Leaf it to us to have a lot of fun during our time in Springfield. On Thursday, we enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner made by my mother-in-law. We had all of the wonderful classics: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, sweet potatoes, strawberry pretzel salad (made by my brother-in-law, niece and nephew) and thankfully, my desserts were a hit. The experiment recipe of Pumpkin Crunch Cake was an instant family favorite. Phew! The entertainment of dinner and a good portion of the evening was provided mostly by our adorable four-and-a-half year-old niece and two-and-a-half-year-old nephew. It was perfect.
On Friday morning, the kiddos came over to Grandma and Grandpa (my in-laws) early so their mom and dad could do a little Black Friday shopping. Uncle Cowboy Tim was all ready to play. So were his trusty steed and curious hund. We spent part of the morning playing with all of the toys downstairs. The kids are still getting used to Trond, who just wants to play right beside them but… when you are a little kid and there is a big dog around, I guess it can be kinda intimidating. We made a little play kitchen barricade (I called it ‘Kitchen Korner’) so the kids could ‘make breakfast’ for us and so Trond could be close, but not too close, and chew up one of the dozens of tennis balls that my mother-in-law has gifted to the Patron Saint of Tennis Balls, our lovely Labrador, Captain Trond Kildahl Ryder. Everyone is working on a fun project.
After playing inside awhile, we headed over to Washington Park so the kids could play on the playground, the hund could play outdoors and we could all be outside in the brisk sunshine, playing off the Thanksgiving dinner we enjoyed the day before. Trond, Tim and I walked over while everyone else drove. We happened upon this lovely sight.
Ducks are one of the two birds I can handle. They just get so pissed off, it’s funny to me. It is also funny to me that these ducks are more vicious than this big ol’ Labrador Retriever. He could really give a rip about ‘em.
By the time we made it over to the playground, my niece had climbed up on this big rock. I asked her if I could take a picture of her way up high. She gave me permission, then chose to be in this pose. I told her that the way she was resting and with her coat on like that, she almost looks like a pretty caterpillar about to change into a beautiful butterfly up there.
All of us played on the swings, the slides, the merry-go-round, the jungle gym, the monkey bars. I hardly took any pictures because I was too busy climbing and chasing and playing. At one point, though, Finley had us all sit down on the huge stone slabs to watch her ‘show.’ I think at this point, the hund was more than happy to chill out (he had already been on a very long walk earlier that morning with Peggy and Tim) so he plopped down next to me on the leaves.
Finley gave her ‘performance’ then proceeded to let me, Tim, Grandma Peggy then her dad give theirs. As each of us performed, the hund continued to sit and sink into the leaves…
We decided to cover his big black hund body in leaves. I wasn’t sure how he would feel about it… but… he seemed to enjoy it!
Finley dumped on the finishing touch.
The hund was snuggled up in this fallen leaves blanket… I think he would have been content for us to leaf him alone and let him stay there longer. But we had been at the park for quite a while. We were all chilly. Tummies were starting to rumble for lunch so it was time to head back to the house. Finley said she wanted to walk back to Grandma’s house with Uncle Tim, Aunt Rebecca and Trond. Her mom suggested that Daddy go along with, just in case she got tired. Finley told us she wouldn’t get tired. And… she didn’t. She ended up getting a pretty sweet, and way-up-high-ride, on Uncle Tim.
Leaf it to us to have a good time anywhere we go!