Posts Tagged ‘Verde River’

Go to the River!

March 6, 2016

the river

(Photo courtesy of Simona, the mom with the phone.)

If you have been to any of my seminars for homeschooling, you are well aware that the river is my escape from schooling when it isn’t exactly working out as planned… and my fill-in for science. Look, plants! Look, frogs!

Homeschooling is hard, friends. But God made rivers and saw that they were good.

When kids can’t read when they “should”… go to the river.

When kids can’t remember the math operations you taught them yesterday… go to the river.

When children born in America who only have one language can’t seem to speak or spell their native tongue… go to the river.

See? It works wonders in multiple situations. We have been going to the Verde River in north east Scottsdale for 15 or 16 years. When we discovered it, it was an undeveloped reedy wonderland of huge stones, polliwogs and secret tunnels in the cattails. My kids LOVED it. I loved it, who are we kidding here?

Our minivan braved the rocky banks many times before the Tonto National Forest folks paved most of the road, cleared the rocks for a parking lot, put up barriers so you can’t accidentally drive into the river, and placed porta-potties for our general convenience. It is still just as grand and adventurous as the days of old… minus the standing water filled with frogs eggs. I miss that.

Phoenix has met or broken more heat records this year in the last month than I remember in all 19 years that we have lived here. It was 91 on Friday, MARCH 4th so I summoned some homeschool peeps and we went to the river. In the shade of the buzzing trees (Bees were very busy collecting pollen!  Science… check!) it was ideal for us moms to sit and relax in our camping chairs.

The water, however, was straight from high country snow melt and had the 17-year-old almost-men screaming like little girls because of the chill. My brave little Colombian princess was the first one all the way under… which is a BIG deal because she only went in up to her ankles for the first hour. I think her feet went numb and her brain froze and then she went all the way in.

As usual science naturally occurred. The kids gathered flowers for me when they saw my nature journal. The boys picked cattails and had sword fights. Several kids discovered a dead possum and examined its claws and teeth. Most importantly, they enjoyed being out in God’s creation and so did every one of the moms.

Please, go to the river. You need it. Your kids need it. Consider it Spring Break.

 

Spring Break Shakedown

March 19, 2009

OK, I just need to start by saying that I will NEVER sleep on the dirt again, as long as I have all my faculties and am conscious of where I am lying.   We left for camping yesterday.  We came home from camping today.  The timing couldn’t have been better for my aching bones.  Thankfully it was only an hour from home and the campsite was lovely.  I probably woke up 20 times last night… and every time I did I would think, “OH good!  That means I actually fell asleep for a little bit.”  I’m even a positive thinking when half conscious. 

The first time I opened my eyes and could see past my hand, I was out of that tent and off to the river to catch lunch.  Austin was right behind me and we made so much noise getting dressed, that Larisa came too.  Did we catch fish?  No.  We did catch other things.  And we know there were plenty of hungry fish in the Verde River because they taunted and teased us all day long by jumping out of the river to show us that they were there.  They even jumped within 6 feet of where I was standing… casting and reeling… casting and reeling. And in case you are planning a fishing excursion to the Verde River at Needle Rock Campground, the fish do not eat the following things on hooks:  power bait in green or pink, marshmallows, corn, bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs, ramen noodles (hard or soft), and by the way, the little piece of red fabric tied to the lure didn’t seem to help either.

We did eat fabulous food for camping:  steak shish-kabobs with rice, jiffy pop (told you!), breakfast hash, Chinese Chicken salad and of course smores.  As usual, we came up with a famous Crosby lines from our trip. (This is a family custom, so we will always have these inside jokes about our trips together.)  This trip’s line was Keeve’s answer to “When do you want to go home?”  It was discussed that we would leave at about 6:30 or 8:30 pm after another campfire dinner and family time around the burning wood.  The kids were asked at 2:00 when they wanted to go home, meaning, 6:30 or 8:30…. Keeve’s answer:  “How ’bout 30 minutes.”  He did have fun, but was stuffed up the whole trip and then got a rash on his legs from his wet bathing suit.  :o(  Poor boy.

You want pictures????  Of course you do!

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What in the world is the last picture?  You ask?  It’s the place where the midnight prowler scared the beegeebeez out of us.  We were sitting around the fire singing songs (Not Kumbaya either).  Cool songs like Islands in the Stream and some Kutless songs.  Anyway, I made everyone stop singing because I could hear something walking in the bushes.  At first my dear family mocked me and called me names like Chicken Little, Scaredy Cat and Lilly Livered.  But when the Coleman lantern lit up the weeds and they all saw them move, everyone except Rick and I was up on the picnic table in 2 seconds flat.  Rick and I chucked large rocks at the moving weeds and eventually it stopped.  But we took this picture for proof!  See how it’s all smashed down!  Proof!