I haven't been blogging too much lately, I know, but I've had a drive to be out of the house and doing things with the kidlets the last few weeks. What have we been doing, you ask? Well, we've found two favorite new stores: Dollar Tree and Books a Million. Both have been fantastic sources for school supplies, and are inexpensive, too! Dollar Tree items are only a dollar, and they carry Spiderman workbooks for numbers and letters that delight Joelito. He begs to do schoolwork like Ariana now. Books a Million boasts a fantastic train set to play with, the best iced mochas anywhere, and 20% off any item that we want to use for homeschooling! Today, however, was a day for dryads.
We met Carlos for lunch, which always makes the day special, then he went back to work and we went to the park. It was one of those sparkly, fresh fall days where the weather is perfect (we get a couple weeks like that each year, but the rest seem to be unbearably hot or too cold).
The kids went on an exploring mission: rocks, trees, pebbles and leaves all were minutely examined. Elena was fascinated by the pebbles, and stopped every few feet to pick them up and look at them intently. Unfortunately, a few were tasted, too.
Joel was enthralled by the caterpillars, which were everywhere. But Ariana found our new favorite spot. Among some juniper trees, there is a small opening, like a door to fairyland. Once you duck through, there is plenty of room to climb, to hide, to play, or just smell the spicy fragrance of the berries and dream. We were there for over an hour in our little dryad wonderland.
After that, there were hills to climb and roll down, grass and clovers to play with, and squirrels and ants to observe. Most of our trees are still summer-green, but a few have turned a bright gold. With each puff of breeze, a shower would shimmy and swirl down, looking like giant pixie dust.
Of course, we enjoyed the slides, swings and monkey bars, too, but the real playground was the living part. We were there for several hours, and only left when I realized that I had missed two calls from Carlos telling us that he was off work and ready to meet us.
We met him at the bookstore, where the kidlets quenched their thirst with peach Italian sodas. Yum! Since Ariana has been begging to learn cursive, we found a great practice book. She read books, Joel played with the trains and squishy dinosaurs, and Elena hugged a stuffed cow and sang countless renditions of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm".
From there, we went back to the university, which was having an employee picnic. I would have thought that the kids would have worked up an appetite, but they were too excited by the giant inflatables to want to eat. We all climbed and jumped (Elena loved it!), they rode ponies, saw friends...and finally ate.
We are home at last. The sweetlings are filthy and tired but utterly content. A day when you really need a bath at the end is a good day!