We live close to a famous national park. It's a very lucky thing. Also lucky is the fact that it's G's Ph.D. research area, so he has a sampling permit. When we want to go up there, we just take his permit and a few empty sampling bottles and voila, free park day.
What the boys love most in the park is climbing on big boulders. Indeed, bouldering is very popular even for adults. The paranoid mommy in me is kind of hoping they stick with that instead of climbing the very very very big cliffs where you sometimes see climbers who have climbed halfway up one day, then pitched their tents by means of some crazy contraption holding them on the face of the cliff. I see those and my stomach comes just about up to my nose.
When my parents were with us for Thanksgiving, we spent our last day together up in the mountains. Despite frigid temperatures, the boys were all over the boulders under Yosemite Falls. They both slipped and got their feet wet. They were miserable, but G helped them out and we piggybacked them to the car so they wouldn't have to walk on their soggy, cold feet.
So when I was looking through the Friend last night for a quick Family Home Evening, this brought tears to my eyes. I knew the kids would listen and understand if I started asking them to remember their own experience climbing on boulders in a rushing stream, then introduced the painting in the magazine and the concept of relying on the Savior. It went so great. They actually paid attention ... for once. It is the biggest treat to me to see comprehension in their eyes.
The lesson was followed by a puppet show from S about sheep having a war. (Thanks for the sheep puppets, Grandma!) Treats were vanilla pudding cups with whipped cream left over from Sunday dinner. We definitely operate on the keep-it-simple principle for family night. It's so nice when it actually works.
When A said his bedtime prayer he asked that we could keep Z in our family, learn about Jesus and learn to read. I'm guessing that last one applied mainly to him. Anyway, so sweet.