For Memorial Day we had a FHE on the history of Memorial Day. We visited the memorial at West Jordan City Park, which has a monument to each of the branches of the armed forces. The kids each colored pictures to commemorate the holiday. We put them up around the house. We had pictures of soldiers, battles, fireworks.
The four younger children and I had told Colin and Chad about Bells Canyon, and we wanted to take them up there. Except this time we had plans to go farther. A lot farther. Here we are toward the beginning of our hike:
We hiked alongside a stream part of the way, and stopped at one point to have some lunch. I'd packed Oreos as an incentive for the kids to reach different points along the way.
The day was hot, but we did have shade for many portions of the hike, which helped a lot. We hiked and hiked and hiked. And it was a busy trail that day! We finally reached our destination after FOUR miles. And our little Matthew made it the entire way himself. Uphill, over rocks and boulders, tripping sometimes, he never gave up. When he did fall, he'd bravely jump back up and say, "I'm okay! I'm a ninja, and ninjas don't cry." We were just amazed at his resilience. The other kids we troopers as well. We had a beautiful waterfall as our reward. It sprayed a fine mist, which helped to cool us.
It always amazes me how much quicker it is to hike back down. And Matthew did all but about a mile of the downhill. Mira's feet started to really hurt her, but with encouragement, she made it. Colin, Micah, and Ella beat us by quite a bit, and hung out by the car waiting for us to make it down. We'd run out of water while coming down, and everyone was hot and thirsty. We'd tempted Mira with a Big Gulp if she could make it down by herself. So we trooped over to 7-11 and treated ourselves to Big Gulps. That revived everyone!
Chad and I are still blown away at the ability of our children. The hike certainly wasn't an easy one. But they did it. I love that we do these things as a family.