Exploration & Community: Raccoon Clan Fall 2011

Another season of Raccoon Clan has flown by! Bella loved her time spent exploring and learning last spring and she was SO excited to get "back to the land" after the summer break.

Every Thursday we dressed her in layers & warm boots, and sent her off with hot soup, bread, and treats.

Lucy loved playing with the other kids, but of course had to say goodbye as they prepared for a fun day spent entirely outdoors.

Last week was this season's closing celebration, where we were able to see everything they have been working on and learning. One of Bella's favorite activities was carving her own arrow and learning about archery.

It's always fun to connect with my beautiful mama friends...we enjoyed hanging out each week and would stand and talk about unschooling, our kiddos, and the weather :)

To kick off the ceremony, we gathered around the fire and sang a blessing together. It's so lovely to get all of the families together in one place for a common purpose.

The kids created this awesome centerpiece from pods, berries, and leaves. So fun!

Potlucks are the BEST! I should have taken the foil off of these front two dishes because they were amazing...but as you can see, it was a cornucopia of whole food goodness. Lots of squash, quinoa, black beans, bread, meats, and cheeses. Mmmmmm...

Everything tastes better when eaten from a hand carved wooden bowl! :) This was Lorene's (the Raccoon Clan leader) bowl and it was so beautiful...I had to stop her before she ate it. She carved the spoon herself too!

Bella was so excited to show us everywhere they had been exploring...and this red rock wall was nothing short of stunning.

This was the flag that the kids had worked on and all of their arrows, throwing sticks, and fire making supplies. It was neat to see all of their hard work laid out on display.

As the evening continued on, there was lively conversation, children at play, and drying of socks over the fire.

Lemonade berry tea was brewed over the fire during our time there...it was quite tasty, kind of like a sour hibiscus tea.

It started to get dark and it was time for goodbyes. The next session starts up again in late February and Bella is already asking "how long?!" I'm thinking the same thing! We've loved getting to know all of these families and I'm thankful that we'll see many of them at unschooling group events over the next couple of months.

Click HERE to view the entire Fall 2011 album on Flickr.

If you would like to find out more about Raccoon Clan and other programs, check out Her Feet On The Earth.

Exploring Our Side of the Mountain

We are quickly understanding why people move up to the mountains and stay forever. It's wonderful to have such amazing beauty and open space just outside our door!

This is our house on the left...looking down the valley.

Walking down to the creek...on quiet mornings if we stand on the deck, we can hear it rushing down the mountainside.

The aspens surrounding our deck...these beauties have since dropped all of their leaves. We've been watching the seasons change before our eyes...we feel so much more connected with God and His creation up here!

There is a great hiking/biking path just minutes away.

We admired the glowing aspens...

...and gathered up treasures to take home.

The next time we explore this trail, we will most likely have our snow shoes on!

How have you been exploring the world around you this fall season?