a wonderful, relaxing time. The girls loved every minute of it and played nonstop with their friend Alex. There's nothing like the relaxed pace of camping for finding the time to connect and be present with the people you love the most. The weather was perfect, not too cold, no rain, not too many mosquitoes, more stars out at night than our girls ever remember seeing, s'mores over the campfire, lots of yummy food-homemade pizza grilled over the campfire, fun rock climbing for the whole family, good conversation with close friends, quality family time... Perfect.

Ruth, Alex, Anna and Josie sitting in their chairs around the campfire in the morning chill:

The threesome at play- Alex, Anna & Jo:

Darren O'Connor cooking sausage for breakfast:

Mitch almost to the top of a challenging Vedauwoo climb:
Darren belaying him:

Me with all the girls watching Ruth climb:

Me on the rock with Ruth belaying:

Alex, Anna and Josie all took turns climbing as well but I didn't get any pictures of them. Bummer. They looked great, though! We were too busy belaying them and coaching them on the climb.

But here's a picture of Alex at the bottom of the climb with Pat and Darren getting ready behind her:
Of course spending time camping means we all got covered in dirt. So when we got home I turned the sprinkler on for the girls and they took their shower!

There's not much that I like better than being able to be outside all day and all night like you are when you are camping, being able to use all five senses to connect with the world around me. I love feeling the warmth and the cold as the temperatures fluctuate day and night, feeling, hearing and seeing the wind, listening to and seeing the birds, the smell of pine and dust and campfire, feeling soft dirt between my toes, hearing all the night sounds of a world awake while we are asleep, seeing the stars unobscured by electric lights, not insulated from what is real and timeless and wild. I love the cycle of day and night as I love the cycle of the seasons, the feeling of being small in a creation that is big and beautiful and intricate and awesome and doesn't need me, and yet being an intimate part of that creation, bound by time in the midst of the timeless, connecting and present to the world around me as a way of connecting to the God who made all of it. For me, that is a piece of heaven in the here and now.
Thanks, Ruth, Darren and Alex, for inviting us camping and taking us climbing!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rain Ride with Nora and Sam

You know it is going to happen if you make plans for a picnic and a bike ride with two of your favorite people. That is the surest way to make it rain. We had to picnic inside on the living room floor but we still wanted to go for our bike ride despite the pouring rain and thunder and lightening. Dont worry, we waited until the storm had passed over and there was at least no more thunder and lightening before we took off. Just a little bit of light rain still coming down and lots of puddles to ride through.
The girls found a puddle in the courtyard as we were getting ready to take off, little ones do seem to have a radar for puddle finding.


And after!

We had fun! Yelling and laughing and finding every puddle there was on our ten mile ride. If you ever want to go on a fun bike ride, just take Nora and Sam along. But be ready to ride fast and be ready to get wet! Even if I had wanted to avoid a particularly deep looking puddle the rooster tail arching up from Nora's wheel was enough to soak me through and through! Nora at least had a crate on the back of her bike that acted like a fender to keep her from getting covered with a majority of her road spray. The roads and bridges were a bit slick and Sam had one fall that sliced up his hand. Other than that we sure had fun! Do you want to go again sometime soon, Nora and Sam?!

Ruthie's Game

I'm sure this game has been played in your own household if you have ever had young children or were a young child. Right now Ruthie is the master of this dinnertime game in our house. She loves it! It's a follow-the-leader sort of a game where Ruthie is the leader and the rest of us do whatever she does, all while sitting at the table. She's very good at getting the rest of us to play with her. As dinner is starting to wind down and Ruthie is pretty much finished eating she'll start banging on the table or clapping her hands or waving them in the air or whatever it is that she wants you to mimic. If you don't follow her she'll say your name very insistently until you do the requested action, demonstrating again what she's wanting you to do. Of course, since we all like to play because of the grins we get on her face, we're not hard to convince.

Here's a little video of the Clement family dinnertime fun.