Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Peanut Butter Memories

on November 5, 2012

As we left an overcrowded park Sunday afternoon, I promised the girls that we’d try again on a weekday morning … when the parks are largely deserted and safer for little cubs. And after we shared our tales of bumps and bruises with Daddy Bear, he decided that Monday would be a good day for a family picnic in the park.

The girls and I read our morning Bible story, practiced this week’s verse, and watched an episode of Sid the Science Kid while Daddy Bear went to his one Monday class. Little Bear and I took a few minutes to review last week’s reading lesson, our only formal learning task of the day. Then, the girls danced and sang along with the Cedarmont Kids while I packed a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baby carrots, cheese, rice cakes and fruit leather. By the time Daddy Bear got home from school, we were ready to walk out the door.

Our goals for the morning were simple enough. We wanted to run, play, explore, discover, and have fun as a family. With that in mind, we headed for the “big” park in town, a sprawling riverfront park with two playgrounds, a huge sand box, walking trails, fishing pier, and rose garden.

The girls wanted to eat first …

Making memories with peanut butter and jelly …

… then play …

“I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly. …”

Sunshine on her shoulders, sand beneath her feet …

Shared fun is the best fun!

… then explore. We’ve been reading about autumn and the changes it brings for the past month, and today’s visit to the park presented us with an opportunity to see one of those changes — colorful leaves — first hand:

Autumn leaves … Texas style!

I grew up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge mountains, surrounded by brilliant displays of fiery autumn color. After several autumns in West Texas, I’ve finally accepted that our falls will never rival the glorious displays that live in my memory. But for my girls, who are accustomed to seeing leaves in nothing but green or brown, even hints of gold, orange, and red proved magical.

Little leaf collector …

Little Bear packed her lunch box full of colored leaves to bring home and use in “a project.” (When questioned about said project, she replied “Oh, Mommy, I’m sure we can find something to do with them!” Hmm. Wonder where she’s heard that line before?)

Not to be outdone, Baby Bear had to collect leaves too!

Following in Big Sister’s footsteps …

Then the girls spied the rose garden, and they were off again. Texas weather may not be my favorite, but it’s hard to complain too much about the lack of autumn color when you’ve still got roses blooming in November!

Pinks …

Reds …

And more pinks!

The girls ran up and down the rows of rose bushes, oohing and aahing over each fresh display. I ran alongside, reminding Little Bear that real roses have real thorns and trying to keep a tired Baby Bear from tripping over her own feet and landing in the middle of a thorny rose bush! Thankfully, both the girls and the rose bushes escaped injury.

“Look, Mommy, another leaf!”

There’s so much to see and experience when the world is your classroom!

By the time we got home, both girls were ready for long afternoon naps, and Mommy and Daddy weren’t far behind. Thankfully, we all got some sleep because those long afternoon naps translated into late bedtimes … after an evening of sorting shapes, stacking blocks, building MagnaTile apartment complexes, and sharing good books — a fun start to a busy week.

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