Cadar Lakes {Ripley, West Virginia}

I'm embarssed to admit that I've lived in the area for 14 years and didn't know that there was another side to Cedar Lakes.  Sure, we go and ride bikes, check out the Arts & Crafts Fair, and let's not forget the Christmas light show, but WHY has no one not ever told me about the trails in the woods?

Rob knew that the kids and I were going adventuring; when I text him these photos he replied that he didn't recognize where we were.  It's like we had escaped on a mini vacation... less than 5 miles from our house!

Our littles are totally creek kids, so of course they loved the new area to explore instantly.

Kensley's observant eyes often spot the smallest little critters along our path, but today she found LOTS and LOTS of deer tracks.  She said that she liked them best because they look just like hearts.  Somehow I never saw them that way; seeing things through her eyes is such a blessing at times.

If you look very closely, you can actually see a spider coming out of its nest.

There were spider webs all over the ground, so I did the most logical thing;
spent the remainder of the day feeling like something was crawling up my pant leg.

I downloaded this little chart, shrunk it down in size and laminated them so each child could easily carry them.

Does anyone have an idea what type of orange bug is on the white flowers; it's a new one to us!?!

I love finding heart-shaped rocks.  It feels like God purposely put them in my path 
to serve as a reminder that He loves me. 

Nolan has turned into quite the little explorer.  He isn't afraid of get dirty... and always has a stick (or two) in his hands.

Kensley found a Banded Wooly Bear caterpillar.  This one was unique as it had several brown segments, predicting a mild winter.  Most of the others that we have found so far are almost all black meaning it could be a hard upcoming winter.  


I thought this rock looked like the state of Montana or North Dakota.  Why do you see?

Unschooling/Child-led learning has been our BEST decision this year!
We have zero regrets and still have several months of schooling ahead of us.
Our children are calmer.  Their confidence has soared.

In addition to their core subjects that I continue to make them complete,
they have learned more than they have in previous years.
We strive to raise well-rounded, God-fearing kids and that's exactly what is taking place!

Since we visited a park that does not have strict restrictions,
we were able to bring some of the treasures home and learn about them more in depth. 

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