Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cherishing our winter respite

Cliff had to work over the weekend, so we didn't get to do anything special to celebrate all the gorgeous sunshine and warmer days lately. Cliff doesn't have classes on Tuesdays or Thursdays. However, he had to go to school on Tuesday morning for an appointment with his school advisor about his upcoming semester schedules. The kids and I went to a thrift store for about an hour while he had his meeting. We found several interesting chapter books and a picture book I love by Margaret Wise Brown, "The Runaway Bunny." Over lunch Cliff and Holden skimmed the chapter books while Camden and I read the picture book a few times. Cliff was skeptical about the chapter books until he opened them. It was cool to see he and Holden drawn into the stories.

We also purchased a board game for .99 that Camden fell in love with while we were at Goodwill. I can't remember the name of it, but it has a lot of miniature football player pieces. He opened it and played with it for at least half an hour already. And I found a rubber yoga mat for myself. The one I have now is soft foam on one side and soft cotton on the other. It is falling apart. Cliff found it for me a few years ago through It has seen better days. I knew if I waited long enough I'd find a good deal on a mat.

So onto the rest of our day: The state park is just south of his school, so we scooted on down there after Cliff's appointment. We had a pleasant time. We brought grapes and strawberries to munch on. There is a campground, beach, and playground at this state park. It was like a ghost town though compared to the weekends and summer months. I had to wonder what life would be like if the government were only in charge of criminals, and not education. I imagine a world where people are not bound to desks and buildings for days and months on end.

We were drawn to the water to see how melted the ice had become during the latest warm up. There was a huge flock of Canadian geese nearby on the partially frozen lake. The ice was not completely solid, but solid enough for the birds to seek refuge.

I'm so grateful for all the sunshine we have had and for the chance to get out and soak it up! We usually have long winters in Iowa. Most likely round two of winter will make a grand entrance any day. The ground is far from dry, but the snow is melted here in central Iowa. Days are getting longer and spring will be here before we know it! This part of the year gets me so excited.

Tomorrow we are going roller skating with local unschoolers and homeschoolers. We have a roller rink reserved just for us and the kids will be exchanging Valentines. We're extremely thankful to have a ton of happy go-lucky bunch to hang out with.

And two weeks from now we'll be getting together with friends in Minnesota for a waterpark gathering for unschoolers.

I'll try to take lots of photos of our outings. And of course, I'll be writing about our kitchen! I have a feeling we will be ordering cabinets very soon. It is a busy and exciting time here as always.

Happy, happy, joy, joy! I hope this finds you cherishing something that warms your soul and renews your sense of wonder.

~Heather xoxox

P.S. I set the camera up on a picnic table for a group shot and set the timer. It was not too tricky, but I wish more of the lake were in the photo. The kids were more interested in other things than photos; that is understandable! So I was lucky to get one half way decent shot. You can see Shadow was overjoyed to be there! And this was after half an hour of being there. LOL.


Deanne said...

What beautiful pictures! Leave it to you to find the beauty in all that COLD. ;)

Heather's Moving Castle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather's Moving Castle said...

Thank you! It wasn't that cold, really. But it is a lot colder today. ;o)

kelli said...

Oooh! Thank you for sharing your day, I miss the frozen lake and frosty trees so much. I know.. crazy cuz I'm in much warmer weather now, but that frozen landscape is so beautiful to me. We had a state park about a 1/2 mile from us (when we lived in MN) and we'd walk down there and listen to the cracking of the lake as it thawed :) Of course that was in April *g*

Have fun at the MN waterpark gathering, wish I could be there and say Hi to them from me :)

Heather's Moving Castle said...

We got about 6 inches of snow today! It is so pretty and not too cold and windy either.

I loved going out and taking those pics the other day. It felt awesome b/c my hand didn't freeze like it does when it is colder and windy.

I wish you could be there for the waterpark gathering, Kelli. But I know you are where you belong. I am looking forward to meeting more unschoolers.