Skip to main content

Outside 365 | August 2016


In terms of outdoor activities, I think we hit it out of the ball park in the month of August. Even with sick days in the mix, we managed to get our kids outside every day. And as far as our vacation goes, we spent almost every minute of every day outside... the only way we could have spent more time outside would have been if we had gone camping instead of staying in a cottage on a lake.


At the very end of July, Jack taught himself how to ride his bike, and we have been encouraging him to practice this skill as much as we can. We are looking forward to some bigger family bike rides in the future.


In August, we rode bikes, paddled, hiked together, visited Niagara Falls, and even introduced Jack to the joy of cliff jumping (small cliffs for him, obviously).


And as always there were many trips to the park and even time swimming with friends at the lake – Jack has fully embraced the skill of snorkeling. It is one of his all-time favorite things to do.


While on vacation, I read the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and I am even more convinced (if that is possible) to make sure our children spend time in nature on a daily basis.


My childhood was not one full of activities or weekends spent playing organized sports. I wandered in the woods, rode my bike unsupervised, or studied the clouds for hours on end. On Sunday afternoons I would sit in the sun on my back stoop and dream about life, letting the warm sunshine soak into me.


Family camping trips, swimming in lakes, and hikes in the Rockies as a teenager – these are the things that have stayed with me my entire life. And this book points out that these types of experiences are disappearing. Replaced instead by a culture of fear – fear of strangers and fear of nature itself.


Paradoxically, younger generations of children are taught they need to "save" nature, but they have limited personal experiences in nature. The advancement of technology has pushed this nature connection to the side. Recess is being replaced by standardized tests and children are not being allowed to immerse themselves in the natural world.


The ideas presented were not really new to me. They are things my husband and I discuss regularly and are making a conscious effort to do differently with our own children. The book just reminded me of the importance of why we are doing what we are doing, and also has made me think more about the future and how spending time outdoors might look as our children enter the school system.


Below are some of the passages from the book that spoke to me:
Within the space of a few decades, the way children understand and experience nature has radically changed... a kid today can likely tell you about the Amazon Rain Forest – but not about the last time he or she explored the woods in solitude, or lay in a field listening to the wind and watching the clouds above.
In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a distant place from the adult world, a separate place.
As we grow more separate from nature, we continue to separate from one another.

...as more parents keep their children inside the house or under rigid control, youngsters will be deprived of chances to become self-confident and discerning, to interact with neighbors, or to learn hot to build community...

What if farms and ranches were to become the new school yards, offering lessons and hands-on experience in ecology, culture and agriculture?

The dominant form of education today "alienates us from life in the name of human domination, fragments instead of unifies, overemphasizes success and careers, separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical, and unleashes on the world minds ignorant of their ignorance." In other words, today's practices help create the know-it-all state of mind, and the accompanying loss of wonder.

We cannot care for God if we do not care for his creation. The extent that we separate our children from creation is the extent to which we separate them from the creator – from God.

This past Sunday when we got home from church, Jack said he wanted to stay outside to look at the beautiful view. He laid down on our front porch, in complete quiet and stillness for quite some time... I think we are doing something right.

A Look Back at Project Outside 365:
January 2016 ⎮ February 2016 ⎮ March 2016 ⎮ April 2016 ⎮ May 2016 ⎮ June 2016July 2016

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Update: 32 Weeks, What's It Like to Have Polyhydramnios

I have had some questions about how I am feeling so I thought I would share what it has been like for me to experience Polyhydramnios with this pregnancy. If you have missed my previous posts, I have too much amniotic fluid in my uterus which makes my belly really big and it also causes early contractions (and possibly labor) because my body thinks it is further along than it is. For me it meant a hospital stay at almost-30 weeks to stop contractions.

Yesterday I had my follow up with the high-risk OB. Their ultrasound measurements showed the fluid is currently 21cm (which is below the risk). The measurements are a bit of an art project with different people getting different numbers (last week I was still measuring 25cm). The doctor I saw said they will continue to measure and assess me on a weekly basis for now. According to him, once I make it to 34 weeks, they would not try to prevent birth if I went into labor. He also mentioned wanting to induce me at 38 weeks. We shall see... my…

Weekend Project: Sign Art

UPDATE 01/07/16
This project is by far my most viewed post thanks to Pinterest and also this blog post from Make Magazine in 2014. If you are interested in purchasing a PDF of the words from me, you may do so for $20. Contact me at cheree dot moore at gmail dot com to make the purchase. If you make your own sign, I would love to hear about and see your results!


For some time, I have been intrigued by the idea of transferring printed art to wood. Specifically the transfer of words (or typography). Sign art is all over the internet – be it blogs I follow or Pinterest – and I have had an itch to try my hand at it. 


Daniel and I had some scrap wood from pallets from our move to Alabama that was in good shape and I thought that this wood gave me the perfect opportunity to create a (cheap) sign for our living room.


It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to go on the sign and then it took even longer to research how I would do the transfer. Actually doing the project took even longer sin…

It's the Final Countdown

Three long years ago, we learned that Daniel was going to be relocated from working in Hollywood, Alabama to two hours north in Spring City, Tennessee. We knew it was coming, but it still turned our world upside down. We spent eight months living out of suitcases, in and out of hotels and vacation homes during the week, until finally settling into our current home on Signal Mountain.
We both felt strongly that we made the right choice in regard to the location of our new home, but we knew it would be a difficult journey – Daniel's new position promised long hours, with a 70-minute commute each way. We were told the job would last about a year, so we hoped and prayed for the best.
To say it's been a hard experience would be an understatement. Jack went through a phase where he didn't believe that Daniel lived at our house. Which was kind of true. For months on end, Daniel worked 6-7 days a week, and sometimes weeks at a time without a day off. The hours were lo…