Monday, August 22, 2016

Phantom Tollbooth Prep - Day One

Today has been a day of exceeded expectations and delightful surprises.

I woke up with Bob this morning and had some coffee and a couple of "biscuits". I had most of primary surfaces cleared off before the kids woke up. As they got up and got dressed and I wrestled the knots out of Marley's hair I worried because Sage was at 90% Sage. Which is the way Bob and I communicate how much of a handful she has been on any given day. A cold bug had thrown her off and she was kicking, grabbing and stealing before 9am.

Still we took our first day of school photos and then went upstairs to address our first tasks with the curriculum I have prepared for the next 15 weeks (it's in pencil). We did math, some geography, and with today's weather being perfect, a field trip was required. We discussed the merits of three different parks. Smale, Ault, and Eden. We all agreed on Smale and then went to Ault anyway. God clearly had a gentle and generous hand with us there. We broke a glass big specimen jar but no one got hurt and we had to backtrack for a diaper in the car but after that, everything just kept going beautifully. We also brought a "kritter keeper" in hopes of finding a male katydid.

We were only steps into the flower gardens when Solo spotted a tiny Lazarus Lizard. "Can we catch it?"
Me, "You can try."

Well. As is custom, I doubted and my kids proved me wrong. Within a minute, Solo and Marley were working together to rustle the tiny creature toward me and after two attempts, I managed to cover it with the kritter keeper. We couldn't figure out how to flip it over and put the lid on till Marley took off her smock and we scooted the keeper over it, then pulled it taut to keep the lizard inside till we could flip it over and secure the lid. It was a great team effort. Marley was the wrangler, Solo the spotter, and I the trap-tosser. Sage was running helter-skelter through the grass doing Idon'tknowhat, but quickly returned to scope out the situation. An older man and his care-taker stopped and admired our catch and advised us to look up the story of the Lazarus lizard, which was not at all what I expected.

We resumed our walk and another pedestrian approached us. A woman who "just loved to share things". She was delightful and she showed the kids and I one of the planned-beds filled with Scented Geraniums. She showed us how they had different smells and then was trying to recall the name of another plant when I called for Solomon. She said, "You're right! It's Solomon's Seal!" Apparently one of her favorite flowers. She told us about how she has picnic every spring under the weeping cherry trees in the park with her daughters and granddaughters. Next year, it's on my list.

Getting home, Sage took a nap and Marley, Solo and I were able to finish some paper worksheets together and make plans for the year. Then I got a call with some great news about a violin program.

Today will be a difficult day to beat.

By the way, we're calling the lizard Lazzy.

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