Every weekday morning for three weeks, Camille and Sylvia have summer school classes. In one of Sylvia's classes they play games of all sorts. She also gets to be Snow White in a fairy tale mash-up play. Camille is learning how to film and edit digital movies as well as create soundtracks with the GarageBand app. She also has a Garden Art class that is all about creating sculptures from clay, natural materials, and recycled items.
They have really enjoyed their classes the first week, but it means that we are staying close to home every day. No long drives into the city. No day trips for exploring. So, it looks like we are embracing fun within a 15 mile radius.
Thursday, Ayla and I packed up the car with backyard tea, coffee, fruit, cheese, green smoothies, hula hoops, art supplies, towels, swimsuits, knitting, and extra clothes. Then we picked the girls up from classes and whisked off to our nearest state park for the rest of the day.
pineapple weed, lilac, and clover
Camille has been on a mission to help Sylvia learn how to swim and float on her back.
Camille did a 'scientific study' to figure out if Sylvia could swim longer with encouragement, without encouragement, or with mocking. So scenario #1 sounded like, "Swim to me. You can do it! You're doing awesome!" Scenario #2: "Ok, swim to me. . ." Scenario #3: "You can't catch up to me-e. You ca-an't swim." She observed that in scenarios 1 and 3, Sylvia doggy-paddled almost twice as long as scenario 2 when she had no input. Then, she asked Sylvia how she felt from each type of interaction. Sylvia said that the last one 'motivated her because of angry-ness'. Camille committed to sweet encouragement after that. The scientific method in this study might be a bit suspect :), but they were actually communicating really well and both had agreed to the 'experiment'.
Mosquitoes aside, I love summertime.
After Friday's classes and a quick stop for rootbeer floats, we met some local friends at the park for several hours. Ayla, being the youngest of three, tends to either hang out with me or tag along after her sisters in social situations, so it was really sweet to see her playing with my friend's daughter.
We saw a cloud rainbow, or circumhorizontal arc, 'cause of course we had to look up what created that beauty.
Today we have some of our bestest friends coming out to visit us and, hopefully, next week the pick-your-own strawberry patch will be open and ready for business.
While I really cherish our longtime friendships and favorite places in the city, these weeks of local goodness are helping me feel rooted to our home and local community. After two years here, I can truly say that country living suits our family just right. It's a good kind of life.
Now, it's time to go help Papa bleed the brakes on our car, hang out the laundry, and tidy up the house. Wishing you all a lovely weekend wherever you are.