Making time for the outdoors


Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite – the falls are really going this time of year! Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

We’ve always felt it very important that our children spend plenty of time outdoors. There is nothing that puts life into perspective as a walk through the woods next to a whispering stream or the roar of a waterfall. Spending time outdoors not only educates, it also refreshes. It helps us celebrate the magnificent world created just for us and allows us to view God’s handiwork up close.

Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

When is the last time you made time to take your children somewhere other than your backyard? Get involved in some Outdoor challenges! Getting kids to love natures is something that must be cultivated and taught starting when they are young. Don’t forget your littlest ones too…often we forgot that adventures must be “retaken” for their sakes. Siblings may remember your last nature outing, but how about your youngest? 😉

Below are pictures from our recent trip to Yosemite. We are really blessed to live as close as we do to this beautiful park. It was the perfect setting to go over some of the things we recently learned in Otter’s botany curriculum! I kept pointing things out like the male and female pine cones, spores on the underneath of a fern, etc. That’s one thing I love about homeschooling, learning is just a part of life and not something that must always take place in a classroom.

I think our last visit’s theme was falls, falls and more falls. The waterfalls were really full (and breathtakingly beautiful) from snow runoff. The Merced River was also really full and there were unnamed trickles of water in places you won’t see anymore as soon as summer gets into full swing.


Yosemite Falls exploding with snow runoff – Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

Here’s another view of the falls. We walked to a bridge near the bottom and were blasted with spray & mist. It felt great after our 8 1/2 mile hike!

Top of Yosemite Falls

Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

We first explored Bridalveil Falls and then decided to walk to the Visitor Center in Yosemite Valley. Emily and Otter stand next to a sign showing how far we hiked from Bridalveil. Just 2 and a half more miles or so to get to our destination!


Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

A map below shows our highlighted route. All I can say is that blisters aren’t fun and Yosemite water from the water fountain tastes really good, especially after 8 1/2 miles. 😉 Oh, and I’m out of shape. But I can still make it. Barely. LOL…


Along the way we saw a multitude of interesting birds, butterflies, some deer with a fawn and even a snake!


A fawn grazes on some grass in the valley.
Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

I literally almost stepped on this. I can not only hike, I can JUMP!


Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of


We remembered the following rhyme and knew he (probably) wasn’t poisonous:

“Red and black is a friend of Jack. Red and Yellow is a deadly fellow.”

As you can see, with this snake, red is touching black. That makes him a harmless milk snake. I hope. LOL. He really was a pretty little snake. Not even scary, except that half second when I almost stepped on him.

Half Dome seen through the trees:


Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of


The Dogwood trees were blossoming:


Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of


The Merced River rushing over moss covered rocks:


Photo taken by my husband Charles Guest of

It was a lovely trip!

Get your kids away from the T.V. and computer and out in some trees or grass or water or something! A lot of outdoor adventures are free and they are often just a little drive away.
🙂 It’s good for them and it’s good for you!


We took the kids to Yosemite recently. Here are a few pictures from our visit.

The Merced River tumbling over rocks: (I was so pleased when my husband taught me how to use shutter speed to achieve that silky slow-mo water look!!):


Emily’s boots in the icy snow:


The lower half of Yosemite Falls:

Yosemite falls

A view of the top portion of Yosemite Falls:

Yosemite Falls

A cliff near Yosemite Falls shrouded in mist:


Our Trip to Yosemite

We took the kids to Yosemite this weekend for a day and had a wonderful time! I think it’s important for kids (and grown-ups!) to get plenty of time outdoors and if you can- to visit some really “raw” nature. Yosemite is one of our family’s favorite destinations.

Yosemite Falls was totally dried up! I have never seen it like this. You can check out some Google images to see how it looks most of the time.


The kids loved rock scrambling:

Rock scrambling

It was a hazy day, but still beautiful:


We all enjoyed the little, fat squirrels running around. This one was snacking on a cracker:


And this one was investigating Bear’s hand INSIDE the Awahnee Hotel!


I feel really blessed to live this close to such a magnificent place. Sometimes during the demands of daily life it’s easy to lose touch with the wonderful world God made and things can even feel overwhelming. Try to take some time, even just an hour if that’s all you can do, to devote to walking around somewhere with a beautiful vista and lots of fresh air. It will do your spirit a lot of good and make some of the day to day problems take on a more proper size.
God is always bigger than anything you are going through. It might take looking at an 8,836 foot chunk of rock to be reminded of that, but He really is!