Friday was a beautiful day here, so once we finished school we packed a lunch and headed out to Saint John’s for our first hike of the spring around the lake. I purchased a used jogging stroller which let Gabriel and Sebastian ride along and prevented the complaints that come with tired 2 year old legs. We hiked the trail until we got to the soccer field where we took a break. Sebastian sat on a blanket and pulled at the grass while the boys headed across the field to climb the bleachers. They happily came back across the field bearing gifts of the first picked dandelions of the season.
After discovering that the bleachers, if you sit where you put your feet, makes an excellent table, the boys requested some lunch. After the respite we journeyed on, Isaac running far ahead to clear the way for the rest of us.
After venturing a bit farther we stopped again for another rest and snack. Jack and Stephen found a large stick and tried some fishing. Stephen managed to catch quite a mass of lake grass. Gabriel found a mud hole and delighted himself with poking a stick in and out of the mud, until he lost his footing and fell in. He made the remainder of the hike in his shirt and diaper, as he really doesn’t care for having anything wet on his clothes.
Isaac and Stephen ran on ahead and waited for us at the chapel where we looked around, read Mary’s prayer, and had another snack by the lake. I am trying to give the boys their freedom to explore on their own, though I confess to having fears of them falling in the water or losing their way in the woods.
On the trip back we spotted about 30 turtles sitting in the lake. I saw a red-headed woodpecker, and we saw another bird (perhaps a heron) diving over the lake, though too briefly to identify. Isaac and Stephen again forged ahead, and at the end of the trail I saw this happy site:
Altogether, we were out for about 5 hours and with no tears except for a few skinned knees.