Thursday, November 19, 2015

On a Monday

On the days that we run errands, we pepper in stops at parks and waysides amongst trips to the library, band class, and grocery shopping. My kids have been known to shout, "Can we go run errands today? Pleeeease?"

It's a wonder what 45 minutes at the county park can do for our moods. Sunshine, climbing trees, fresh air? I'm in!
 Sylvia has started to ask if she can use my camera more and more lately, so there are shots of me climbing and playing this time too, as I am likely to do.
 *photo by Sylvia
 *photo by Sylvia
I love this pic that Sylvia took of Ayla, as Ayla was trying to take pics on my good ol' flip phone.
*photo by Sylvia

 second park stop, after library, before groceries

 After all that autumn playfulness, the trip around the grocery store was a breeze. We all helped find things on the list, and checked prices, and discussed what special extras we might fit into the budget. We chatted up the elderly folks that were shopping near us who couldn't help smile and remark on a five year old that was excited about being able to get cauliflower, the eight year old doing pirouettes in the empty aisles, and the twelve year old who alternated having her nose in a library book and seeing which pickles didn't have yellow dye added. This is not to say that my kids are always perfect angels (in public or in private), but just that we found a way of running errands that works for us. We embrace it, enjoy it, and take our time about it.
 After all was said and done and we were back home in the evening, we tried out a new balancing game called Suspend. It was decidedly a hit as we played it almost every evening after for the rest of that week.

Sometimes, on a Monday, things go just right. Sisters get along and enjoy each other's company. Mama climbs across the top of the monkey bars because her five year old promises her it's gonna be fun. A pile of leaves beckons in the sunshine. Nobody gets hurt, and the laughter is abundant. When that happens, I am grateful. In all it's common beauty, it's worth feeling grateful for this day of running errands on a Monday.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oh, November

November 1 - 8

It's hard to take November weather for granted in Wisconsin. Some years, there are inches of snow. Some years, balmy jacket-free sunshine. Some years, the days vary by 20 degrees at a time. I'm quite happy with the decidedly mellow aspect of the month this year. So it's outside and in, back and forth. Soak it up. 

We're quite enjoying it.
a November nature walk with Papa

so sweet

After a milkweed pod was brought into the dry warmth of our house, its seeds fluffed themselves on the windowsill.
top of the stack on a sunny tabletop, Rad American Women A - Z

The reflections of these leafless branches are such a contrast to what they looked like a month ago when the colorful leaves softened the contours.

library Lego Club, everyone hard at work

Junque Mosaics
We spent two evenings learning to make these fun Junque Mosaics (as named by the person who came up with this technique and shared it with us). We registered for this free activity through our local library and were presented with these lovely handmade birdhouses topped with recycled license plates to start. There were loads of trinkets, toy pieces, old jewelry, and miscellany to rifle through. I also had brought some pieces from home that I'd been collecting for just such a project. Each side in turn was spread with a thick layer of caulk and covered with small bits. They were so fun to make and to see how each house turned out so unique depending on the vision of the person creating it.

Another morning was spent at our nearby county park, taking in the seasonal changes close up.

What better way to learn about the physics of flight than to play with different styles of paper airplanes?
What works? What doesn't? What can be improved upon and how?

yoga with our girl scout troop

We continue alternating between "let's head out in the fresh air" and "let's head in where it's cozy". It's easy to do so now. Soon enough it will take layers of woolens and mittens and boots and snowpants to make the transition between in and out. Until then, we'll keep scurrying about like the comic, busy red squirrels that we see at our beloved county park.