My brother and his family live in southern California. Needless to say we don't see them often. In fact, I think the last time I saw my brother was when our mom passed away two years ago. And due to the quickness of everything it was just him - not his wife or two girls either.
Due to that we decided to go out and see the sites - take them all to places we hadn't been to before or it had been quite a while. While talking to my brother before his trip he mentioned he wanted to check out a waterfall. A few years ago - maybe four - they were all here on vacation and we headed up to Moxie Falls. They are pretty impressive, but we decided to head somewhere he hadn't been before, so we went to check out Houston Brook Falls. My sister and I (and our families) have done this hike before, but it was new for my brother and his family. We had a great time and took lots of "cousin" pictures.
They are in age order...from the left to the right...
Age 6, age 7, age 8, age 9, age 10, and the tall guy on the end
was almost 15 in this photo.
The next day we headed over to where we all grew up and hit a state park I had never been to - we always went to the "free beach" nearby instead. It was just all the ladies and kids this time and we went on a really long hike and a very short cold swim - well the kids only did the swim. Crazy kids.
The hike was fun - even if it was long and we saw all kinds of neat things. Well, I thought they were neat anyway. The kids did until about halfway through.
The third day we headed to the desert. Yes, Maine has its very own desert. It was created due to poor farming practices. In fact the group photo at the top was taken at the desert. It's really a great place to visit and the day we went it was only about 75 degrees with a great breeze. Perfect desert weather!
Next stop on our whirlwind week didn't actually include my brother. It was the only day I didn't see him or his family. The boys and I are participating in a science co-op this fall. We are doing a fast-track of all the experiments for Apologia biology for high school level kids. Then we're using Considering God's Creation for the younger siblings. Thursday we met for the first time and did a study on pond life - needful for the older kids for the labs and fun for the younger crew.
Finally on Friday the boys & I headed to Fort Knox on the coast. My friend Deb was in Maine visiting from New York and I hadn't seen her in about four years. This is a great place to visit - especially if you have kids - and between the two of us there are eight. So of course we had to line them up!
We did see my brother and sister and their families briefly when we went up the observation tower of the bridge nearby but my focus on this day was Deb and her family so I hurried off to meet up with her.
We also managed to attend Vacation Bible School each night.
Needless to say we were all pretty exhausted come Saturday but instead of resting we spent the day with family celebrating a new decade of life for my fabulous mother-in-law (and a new year of birth for my oldest) but more on that later!
Our first week of the 2011-2012 school year was full of field trips. I put hundreds of miles on my truck but made even more memories. I'll be blogging more in depth on my school blog and I do have the first two field trips up. So if you'd like to see more photos and read more details of each trip, head over to Freedom Academy.