11 things I have learned from my kids

Everyday I learn something valuable as a mom. Children are so innocent and compassionate they remind us daily about the important things in life.

  1. Keep trying. My children never give up on anything. They always push through whatever challenge life may face them with. It took me years to understand “Child like faith” and I can finally say that I whole heartedly understand. When children are faced with a challenge they rarely walk away. They have a unwavering faith that they will be able to complete said challenge and come out on top. They don’t second guess themselves. They just do it. Just push and try try again. Giving up is a learned behavior. When a child learns to take the first step, you don’t see them fail and never try again, do you? It’s not how they operate. My children don’t stop they keep trying again and again. You see my son really wanted inside that toilet. I’m not sure how he got in there, but I’m almost positive it didn’t happen his first try. He was playing while I was doing laundry and it couldn’t have been an easy task, but he wanted in there and he kept trying. 
  2. Keep learning. Children are always learning new things. And they don’t stop developing. We as adults stop trying to learn and we get the “What more is there” attitude and then we stop developing. We send our children to school so they may learn new things. It is so vital to keep learning and developing. Amazing things happen in our brains when we learn something new.
  3. Keep smiling. My children’s sadness last for a total of like five seconds. They don’t have “bad days” only bad moments. They continue to smile no matter what they were just crying about two seconds before.
  4. It’s ok to make mistakes. Kids are always making mistakes and learning from them. Krystina, is queen of mistakes. She once stuck a key in an outlet, she has not done it since. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. It’s when we continue to make the same mistake over again that it becomes a problem.
  5. Smiles really are the best medicine. One smile from their sweet little faces and it can melt away the toughest situations. My daughter lost her two front teeth recently and when she smiles, I instantly become filled with joy. You can’t even help, but laugh.
  6. Love unconditionally. No matter how many times I correct them or discipline them, they love me absolutely unconditionally. No matter how much Jaydon’s little sister drives him crazy he adores her. My children have the most forgiving and unconditional love it is amazing.
  7. Make messes. When I first had children I struggled OCD something fierce! Every time they left a mess I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. Over time I’ve learned to let them make messes, and let them be responsible to clean up. If we never allow the house to be a mess we will always stress. So sit back and let the mess happen.
  8. Sleep is entirely overrated. After delivering my fourth child I have decided I am never going to sleep again. I know that if it’s not the baby, it’s the two year old or maybe on some off moment it’s an older child. Most nights I’m lucky to get 5 hours straight.20170713_073057
  9. Farts are always funny no matter where you are. Recently my two year old had discovered the noises his body makes during these bodily functions and boy does it make him giggle. I’m not sure why, but every child laughs hysterically when someone farts. It doesn’t matter who did it, you can almost guarantee it’s funny!
  10. If they break something it’s not the end of the world. Everything is replaceable, but your children are not. One of my kiddos broke an irreplaceable trinket. It was just a piece of memorabilia. It shattered everywhere. My concern was not for the fact that that my pretty was broken, but if my child was OK.
  11. Don’t blink. The most important thing they’ve taught me is not to blink. As soon as you do you will miss it. You’ll miss their tiny smiles, their little toes, and little steps. Don’t fret the small things and just don’t blink ever. . .img_20161214_161552_0030001

Outdoor Mom Academy-HLAW

Let me just tell you about Hike like a woman‘s Outdoor Mom Academy! I had the opportunity to be a student in the very first session of Outdoor mom academy and I truly enjoyed it. I found it to be helpful as a refresher in areas and to learn new things from other outdoor moms. Although the outdoors has always been my thing, being outdoors with kids has been a huge learning experience. For me I am either super prepared or way way under prepared. Most of that comes from trying to push 4 kids out of my door and onto the trail.

The course is 6 weeks long with a new topic each week. Each topic lead by 3 amazing outdoor mommas. Rebecca from Hike like a woman, Susan from Mountain mom and tots, and Amelia from Tales of a mountain mama.

Each week I would get an email with all my curriculum, videos, and resources. Then there was a discussion board. The best part was the discussions. I honestly feel like I am doing it all wrong half of the time and to hear other mommas doing it exactly the same as me makes me feel so much better. For instance my son thought it was cool to poop like 3 feet from a highly trafficked local trail and I could have done one of two things. One I could’ve freaked out and screamed at him or two I could laugh it off and show him how to properly handle pooping in the wilderness. The stories of other mom’s having similar situations definitely put my mind at ease.

Another cool thing about the course is that each week they did a giveaway based on participation. Although I never won, it encouraged me want to stay on top of the conversation. They were giving away some pretty neat stuff too. Week one was a mommy and me Deuter pack! How freaking cool is that!? I was pretty sad when I didn’t win that.

Six weeks are broken up into the following topics:

Week one-Raising outdoor leaders

Week two- Reducing risk

Week three- First aid

Week four- Camping with kids

Week five- How to pack

Week six- Preparing an outdoor budget

Each lesson had new areas to learn more or touch up on. I believe that week two was my favorite, identifying and reducing risk in the outdoors. There are two reasons this part of the course was my favorite.

  1. I really needed to refresh my risk management skills ( or lack there of). Growing up I was not in bear country, watching for rattlesnakes, or have the dangers like I have here in the mountains. Wyoming has way more potentially dangerous wildlife camping/on the trial. I am also more aware now that I have my own children.
  2. I lead a hiking group of mothers and their minions in my area. I lead them through various outdoor activities and having the know how really ensures safety for our group. Learning how to plan a safe kids hike really was a huge help. They even offered detailed directions and print offs for your use. I actually participated in Rebecca’s safe kids hike during week 2 as well. So I had a little hands on during this lesson.

There was a slight glitch with the emails, but these three ladies did not let that get in the way. They were on top of it and had it fixed right away. Rebecca, Susan, and Amelia did an amazing job correcting the email mishap and everyone was right back on track.

So the pretty amazing thing about the course is at the end I received a pretty awesome certificate and patch!

If you’re looking to learn the tricks of an outdoor momma this course is for you! The next session’s registration runs from August 28th-September 10th. Class starts on September 11th. You don’t want to miss it!

Outdoor Mom Academy

Dinosaurs and Fern Clyffe Waterfall

I don’t see my sister to often, but this year I surprised her by visiting her for her 30th birthday. Sara had been calling me multiple times in the weeks prior to her birthday really saddened about her birthday. She was telling me how she felt forgotten, because people had made other plans the week of her birthday. So when Garon (Sara’s hubs) messaged me to ask if I could make it home for her birthday, I without hesitation said yes.

We have always been pretty inseparable. So much to the point everyone always thought we were twins, which we kind of are in a way. Sara and I are what they call Irish Twins. We were born pretty close.

Sara always raved about her adventures of the beautiful Fern Clyffe waterfall in the Shawnee hills of Southern Illinois. “There are rocks as big as houses, and you can climb inside the waterfall from the bottom and the top.” She would describe.

We had went there a couple of times when we were younger, but I had lost these childhood memories in a car accident when I was a teen. Many of my childhood memories are gone, unless there are pictures I don’t remember much.

So while I was home to see her for her birthday, we took a trip even further south to hike the beloved Fern Clyffe. Sara would light up with joy showing her husband some of the awesome cliffs. Garon is talented photographer and cinematographer in the St Louis area and Sara knew that he would love the opportunity that laid in the Shawnee hills. And love it he did. We explored the caves, rocks, and creek. We took our time and just enjoyed the time together.

The waterfall was dried up, so this gave us an opportunity that Sara had not yet had. We hiked to the top of the waterfall and laid on the spout of the falls in the sunshine. Garon pulled out his handy drone and took some fun shots of us from an aerial view.

I really do miss my sister and spending her 30th birthday with her, was the best day I could ask for. I call my sister at least 3 times a week just to chat. Sometimes we chat about our Etsy businesses and sometimes we chat about the ups and downs of the week. It is hard being away from her, but hiking with her for her birthday brought my heart so much joy. I will impatiently wait for the day where we hike together again.

God made Dirt and Dirt don't Hurt



My favorite look on a child is a dirt covered face. Seriously seeing the little dirt lines on their cheeks just makes me melt. I spent my summers on the muddy banks of the Kaskaskia River. Digging in the banks where the craw daddies gathered and the fishin’ was good. When I wasn’t digging in the mud I was playing army in the woods with my brothers. We were covered head to toe in dirt, grass stains, and probably worm ooze from baitin’ our fishin’ hooks.

Fortunately my minions take after their momma. They love to dig in my back yard and collect “samples” of grass blades, rocks, and dirt. So honestly when they come to me offering a mud pie, I am well aware that they have probably already taste tested this amazing dish. Their offer for me to taste as well is very sincere. It is amazing to watch them learn and make new discoveries daily.

Muddy Girl

It doesn’t bother me that they’ve just shoveled grass and dirt into their mouth. It doesn’t bother me that they’ve licked the shovel that they used to dig a hole for their dirt pie.God made dirt! Oh so often kids are found in therapy offices playing in sensory tables and gadgets designed to help with their occupational therapy needs. They play with sand, beans, and more trying to awaken their senses.

However, we seem to forget the best tools for therapeutic play are literally outside our front door. 

This flower box is meant for a beautiful display of colorful floral arrangements, but instead I left Raylan to play, feel the dirt on his hands, and run his fingers through it.

You see children need to build their immune system and be exposed to the environment around them. Exposing our children to the germs and allergens around them helps produces immunity too many adulthood challenges such as allergies, bacteria , and microbes.

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So, yes I let my children eat dirt and play on the mud. When we are camping or fishing they possibly don’t bath for two days or so. Aside from the generic face wash their little bodies are covered in the dirt and grime of nature. Between mud pies and grassy dirt smoothies my children are always eating or drinking dirt and I let them.  I would not have it any other way, because God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.


Bell Smith Springs-Flashback

Since I was a little girl I have simply adored being outdoors. I was in love with our summer camping trips, building bike trails in the woods behind our house, and playing graveyard tag at night. I spent my summers fishing while dangling my little feet off the dock. My mom recently found a “book” I wrote about my adventure at a campsite we stayed at over the summer. Bell Smith Springs, in the Shawnee National forest was the topic of this book. My writing has come a ways since.

Check out this little memory!




I am so excited you’re here!

Out of all the hiking mom blogs you choose to be here and that makes my day. I am a partially sane momma of four. Three boys and one lovely girl. I have loved the outdoors for my entire life and if you needed to find me that’s where I was.

Now that I have children of my own, I try my best to keep them well rounded and teach them as much as I can.

On this blog you’ll find lots of fun stuff! Stories of my adventures with my kids, blogs about autism mom life, maybe some fitness, and definitely some of my mom fashion.  I love to sew, be active, and be a momma.

I really look forward to sharing more! Please bare with me while I’m building my blog and like may Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/mamainboots


Bow Hunting and Your Shoulders

imageWhen it comes to archery, the maintenance of your shoulders and rotator cuffs is extremely important to prevent any type of injury, especially overuse. As for every physical activity, there is a proper way to recover and prevent future overuse injuries.

Shoulder impairments, caused by over use are very common injuries and are often avoidable. In fact, rotator cuff injuries (such as strains, tendinopathy, or ruptures) account for nearly 75-80% of shoulder injuries in the US.

Shoulder instability and shoulder impingement takes place in the capsuloligamentous structures (demonstrated in the image below). These shoulder impingements are typically recognized by a pinching sensation that occurs when the arm is raised and by accompanying pain while moving through the rotator cuff. This injury usually arises from overuse of overhead movement of the shoulders ie: swimming, pitching in baseball, or tennis. Shoulder instability develops when the muscles outside Glenohumeral joint don’t work effectively to stabilize the humerus.

So how do these injuries affect archers? Let us talk about shoulder anatomy, and just how it affects how well you are able to perform as an archer or bow hunter. Your rotator cuff is highly involved in every process of shooting a bow. Not only does it take great strength in the rotator cuff to pull your bow back, it also stabilizes the arm while you aim for that perfect shot.

shoulder impairment prevention-3
Moffat, Marilyn. The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair. New York: Owl Book/Henry Holt, 1999. Print.
shoulder impairment prevention-2
Moffat, Marilyn. The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair. New York: Owl Book/Henry Holt, 1999. Print.

Your rotator cuff is made of many different bones, muscles, joints and ligaments that all work together during this process. The four bones that make up your shoulder are the scapula, sternum, clavicle, and acromion. These four bones become the working joints of your shoulder. Acromioclavicular (AC joint), Glenohumeral (GH joint), Sternoclavicular (SC joint), and your Scapulathoracic (ST joint). These four joints — in particular the GH joint — are under a great deal of stress during archery. Most of the movement involved in your rotator cuff comes from the GH joint. This is a ball joint and is at the top of your humerus (arm bone) and top of your scapula. This joint is a ball and socket joint that moves in indefinite directions.

But it is not just the bones at work. There are approximately 56 muscles that are used when drawing your bow back; 26+ of them are in your shoulder. The muscles in your shoulder that are used to draw your bow back are your pectoralis major/minor, teres major/minor, subscapularis, Latissimus dorsi, trapezius, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, deltoid, levator scapularis, rhomboid major/minor and your serratus anterior.shoulder impairment prevention-1

Axford, R. (1995). Archery anatomy: An introduction to techniques for improved performance. London: Souvenir.

When drawing your bow back you require the use of not one, but both rotator cuffs; thus, form plays a huge role in injury prevention and muscle impairment. There are two different ways of shoulder loading during the draw back of your bow:


High Preparation

  1. High preparation- During high preparation drawback your strength and force is above your shoulder joints during prep and follow through of your shot.

“V” Draw (Low Draw)

  1. “V” Draw or low preparation- When using the “V” draw, everything is maintained below the shoulder joints during the prep, and follow through, of your shot.


Both of these methods allow for less stress upon the shoulder joints when drawing the bow.
Now that we have covered the anatomy of your shoulder and it’s action during use of your bow, let’s discuss flexibility and exercises that will help prevent over-use injury and increase strength and stability for the future.

The Warm Up: 

A warm up is essential to any workout program to prevent future injuries. As a form of flexibility training, I recommend the use of self-myofascial release (SMR). Self-myofascial release is the use of tools to help muscles lengthen and increase the blood flow with in the muscle. Your body will benefit from using SMR because it will help correct any muscle imbalances you may have, release knots in your muscles (trigger points), as well as shut down those over active muscles. Foam rollers are a great type of SMR. Foam rollers use applied pressure to locate tender spots and melt tension away. To achieve release, run the roller over your sore muscle and, when you feel an increase of tenderness, hold the position and apply local pressure for 30 seconds at minimum.

SMR/Foam Roller Exercises:

  • Wall Angels with tennis ball
  • Seated Shoulder Drops (Lengthwise on foam roller): Reach out your shoulder blades as far as you can spread them, then draw shoulder blades back and pinch your shoulder blades directly back (imagine pinching a penny)
  • Seated Open T (Lengthwise on the foam roller). Inhale opening your arms to a “T” position and Exhale when bringing them back to the front of your chest.
  • Forearms-
  • Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)-
  • Chest release-  Foam roller positioned vertically across chest extend arms out to side and keeping your abs tight slowly lift your arms off of the floor.
  • Bicep Release
  • Deltoid release
  • Low back release

After these SMR techniques, begin a dynamic warm up.

Dynamic warm ups use your body’s force to lubricate your joints for full range of movement. Think “aerobic” instead of “stationary”:

  • Shoulder rotations.
  • Lift and chop
  • Arm Circles
  • Lunge with twist
  • Windmills
  • Arm W for 30 second
  • Right/left for 30 seconds

The Workout!

The moment you’ve been waiting for. These are perfect exercises to increase strength and stability in your rotator cuff. You will want to choose a weight efficient enough you can complete 3 sets for 15- 20 reps :

  • Push up plus 3 x 15-20
  • Sword draw Cable 3 x 15-20
  • Facepulls- 3 x 15-20
  • Ball shoulder Combo I 3 x 15
  • Renegade rows 3x 15-20
  • Ropes Circles In/Out 3 x 30 seconds (Endurance)
  • Ropes quick waves 3 x 25 seconds (Endurance)

Now that you have completed your workout, be sure to cool down using static stretching as well as SMR techniques mentioned above. This workout will help you be a better bow hunter as well as prevent future injuries in your shoulders. I hope you enjoy this workout!

Works Cited
Clark, Michael, Scott Lucett, and Rodney J. Corn. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008. Print.Wilkins.
Moffat, Marilyn. The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair. New York: Owl Book/Henry Holt, 1999. Print.
Axford, R. (1995). Archery anatomy: An introduction to techniques for improved performance. London: Souvenir.
Knopf, Dr. Karl. Healthy Shoulder Handbook. N.p.: n.p., n.d.Print.
Clark, M., & Lucett, S. (2011). NASM’s essentials of corrective exercise training. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.