Dave thought Collin undressing himself for the first time was picture-worthy. Look how proud this cute naked boy is!
Benjamin (who thankfully rarely gets out of bed after we put him to sleep anymore (unlike his sister)) came down and in tears explained how sad he was that he had to be in his room away from us when all he wanted to do is be with us because he loves us so much. How can you not let that melt your heart?!?! After some big cuddles with him and explaining how I miss him too but that he does need his rest, Daddy came to the rescue and offered to cuddle in bed with him while Benjamin fell asleep. I knew how that would end up! By the way, I left them like that all evening and night! : )
We had a tiring day on Saturday and the kids were pestering each other and so we decided we needed to get them outside and something to focus on. We decided to skip church (where we thought the misbehaving would surely continue) and Dave had the great idea to teach them that we can worship God anywhere. So we headed to Brown County and enjoyed a full day of learning about all of God's wonderful gifts that we can find in nature. The kids loved it and it was a perfect family day! While we were eating our picnic, we spotted our first animals....two large birds flying around in a circle together.
Benjamin thought they were pretty funny and told us that they were doing "The bird Ring-Around-The-Rosie".
I tried to get a cute picture of all three kids, but it wasn't in the cards. Poor Benjamin smiled so nicely for me pretty much the whole time while Anna and Collin took turns being goofy. Finally, Daddy was sweet enough to come over and help me get a somewhat good shot!
After our picnic, we took the kids into the nature center. It had been a year or two since we had last looked around in there and the kids had so much fun seeing all the animals. I think their favorite was this rattlesnake. He was pretty fascinating....getting to be so close to him as he climbed up and down the glass right next to us! (His head is next to Benjamin's thumb in the picture)
It was really neat to be so close to this cute little turtle too! (The top was left open, so we could lift the kids up and they were right above him)
Watching the bees making honey was really fascinating. They had a flower garden outside the building and a small hole with a path into this glass structure that the bees would fly in and out of collecting pollen and then returning in for us to watch them do their work.
I took over 20 pictures of Anna trying to get one pretty shot of her in these beautiful surroundings. She is so silly and animated, it's hard to get her to do a natural smile instead of throwing her arms in the air and posing with a silly grin!
The hike we went on (which was just short of a mile!) was overgrown on the sides of the path in a few places and so I took the opportunity to get a pretty picture. Again though, I had sweet Benjamin smiling perfectly while his siblings took turns being goofballs!
We all had so much fun pointing out all the great finds on our hike. We saw so many different kinds of mushrooms and fungi, squirrels, birds, a big snail, nuts in various stages, trees standing tall/broken in half/and dead and rotting away. It was a great way to teach the kids. Here's Dave showing the kids the differences in bark on various trees.
Collin was yelling at me in this picture (telling me that NO! he didn't want his picture taken, he wanted to just walk!) but I wanted to capture some shots of how beautiful this hike was. We never saw another person the whole time and were just surrounded by all these beautiful trees everywhere you looked!
She was so proud when it was her turn to be the leader and when the path was a little bit tedious and I would make her hold my hand for safety, she'd tell me "I love walking with you! I love it when it's the girls!"
Eventually it registered with Collin's body that it was nap time and he settled in nicely on his strong Daddy!
He seems so big when he's walking all over (and sometimes running) and talking and then he seems so young and like our baby again when he sleeps peacefully like this! PS He's now up to 3 molars and doing so well with them!!
After hiking for an hour and a half we decided that we had all earned an ice cream treat and headed into town to try some of their yummy ice cream flavors. It was such an awesome day surrounded by God's beauty!!!