Alec had another art class today and got to paint a sand piper standing on a post in a marshy field. Since the whole class finished this painting early the art teacher gave them each a mini canvas that they could draw their own birds onto. Alec chose to make "the very rare rainbow bird" and a bluebird. He ran out of time to add all the other embellishments he had planned in his head.
While Alec was busy at art class the other two boys and I drove around looking for a nature center our GPS was guiding us towards. Not knowing what this nature center would be like (or how much it would cost since we only had an hour to enjoy it) we ended up at a beautiful park instead. We were passing the park on our way to the center and decided it looked like fun. The boys had a good time playing on the slides and climbing on everything. We found a hidden owl, bear, raccoon, and squirrel carved into the climber. I had fun walking around reading all the nature signs posted around the playground teaching about trees, mushrooms and birds. It didn't hurt that the park was right on the side of a huge wetlands area with walking trails. Once the boys got hot in the sun we walked part of the trail and saw turtles, snakes, frogs, red winged black birds, robins, interesting flora and fauna, and watched the water falling over the mini man- made dams. We heard and caught a small glimpse of the train as it passed on a nearby track and even saw, what we thought was a hawk. It was such a beautiful area! We had a nice picnic lunch on the picnic tables and enjoyed the breeze. Evan has been describing his idea of a park and playground to me for a few days now. He's my "idea" man and often comes up with things he's going to invent when he gets older. Sometimes his inventions have already been made like his camper with a motor that you can drive and his robot that will vacuum the house for you. But oftentimes he comes up with some great invention ideas. After almost burning his legs on two slides and sweating in the sun these past few days he wants to make an indoor park. The park would have a domed glass ceiling like the EPCOT ball that would be glass so you can see the sky but it would keep things cool and keep the heat of the sun out. The windows would open up and fold away on nice days and turn into mirrors at night so that they could reflect the disco lights flashing around. His park would have slides, swings, a large climbing structure and lots of soft cushions in case you fell. He wants to include a large pool with 4 waterslides since he likes even numbers. He told me it would also have a large sand so that people could bring toy trucks and things and dig while their brothers and sisters played. I just love listening to him work on and embellish his ideas perfecting his vision and thinking of ways to make it work for everyone.
|A sample of the signs we saw|
|This butterfly landed right on my back!|
|A frog that the boys almost stepped on; before he jumped and startled us all!|
|Evan decided to pet the frog and worked really hard to name him.|
|One of the man- made dams we saw|
We had listened to Percy Jackson in the car the whole time we were in the car today and finished our book. We popped in CD 1 of the next book: The Battle of the Labyrinth. The boys were excited to be starting a new book and, since this labyrinth has been talked about in other books we've read, they're quite anxious to see what happens. We had haircuts scheduled for today and the boys were happy to sit, visit and play video games while waiting for both Alec and myself to get our hair cut. It didn't hurt that going to the hairdressers gave us extra time in the car to listen to our book.
Once home Alec and Evan wanted to play Skylanders with their new Skylanders figures that they got this week and Ian sat down to watch an episode of Wild Kratts that had just taped on our DVR. The other boys watched along with Ian too when they heard that it was a new Wild Kratts and they learned all about the Tasmanian tiger and the dodo bird. Alec already knew quite a bit about the dodo bird as he loves to read books about extinct animals just as much as loves to read about living animals (just not dinosaurs-- not one of my boys has ever been interested in dinosaurs for some reason). Ian watched Ice Road Truckers too. Can you tell it's summer vacation? I feel like all of my posts lately are a litany of all the movies, TV shows, and video games we're playing. I've already warned the boys that I want to see everyone take a nice long break from screens next week!
We read another chapter in Harry Potter while the boys ate an early dinner and then they all changed and got ready to go swimming with their aunt and uncle. It's been very hot this week but we've been fortunate to have a real nice breeze accompanying all the heat. Ian ended up leaving with his dad to go work at his great aunt's house. He used the weed whacker to trim the blueberry patches she has and then he raked up what he had trimmed.