Enjoying Our Freedoms

When I look back at our busy day, the theme that comes to mind is “enjoying our freedoms”. We are blessed to have a voting right in this country, to be able to live our lives as we choose to, seeking the sun and exploring our world together in our homeschooling journey. And it was a very joyful, sunshiny day.

Today started out with going to the polls to vote, all three kids in tow. There was no line, and empty voting machines too. C (the middle child who is constantly searching for stimulation) still managed to walk away from me, without my notice, while I was voting. But in her defense, she had walked over to the big gymnasium windows to view the city in the valley below. We had had our choice of voting machine, and I should have picked the one closest to the windows so the girls could hang out at the windows. Oh well, since it wasn’t crowded, it didn’t really matter that she had escaped me for a few minutes. When we got back out to the parking lot, it was a zoo! Our polling place was an elementary school, and it was the start of kid-dropoff time. I heard a mom tell the “traffic person” that one kid had already been almost hit with the car chaos. I’m glad it didn’t take too long to get out of the parking lot (and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with kid drop-offs/pick-ups like that!).

When we got back home, the girls spent some time in the playroom working on their secret anniversary gifts for my husband and I. It has been all M’s idea to make these gifts, and I gave them a box to store everything in. This is the first year that the girls have paid any attention to our anniversary, but it’s probably mostly due to their increased interest in weddings in general. After all, M married Princess Jasmine a few weeks ago (the service was lovely). (M hasn’t even seen the movie Aladdin yet, but recognizes the princess on their princess band-aids and stickers they get from the doctor’s office.)

Then C helped me make meatballs, with the toddler at our side, while M played outside. M didn’t want to make meatballs because she didn’t want her hands to get messy. C loves tactile stimulation like this, and was an excellent helper. She did a great job cracking the eggs, mixing all the ingredients together, and rolling the balls.

Then we all went outside with M. M had been doing some “farm work” and I finally got to see what it was. She had carefully dug a hole and lined it with rocks. It was a feeding trough to put grass in for her horses. I was surprised that she had chosen to dig the hole in the lawn, and not in the designated digging area (which was two feet away from her chosen spot). When I asked her about it, she replied, “But Mama, there was no grass in this spot in the yard, only dirt.” Can’t argue with that! The yard is very crappy, and our landlords have really let both yards go.

M and C also picked out a spot in the backyard for their “outdoor playhouse.” It is a small area of bushes and other plants tucked behind the garage, up on a ledge, in a back corner of the yard. You can’t even see them back there when they are all the way in – a perfect hiding place. I totally prefer outside play in a natural setting over playgrounds any day. I think they get so much more out of it, which is why we would rather do  a hike than go to a playground. We do visit playgrounds every so often, usually to meet friends or for biking (our neighborhood is too hilly for biking). I’m glad that our small yard provides enough interesting landscapes for them to explore!

Then the toddler went down for her nap and the rest of us ate lunch. Then dollhouse play, a visit to the library and speech class. Oh gosh, and the day wasn’t over yet!

Since we will be moving soon, I have let most of our local memberships expire. One that expired was the lovely Red Butte Garden. But luckily, the city library has this great program for exploring some of the local venues. Once a year, your family can check out the Community Exploration Card and get free access for that month to Red Butte, Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, The Leonardo, and Natural History Museum of Utah. Today was a beautiful, balmy autumn day, and Red Butte is just up the street from speech class, so we headed there.

“Mama, when moose die, do they become statues?” – C, 3 and 10/12 years old

Yes, we had more discussion about mortality and moose today! The girls are pretty familiar with the garden, and it was fun to see it in a different season (last time we had visited was late spring/early summer). C shook the hydrangea branches to see the dying flower petals fall. M found the fish in the small reflecting pool. The Children’s Garden is always a hit. We walked down to the pond area, that was new-to-us and first heard, then saw the waterfall. And we noticed the fuzzy buds on a magnolia bush. C pointed out that we have a friend named Magnolia. When we got home we looked on the computer to see what the fuzzy buds became in the springtime — flowers, just has M had guessed. It was a beautiful time in the garden with the sun warming our hearts.

When we got back home, for good this time, we had a delicious snack that a friend had pinned on Pinterest. Soooo delicious! These chewy, peanut butter-chocolaty oat bars might be my go-to snack now! I added coconut flakes to it too, yummers. It was hard to stop at one, or two, and was a hit with the girls as well.

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  • "Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is. " - John Holt
  • LipperLoppy? what???

    “LipperLoppy” is a word that my daughters invented. It is usually used as a silly adjective or noun. It's a frequent family joke and a good representation of our family's crazy joyful life.
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