This summer, we have clocked more outdoor hours than any year before. The hot, dry weather helps (we’ve had some years where it’s been rainy and cold, but it’s been getting progressively hotter each year for a while now!), along with the motivation from the kids to be out there for various reasons.

We’ve had fun at the park, in the back yard with the sprinkler and slip n slide, enjoying nature through walks/hikes and picking strawberries, raspberries and peas, and just soaking up the sun.

Yesterday we took a trip with some friends to Toronto Island – something we like to try and do at least once a year. It is basically a giant park with tons of paths to walk, activities to do, a small amusement park, piers, beaches, and lots of pretty scenery.

We have to take a ferry over, so the kids LOVE it since they don’t usually get to spend time on a boat.

There’s lots to do on the island!

We spent most of the day at the splash park, which is always a hit with the kids –

(yes, that’s my son nearly colliding with our little friend!)

and the pregnant and new mommies who just want to stay in one spot in the shade for a bit!

Of course, there are always lots of big, old trees to climb, so my kids wasted no time doing that!

We had planned to hit the beach while we were there, but the sun was just too intense, so we determined to come back with daddy and save it for then. There is a great pier that juts out over the water which people like to fish off of – and our boys, loving fish as much as they do, love to watch FOREVER!

The Franklin Children’s Garden is a beautiful garden we have never made it to before – it is filled with cute characters from the Franklin story books (which my kids have always loved!),

 as well as beautiful plants and fun areas for the kids.

There was a gardening space for them to help water the flowers –

one of our little friends spent nearly half an hour or more filling and re-filling her watering can, and they had to tell us to stop watering some spots!

They also had a shaded area for the kids to sit and colour or work in activity books.

Since the day was so intensely hot, we just hung out in the shade a lot and let the kids play.

They all played so nicely together, big with little, playing hot potato and racing…we did have a brief wrestling match of course :D

We attempted a quiet time with some reading, and it lasted a few minutes enough to recharge their batteries – and ours :D

All in all, if you can spend time outdoors, get near some shade, enjoy some water and some beautiful creation and company, you’ll be filled to the brim and overflowing with joy and giving thanks for all God has blessed you with!

So get out and enjoy some fresh air!

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friday favorite things | finding joy