On the nicest day yet, Ana and I took the kids to Rocky River, our favorite hiking spot. It's so fun to see it change through the seasons.
Bastian wore the cutest sweater ever, which Grandma Cat got him for Christmas and which makes him super-soft like a teddy bear. Just beyond him is Aleks peering into the flooded pond.
There were geese and ducks and one bullfrog.
The boys: Bastian, Jonas, and Aleks, sitting on a wall, waiting for Lavinia. Ana and I had to keep taking turns staying with the front pack of kids or the back pack.
Lavinia caught up, but Bastian took off.
They all walked down the wall.
clomp clomp clomp.
Then up the wall along the stairs.
Bastian chose to leave the wall and scale the cliff face itself. Because he's crazy. And two.
Aleks climbed too.
Here's Ana with the slow-poke.
The boys got ahead, across a little ravine and stopped and put on their powerful looks.
Lavinia caught up and they had a stick fight.
At one point, Jonas walked along with Bastian, even holding his hand. Terribly unlike him and totally adorable. Also, very helpful as Bastian kept venturing a little too close to the five hundred foot drop for my taste.
Bastian and Lavinia take their turn sitting to wait for the older boys to catch up.
They climb and climb some more, this time overlooking the river, which was saturated with spring water from rains and mountains of melted snow.
At the end of our journey, after we made it down the giant staircase, Bastian had to climb one last wall.
The kids all went in opposite directions. Aleks was taking a turn being Mister Slow-Poke and I told him that he was missing out on something because Ana was sitting with Jonas, Lavinia, and Bastian on the ground. When we caught up and joined them, he was disappointed to learn that they were just discussing the best way to rest, which he had zero interest in because he doesn't rest. He doesn't like it. It interrupts wreaking havoc.
Jonas, Ana, and Lavinia in a rare family photo.
Afterwards, we went to Borders to pick out magazines for Treasure Mapping, which was pretty much a mistake. The kids ate a bunch of sugar then ran in opposite directions. At one point, while Ana was having the opportunity to browse for magazines alone, Lavinia had to pee, so I took all four kids to the bathroom, lost two on the way, gathered them all back up, then three of them had to pee and while I dealt with that Aleks then Bastian took turns crawling on the nasty floor under the stalls. I almost lost it completely. In the end, we survived. If only just.