Back to School: Part 2

I had told the boys that if they wanted to do things with me, they would have to go to bed early, because I get up early.  They were up until 3 am, and by the time they woke up the next morning, they were a little disappointed to discover that I had already been for a beautiful morning run down to the Neches with the dogs, listening to the birds, over to the library, and shopping for groceries (bologna sandwiches and bananas).  It was afternoon.

Having lost my flash drive in the move, I had to set up my computer programs anew from the internet versions.  I had done that at the library, but still had to edit all the quotes, to get things to run.  We set up the Day Sculptor program, agreeing that the house needed to be cleaned for the new school year before any other activity was approached.

Dividing and conquering, with some help from the grandmother, we got the front yard organized, and the dishes done.  I decided not to force the issue, because it was better for them to feel like the job was a small one, and not an all day endeavor.  They had their school supplies, and the boys had said that they had clothes for school.  Their shoes seemed decent.

We later headed out to the local animal shelter, for some time with the dogs.

The boys were reminded about vet school, and the importance of good grades, as they gave the puppies hugs,

and roughhoused with the big dogs,

even crawling into a dog hole that some bigger dogs had dug.

The shelter itself was nice.  The dogs were all kenneled in pairs or more.  No one was alone.

The boys had shown me some of the work they had done around the house for the animals since the last time they had seen me – the bird house they had built was in a big tree in their front yard, and they had even seen a bird visit, they had built a bigger multi-room area for their bunny, and they had built 2 wooden pens for dogs.  Still, their dogs were a little on the skinny side, and grooming one another.  I notice the shelter sign saying “Dog and cat food needed.”

It was time for our exploring activity, and we headed over to the Texas Forestry Museum.  We thought about trees and paper, and I secretly wondered if we could make paper from the dead tree for the new school year.  The exhibit had illustrated the steps involved in paper construction, and I reminded the boys that paper had been around long before there had been electricity or gasoline engines, so it technically should be possible to make wood chips, boil them in sulfated solution to break the lignin (glue), wash, bleach, and press the fibers into paper.  They were a little more excited about the log skidders than they were about paper, and wanted to climb the fire tower at the museum for a big view.

We ran out of time, as I had hoped to see exhibits on how they build forests – these require 100’s of years to grow, and there is a science to which trees, one plants, and the ecosystem that develops around these trees.

Driving back, we picked up their dad, and went for a swim in the lake for their exercise activity,

and later returned to the house, and set up the musical numbers program in the kitchen.  As the older child was gently reminded by the grandmother about the integer division that she had taught him last year, and the younger child practiced adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers in exchange for cheese puff balls, I pulled their abandoned socks and shoes from the car and into the house, and promised to take them to the zoo on Sunday, if the house was clean and ready for the new school year.  It would be free if we got there before 10 am, and they would be showing a new baby lion cub.

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