I don't really know where the last week went. It was certainly great to be back into the normal routine of things after being sick for nearly a week. I missed the kids, and we had a lot of fun last Monday afternoon at the park.
I bring Isabelle, their rescued German Shepherd, along almost every day now when I pick them up from school. She gets so excited. After only a week of doing this, she now goes to the door at 2:15-2:20 when it's time to leave and spins circles until I open the door for her to go out. She knows we're going to get the kids! It's really amazing.
I am not totally an animal person. Lots of hair, lots of work, etc. But Isabelle has opened up my heart a little. I'm so happy to have her by my side in the early afternoons before we go get the kids. She's well-behaved, but certainly has a mind of her own, which is hilarious. She's just crazy, and that's cute. The kids adore her, but especially Maura.
We had beautiful weather all last week. Fall was definitely in the air, but the sun was bright and warm. Two of the little boys in Michael's kindergarten class were at the park as well, and he had a blast leading them around on his adventures. There's a small creek that runs near this particular park we were at, and I usually let the kids hop along the rocks. The adventurous outdoor play is fun for them, since they don't have space to do that at home. So, Michael led his friends to "the swamp." They were having a blast. I gave them a couple of rules about keeping their shoes clean, and not throwing rocks at each other, which they listened to; but boys will be boys and they were just having fun. Then the other moms caught on to what was going on, and called their boys back to the play ground. So Michael went with them, but found a huge stick along the way, that instantly turned into a double-bladed light saber, and he was immediately the hero of his own galactic empire. The other boys caught on, too, and sticks were whizzing with little-boy noises carrying the adventure to great heights, and I was just smiling and enjoying the excitement of it all. I love boys. I gave a warning again, to stay clear of each other, and look all the way around to make sure there weren't people around, which Michael heard, but the other boys didn't. But then the moms came over and saw what was going on and dragged their little guys away. One of them burst into tears, and the other ran far away, stick still in hand.
I left all of that and felt very thankful that my parents let my brothers be boys, and when appropriate, was glad that Michael could have the opportunity to be a little more adventurous that he usually gets to be at home. Disclaimer for the mothers: They were wonderful women, who were looking out for their children-- maybe I am wrong and swinging sticks in a public place (even if it is away from people) is a bad idea. But regardless I did observe the adventurous spirit of all three of those boys, and really enjoyed it.
I always loved the scene from The Sound of Music when Maria asks for play clothes for the children, and Frau Schmidt answers her,
"The von Trapp children do not play; they march." Maria is aghast, "But they're children!" And of course, down go the old drapes, and out come beautiful new play clothes, for climbing trees, running across hills, bouncing around town, and singing in row boats down the river.
|Michael found a tree to climb|
|Maura tried too|
I've finally made a real friend down here in Charlotte, too, and she and I have been spending a lot of time together when I'm off of work, and Daniel is gone. I am so thankful for her! She was looking for a friend, and I was looking for a friend, then at a time when so much other stuff was going on God threw our lives together, and it has been such a blessing.
Friday I went thrifting with Lydia, our pastor's daughter. We had a blast, and found so many great deals. Instead of going to the Goodwills that I usually go to, we tried a Value Village Lydia had read about online. We were super impressed with the size of the place, and the great prices. I got two new ties for Daniel, two shirts for myself (one brand new, one from Banana Republic), and some things for the house. Lydia even found a Polaroid camera for her collection. We did try Goodwill before heading home, and both spent more than at Value Village and got less...
Saturday we ventured out to Huntersville for the annual Renaissance Festival. We were invited by some friends of ours, and found some coupons at Chic-fil-a to get in half-off, so thought we'd give it a try. What a mix of cultures! Over half of the people there were country hicks dressed for the occasion. There were many men in tights, some in kilts, and lots of pirates, too. A lot of the women looked beautiful, some dressed as princesses, or fairies, some more rustic in trousers with linen shirts and wide belts. But it was Medieval time, and there was a lot of drinking, and crude jokes. We sat down to watch an adaption of Little Red Riding Hood and ended up leaving before she even got to Grandmother's house. But there were a lot of other fun things to see and do:
Like the Vegatable Justice Booth:
|"Do not play this game if you are easily offended" was the warning sign.|
|There were different musicians all around the festival. Lots of harp and fiddle players.|
|This knight's name was too complicated to remember, but he was the "good guy" who fought, "For the glory of God, the King, and England!"|
|Maxmillian, in the gold and black, was Daniel's favorite knight, because he always had two-cents to give.|
The jousting was actually legit, though there were certain parts (like when one knight "fell" off of his horse) that were obviously staged. There were three shows throughout the day. We watched the last two. The final one was a joust to the death, which actually included blood! I don't know what prop they used to make it look so real, but when one knight slit the throat of another blood gushed out. I screamed and covered my eyes. :-P
There were also neat artisan booths and shops with Medieval type gifts and trinkets. There were shops to buy clothing, genuine leather-bound journals and sketch pads, glass and pottery.
|perfect for newly weds. ;-)|
We left pretty content with our day out, and Daniel even mentioned maybe trying to go again next year.