After an extremely productive day at work, I picked up both boys (who reported great days at school and daycare - yeah!) and we headed north to Polk City for a picnic in the park with my mom.
It was perfect. Just a wonderful evening for all involved.
We met her at the town square where the little weekly farmers market was taking place. I had no cash on me, sadly, so I was not able to shop. But it looked like a great little market. We followed Mom to a local park with picnic tables but no playground equipment -- perfect setting to get two hungry boys to eat and not run around and play!
Mom went all out on our food! We could have fed several more families -- fried chicken, ring bologna, potato chips, tortilla chips and salsa, two giant pickles for the boys, carrots and celery, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, Sunny-D, wheat beer and 7-Ups!
We had no plates, napkins or utensils and it was great! Just dig in and fill up. We ripped the lids off two of the fruit bowls so the boys had "plates" for their food. But otherwise we just grabbed what we wanted and enjoyed what was a truly beautiful evening -- low 80s, very light breeze, blue skies and lots of nature.
Next, we headed back to town so the boys could play on the playground for 20 minutes or so. While they played, I ran across the street to the Craft Exchange -- a cool store that sells scrapbook, quilting, sewing, knitting, etc. supplies. She buys them from people who are getting rid of big stashes and then sells them very inexpensively at the shop. It's a cool idea and you can get some great bargains. But as I have a closetful of scrapbooking supplies and a basement full of sewing, I just browsed for a few minutes and got some ideas.
After the playground, Mom wanted to take the boys to the Mile-Long Bridge to play on the shores of Saylorville Lake. She said she drives by this spot every day and has always wanted to take some of the grandkids there to throw rocks into the water. Well, my boys are ALWAYS in the mood for rock throwing so we ended our evening on the banks of the lake -- watching the occasional jet ski or fishing boat troll along the lake. At 8, I insisted we call it a night so the boys could get home for baths and bed in a reasonable amount of time.
It was a great Thursday night. Thanks, Mom!