Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Wilds of Wisconsin: Part 1

Wilderness Section, Little House on the Big Prarie

Although I'm still very much in a bit of a repatriation funk, I have found several delights in my little borrowed corner of Sheboygan, Wisconsin to cheer me and entertain my little ones.  

Sheboygan's dressed up next-door neighbor is the tiny village of Kohler, named for the founder of the town and plumbing accessories manufacture located there.  This week, Kohler will play host to the PGA tournament.    

What may not be evident from the green or the big screens is the beautiful surrounding town, into which the Kohler family--and, by their influence, others--have invested much.

Here's part of what can be found off-green/screen:

If they eat outside, there is less of a mess to clean up, right?

Not many fences to be found, making the homes and environs beautiful fields interspersed with homes.

Bookworm Gardens
Bookworm Gardens -an ingenious literacy garden for tots.  Laminated books can found in each of these stations, and various gardens are dedicated to depicting in real-life fashion the stories found therein.  Gideon enjoyed The Little House on the Big Prairie, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Winnie the Pooh 


Do I have to?

The Wilderness section of Bookworm Gardens.

Complete with the little house 

and the wagon that got them there

Bookworm Gardens wilderness section
This chair was just right! 
This chair was too big. See papa bear in the tree?

Griffin's graduation from summer camp at Bookworm Gardens.
Farmer's Market in downtown Sheboygan

Fresh squeezed mango lemonade at the Farmer's Market.

thankfully there were some fountains that welcomed little dippers at the hot Farmer's Market

Unfortunately, this man is not part of our Wisconsin adventure - 11 more days!

Small Wonders:

* Gideon is almost an independent prayer: last night, once I said, "Fold your arms and close your eyes," he launched into "Dear Father, thank Thee...trucks...birds...Truman (his cousin)...Meredith...Aunt G...blanket...sunshine...pool..." I only had to chime in on the request side - who knows how long it will be till he is able (and willing!) to request for help in being obedient and kind.
* I have asked two weeks in a row that Gideon and I would both feel the Spirit in church.  Last week, while a Latina woman was speaking and today, when my niece Allie sharing her testimony in Spanish, he has stopped what he was doing and looked up at the pulpit and paid attention for minutes.  He'll grab my hand or just look.  When I ask whether he feels good inside, he'll say yes.  I'll then tell him that this is the Spirit.  So grateful for powerful testimonies that bring the Spirit into my little boys' heart!
* G also feels the Spirit when I sing "I Am a Child of God," and thus will request it on end.  The other night, after I finished singing, he said "Good job!  A good song!"
* G is starting to recognize his thoughts and feelings.  The other morning, when I fed Esther some prunes to help with some GI tract issues (enough said, right?), she shriveled up her nose and gagged on the first bite.  He attentively said "Baby no like it, I think."  He has also said "I feel bad" when really dirty and tired and "I feel better" when I got him into the bath after a particularly messy meal.
* G is very attentive to his sister.  He'll ask to go help get her up, will shush her and ask if she is OK  when crying, and the other day in the car I heard, "Baby, not safe, ta!" (The latter is short for thank you in some Commonwealth countries.  Our first nanny, an Australian, would say this when she wanted Gideon to hand her something - which we've continued.) I then looked back and saw Gideon reaching for the face sunscreen stick Esther was sucking on.  I had taught Gideon just a few days earlier when he had eaten a bit of the same stick that it wasn't good to eat and that the sun would hurt him if he didn't put it on his face.  
* Esther and Gideon are beginning to really tease each other and try to make each other laugh.  Both will initiate.  Their little pats on the head, loving kicks, or sideways glances will tip one or the other off into fits of laughter.
* Esther's about a week away from crawling.  She'll get up on her haunches for a few moments before settling back on her tummy.  She won't sit for long because she is so busy practicing her tummy moves. I think she knows she's almost mobile.  Wait till we get settled, baby!
* Esther's face lights up whenever she sees Logan, her favorite person and cousin.  He knows best how to communicate and make her laugh - not too hard, but Logan has a special knack with her.
* Esther has finally dropped her third, difficult nap.  Now to just get her long afternoon nap to be trouble free! (She usually needs help transitioning...) I'm also finally considering a pack and play, as she is way to big for that hammock.

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