We have been insanely busy for the past two days, since the weather was cool enough to take the kids and do some fun things.
Tuesday, we took the kids up to Prairie State Park where they have bison that roam free through the park.* The visitor's center has a display of all the different things you might run across in that particular environment in an area about the same square footage as my living room, as well as a tank with a couple of fish and a turtle, and another tank with a tiny bull snake. We went ahead and got them each a noisy little bird stuffed animal, made by the Audubon Society with accurate to the bird calls. The imp has a rainbow bunting, and the pixie chose an eastern oriole.
After they explored the visitor's center (and touched buffalo hides the park had had stretched over some low tables for kids to touch), we took them to the picnic area for lunch, play time, and exploration. Next time, we'll make sure the kids and I have water shoes so I can take them wading and see if I can't find something of interest to teach them about in the water, like mussels or crawdads, or something.
Then it was up to my mom's for supper. We'd taken a roast up for her, and she fixed that. Sadly, it hadn't been feed-lotted long enough for her tastes, and was a little gamey. I liked it just fine--closer to venison than what you'd think of for beef. The leftovers came home with us. Think I'll get potatoes and do up a nice dinner built around the leftovers for supper tonight.
Yesterday, we took the kids to Branson. No, we did not do any shows, or go to Steal-Your-Dollar City**--we took them on the two hour scenic train ride. It was pretty fun. They really enjoyed exploring the train. Twice, for the imp. I enjoyed sitting in the dome car and watching the scenery (I'm unstable enough on my feet when the floor's not moving. No way am I going to go wandering a train without absolute necessity).
On the way back, we took them to Bass Pro's nature center in Springfield. Yes, it's a huge store. But there are alligators, fish, ducks, and turtles. The kids really enjoyed the animals.
Today, we will be taking the imp to drop with his grandparents, and that's it. All the plans we have for the day. It's going to be nice to have a day to breathe without worrying about what-all needs to happen when.
Because tomorrow? Starts the state back-to-school sales tax holiday, and we're going to get their school shopping done as early as we can tomorrow morning to avoid the worst of the crowds of morons and leaches, who tend not to appear until closer to midday--can't interrupt their sleep for school clothes and supplies, after all.
*If you want to see the herd of buffalo, they're at the far corner of the park from you. If you want to walk a trail, they're where you want to walk.
**Silver Dollar City.
2 hours ago