Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A (Thankful) Walk in the Woods

Oh, my goodness!
Little kiddos, the sun is not that bright!
A week and a half ago,
I decided we were going to go to a local college and check out the trails.
Just, you know, explore.
I figure God has us here for one more year,
we better do some things we've never done here.
I hear about families that "hike" and go to fun places all the time.
They go up north, they go to on bike trails and they hike.
These families camp and seem to have so much fun together.
Now, let me make one thing clear to you:
We are NOT that family!
And that's OK
(although, I secretly wish we were)
Tom has a really bad back and will never be active like that.
In fact, when I decided to go do this,
I knew he would not be able to go
(and he's OK with that)
So, I tell the kids after Mass that Sunday,
"We're going to St John's to explore and go on a nature walk",
half the kids freaked out!
"Why?" "how long will it take?"
"But I wanted to call my friends!"
"Do we all have to go?"
"Do you have to bring your camera?"
"Can I bring my DS for the ride?"
And on and on and on.
"Yes, you are all going, and you will love it!"
See?  We are not that family.
I have to make my kids go.
But you know what? 
They loved it!
They were all happy we went.
I'll take you along and  try to be real here,
so, I'll try to show you what is behind the pictures.
 So, out at St John's University,
there is this giant "stick  house" as we call it.
I will let the next picture tell the story, but
It's a really fun thing to go see and play in!
It says it would be in place for 2 years, but they've given us an extra year!
(they must have known we'd still be in Minnesota this year!) 
 Now, I'll be honest here, I had to promise
a special treat on the way home, if they, in return,
let me take as many pictures as I want!
 And I had to remind them of this promise several times.

 This one is definitely not going on the Christmas card.
Alright, let's go.
 There are 2 paths, one going one way, towards this building thing full of people,
and the other going another way where no one is in sight.
 We choose the empty path
 I stop several times to try to capture the beauty all around me.
God, just giving us so much to be Thankful for in His splendid world!

 She's measuring the grass that is taller than she is!
 Beautiful birch trees
My camera just simply can not capture the beauty around us.
Thankful it's such a nice, warm day!
We are able to take our time and enjoy the sunshine!
We decide to take a little side path off the main path.

It brings us here.
 Look at that blue water!
Perfect spot for a picture!
 Thank you God for 6 year olds. 
We will not be using this one in the Christmas card either.
(she's always moving, so her face is blurry and she's shadowing Sims)
 The kids say, "How about up here on this little hill?"
Nope.  Too dark. And no one has their eyes open!!
 Now, what happened next, is not because my jeans were too tight, really it's not.
I knelt down one leg in front of the other (kind of like a lunge) to get that last picture and
somehow my pants ripped....go ahead, click on the picture, make it bigger.
 You can click on this picture too, but the rip kind of hides itself because
my jeans are not tight.
But they ripped!!
(the rip is a couple inches from my butt)
Dang it, these were my favorite jeans.
The rip continued to rip with every step, all the way across my leg.
I'm keeping my jeans. 
I'm going to wear them someday when I have no place to go
Now the kids are kind of getting into these pictures
There's a treat involved and we are closer to that treat, and hey, this walk is not that bad.
"Hey mom, take a picture of us looking at the pond!"

 I kind of like this picture without the kids in it...really, it was so beautiful.
I could have just sat there for hours.
 Well,  not really, because, I did have the kids with and they wanted to keep moving.
We had no idea how long this path was, but we were going to keep going until the end.

 We stop Oh, maybe 26 or 34 times total to get rocks out of our boots
and find other rocks to dig out of the ground.

 Pure beauty.
If I had a lot of money and a lot of time
I think I'd be a photographer.
Well, I'd like to learn how to be a photographer!
 "Mom, take a picture of me in this tree."
See?  They are liking this walk now.
 I spy the beautiful berries nearby.
 Cutie Pies!
Thankful for this.
 This path ends up going all the way around this little pond.
 Now, the path says it goes to some kind of waterway we go or turn around?
 We go!
Come on girls!
It's not scary!
 Some are ahead of me, some are behind.
 I wonder what they were talking about here...(or fighting about)
 Wow, how long is this dock?
It's long.
And it's wobbly and there are no fences to keep anyone from falling in.
I figure it's not deep, it will be OK if someone falls in.
 Perfect spot for a picture!
(or not)
 It's coming to an end, into the woods!
 Pictures do not show the feeling  you get in this section of woods!
It's SO cool!!
It's like you are between two hills, walking through, the only color you can see is YELLOW!
 There are so many leaves that have fallen, it's hard to find where the path is!
There are fallen trees everywhere.
We can see the sun glistening through the tops of the yellow trees!
 A nature-made balancing beam

 The color in my picture just did not give what we actually saw justice.
Ah!  Thank you PicMonkey!
This is truly what we actually saw!

 I think we could have spent hours just in this woods! 
I felt like a kid again, wanting to just explore, climb on trees
and kick leaves!
(and stay!)
 Before PicMonkey

 (side note: Does anyone have certain settings they like to use with PicMonkey?)
 We are almost done.

OK, OK, I'll stop!

 We look back to the woods, wondering if we'll ever come back.
The kids try to make me promise not to bring my camera next time.
This tree-bush thing was super soft.
Thank you for coming along with us on this Fall walk!
Thankful we live in a world with so many precious gifts from God
just there for us to enjoy.
Look around, there is beauty everywhere.
Almost as beautiful as the beach!


  1. You need to take the walk along the lake to the Chapel in the woods! And the Saint Kateri Statue! We try to take the St Johns walk every Autumn, just beautiful!

  2. No way! My brother goes to St. Johns. (Well, this semester he is studying abroad in France but usually he goes there.) We love the stick house!

    1. Cool! Cool on both things, being so close to us and studying in France!

  3. Wonderful pictures! I am a wanna be photographer also. Just don't have the 3,000 start up funds and no confidence to take out a loan thinking I could go pro. I actually looked into it! What beautiful pictures. Wondering what the "treat" was to get all those! The chapel walk is nice. You have to go onto campus and ask I guess. Sorry to hear Tom is still struggling with back issues.

    1. You already have the nice camera...that saves a ton of money! You'd be an awesome photographer! I'd hire you! :)

      The treat was the Dairy Queen, the last warm weekend they were open!

      OH, gosh, I have been praying and praying for him...not sure it's Tom's back will ever be healed. I trust God will lead us though.

  4. We are so NOT that family either!
    You probably guessed that!
    But I am glad you all had a wonderful, amazing walk and spent such time together. : )
    Love the pictures my sweet friend!

    1. Yep!! I did and I see so many similarities--only I think I secretly want to be THAT family and I'm not sure you do??!! :)
      We always spend time together, just not hiking in unknown territory! Hahahaha!

      Love you Billie Jo!

  5. What a great trail, I would like to take our kids on this adventure. I am pretty sure the leaves have all fallen by now.This weekend is probably the last nice weekend to do it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is a great trail! And yes, I think all the leaves have fallen, and if they hadn't before today, they have's snowing outside right now!

  6. I have not looked outside yet...I refuse to look. Isn't PicMonkey great? I love using it, I use it all the time to advertise my rosaries. And yep, for some reason, the colors of the leaves don't show through in the camera. I wonder why that is?

    Did you know my sister is now officially a photographer? A magazine hired her to take a picture of one of their models...she has her own studio now. See? Sometimes it just all works out, though I will admit that the stars must align and all that. (Just kidding.)

    Wonderful walk. I would love to go to St.John's some day. I'm glad it's not just my kids that complain.

    1. Good idea for your rosaries! I bet PicMonkey does good for food pictures too...might have to try it!

      Wow, how awesome your sister is a REAL photographer!

      Glad we are not the only ones that have complaining kids!

  7. That's a beautiful place, and I love the berry photo with that gorgeous blue background.

  8. Such beauty all around! God is so amazing! Your description of your kids (family) is so much like mind except David is the TOTAL outdoorsman type.

    1. Glad we are not the only ones!! And YES God is amazing!

  9. Love all the pictures! Isn't fall so lovely?

  10. What a fun day - and such great pictures! I know your Christmas card is going to be just perfect! Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks Deb! You know, the funny thing is, when Christmas comes closer, I'll want to do a "newer" picture...not a fall one!

  11. So beautiful! And being honest, our family walks that used to be so wonderful have turned into less than in recent years. We still do them though for the physical exercise and family time, but end up with more disgruntled kids and lollygagging these days. Good for you taking advantage of the beauty and nice weather to head to St. John's. We really need to go out there again since we haven't for years.

    1. You guys are awesome at going for walks! (and runs!)

  12. I just love this post and its humor. It's nice today, too, Jamie! Let's get outside!

    1. Yes! We must take advantage of any outside time we can when it's nice out!

  13. This is great! I wish we were that kind of family too. My husband is not an outdoorsy person. I was, but darn health issues keep me from it most of the time. Plus, having one that melts down if she has to walk more than 50 feet makes such a thing difficult.

    And oh, the reality of pictures!!! So funny.

    1. Oh, my 6 year old kept saying, "My legs are tired" in her most whiny voice ever.

      So sorry you have such a hard time outside...especially when it's nice out!


Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!