Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Nature Walk

My in-laws live down in the Texas Gulf, so we spend time there every summer with my husband's siblings and all the cousins. This year we did our first Thanksgiving there. While not all the family could join, we had a lovely group of extended family and the traditional festivities of football watching and overeating and napping.

School-wise, we still had some things unfinished from the previous week, but I decided to return to it when we got back. While with the family I would just focus on the relaxing atmosphere of being on vacation and do some personal nature journaling. Although we did take a few nature walks down at the beach. It was super fun to do that in a completely different topography than what we're used to!

The first morning there, we went beach combing and got a ton of shells and crab exoskeletons that had been gifted by the previous night's high-tide. It was so chilly, nobody had been to the beach to snag them yet. So much fun to collect treasures in spite of the mist and wind. The boys had never been down to the beach during cold weather before, so it was strange to them to not get in the water. No swim suits!

We found some huge angel wing shells that were whole, not broken by the surf. They are very fragile, so this is rare. JK was very proud of his finds!

My sweet husband showing JK how you can spot clams by their bubbles.

Yet to be identified beach flowers.

Obligatory trip selfie. As the family photog, sometimes this is the only way I get into a shot. Note the cold, red noses. Brrr!

This was our view from the balcony the second morning. Ahhh! Much better weather! Mid 60's and not a cloud in the sky that day.

The weather was a little too chilly for my youngest on the first day. He wasn't interested in beach combing in the cold at all. But the second day, he was happy to get out in the sun and help Memah walk her dog on the beach. He is my animal whisperer...loves creatures, great and small. I find it so interesting that they respond to him in they know he will love them.

Family portrait.

Both boys watching and listening to a cousin (forefront) and Dedah (background) play guitar in the garage. I love that I've married into a musical family! My prayer is that one day these boys pick up an instrument and fall in love with it.

Sunset the night before we left. The perfect way to end our trip.

During a wrestling match with little brother and Dedah the morning of departure, this guy lost his first upper tooth. We teased him by asking him to say words with the letter S. :-D

We came home and washed and dried and organized our shells for our nature journaling.

I had fun with this journaling, although the details of the shells were HARD. I enjoyed creating a more artistic format I had wanted to try. Boys are still working on their journals. JK is learning to label his drawings, but B seems to have lost interest altogether in journaling. He's still young (Y0/prek), so I'm not pressing the issue at this point.

All around, it was a fun and yet different trip. My MIL works hard to be a kind and gracious hostess. There is never anything a guest is in need or want. She even lets me take over the kitchen in order to cook safely for my food allergies, so for that, I am incredibly grateful! It was indeed a Happy Thanksgiving!

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